Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A little more pink

Pink seems to add some softness even to a grown woman's personality

Sometimes I just need a little more pink in my life. I grew up surrounded mostly by brothers and their guy friends. As a young adult, I spent a year and a half serving with mostly male missionaries. I married my husband and had four sons, two of whom still live at home. I now go to networking events attended mostly by men, and I just started a volunteer tech group whose membership is about 95% male. (In fact, I would have been the only woman at our last meeting had my girlfriend not offered to come along as a carpool companion.) I’m used to seeing suits, ties, and black Wing Tips, and I’m used to washing blue jeans, boxer shorts, and white tube socks, which is all fine and good. I like boys and I like men. (Truth be told, at social events I typically gravitate toward the male conversations.) But sometimes I just need a little more pink in my life.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Please tell me when my fly is down

Real friends tell friends when their fly is down

Please tell me when my fly is down. I know it’s awkward (for both of us), but try to remember that discovering that kind of faux pas is even more embarrassing when it’s too late (and you know when that is).

I feel the same way about making typos and grammatical errors . . . like a couple Sundays ago when I misspelled a word while I was teaching.

Monday, February 6, 2012

In praise of country music (and other stories)

Country music's popularity may be due to the power of its stories

The summer between my junior and senior years of high school, I lived with my sister and her family in Utah where I landed a temporary job at a small factory doing manual labor. Not the kind of labor that gets dirt under your nails. No, it was the mind-and-seat-numbing kind. My brother-in-law, a very successful businessman and entrepreneur, kept telling my sister how good this was for me and how I would learn to appreciate more stimulating jobs and how I would become even more motivated to get an education. I thought, “Yeah, right! It doesn’t take more than one day at that place to figure out I should stay in school.”

Friday, February 3, 2012

Back in the day

Writing in the moment can capture inescapable truths about our lives

Back in the day (before emails, text messages, Skype, blogs, instant messages, Facebook, and inexpensive phone calls), my family of origin used to write letters to stay connected. Each of the 13 children would contribute a monthly update, and one person would mail copies to everyone. (Yes, we actually used "snail mail," stamps and all.) Recently, while cleaning out her garage, my sister-in-law found those letters and sent me the ones I’d written. One of them from 18 years ago helped me remember what parenting was like back in the day of tight budgets, toddlers, and tension. Here’s a portion of it: