Sunday, February 21, 2010

Q: How Do You Get Your Teenager to be Sweet Again?

A: Let her go on a date

She’ll be fifteen very soon—so soon, she’s planning her birthday party. But for now, she’s still fourteen. And she doesn’t look it. Ask anyone. Last month when she was trying on dresses for the Winter Formal dance, the saleswoman kept bringing sophisticated, low-cut, sexy dresses to the dressing room.

“Can you please stop bringing these little numbers that make her look like a dominatrix?” I asked. “She’s only fourteen.”

Our assistant, herself barely beyond her teens, dropped her jaw. “OMG!” she gasped. “I thought she was at least seventeen!”

I’m not sure at what age a dominatrix outfit becomes appropriate, but when we added the three-inch heels to the little black dress we ultimately chose, this six-foot blonde did not look like a freshman on her way to her first high school dance.

Every parent of teenagers will warn you how quickly they grow up. When you’re carting around sweet, little babies or have a toddler grasping your hand and smiling at strangers who admire them, you may hear the words “just wait!” a few too many times. We also heard, “You’re going to have your hands full!” and “Better get your shotgun ready for when the boys come calling.”

Our daughter was not comfortable with the attention she received when first starting high school. Not only did we feel she was too young to date, she also knew she wasn’t ready. But last night, something changed. She said “okay;” and we said “okay,” and no one had to hunt down a shotgun. All the rules were met, the formalities observed, and the only thing her daddy asked the boy was, “are you a good driver?”

“I’m an excellent driver,” he said. And he drove her home a few minutes before her curfew. Everyone was happy.

With our seventh grader away at a party and our freshman on a date, that meant we had the house to ourselves, and it was a lovely evening in front of the fireplace for mommy and daddy. We recalled how many times we’d heard the words, “Just wait!” and couldn’t help but smile.

Was this what we were waiting for?

Friday, February 19, 2010

O-Plump My Way to High-Maintenance Lips

Have you ever known someone who was so beautiful, that every time you saw her, you couldn’t help but crane your neck and take notice? I have a friend who is a few years younger than I, who has turned my head from the first day I saw her.

She claims to be “high-maintenance” and I’m not quite sure if that means she requires a lot of assistance from others to help her maintain her lifestyle or if she’s referring to the amount of time she spends maintaining her personal appearance. She once told me she gets up early everyday and hits the gym, before returning home to blowout her hair, eat a full breakfast, and get her kids off to school. Then she heads to the office and puts in a full day’s work there.

Whatever the case, you have to admire her. She takes a bite out of life, and without question, she looks good while doing it.

When we first became friends, she insisted we had similar hair and promised she could teach me how to tame it. It involved a trip to an upscale beauty supplier and the purchase of an expensive blow dryer, hairbrush, and glossing product. “You should try this mascara, too,” she said—a subtle attempt at the complete makeover. I bought it all, but admit I never quite mastered the ability to use the equipment. Nor did I adapt the desire to become a ‘high-maintenance’ woman.

Frankly, I don’t go out that much. And my kids and my husband don’t mind a makeup-free face and a curly ponytail protruding from the top of my head. (At least I don’t think they do). And if I ever feel dumpy, I either go for a run or jump on the elliptical and watch programs like Project Runway or Real Housewives recorded on my DVR. These so-called reality shows never fail to me make me feel a lot better about myself—and my life.

Meanwhile, the last couple times I got together with my beautiful friend, she pulled me aside and coated my bare lips with an intoxicating substance that has caused me an addiction.

“Try this,” she said, while producing a small silver tube with a pink cap. “You’ll totally love it. It brings out the natural color of your lips and livens ‘em up at the same time.”

I took the bait and applied the clear substance to my otherwise thin, unremarkable lips. After ten seconds, all I could say was, “WOW!” Not only did my lips transform into a lovely shade of pink, they swelled up to the point that I looked a bit like Meg Ryan after the collagen injections.

Well, not really, but the buzz in my lips got me a little high. It’s fair to say my vision was probably distorted. Plus, I wasn’t wearing my reading glasses, so I couldn’t see what I really looked like in the mirror.

This remarkable lip jazz is called O-Plump by Smashbox. And I’m totally addicted. Oddly, so are my naturally plump-lipped daughters since I couldn’t help but share the experience with them.

The labeling on the tube suggests this “intuitive silky lip enhancement” will transform your lips into a “plumped-up pout.”

Okay, whatever. It’s far better than Carmex (the substance to which I was addicted in college). I have to say, I love the O-Plump because of the color, and because my beautiful friend recommended it.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Don’t Mess With Me

I am the meanest Mommy in town. Don’t mess with me.

With this statement, I’m addressing my kids as well as anyone who deals with my kids. And by the way, this includes the kids to whom I gave birth, and the kids I love.

Trust me, I love a lot of kids in this town.

I’ve been a soccer coach—soccer MOM—a volleyball coach, a reading coach, a writing coach, a room mother, a mom helper, a carpool driver, and to many of these kids, an active mentor and a passive Facebook friend.

Know this: If you deal with my kids, I’ve got my eye on you. I’m eternally grateful to those of you—teachers, coaches, counselors, youth group directors, etc.—who have served as wonderful examples and guiders. Some of you understand that their time as children is brief and precious. I have no use for you if you have even the slightest negative influence upon them . . . unless, of course, they can learn something important/relevant about the world due to your negative impact.

And if you harm my kids or the kids I know and love, rest assured, I’ll be willing to miss a deadline or pull a muscle to expose you.