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Let me be trivial for a moment.  Here is something I do not get: why can’t I get good advice from my husband when it comes to clothes?

The shirt in question

Last weekend I went shopping at Old Navy.  I had no intention of buying anything for myself, but in my experience, I usually find something I like when I’m not really looking for it.  Anyhow, as I was meandering around, I saw this shirt and thought to myself, this might be a good shirt on me: that particular cut of the sleeves works well for me, it’s modest, it’s a good fabric for summer, the ruffle makes it a bit more dressy and I like that, and I’m not sure, but think the color is nice with my skin.  So i quickly tried it on and looked in the mirror.  Not bad, but here’s the real test-what does the husband think?  Thinking he might like it (and hopefully give me a compliment), I showed him.  “What do you think, honey?” And do you know what came out of his mouth?

Something along the lines of  EWWWUUUGGHHH!!!  (Not to mention the disgusted look on his face.)

I mean, come on, is it that bad?!  So with my head hung, I stuck the shirt back on the rack.  What woman would buy a shirt when her husband gave her about the worst reaction she could get?  Still feeling flabbergasted about his lack of agreement to my opinion, I dared to ask him a question, “Did you not like that shirt because of the color of the shirt, or how it looked on me?”  His response: The color-it’s UGLY!

GRAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!

I should be laughing at this point, but it’s the usual frustration/confusion/again reminding myself that I never need to go shopping with my husband and stop dragging him along.

All I wanted to know was if it looked good on me, not whether or not he liked the color.  To be fair, I asked him what he thought, but really all I ever want to know when I ask him about clothes is if it makes me look better.  Does the fit accentuate the right parts?  Does it diminish the less attractive ones?  Does it look somewhat dressy and nice?  Does the color bring out my eyes, or make my cheeks look rosy, or go well with my skin tone?  Am I pretty in it?  Shouldn’t he know this???

I really could care less about his opinion of the article of clothing by itself.  I mean, I’ve seen lots of pretty girls make something ugly look good.  They wear it because they feel good in it.  If I feel good in a piece of clothing, I’ll wear it, no matter if someone else thinks it’s an ugly shirt.  Well, okay, maybe I do care a bit about what my husband thinks.

I did consider buying it in navy, which I know looks nice on me, but after the last 10 minutes, there was no way I’d ever feel very pretty in that shirt.  Alas.  (I suppose it’s all for the best, as it was like $20 or $30, and I feel this is way too much to pay for a shirt from Old Navy.)

The moral of the story?  I’m not sure.  It could be: Never drag your husband out shopping, Don’t ask for his opinion first, Stop worrying about what other people think, or even, Be more decisive?

As it happens, this is just another example of the differences between men and women.  Next time, I’ll ask a girlfriend.  She’ll know what I mean.

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Picture 2

Here’s something I’ve been thinking about lately:

A few weeks ago I posted Picture 2 on my facebook page and got lots of compliments: “What a great picture!”, etc, etc.  I offhandedly mentioned to a friend that I actually edited the original (picture 1) in Picnik, my favorite photo-editing site, and they said, “You shouldn’t tell people that!”  I was a little puzzled, thinking, why does it matter?  I mean, an artist is someone who takes one thing and makes it interesting, thought-provoking, or beautiful, right?  Why shouldn’t people know I made a good photo look better?

When I was a teenager, people would tell me not to look at the models in the magazines because they are “fake” anyways-retouched, sized down, changed completely.  I (and other girls) should protect my view of women and appreciate women-and myself- for what we were really like-curves, bumps, and all.  I guess I agreed with them, that I should not try to be someone I’m not.  And who am I kidding?  Those images do affect us (me).  Studies show that when something is “desirable”, we try to be, or do, or have that thing.  I’ve heard quite a bit of criticism of pictures of models, but I’ve done my share of criticizing, too.

Picture 1

That said, why don’t I feel bad about editing my photo?  I changed a few things-brightened the color, sharpened some parts, softened others; I think I even may have whitened my teeth a bit.  Yes, I did change the photo.  Yes, I do look better in picture 2.  Am I trying to be something I’m not?  I don’t think so, but where is the line?  How much editing is too much?  I know artists who edit photos all the time to give them a certain look, appeal, or even an emotion, perhaps.  That’s probably why I edit-for the emotion.  I want to remember having Caleb as special, beautiful, magical, wonderful.  Are there difficult times that I’d rather not have pictures of?  Times when he will be ugly and I will wish someone else had to deal with him?  Times when the truth of life speaks louder than the fantasy we wish it was?  Yes, of course, to all of these things.  But good memories of the past move us forward.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt happy when I look back at old photos of my grandmother.

I am certainly not excusing all photo-editing, given all of the negative images out there.  I’m not even saying it is okay for people to make money by making models look better.  I think we need to be wise when viewing and idolizing certain images, for sure.  However, it is hard to deny that when we criticize others for distorting reality, we’re actually doing  it too.

PS. If you want some really great tutorials about photo-editing and how to use Picnik, go here.

Before Picnik

After Picnik

I’ve spent my fair share of time clicking around in cyber-world looking at other people’s blogs.  One thing that surprises me is the amount of blogs out there  that are written by mothers.  Of course, there are the typical “show off your kid/keep family updated” blogs, but there are also many interesting blogs that showcase lots of talent.  I like reading, commenting, and gathering information from these people.  Blogs can be very inspiring.

Tonight I’m having trouble going to sleep, so I’m writing in the hopes of emptying out some of the noise in my head.  As I lay in bed, I realized I am feeling a little lonely.  This does not really come as a surprise.  Before I had Caleb, a colleague encouraged me to join a Mom’s club because she described mothering as an “isolating” job.  Let’s face it, it is.  All day long you are caring for your child(ren).  Sometimes this involves other people, but mostly it is mom+kid(s).  Then, in the evening, when kids go to bed, you are free…kind of.  You could hang with your husband.  It’s a definite blessing to be married.  But sometimes he’s had a long day at work and would rather do his own thing.  Not a problem, but you are still confined to your home.  It’s not like you can go anywhere with little kids sleeping upstairs.  So what to do?  Ah, yes, the internet.  Such bounty awaits you.

I wonder if there are so many “mommy bloggers” because we are lonely.  We put ourselves out there for the world to see, hoping we will find a friend.  Sometimes I get so excited when I get a notification saying someone has commented on my blog.   Reading someone’s blog is like reading their journal.  I feel like I know people so well because I read about their life, when in reality I may have never even met them!  Wouldn’t you get to know someone pretty well if you just read their journal all the time?  Don’t get me wrong, I think the internet is great,  but it still leaves much to be desired.  Even cyber-friends aren’t as good as the real thing.  I’d probably be the last person who’d ask for one, but they can’t give you hugs.

What I need to do now is call a friend.  A real-in-my-life-friend, and set up lunch, or a play date, or whatever.  Initiate.  I’m realizing that initiating makes good friends better friends.  It’s a challenge but it’s good for me to do.

If you’re reading this, I want you to know that I did not write this post for anyone to feel sorry for me, or make anyone feel bad, or manipulate anyone into doing anything for me.  That wouldn’t be fair.  But along with my observation about why some people blog, I’m also realizing that my mind works best when I’m supposed to be falling asleep.  I’m sort of in this post newlywed phase with my post-a-week thing.   It’s not (I’m not) all exciting and new anymore, so I’m figuring out how to keep my writing going.  Trying not to get stale.  Perhaps not to feel alone.  Sometimes to show off my kid.  And maybe just to help me go to sleep.  Goodnight.

Today I am feeling a little guilty that I haven’t written a post in awhile.  I’m supposed to be doing a postaweek2011, but I’ve fallen off the track a bit.  Life hasn’t exactly gotten any busier, I’ve just had my mind on a few things:

1.  Why does my 9 month old son like to crawl around with socks in his mouth?  Seriously, I left a pile of his clean, folded socks on the floor today and he is playing with these more than regular toys.  It cracks me up.

2.  How much I LOVE nice weather!!!!!  I have been walking outside more simply because I want to get out and enjoy it.  I am so thankful to be in Texas.

3.  I’m glad I had the guts to see a counselor to talk about a few things that have been stirring in me.  Getting to the first visit was the hardest part, but I think this will be a good thing for me.  (It was also a bit hard for me to admit I needed to see one.)

4.  As utterly frustrated as I’ve been with Matt and Caleb in these last couple of months, I am so thankful for them.  Do you ever have a day where you feel lucky just to have someone in your life?  Well, I’ve had a couple of those this week and I’m grateful.

5.  I really get sucked in to some lousy tv shows…seriously, I’ve been following The Bachelor, and I’m totally rooting for Emily!!!  I’ve also been watching Ugly Betty on Netflix, and while it is a hilarious show, it can be trashy.  As much as I like watching these shows, I think it will be good for them to end so I can do some better things with my time.

 

At this point in time Caleb is crawling in circles around my house (allowing me to write this).  He just puts his head down and GOES.  Yes, he just rammed head first into the shelf.  Ouch.  And he’s off again.  I’m a little scared of what will happen when he can actually stand and walk on his own!

I’ve followed (too) many blogs in the past couple of years.   I have also created at least 5 or 6.  Currently, I keep one updated…this one.  Why this one?  Because WordPress is better than blogger.

I was just visiting my brothers new blog, Daddy Can Cook, and tried to leave a comment.  Just when I had quickly typed out my comment, lo and behold, one of those stupid word verifications come up.  Ugh.  Another three seconds more than I wanted to spend.  Seriously.  Why does Blogger have this?  It makes me want to never leave comments.

Do I have any other good reason not to like it?  Sort of.  My husband is the main author on our Blogger blog, but every once in awhile I do.   What drives me crazy is that it takes me about four minutes of clicking around from our blog page just to find the admin page.  Since I have a baby, I never can remember these things, so every time I go back, I deal with the same annoyance.  It sounds trivial, but it reminds me that I hate Blogger.

Here’s another thing: sometimes I follow other people’s blogs.  All I want to do is put their feed in my Google reader, but sometimes it links it to my Blogger homepage.  Weeks later I am wondering why I can’t find their posts in my reader.  Why not?  Because it put them into the feed on my Blogger page.  So, again, I spend four minutes trying to find my blogger homepage just so I can delete it there and try to get it into the right place.  Boo.

 

I like WordPress.  It’s intuitive.  It’s easy to use.  It’s clear.  They even have specialized blogs available to educators with protections on them.  I used one with success for almost three years while I taught.  You don’t have to type in annoying non-words just to leave a comment.  Yay WordPress.  I like you.