Such a cliche

I don’t know if you could detect it, but when I wrote my last post, I was very low in spirits.  One might even say that I was blue.  I later realized that it was Blue Monday, the saddest day of the year!  I was sad on Blue Monday!  I’m a walking cliche. 

The tide has turned, so to speak, although I have a School Council/ Parent Association meeting tonight that I’m looking forward to in the same way I look forward to a pelvic exam, or perhaps tooth scaling at the dental office.  But – and maybe this is just the coffee speaking – I am feeling equal to the task.

Speaking of the school, yesterday was Dress As What You Want To Be When You Grow Up day, which is the WORST school spirit day ever.  It is the only spirit day in which I discourage participation.  It’s a terrible concept.  Unless a child wants to be something that requires a uniform, or that has a “typical” look, planning an outfit is simply an exercise in frustration.  For example, both of my children have the career goal of “wealthy businessman” and, let me tell you, there is no good way to accurately portray this with what they currently have in their closets.  Mark ended up opting out altogether, while Jake, after some thought, decided to dress up like a “wealthy businessman who is doing business on the golf course”, wearing khakis, a golf shirt, and his orange Ricky Fowler hat.  When I picked him up at lunch he changed back into his jeans, confessing that he felt the explanation would have taken too long, and so he did not tell anyone he was dressed up. 

My children’s obvious materialism aside, does this not seem like a ridiculous dress-up day?  When I was a child my career goal was to be a concert pianist.  How does one dress up like a concert pianist?  A long sparkly gown?  I was talking about this to a friend yesterday who suggested an appropriate outfit would be wearing something with musical notes all over it, to which I say NO.  No concert pianist would ever wear a sweater with musical notes all over it.  That would be perhaps an appropriate outfit for a retired music teacher, maybe.  Apparently my kids have inherited my tendency to want reality only when dealing with Dress As What You Want To Be When You Grow Up day.  Fortunately their lack of participation will only result in two less points for the Red Team, and therefore the world will keep on turning.

Who are we kidding.  The world is going to keep on turning, even if the stakes were higher.  I came across this piece by Anymommy which gently and beautifully reminds us that we all make choices:

I just don’t want to choose judgment over understanding. Because the minute we mark our choices as right by marking other choices as wrong, we lose the power of choice.
I loved this piece so much, and it said so eloquently what I’ve been feeling lately.  I have been bombarded with the Facebook equivalent of op-eds about the following topics: breastfeeding, cloth diapering, home births, the Waldorf system of education, hockey, native land treaties, veganism, co-sleeping, rescue dogs versus dogs purchased from breeders, vaccinations, gun control, the government fucking up the country, the government saving the country, and – my personal favourite – the failure to buy into a particular home business is equivalent to failure to care about one’s health or financial well-being.  And while I recognize that social media is a reasonable outlet for one’s personal opinions, i.e., this blog, I also vehemently object to its utilization as a stick of judgement with which to beat people.  I am going to choose understanding over judgement, and continue to resolve to remember that merely because something does not take great importance in my life, that does not mean that it is not greatly important to someone. 
In other words, I think I’m ready for the meeting tonight.


  1. That particular dress-up theme only works if you want to be something with a distinctive look – like a doctor – or if you still think you can find gainful employment as a professional baseball player or an astronaut. Or a dinosaur guy! That one would be fun.

    I’m quite opinionated, but even I’ve found the online world a bit strident lately. I’m contributing to it, to a certain extent – oh, do NOT ask me about Theresa Spence, OK? – but I do try to stay away from confrontations about anything more contentious than favourite breed of dog.

    Also, you’re awesome. Just thought you should know that.

  2. That dress-up day reminds me of a homework assignment that came home asking children to find three examples in their homes of rhombuses. Both the dress-up day and the assignment are examples of Great! Ideas! that no one tried out ahead of time to make sure they’d work.

  3. The “dress as what you want to be” thing cracks me up. Nice try, school, but not well thought through. And the fact that my words resonated with you makes my day. Thank you.

  4. Well my son would have gone to school in exactly the same clothing he wears every day because that’s what I imagine Lego designers and/or movie producers and/or unspecified scientists wear. “Special” days like that drive me nuts because they cause more stress than fun. Bleh.

  5. I agree with you about the dress up day. At our school kids have pyjama day which I loathe…it’s absolutely not okay to go to school in your pjs…says I. I don’t understand that at all…but if I wasn’t judging…I would say the kids like that day and have fun…so it’s harmless understanding is key there…when you choose to atleast try to understand the motive is so different than if you choose to judge. We should always try to love.

  6. Swistle is so right. Hey! Let’s do this! It’ll be fun! Wait, maybe we should think about SQUIRREL!

    I tie my brain in knots thinking about the judgment thing. It’s impossible not to make judgments, but they should be the right kind of judgments, and sometimes I think I’m TOO good at seeing both sides and then I never have a firm opinion on anything, which doesn’t seem that great either, and I don’t want to alienate people but I don’t want to appease haters, but…. WAH! I’ll come back when the revolution has moved on from my uterus.

  7. Dress As What You Want To Be When You Grow Up sounds like it would be a great idea for a drinking party in university.

  8. Good luck with the meeting! And I so hate judgy people. I’ve encountered quite a few. “What? You’re going to give your daughter those fruit snacks? You do realize there is absolutely no fruit in those, right? It’s just like giving your child sugar cubes..” Yes, that was actually said to me before. I had to bite my tongue to not snap.

  9. So if my kids want to dress-up to be a WAHM web & graphic designer they could pretty much get away with wearing pjs. Maaaaybe having a shower. It seems like a concept that was thought up a long long time ago as I don’t know many people that have any type of uniform to wear to work.

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