Archive for June, 2007
My apologies that this has in the last couple of posts turned into a TV blog rather than a parenting blog. And, to be honest, my daughter is a lot more fascinating than the TV show I’m about to blast. But trust me when I tell you that you don’t want to hear about how cute it was to listen to her count to twenty in the 99 cents store and how funny it was to watch her lead a game of Yell and Jump Crazily at the library practically getting us 86’d by the bitchiest librarian I’ve seen since elementary school. It’s much more fun to rag on my other favorite hobby, laying comatose in front of the TV watching the worst shows that networks can dream up. Last night was a doozy – The Ex Wives Club. You need to only click on the website to see how insane this show is but I will describe it for you because I watched an entire episode last night which is 59 minutes more than you should ever watch. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that this show is a bigger train wreck than Age of Love.
The Ex Wives Club is hosted by three famous ex wives who are supposed to help a couple of non famous run of the mill losers get their shit together after being dumped. Which brings up the first roadblock to anyone actually enjoying this show: it’s hosted by Shar Jackson, Angie Everheart and Marla Maples. Earth to ABC! Shar fucking Jackson? Really? She isn’t even an ex wife! She had the bad sense to become a baby momma not once but twice to K-FED!! I don’t think anyone who’s ever been involved in any way with K-Fed should be hosting a show. She shouldn’t even be allowed to watch it. And to add insult to injury, she cried through the whole debacle. Every time one of the dumped told their sob story, Shar broke down in pain over having to be without K-Fed. She should have thrown a parade when that gross, mullet wearing, no talent, wigger left her for Britney. But if you think the credibility of the show is only lost because of her then you would be wrong. Marla Maples? ABC needs to get its head out of its ass and remember that MM was THE OTHER WOMAN in Donald Trumps life. She was the bitch he was cheating with! So while the dumpees are whining about being cheated on, Marla nods along as if to say “I get it.” Yeah, she gets it because she was screwing someone else’s husband! If that’s not enough to have you shaking your head in disbelief then try Angie Everheart. Once “engaged” to Sly Stallone NOT MARRIED, she went on to also be “engaged” to George Hamilton’s equally sun baked son Ashley who was possibly still a teenager and she was probably 50. So, she’s qualified to tell some poor loser why she’s so much better off after being dumped by her husband of 24 years. Yeah, Angie, you understand the true meaning of committment!
Let me try and calm down here. Yoga breaths. Deep cleansing yoga breaths.
The train wreck goes on to bore us for an entire hour with unintentionally hilarious cleansing rituals like “throw your ex husbands watch into burning lava!” and meeting with a world famous “Life Coach” named Debbie something or other whose face had fewer expressions than a totem pole. It was absolutely fitting that 50% of the commercials in this hour were for Restalyn and Juvederm and other marriage saving cosmetic techniques.
In the end one both of the dumpees left with no more self esteem or knowledge than they slumped in with but I definitely felt worse about myself for watching.
In other news, don’t watch me on the Today Show Thursday because I got bumped and won’t be doing it until July 10th. Two more weeks before I get to meet my lastest blog crush Momomax. If you haven’t read her blog, read it. It’s good. Seriously. I mean not as good as Ex Wives Club but really, what could be?
Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on June 27, 2007 4:05 am
Full disclosure: I only watched the show Age of Love for about 20 minutes before I had to turn it off. Of course I knew it would be a bad show before I even saw the opening credits by the Cougars vs. Kittens premise, but I’d hoped it would be bad in a good way, like Temptation Island or any interview with Paris Hilton. But this was one of the worst shows I’ve ever seen. This show makes The Bachelor look like PBS programming. Let’s start with the premise: a 30 year-old tennis guy thinks he’s on a regular hook-up show but surprise! as the women are trotted out one by one they have a crazy twist in store for him. They’re really really old! Like old enough to be his grandmother! Okay, not that old but, you know, like 40!!! The look on his face was enough to make me turn the channel alone. The first woman comes out and she’s gorgeous. She introduces herself and adds in the tidbit that she was born in 1967! NOOOOO! Close up on his face as it contorts into a mix of fear, shock and disappointment – as if she’d just told him she totaled his Porche while taking it for a quick spin around the block. The next few women come out looking just as beautiful but one by one they deliver the bad news that their birthdays are were the 60’s or early 70’s. Finally we get a quavering soundbite from our “prize.” “One of them has to be younger, right? They can’t all be old.” He may as well have gone on to say, “they won’t be able to play tennis with me! They’ll be too busy stealing my tennis balls to put on their walkers!”
I guess what we’re supposed to understand is that all the oldsters have their shit together cause they’re all, well, old and shit. Hey, I know plenty of women in their 40’s who you’d be afraid to spend a half hour with due to their crazy neediness, bi-polar mood swings and general not-having-their-shit-togetherness. And I’m not just talking about me.
But on this show, if you’ve made it to your late thirties without a man, you are obviously crazy desperate for one but incredibly self sufficient, career driven and ready for that man (any man) because you’ve done the necessary work on yourself. And if you’re in your 20’s, you’re insanely hot but immature and self centered.
But will he choose and oldie or a newbie? You must tune in to find out. Plus you’ll see the 20’s gals come out with gems like “what’s a synonym for old? Decrepit?”
You’ll find out. I won’t. I turned it off. I’m going to turn 41 in a couple of weeks and I don’t need this world view. Is this just Hollywood or do people really look at a single woman in her late 30’s and think this way? And I don’t even need to point out how ridiculous it would be to have a show where a 30 year-old woman is presented with the horrifying option of dating a late thirties guy!
I could rant on this for a few more hours but I have to eat some grapes and watch Arthur with my child. Okay really I need to go put on a face full of wrinkle cream and buy a new cane.
Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on June 22, 2007 9:18 pm
Ever find yourself in a perpetual state of anxiety and wonder what part of your life isn’t working? Your body has a way of saying, “Yo! Something’s not right here!” and your mind has a way of saying, “What choo talkin’ bout Willis?” It’s just easier to ignore it, watch a little more Lifetime and stay away from songs by the Fray that will make you teary and mortified that you are teary over a song by the Fray at the exact same time. It’s really hard to describe to a public forum what the hell is going on with me right now, but suffice it to say that a mother’s help or ACKNOWLEDGMENT would be helpful and it’s not forthcoming hence the long and maudlin last post.
All of your responses totally overwhelmed me. I’m used to feeling like I’m all alone even when I’m not. The defense tactic I took to deal with my childhood I think kicked into full gear at about 16 when I decided that I don’t need anyone nor can I depend on anyone to help me. I’m all I got. It’s actually a useful defense at 16 but not so much at 40. At 40 it just starts to reek of being a martyr. Anyone who could relate to my last post will be able to relate to the feeling of not being able to ask for help. Even if there are people lined up around the block to offer it free of charge.
How do we explain this feeling of not wanting to ever seem vulnerable? To seem needy? Simple really. We don’t want to feel disappointed again. Disappointment that has long been buried but still so close to the surface. I don’t even like to ask my husband for help even when I’m screaming for it. Truthfully, the fight or flight feeling is always there. It dulls over time but it still lays in wait for the most stressful of situations to come up that make me want to flee or say “just forget it! Just forget everything.” But when you have a child you can’t go back. That door is shut forever. And that’s some scary stuff.
I’m sure I’ll cheer up soon and get back to my snarky ass self. Bear with me.
By the way, next Thursday I’ll be on the Today Show again talking about the parenting issue of praising/overpraising kids. Let’s just say that I don’t think too many of us are suffering from the damages of TOO HIGH SELF ESTEEM. And I’ll leave it at that.
Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on June 19, 2007 8:54 pm
Hope Edelman who wrote the book “Motherless Daughters”, also has a website for people who find themselves in the situation of trying to mother without a mother.
When I have found myself in the depths of it, wondering what type of mother opts out of parenting her children because she just finds it all “too much,” I tried to find a group of women like myself; women who don’t have mothers because their mothers made a choice to not be a part of their lives, their grandchildren’s lives or their sibling’s lives. I couldn’t find a group.
And then I came upon Hope’s website which seemed sort of for me. Maybe a place for me to fit it. Maybe I’d find some kindred spirits to say “I get it. I get the guilt that maybe, just maybe there’s something more we could do to make them love us, to make them want us. To stop our tears that have been shed since we were babies pining for a mama. Not just a mother who stuck food on the table but a mama who was capable of some sort of feelings. Maybe we could have been more of what they wanted or less of what they didn’t. Maybe if we could have and had been, we would have what we think everyone else has.”
But Hope’s website is for women whose mothers died. Especially devastatingly, when their daughters were young. And those women felt a void their whole lives. This website was not for me. Believe me, I tried to join up. But I was not like these women. These women had concrete evidence that they didn’t have a mother. Their mother’s wanted them just couldn’t be with them.
My situation has never been as clear cut. My mother’s been in and out of my life. At times doing her best acting job at what she thought a mother’s behavior should look like. Acting well enough to say to the world “You see? She’s the one who’s crazy! Look how much I do for her!”
But here’s the truth. My mother chose a man over her children more than 35 years ago. She chose a paranoid, anti-social man who refuses to play by society’s rules. She chose a narcissistic extremely abusive man over her very own flesh and blood. And she continues to knowingly make this choice everyday.
I’ve tried many many many times to mend things even though she refuses to take any responsibility. But that’s what I’ve learned to do my whole life to keep the peace. Take responsibility. I’m depressed? My fault! Eating disorder? I must be a disgusting person who needs to get herself together. My mother’s exact words back when I was 21 and confessed to being a bulimic who was getting help “don’t blame me! I had nothing to do with your probems.” My mother has decided that she’s “incapable of meeing my and my brothers needs” yet, I’ve tried to spend time with her on her terms (she refuses therapy, wants me to bring the child to her and then ignores her, there is no asking for favors, and most of all not wanting too much) it has worked for a time but really, it’s a package deal. It comes with the creepy step-father.
And when it came down to it, when I finally said, now that I’m a mother, this has to stop. I will not. Won’t. WILL NOT DO YOU HEAR ME??? Will not leave my daughter alone with you and your husband. My mother decided that she’d rather not have me in her life.
My childhood was something that was not in my control but my daughter’s life is very much in my control.
And my mother and her manipulative, gaslighting ways, won’t work on me or my brother or ANY OF US ANYMORE.
My mother loves to explain to me, my husband (who finds it amusing that she’d really try this on him of all people) and whomever will listen that I was a difficult baby. “You should have seen her. Really. Never seen a needier baby. Just months old and never could be pleased. Isn’t that just the funniest thing? I certainly couldn’t do it. No one could. She was just too much.” No mom. I wasn’t too much. You weren’t enough.
But I look at my precious child and think, “could she ever be too much? Of course not. I want her to be even more. I can’t love her enough. I try but more spills over. That’s how I’m too much now. I care too much for my child. I love my husband too much. And no amount of therapy will get rid of that. Thank God.
Motherless children don’t always have to have had a mom who died when they were young. Sometimes being motherless just means that your mom is so uninterested in being a mom/your mom that they will grab any branch to swing away from their repsonsiblity to their children and grandchildren in favor of career, husband, denial, narcissism, their own bad parenting the list goes on. But the grief never goes away. I will never stop missing her or the fantasy of what unconditional motherly love would have felt like.
I want to stop missing her.
I don’t want to be writing this post. Every fiber of my being says this is wrong. But here it is. Maybe I’ll take it down tomorrow.
Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on June 14, 2007 9:02 pm
I hear a lot about moms who really have their shit together (which reminds me; a lot of descriptions of my blog warn about foul language – what the fuck is that all about?). I’m not one of them. This morning my babysitter called fifteen minutes after she was supposed to be here to tell me she couldn’t come. Some bullshit about a car accident the night before…luckily no one was hurt…car totaled…blah blah blah…all I heard was NOT COMING OVER. Sometimes that’s all it takes to put me into a total tail spin. I’m walking on a tightrope here and, really, the tiniest unforseeable things can upset me these days.
I know that it’s like this for a lot of us. And I also know that some people don’t even have a regular babysitter so those people may be reading this thinking “yeah, Stef, I hear the tiniest violin playing the saddest song for you.” But, I have a book due in a couple of months, I edit a website, I have a 2-year-old who for some weird reason seems to want actual attention from me. It seems that sitting on the couch in a vegetative state watching Wonderpets isn’t enough entertainment. No, she wants me on the couch with her enjoying every moment. Or worse, she wants to actually go places and do things. So I feel mama guilt. And I try to step it up. But I’m really tired.
Worse, I never thought I’d be one of those moms who can barely be bothered to get dressed half the time. I truly have little use for make-up because I only bother to put it on on the rare occasion I leave the house at night without a child. Truth be told, I definitely don’t shower as much as the National Health Department would deem fit, many days don’t brush my teeth until noon, flossing is now a luxury not a given and I haven’t even put on a pair of jeans in I don’t know how long. I’ve become that women. The pale faced, ponytailed, sweats wearin’, old t-shirt sporting MOM. I used to be kind of cute. I think I still am when I catch a glimps of myself all done up but, I just don’t have the energy.
I have fleeting thoughts every morning of actually making an effort and then something happens. A diaper needs immediate changing, the trash needs to go out, the phone starts ringing and before you know it, it’s 3 o’ clock and I still look like poop. I really thought it would be different. I envisioned myself unchanged, just with a child in tow. But, that was unrealistic as it turns out.
Sometimes I go to the park and see women in full make-up, their skinny jeans and their hair blown-dry and possibly curled a bit. I just don’t know how they make that happen. Is it magic? Do they have a live-in stylist?
Does anyone else relate or am I just lazy?
Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on June 13, 2007 12:35 am