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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

When My Face Turns Red...

This post is part of a Q&A series. Check it out here.

Also... a quick note... if I seem absent from the blogosphere this week, please forgive me, as the Tongginator and I are both sick. Nothing too serious - just bad colds - but we are taking it easy.

discombobulated asked "Rachael or Monica?"

I want to be a Rachel. I pretend to be a Rachel. Unfortunately, I don't fool too many people. I am (sigh) a Monica. For example, I used to alphabetize my spice rack, but then the husband bought a circular one that makes that too difficult. And he did it ON PURPOSE. As revenge, I often sprinkle a little Cumin in a dish requiring Cinnamon. That's a joke, y'all. Not really.

Happy Geek goes out on a limb with, "If you could (in a polite Southern way) completely embarrass anyone, who would it be and why?"

Probably myself. Because purposefully embarrassing another person just seems to smack of meanness. And actually, humiliating myself helps keep me humble. Which is a good thing. And obviously I must struggle with a huge sense of pride, since I seem to humiliate myself on a regular basis.

But if that is Too Southern of an answer for you, Happy Geek, I shall reach back, deep into my past, to say Evil Emily who ran against me for senior class secretary. Because she totally made fun of my Jeopardy themed "Who Is Tonggu Momma?" campaign posters. (I know, I know... my Jeopardy addiction appeared early. And yes, in retrospect, my posters were totally geeky. But then, I never claimed to be cool.) Evil Emily crossed the line, however, when she hung up posters all over the school that read, and I quote, "You know who *Evil Emily* is. Vote Emily for Class Secretary." It's not enough that others recognized her Evilness and voted me into office as revenge. I'd still like to cut her down to size at our 20 year reunion. Only three years, five months to go...

And... as an aside... her name isn't really *Evil Emily.* But it is Emily (insert last name here). And she really was evil. Egotistical, ill-mannered Senator's daughter. Grr...

Happy Geek also asked, "what is the strangest thing you have ever done?"

Hmm... started a blog? No? That won't work? Okay then, how about eating turtle soup? Because I totally did that. Only I didn't know it until AFTER the fact. And you know what? It tasted like chicken. Only greasier.

Happy Geek continued her streak with, "what is your favorite imaginary response to people who ask rude and inappropriate questions about the adoption?"

Sigh. I try to be polite when this happens. When we first arrived home, I felt obligated to educate others. I've since moved on from that philosophy. Now I just protect my daughter. The tried-and-true responses I ACTUALLY use include:
  • That's personal information. I'm surprised you felt comfortable asking it.
  • What do you mean by that?
  • It doesn't surprise me that YOU think/feel this way.
  • How many children have YOU adopted?
What I'd REALLY like to do is return their questions with equally invasive questions relevant to their own experiences. Things like:
  • Why on earth didn't you have a natural childbirth? Because if we had biological children, I definitely would NOT have pumped my body full of drugs. (And - just so you know - I'd be lying if I said that. I am all about Pain Management.)
  • Is your husband your baby's father? And are all of your children REALLY siblings?
  • What's your husband's annual salary?
  • I could go on and on...
But then I wouldn't be modeling proper behavior for the Tongginator. Grr...

Laura L. asked, "Why DO you hate Barbies, anyway?"

Dear, dear Laura L.. This opens up a can of worms now, doesn't it? Goodbye, half my readers. Actually, I hate Barbies because I blame Teen Talk Barbie for my low math score on the SAT. If you remember, she's the one who repeatedly moaned, "Math is hard!"

Seriously though... I dislike Barbies for several reasons, with the body image thing we've all heard about as only a Very Small Part Of It. Please know that I DO allow the Tongginator to play with Barbies, but only because I can't brainwash everyone else. I just don't allow Barbies in my house. And if she receives one as a gift, I quietly purchase it from her and she uses that money to select a different toy. It's not a big deal because I try to avoid making it a big deal. Unfortunately, Barbie Lovers Everywhere tend to want to Change My Mind.

And... just as I know I won't change their minds, they won't be able to change mine. Because I've thought about this a lot.

I dislike Barbies because I feel they reinforce the mass consumerism of our society. A parent can't simply purchase one doll and be done with it. There are the clothes, the accessories, the houses and ice cream parlors and whatever else they've got now, filling up ENTIRE aisles in toy stores everywhere. While children can and do play with Barbies in a constructive manner, they also learn the secondary skill Mattel wants them to learn - a love of spending money.

So NOT what I want to teach the Tongginator. Can you imagine my life with Tongginator The Teenager if she loved to shop? Y'all KNOW that would be torture for me.

Then there is the even yuckier reason I hate Barbies. Fashion dolls like that didn't begin as toys for children. They began as dolls marketed to soldiers during WWII. It's a doll with an adult body that you can strip down. I realize it's not anatomically correct, but you can strip the doll. And it was initially sold to American GIs. Umm... eww...

And if you don't understand why I find the origins of fashion dolls so disturbing, allow me to share with you the story of a friend. She was taking a quick shower while her four-year-old son played quietly in his room. When she got out of the shower, it was Too Quiet. She just knew something was wrong.

She tore around the house, trying to find her son for ten minutes, before finally discovering him shining a flashlight and sitting in his sister's walk-in closet with the lights out. He had taken his sister's twenty or so Barbies, stripped off all their clothes and lined them up in a row. When his momma, my friend, asked, "why on earth did you take off their clothes?," he smiled at her and said, "Because I LIKE 'em like THAT."

Again I say eww...

So.. if you haven't already labeled me un-American because of my Intense Dislike of all things Barbie, check out Deb's hysterical post Mama, don't let your babies grow up to be Barbies and also Tai Dong Huai's post New Baby about her take on the White Swan's Going Home Barbie.

Riley asked, "what is the most embarrassing thing to ever happen to you, prior to becoming a mother, and then after becoming a mother (in case the answers differ)?" Debz followed up with a similar one, "What was - by far - your most embarrassing moment?"

Riley, I believe you recently discovered the Infamous Laundry Post. But, for those of you unfamiliar with it, (sigh) learn why I discovered that, yes, sometimes laundry is COMPLETELY HUMILIATING. As for my other, so-not-embarrassing-anymore-because-it's-all-about-perspective moments, you can check out the rest of my Most Embarrassing Moments here. It's a long list. Because I just seem to be one of Those People. But yes, The Laundry Incident definitely tops them all.

Michelle, long-time reader, asked "Have you seen your babysitter since your most embarrassing moment?"

Yes. But not often. (blush)


Aunt LoLo said...

Ok, that thing about the Barbies is just really creepy. I'm not even going to talk about it here...but it's creepy. BBJ has one Barbie, a present from a friend at Christmas. I doubt that we can keep Barbies away from her at this point...she's recently developed a love for all things Princess, and I know there will be Princess Barbies in her future.

Then again, maybe she'll take after her mother and just rip their heads off when I'm not looking!

Marla said...

HAHA, love the laundry incident, that's laugh out loud funny (and I don't laugh out loud before 10am often, so it really was funny).

Not a big fan of Barbies here either, my girls do have them, but we only buy the ones that have clothes painted on like some of the ballerinas and mermaids. We've moved on to AG Dolls now, which I like much better because A) they don't have boobs and B) they come with cute little undies that my girls will actually leave on them.

Hope you and the Tongginator are feeling better soon!

Doug and Terrye said...

Love the "that's personal info. I'm surprised you felt comfortable asking it" comment! I honestly did tell someone in the grocery store one time, "That's very personal, and I really don't know you well enough to confide!" I said that to her when she asked me if Grace "really did come out of my body" when I told her that Grace was "really" my daughter! And I'm as southern as you can get ;)
Terrye in FL

McEwens said...

Hope you feel better!! I have wonderered if you saw the babysitter after that!!!

Andrea said...

Hope you and the Tongginator feel better soon!

Rebecca of "China, Baby!" said...

I hate Barbies too. I just never knew why. You've given me a bunch of reasons to justify my dislike. Thanks TM!


Missy said...

The laundry story IS quite funny...sorry, but I got lots of giggles from that one : )

Also, I so wish I were a Rachel, too...but am SO a Monica.

Get to feeling better real soon! Hug the Tongginator for me and tell her that Paige and I <3 her : )

Becky said...

I'm a Monica, too, but I've never wanted to be Rachel, so I guess that's a good thing.

And you're right abound the Barbies. Eww. I think I owned one growing up. Skipper? Does that sound right? I'm more of a stuffed animal gal myself.

Quirky Mom said...

I am with you on the Barbies. And wouldn't you know it, Apple saw a Barbie ad on TV the other day and has started asking for one. If Emily could be *Evil Emily*, could we also say *Evil Barbie*, please?

Oh, and about the consumerism angle... If it just stopped with the ice cream parlor, it wouldn't be too horrible. But no, Barbie has to have an SUV, an RV, a "Party Cruise" (I nearly puked when Apple found that one at Target), etc.

If you asked my Mom why she hates Barbies, I think she would just tell you how much it hurts to step on their shoes. You know, the shoes that you can never find once the doll comes out of the package... except for when your Mom steps on one and howls in pain.

Lula! said...

I've so enjoyed your answers to the interview questions...especially the Barbie stuff. You are so knowledgeable on Barbie. Impressive!!! Seriously.

Also--your comment on my post for today? HUH-larious...oh my stars!

The Source said...

I don't know if I qualify as a Rachel or a Monica, but I definitely seem to be raising a Phoebe.

What's up with the Barbies whose legs are bluish/purple?? Asphyxiated Barbie? Frost Bite Barbie?

I hope you both are feeling better soon.

Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

I will say one thing and that is that you are crazy.... hahahaha... oh as for Barbie... cannot stand that bimbo doll... I am sorry but errrr... will have to make sure that Shauna does not get her hands on one... hahaha
Hope you are feeling better... take care

CC said...

I'm totally Monica too. ;)

Misty said...

i am not sure if this posted a second ago.. just sayin that i didn't know the barbie origin, and the idea of that little boy in the closet w/ the nude barbies is equally weird!
i don't like dolls OR barbies.

Kerry said...

Thanks, TM. I am never going to look at Barbie the same way again.

Never knew about the origin, but some to think of it- no wonder my brother used to always want to have his GI JOE come and play with me and Barbie. hum :)

Laura L. said...

I can see why you don't like Barbies. :)
I do think those are good reasons.
I'd never heard of the origin of Barbies(for GIs). That's kind of WEIRD.

I cannot believe there was a teen Barbie who said "math is too hard." Good thing my hubby doesn't know about that. He'd be mad.

Heather of the EO said...

Love, love, loving these posts.

I hadn't even thought about the consumerism thing and Barbie. I guess I hadn't really even thought about Barbie that much since I have two boys and they have yet to know what one is. But I totally agree with you. Just sayin. I know I know, now you can breathe easy again...HEATHER agrees with you. pffft.

Patty O. said...

I am in total agreement on the barbie thing. My sister in law just bought one for Charlotte for Christmas and I was appalled. Char is only 3, for crying out loud. I didn't want to offend my sister in law, so we kept it, but it hasn't even made it out of the box. Neither of the kids was interested in it, which is fine with me. I will probably just donate it somewhere.

Lisa-Jo Baker said...

I confess I was wondering how long it would take for someone from the area to comment on my critique of how Easterners handle the snow (and ICE!) Congrats - you are the first! :)

And I'm so glad you did because it led me to your lovely blog and had me chuckling all through your post. As you will know from visiting my site, we too battled the flu this week; I agree that embarrassing people on purpose is just plain mean; and also love to dream up responses to inappropriate questions about my little adoptive brother to those who ask if the little black boy spending time with our family is our maid's. I just smile and say - nope - he's my son's uncle and let them try to wrap their brains around THAT!

Hope you and yours feel better soon - and THANK GOODNESS the weather seems to be taking a turn for the better and the roads are safe once again (wink wink).


Michelle said...

Monica, Monica, Monica here, I'm afraid.

Keep the Q&A coming!!

Kristy said...

That's personal information, Im surprised you felt comfortable asking it??? That is just priceless, and hooray for you!!!!

I too am so over Barbie!! Up in my attic there is a couple of plastic boxes with about 150 Barbies from when Astrud was little, it Franceska NEVER sees a Barbie it will not hurt my feelings!

As far as taking from my blog, anything on there is yours!!! Take what ideas you want.

Love, Kristy

Debz said...

I'm totally Monica...only cause this wait is so long I might as well wash the walls or something constructive until she gets here.

OK...I used to like Barbies.....until now!

I remember the laundry story! LOL

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

Not a fan of Barbies here either....I am not against them totally, just not a huge fan.....they are a pain to get dressed and undressed and there are way too many small parts for a certain dog to steal and eat!! I am thinking after that story, anyone who liked them, will think twice...lol!!

Hope you all are feeling better:)


Kristin said...

Yep, I'm not a big Barbie lover either but we own lots of them. They seem to all be naked too. Not a good thing!

discombobulated said...

Evil Emily was truly evil to play off of your theme. Glad she lost.

If Barbie were a real person, she would not be able to stand upright on two legs. She would be on all fours because she is too top heavy. This analysis was truly done based on her measurements.

If someone else is rude enough to ask an improper question, that is the PERFECT answer- "I'm surprised you felt comfortable asking". Priceless. Also, if they ask "Do you mind if I ask...", you can respond "Do you mind if I don't answer"- but that might be too nice.

Get well soon...

kia (good enough mama) said...

turtle soup, huh? have you ever met yertle the turtle? oh. what's that? you say you ATE yertle? for shame!!

Janet said...

I'm a Monica for sure. And I hate Barbies. I have not, however, "accidentally" shown any babysitter my goods. ;-)

Peanut said...

I'm Monica too.

I didn't know all that barbie stuff. Definitely gives me something to think about. I like the idea of buying back gifts you don't want her to have. I'm going to tuck that away for future reference. (You're good for me, having a girl just that much older than mine!)

I'm pretty sure you'll never get past the babysitter episode!