Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Gout or a Sprained Toe?

It feels like I've spent more time on airplanes than on the ground lately. Two weeks ago, I flew to a new city four days out of the week, and each destination took two airplane rides.

And it's not over. I have three trips scheduled within the next two weeks.

Needless to say, I'm tired.

So it wasn't a surprise to me when my shoulder started to ache. Then my jaw locked. And later my foot hurt whenever I put on heels. I went to flats full-time. (Side note: I NEVER travel in heels, and neither should you. Trampling through airports in four-inch stilletos is a recipe for pain.)

Same-day visits to the chiropractor and podiatrist confirmed a sprained neck and toe.

I know it sounds ridiculous, but I'm not kidding. I got two scripts for Naproxen and a Cortisone steroid plus a recommendation for a travel pillow.

While on my latest business trip, I met a Navy vet who was diagnosed with gout. He was my age!

He described excruciating pain that left him unable to stand. Fortunately, with diet and medication, he got back to life.

It made me realize a sprained toe isn't all that bad!

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Good Day

I should be asleep, but instead, I'm up watching bad TV and wacky commercials. Exactly how many seasons did Walker, Texas Ranger stay on the air? It's on four different channels at this time of night.

And who in the heck needs a shoe that washes your foot while you're in the shower? Or a microwave pasta cooker? Or a combo hair brush and curling iron?

Anyway, I digress. Last week was brutal, and I think I'm suffering from work PTSD.

My daughter and I had a good night. After homework and spinach pizza, we made ourselves dizzy by recreating the routines from Dancing With The Stars. We're not perfect, but we are entertaining.

Just before bedtime, E pulled out a piece of paper from her bookbag. "Mommy, this is for you."

The paper was long and thin, like a ruler, and it was neatly colored pink and brown.

"It's brown like your skin on the back and your favorite color,
pink, on the front." (Side note: Pink is her favorite color, not mine, but it was the thought that counts.)

"Open it," she made a sweeping gesture with her arms as she said this.

The words inside were simple: "I LOVE YOU MOMMY"

It made my day.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Self Esteem

When my daughter and I walked into Kmart yesterday, I prayed she wouldn't notice the enormous Barbie display by the front door. But of course she did.

"Can we look at the Barbies? Pleeeeeeeeeease?" E jumped up and down with excitement.

I reminded myself to be patient as we walked to the display. I'm not sure what Kmart is gearing up for, but they don't have this much Barbie stuff at Christmas time.

E peered inside every box and proceeded to give me a list of what she wanted for her birthday. A mermaid. A horse. A new corvette.

I squinted at the display. Something was off about it, but I couldn't put my finger on it. When it finally came to me, I commented before I could catch myself.

"Where are the brown dolls?"

In a full aisle of merchandise, all I saw was blond Barbie.

"Isn't she brown?" E pointed to a mermaid on the top row.

I followed E's finger to the doll. She had dark hair, but her complexion was pale.

"No," I sighed. "She's not. Let's go."

"Mom, I need more white dolls." E declared this as we walked to our car.

"You do?" I asked. E has a diverse group of dolls at home. "Why?"

"The white ones are prettier."

"WHAT? Who told you that?" I didn't catch my anger in time. E was frowning.

"I don't know." She shrugged. "They just are."

"Don't you think brown people are pretty? What about me? You don't think I'm pretty?"

"Yeah, but you're light."

I was confused. "Do you think you're pretty?"

"No." E started to cry.

My heart broke.

There are more things wrong here than I have time to write about. My daughter and I are the exact same complexion, and she is absolutely beautiful. She has big brown eyes with lashes that women pay good money to replicate, a killer smile, and a personality that makes it all the better.

Who in the hell told my baby she wasn't pretty? And who told her that brown wasn't beautiful?

I started thinking about what she watches on TV. Dora the Explorer. Ni Hao Kai-Lan. Hannah Montana. Suite Life of Zach and Cody.

The characters of color are cartoons.

I pledged in that instant to do a better job of showing my daughter real-life beauty in all shapes, sizes, and colors. I'm renewing my subscription to Essence. I'm on the lookout for TV programs that showcase more diversity. Brandy on Dancing with the Stars was all I had that night, but it was a start.