Not so much “boxing” as “gesturing weakly”

So, we got back from Phoenix on Monday afternoon. I went to the community gardens and bought a cornucopia of heirloom tomato and eggplant seedlings, as well as three types of chard (am retarded, clearly), took H grocery shopping, went home and cooked … something … for dinner, can’t remember. The next 24 hours are a blur — proctored, voted, took H to the doctor about his recent complaints of back pain (do not EVER under ANY circumstance Google “toddler back pain” or “preschooler back pain” — it will take you to the Bad Place). Diagnosis: constipation. Gotta get that kid on the poop train.

Come 6pm, bad things happened. I became violently ill, something I’d figured would happen as my stomach felt fuller and fuller and grosser and grosser as the day progressed. I put myself to bed at 8pm and didn’t rouse myself (except to drink water or ginger ale and to barf) until 5pm Wednesday. It wasn’t until this afternoon that I didn’t feel like Death was sitting on my face.

Went to Whole Foods after acupuncture (wherein my puncturist worked a weird point on the underside of my wrist — OUCH) and picked up some Recharge and miso soup, which I’ll be living on until dinnertime tomorrow, I reckon, when I will push for dinner at Amaya’s, as I’m dreaming of chalupas with extra beans and guac (hold the meat and cheese!). We shall see, as Matt has been sick, too, with a horrific cold. But he’s always up for Amaya’s, so I’m keeping those fingers crossed.

I broke my “Lenten” sacrifice today and got a vegan chocolate chip cookie at WF. I’d been in bed for a day and a half with no food, dammit, and I wanted a cookie. What the hells, I’m not Catholic, and I’d gone a month without any form of dessert. That’s damn near saintlike in my estimation.


So, we had a horrible experience at a restaurant in Tucson during our AZ trip.  We’d gotten together with a friend of Matt’s and his 2-year-old daughter, who took an immediate shine to Harry. The restaurant was kind of formal (cloth napkins, $9 kids’ meals), but it was after normal lunch hours and we sat on the patio. The kids made a bit of a ruckus, but not too bad — going outside the boundaries of inside voices, throwing toys on the floor, banging the wire tables. We did our best to keep them in hand, but they were too worked up. We should have left, but we didn’t think it would get as bad as it did. Add to that, the service was really slow, so we couldn’t just bolt our food and leave. Well, we noticed that an older “gentleman” at a nearby table kept glaring at us and shaking his head, but we figured that would be the extent of his disgruntlement.

Well, we were wrong. (By this time, John’s wife had shown up and John had left for a meeting.) As we were wrapping up, slowly, the man approached our table (came closest to me), and said, “This is by far the worst lunch I have EVER had. Why can’t you change your children? Why won’t you train your children?” He walked off muttering, while I just plowed through my salad (which had promised blood oranges but delivered none, only huge chunks of underripe mango), face-down. Shortly after that, I removed Harry to the car, which I should have done after 10 minutes of misbehavior. I was upset and ashamed and pissed that we hadn’t agreed to John’s earlier suggestion that we go someplace less formal. Now we know — next time we will. Not that the guy wasn’t out of line by being so mean, but he did have a point. We shouldn’t let our loud, boisterous toddlers disrupt others’ attempts at a peaceful meal. It’s all about respecting the rhetorical situation.


In closing, this article pretty much sums up why I loathed Juno. Now, the only person whose birth mother I am is Harrison, but I just have a real problem with a film that says, essentially, “I got knocked up in high school and all I got out of it was a fantastic boyfriend who sings Moldy Peaches songs with me.”

Additionally, I hated the fakey-fake dialogue and I hated the casual dismissal of abortion (which was far less funny than “shmashmorshon” in Knocked Up), the completely unrealistic portrayal of both the abortion clinic staffer (“my boyfriend likes the blackberry flavored condoms”) and the teenage protestor outside the clinic (“your baby wants to get bornded!”). It was all so offensively and unfairly phony I nearly sprained my eyeballs from rolling them so much.

Also problematic: motherhood is portrayed as so wholeheartedly suburban, and you can tell by the shabby minivan’s movement into J. Garner’s ultra-tidy neighborhood that Cody means to critique that upper-middle-class “little boxes” way of life. Motherhood is messy, no matter how you slice it, but you’re left feeling at the end of the movie that J. Garner’s single-mother character is going to be able to have her cake and work it off on her Pilates machine, too. Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy.

And with that, I bid you goodnight.

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  1. gimpy

     /  March 7, 2008

    Interesting article re: “Juno”. I understand some of what’s being said, but I dunno. I guess I think that no film about this topic will ever satisfy every party and make them feel as though all of their feelings and opinions are being properly respected. It’s one story about one quirky teenager. That’s how I interpreted the movie. I definitely didn’t see this as being a glorification of adoption. And, I would never have thought to call her representative of all unwed mothers. I mean, this movie didn’t even address the ugly (common!) reality of being an unwed mother in the inner city and that whole persistent cycle. That was beyond the scope of the film. So, I question trashing the whole movie on this alone. To what else can we compare “Juno”? “Knocked Up”?

    But, that’s just my $0.02.

    I’ll never understand people who are so utterly intolerant of children.

  2. Ohyuck! Sorry for your 24 hour barf-off. Glad you’re on the other side of it, just in time for SXSW beer. Holla if you need someone to hold your laptop while you go to the ladies’ at any of those shows. 🙂


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