Under My Red Cape I'm URBAN WOMAN!

Wrongdoers everywhere fear me

Under My Red Cape I'm URBAN WOMAN!

You know how little kids tie a towel around their neck to fashion a magic cape and become superheroes? Well secretly, in my mind's eye, I am a super hero, too, with a bright, tomato-red cape and an undercover badge that announces in bold, embossed silver: URBAN WOMAN. 

If only in my imagination . . . I am fearless as I set out each morning to right the wrongs committed by selfish, arrogant city dwellers.

There is the guy in the BIG SUV who is following me in my little (undercover) Volkswagen Beetle. He's the guy who is honking his horn as soon as the light turns green. He wants me to get going. Immediately. He has to move. He has places to go and people to see. In fact, he is nothing but a great big urban bully.
In my mind's eye, as he honks, revs his motor, and practically touches my rear bumper, I put my car in park. I step out of the car in my cape and approach the vehicle. As he opens his window to bark at me (a silver-haired woman), I show him my badge and boldly say, "Pull your car over to the curb." I write a ticket for $500, hand it to the big bully, get into my little car, and drive off. If only . . .
My Urban Woman beat also includes the subway, where I am vigilant looking for all the discourteous, thoughtless people who push to be first on the car to snag the empty seats. With iPhone buds in their ears they check their messages, oblivious to anything else but their own comfort. So what if there's a pregnant woman or an elderly gentleman standing right in front of them. Know what Urban Woman does? I show them my badge and show them to the subway door. Let them cool their heels on the platform waiting for the next train. Let them think about their Walk of Shame. Maybe tomorrow they will be more aware. If only . . . 

My lunch hour always takes me outside the high schools. So much to do there! Thanks to my strength training, body building, and karate practice (in my mind's eye), this URBAN WOMAN Grandma is ready for what has become a daily chore. I grab two bullies by the scruffs of their necks and make them apologize to the teens they are harassing. Then I move on to the litterers. Showing them my badge, I demand that they pick up the candy bar wrappers that they've simply tossed to the ground. And what about those Coke cans left on the steps? PICK THEM UP, PEOPLE, and put them in the trash bins where they belong. Perhaps the next time I come around I'll have less to do? If only . . .

Each night I go to bed exhausted and dream sweet imaginary dreams of the good that URBAN WOMAN has brought to her city. It thrills me to learn that since my recruitment many years ago, there has been a huge decline in bullying, road rage, littering, and rudeness. There's even talk of ending my assignment by 2015, and asking me to hand in my tomato-red cape and URBAN WOMAN badge. I smile in my sleep delighted to know that my services will no longer be needed. If only!

Don't Throw Away That Diaper Bag!

You'll need it in Paris, Rome, and Madrid

Don't Throw Away That Diaper Bag!

Recently I was in the Arctic with a tour group that consisted of travellers from all over the world. Chatting with one of the women, she told me that she had read my 'diaper bag' idea a long time ago and it was the best travel tip she had ever received. I had forgotten about that bit of advice written so long ago; however, it was a very useful tip, so I've decided to resurrect it in this blog post. It goes like this:

Ladies, don't throw away that diaper bag. Yes, the time will come when your babies and toddlers don't require that you carry a supply of items designed to keep them dry, well fed, and happy. It is at that point that you need to clean the bag up, wrap it in tissue, and save it for the time you begin travelling—with or without your offspring. It will become your best friend.
"But," you say, "Why not use a backpack for travelling?"
"Because," I say.
Here's seven reasons why:
1. Wear a backpack and everybody quickly identifies you as a tourist, and that includes the social deviants and pickpockets who are out to get you. 
2. On a walk in Paris or Rome or Madrid you want to look stylish in your wraparound dress and matching cardi, don't you? A smart looking diaper bag slung across your chest and resting on your hip looks far better than that rugged backpack you take camping.
3. Unlike a pretty tote bag, the diaper bag lining is often white and allows you to easily identify what you have in the bag.
4. A good diaper bag always has multiple pockets inside and out, so you can organize your stuff.
5. The interior compartments designed to hold baby bottles upright will hold that bottle of water you will need to keep yourself hydrated.
6. An inexperienced tourist wears their camera around their neck. A smart mom traveller keeps it hidden in her diaper bag.
7. Finally, every diaper bag has a plastic change mat in it. With a little spit and polish that mat becomes your seat should you decide to rest anywhere and watch the world go by.
Darn! You already got rid of your bag? No problem! Before your next journey, just make your way to the baby section in any shop and buy yourself a smart-looking bon voyage gift. And, ladies, try to stay away from designs that include rubber duckies or pink elephants. That would be completely inappropriate.
Please pass this tip along to your pals. Tell them it is from a Travellin' YummyMummy Grandma who is Aging Disgracefully.
If you liked this, you might also like "Do You Also Indulge in Secret Mom Behaviours?" and "How to Iron a Sandwich."