There’s a lot I miss about the innocence of my youth. I miss it for myself and I miss it for the sake of my children. It makes me sad that they will never quite understand the wonder of Jem, teased bangs and neon t-shirts, video stores on a Friday night. All that makes me nostalgic and long for those years that seem so distant past.
I don’t miss everything.
While I have an uncanny tendency to look back with rose coloured glasses, not everything about those years was perfect and worthy of nostalgia. There are some things that are so much better off being left behind. Way, way behind.
Let me remind you if you might have forgotten how the 80s (and 90s) weren’t exactly as perfect as you remember:
1. Being chased down the street by the crazy and angry German Shepard that was roaming the neighbourhood again. Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs. I have one myself but that doesn’t mean I want someone’s mean dog constantly chasing kids down the block. Leash laws, thanks!
2. Being uncool unless you have a perm. So you go off and get yourself one, and resemble a wet poodle for an entire year thereafter. Been there, done that. No, thank you.
3. Not being able to find a single vegetarian entrée on a menu, no matter which restaurant you go to. So having two servings of mashed potatoes. Again.
4. Blue eyeshadow and frosted lipstick. That is all. And that is plenty.
5. Having to page your friends to figure out where they are. Then waiting for them to call you back. We were like walking intercom systems and not in a good way.
6. Waiting by the tape recorder all day so you could record your favourite song once it came on the radio. Now you can listen to it all day, everyday thanks to the internet. I should know. My daughter has had "Let It Go" on repeat for the last two years. It’s on right now.
7. Long division. They don’t still do it schools, do they? Because, seriously? That stuff is obsolete. Or at least it should be.
8. Using a rotary telephone. Because sometimes a two minute conversation took approximately ten minutes and 56 seconds to dial out. And that’s assuming you get all the numbers right.
9. Calling in for the bus schedule. This almost certainly guaranteed that you’d miss the damn bus by the time you finally managed to listen to it all.
10. Dial up internet. With no call waiting. Oh. So. Tedious. But I'll be damned if that pop up mail icon didn’t make it all worth it.
What do you so-not-miss about the 80s and 90s? Share your top picks so we can reminisce and laugh together!
Mario Batali and the Food Bank for New York City recently launched the Food Stamp Challenge, in which participants limit their food budget to just $29 per person for the entire week. This challenge is an effort to raise awareness about the struggles to stay healthy on a limited budget and to showcase that low income families need more support than they are currently offered.
Gwyneth Paltrow is one celebrity who has accepted this challenge. Last week, she tweeted out a picture of the groceries she bought for the challenge after being personally nominated by Mario Batali:
That sounds pretty commendable.
Except that people lost their shit.
Basically because they hate her.
They hate the fact that she is doing the challenge at all.
Like she knows anything about poverty.
And that’s very true. Gwyneth Paltrow doesn’t know anything about poverty. But isn’t that the whole point of the campaign? To raise awareness about an issue that many, many people (other than just Gwyneth) don’t know about?
The fact is that Gwyneth probably spends more than $29 on one meal, let alone for an entire week. But people other than Gwyneth also spend a lot on food. Look up the images on Twitter and Pinterest. Those aren’t $1.38 meals (which coincidentally is how much each person on food stamps has to spend.)
They hate the fact that she bought what she bought - brown rice, black beans, peas, eggs, tortillas, cilantro, limes, and fresh vegetables.
Apparently she should have bought cheese and meat and milk and peanut butter.
Right. She can’t possibly attempt to understand poverty without dairy and meat and peanut butter. Because those are obviously the cornerstones of low income living. Because Twitter said so.
As for everyone questioning why she would dare have so many limes, the premise of the challenge is that you cannot use anything in your pantry or kitchen that you already have. I’m going out on a limb here but I’m assuming the limes are for seasoning her food. Seeing as she didn’t buy any Mrs.Dash. Or maybe she just likes limes.
But really, who cares? She's the one doing the challenge. Let Gwyneth eat what Gwyneth wants to eat.
And if you think you could do better, a better idea than complaining about her would be to try it out yourself and see how far that money stretches. The real issue is that most people would have a hard time figuring out a grocery list with just $29. It’s hard to get an entire week’s worth of food for that measly sum. But once again, that’s the whole point of the challenge. To help people understand that it’s hard to get by for a week with only $29 worth of food. So I say she’s sort of awesome at demonstrating that.
They hate the fact that she’s using her celebrity to garner attention for her involvement in the challenge.
Nevermind that she’s bringing attention to a cause that most people don’t think about.
Nevermind that most people hadn’t even heard of the challenge until she tweeted about it.
Not to sound like a broken record but once again, that’s the whole point of the challenge. That she’s using her celebrity to raise awareness about an issue that most people don’t typically worry about, and she’s doing a pretty good job at it.
Because we’re thinking about it, we’re talking about it, and we’re aware of it.
The fact is that I think most people are misguided in hating Gwyneth Paltrow for this challenge. I think she’s doing a great thing. This isn’t something she had to do. She chose to do it. She chose to accept the challenge and she chose to help raise awareness for a worthy cause. I say that's goop-tastic.
Gwyneth Paltrow may have a lot more money that most people but most people have a lot more money than $1.38 per meal. So maybe it’s time to judge her a little less and maybe consciously self-reflect a little more.
Image Source: WikiCommons
They say it takes a village.
But when I became pregnant, I was still relatively new to my city. There were no other parents in my local set of friends and I had no family close by. I was entering this new journey on my own.
I had to find my village after having my first child.
Not that I initially recognized the need for one. I thought it sounded trite and wasn’t for me. I didn’t set out to join any mommy groups or community gatherings because I didn’t think it was really my scene. Not that I have a "scene," but I can be reserved and hanging out with strangers doesn’t exactly sound appealing to me. Becoming a parent didn’t change that.
And so I began this new stage of motherhood. I was content with me and my baby. We went out on our own adventures and did our own thing. We were best friends and each other’s sole companions, at least until daddy came home at night. The two of us, the dynamic duo.
Until it started becoming less and less dynamic.
And more and more lonely. I don’t think people talk enough about how lonely maternity leave can feel. Because it can be quite isolating, even with a wonderful new baby.
But still, I didn’t realize what I needed.
Until one day, an acquaintance was kind enough to extend an invite to her house for a playdate with other moms she knew. At the time I didn’t realize these women would become my lifeline in the parenting world. I was just glad to be going somewhere with other adults.
It was my first time spending time with young mothers like myself and oh–my-God, they were going through the same things! Or had already been through the same types of situations and could provide me with wonderful, much-needed insight. It was refreshing and insightful.
The truth is that I had no idea what I was missing until I started going to these playdates.
It was everything this new mother needed.
A circle of friends and a built in support system. Friends who understood what my days were comprised of. The lack of sleep, the bursting love, the lack of sleep, the breast feeding, the lack of sleep, the food battles, the lack of sleep…
They understood it all. I had found my village.
So if you’re reading this as a first time parent or a second time parent or even a third time parent but haven’t found your village yet, go out and find it! Even if you’re a reluctant introvert, go and put yourself out there. Join a mommy group, take a mommy-baby class, go to a drop-in session.
You may be like me and think you don’t need one but go anyways. Go, anyways. Because ultimately, you don’t know what you’re missing until you find it. I know I didn’t.
But there is real truth to what they say; it does take a village. Now is the time to find yours.