JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Yes, dear readers, it's another list from yours truly. I have come to realize that I'm saving big bucks by venting all my frustrations here at JRW instead of at therapy, leaving me to concentrate on my real issues (writer's block and trying to stop mothering my adult kids all the time.)
Youngest was home for the Mothers' Day weekend, and we were sorting over some of the stuff in her bedroom, in a probably-vain attempt to make room for all the stuff that will be coming back from her dorm when school is out. I picked up some books in a series (maybe High School Musical?) and asked if she wanted to keep them. "No!" she said. "I am so over that."
A useful expression, isn't it? Here are some things I am so over:
1. The presidential primaries. As near as I can tell, the election has been going on longer than any one of my pregnancies, and we still have six more months to go! I'm not even in one of those battleground states where the campaigns target their commercials. Hint for those who are: no novel will ever break in the middle of a chapter to warn you in foreboding tones that Candidate X will destroy life as we know it!!!!
Honestly, don't you kind of wish we could just throw darts at a board and be done?
2. Delightful cupcakes mounded with so much decorative frosting they're actually impossible to eat. When they show up at a wedding or baby shower, we all know they're there for one purpose: to look good in the Instagram and Pinterest shots. You know what cupcakes are good to eat? My mom's, made in small tins with a generous schmear of frosting on top. You can eat one in four bites and it won't put you in a diabetic coma, either.
3. Sports Illustrated. I love your articles, but when you finally feature a world class female athlete on the cover and dress her in a lacy bodysuit and f***-me heels? No. It doesn't empower her or humanize her; it makes her be judged by the same metric all women have to deal with: is she sexy?
4. Spanx and all it's shiny Lycra cousins. As I was getting dressed for my most recent author event, I held the slimming garment in my hand. I knew it would allow my pants to drape smoothly over (ahem) everything. I also knew I'd spend two hours feeling like a compression-bandage-wrapped sausage. "Bulge, and be damned," I cried, tossing the thing back into my underwear drawer.
5. Beer snobbery. I mentioned this in one of my last rants. We had guests over to dinner and the men spent half an hour going over the exact provenance, hops-origin and brew technique of the sampler six-packs they had brought. I'm tempted to start serving Bud just to be contrary.
6. Superhero movies. I still adore movies where aliens destroy major cities (I'm so looking forward to Independence Day 2!) or where a volcano/asteroid/tsunami threatens civilizations, but I'm getting tired of super-muscled guys punching it out. I actually enjoyed Captain America: Civil War, but its central premise, that super-powered people are inherently dangerous, left me nodding my head in agreement. Why can't we have a movie where the Avengers sit around talking? Like an extended episode of Friends, but with an Asgardian god and a guy who can walk through walls. I would watch the heck out of that.
7. Dusting. Dear New England, please get warm enough for me to turn off the furnace for a few months. Love, Julia
8. Worrying about how the house looks. (I know, but the dusting is so we don't all develop allergies. Like the cat.) I used to limit the number of dinner parties we hosted because I'd feel compelled to spend two days scrubbing and cleaning before the guests arrived. This winter, I lowered my standards to: "Is the powder room clean?" and "Can you see most of the kitchen counters?" Now we have loads more people over, and if they notice fingerprints on the door and untidy stacks of books, a couple nice glasses of wine will help them to forget.
9. Self-improvement articles in every magazine I read. I'm as improved as I'm going to get. Reading about women my age who quit their jobs to become surfboard instructors in Patagonia isn't inspiring. It just makes me tired. I don't want to improve my sex life, Feng shui my living room, or lose ten pounds. I just want a good night's sleep and a hot cup of tea in the morning is improving enough for anyone.
10. The New York Times vows section. Maybe it's not as fun to read the pairings of the rich and well-educated online as it used to be in paper. Or maybe I've reached my lifetime limit on the stories of ridiculously accomplished people who meet at a Yoga retreat and have Lin-Manuel Miranda sing the proposal.
How about you, dear readers? Is there anything you're just so over?