Posts Tagged ‘friends’


A Little Bit Awkward

January 1, 2012

In the past month or so, I’ve been applying to jobs as I see ones that pique my interest, but haven’t gone whole-hog.  My firm has provided me with a professional career consultant, and I’ve started that process, and our plan is to really kick things up after the new year (you know, tomorrow?)  But when I see things that I don’t want to go by me, I send my stuff.

Last night, David and I went to a New Year’s Eve party where one of the other attendees was one of the bosses of a job I applied for.

It’s an odd situation I find myself in – I socialize with people who are far ahead of me, career-wise, because of my gap between undergrad and law school, and because I had kids at a (relatively) young age. I’m 39, and several of my peers here in my hometown – fellow parents of kids my kids’ ages, are 50 and up.  10 years older, plus my 10 year gap – they’re 20 years more advanced in their careers.  So when I was graduating law school, attending a school fundraiser, I was seated next to someone who had just been appointed as a federal magistrate judge. One of the volunteers for the play I just produced is a senior Attorney General in my state, and another is a Senior AUSA who is close with one of the partners at my firm.

It’s not that I’m not used to this difference. I am.  But it is the first time that I’ve been on the job market, and these people who are much senior to me may be potential employers.  So when I reviewed the invite list of the party I’d already RSVP’d for, I developed some butterflies.  What if he’s seen my resume? How do I talk about my situation?  Do I say that I’ve been laid off?  Do I mention that I’d applied?  My “career consultant” thinks I need to be very open about my situation, as it’s valuable networking – but if this person knows I’m not leaving my firm voluntarily, will it hurt me?

In the end, it didn’t really come up.  The party was big enough that while I did intersect with and chat with him, we didn’t have a detailed conversation. We laughed and joked a couple of times, and I chatted with his wife (also a lawyer).  I had a couple of conversations with my close friends about the situation and the job search thus far, and at one point, I did think he was tuned into what was being said – but I had to let it go.  I wasn’t going to shove the job search in his face at a holiday party — if he has seen my resume, he already knew who I was (I have a pretty public presence at the school, because of the plays and other volunteerisms).

But it was a little odd.  More so conceptually than in how it played out.





Last night, I dyed.

August 3, 2011

Mouse sent me this picture a couple of weeks ago:

Please mommy, please mommy, please!!!  If it doesn’t look good, we can just cut my hair,  because it’s only the ends!

I found myself needing to process it all.  Her hair isn’t this long, and it isn’t curly – she didn’t want to do such long areas of dying, she was thinking more like 1 – 1.5 inches.  But I didn’t like that it had to be bleached, and really had a hard time picturing myself pulling this off.  I’m no hair dresser!  I’m a lawyer!

But then a friend dyed a streak of her hair blue.  Her and her mom tried it first without bleaching her (blonde) hair prior to applying, and it faded/washed out/disappeared the next day.  Then they bleached the strip, put more dye on, and it worked.  and it looked cute.  A small streak, a little splash of color that you see now and again – just enough to cause a double take.

So I said, “Fine.  But you have to buy the stuff yourself.”  (Totally appropriate, since it costs $8, and she just made $120 taking care of someone’s flowers while they were on vacation.)  She was fine with that.

I thought we’d do it this past weekend, but it didn’t happen.  Saturday we had to go see Cowboys and Aliens, and Sunday was Canada Prep with Lemon. Sunday night, Mouse said, “My friend is coming over on Tuesday, and we thought we’d do my hair that day?”

Dude – your mother has a job!

Oh, right, I always forget that you work.


I’m a lawyer!  In a large law firm!  I’m the reason we eat dinner at 8 or 8:30 on a regular basis.  How can she forget that I work??

But things were not too crazy yesterday, so I left the office just before 5 p.m. (Which is not so atypical this summer, but I still feel sneaky, every time.)  WD fed the girls (Mouse plus 2 friends), and then we got down to business.

[We worked on 2 heads, but I’m only sharing that of my own offspring …]

This was after the bleach.

Now it’s blue, but hard to tell because it’s wet.


The final product – with the blue just peeking out from behind the shorter layers. We were pleased.

Almost not visible when in a pony tail, but will be a fun surprise.

The mess in her room is not my responsibility.  Do not judge me.  Judge her.

All-in-all, a very positive outcome.  Her friend’s hair also came out great (a modest-sized magenta streak just behind the ear) – thank god, because I was pretty nervous that I’d screw up some other person’s kid’s hair!

And we had a great time.  WD helped a lot, the girls being dyed were excited and happy, and a third girl was there for moral support and shampoo-duty.

Mouse’s hair looks like a pretty solid shelf of blue there, but it’s not.  We only died some clumps of her longest layer.  She now has designs on dying the rest of the longest layer pink or red.  I have to say, last night was exhausting.  I’m not sure I can get behind a second round.



Halloween … the End of an Era?

November 1, 2010

Wow.  So that was … weird.

WD and I left the house yesterday evening at 5:30ish.  We told Lemon from the hallway, “hey – we’re leaving – you have to give out candy if the bell rings before you go to the party, and when you leave, be sure to turn off the lights and lock the front door.”

Mouse was already at a friend’s house, “getting ready.”

Costumes?  Pfft.  Who needs stinkin’ costumes?


14yo costume:  Jeans (same ones she wore the day before to a sleepover party); flannel shirt (same one she wore to school last week); hair pinned up & a baseball cap.  She dressed up as a boy.

12 yo costume: Washington, D.C. souvenir t-shirt with the text of the constitution on it, jeans (same ones she wore last week), blue suspenders borrowed from her sisters’ closet, thick frame glasses borrowed from her sister’s friend.  “I’m a nerd!” I guess it’s nerdy to have the text of the constitution on a t-shirt?  When we reminded her of the cold, she went and got the same hoodie sweatshirt that she wears every single day, except for those days when we have to pry it out of her hands in order to insist that she wash the ketchup, sweat, and whatever else a 12yo gets on her clothes, out of it.  We pointed out the fact that she – at that point – looked the same exact way she looks every day.  What did she do?  She tucked in her sweatshirt, and put the suspenders outside ….

WD helped her re-design a warmer version of a nerd (a turtleneck, one of his button-down shirts, a tie … couldn’t find a pocket protector).

But all-in-all, those costumes kind of described this year’s Halloween.  Outside of last weekend’s pumpkin carving, it was pretty much a non-holiday.  Which is kind of sad, because it’s one of my favorites!

We did hang out with other parents of Mouse’s friends for a while.  WD got himself all worked up because he noticed a posse of boys lingering on the corner waiting for Mouse’s posse of girls to finally get going, so they could meet up.  He was frustrated with the lack of transparency about the plans.  And thought maybe the girls didn’t WANT to be with the boys.  (It was the boys from their grade — so very innocent, just maybe unwanted.  Maybe.)  We tried to convince him and other dads that it was actually very much wanted.

Meanwhile, Lemon was across the street from our house at a party.  I think it was mostly a “t.v. watching” party.  Yee ha?

We had a good bit of debate during the day about Lemon’s curfew.  She was just across the street, so it wasn’t like she would be all over town, but it was still a school night.  And she had been to a sleepover party the night before, and and and.  I first said, “9 p.m.”  Then she convinced me that was too early, and I thought about how that was the time I had in mind for Mouse, so maybe Lemon should have a little more time?  7th graders and Freshmen typically should have different privileges, right?  So I said 10.  But then she still fought!

But I didn’t want to fight, but I didn’t want to relent, either, so I did the middle-ground wishy-washy thing and said, “okay, we’ll play it by ear, and we’ll check in at 10.”  With every intention to say “okay, come home now, it’s late.”

I had a flicker of thinking, somewhere in the midst of all of that, “I bet the party doesn’t even go that late.”  And I evern told her to check in with the hostess-peoples.  The report back was that the host-mom had said 10, but the host-child was trying to push that to later.  I said, “tell her to stop pushing, 10 clearly works for everyone!” Response: “it doesn’t work for ME!”

Said party at-issue was for both aprents and children.  I didn’t plan to be at the party, but a friend called at 8 and said, “I think since our girls are there, we should stop by.” And said calling-friend is a very fun person to be with, and she could probably talk me into going on a toilet-cleaning adventure or something, just based on her general fun-ness, so I said, “okay! let’s go!”  We said we’d go at 9.  Then, maybe we’d see that our kids were tired, and if things were dying down, we’d be able to take our kids home!

Here comes the awkward part of the post:

We walk into the house of the party.  We say “hi” to the kids in the front room.  They were watching Desperate Housewives.  Lemon said, “I voted against it! but I was outnumbered!” I ignored her, and made my way to the adult-part of the house …. it was empty.  Host-man was sitting in the dark kitchen, fussing with his laptop.

Um.  Hi.  I guess we’re on the late-side.

I guess you are.

Well, then, maybe we’ll just collect our kids, then.

I wish you would.

So guess what?  We did!

Host-mom was upstairs, taking a shower and taking costume-related stuff out of her hair.

I called Lemon over and whispered to her the content of the conversation.  She was horrified, as was my friend’s daughter, and they collected their stuff and snuck out the door with us.  Other kids were left behind, but they weren’t my problem.  Some other parents were going have a fine time collecting THEM an hour or so later, finding a totally dark house and unwelcoming hosts!

So then Fun-Friend and I went back across the street to my house and (foolishly, considering the wine I had earlier) begged WD to make us yummy drinks that contained vodka and limoncello.  Fooooolish, said my stomach all morning today.  Blech.  (Not a volume issue, but rather a combo issue.)  Disgusting.  Bad.  Horrible.  Blech (again).

And that was Halloween.


Punkins & stuff

October 26, 2010

This past weekend, I subjected myself to my second annual weekend of pumpkin carving.

On Saturday, Lemon had her friends come over, pumpkins in hand, and they chatted about the high school and the people they’ve met from other schools, and they carefully carved their pumpkins.

Then they went thrift store shopping, where Lemon had her first ever independent awesome thrift store find.  She texted me a photo along with the price, and eventually gained my approval.  A cute pseudo preppy jacket in a tartan plaid.  When she got home and put it on,  WD and I approved even more (it looked tight in the photos, like she’d outgrow it within a month, but not the case in person).

Then they came back, and I ordered pizza for the world.

Then I almost had to kick the guests out because of rudeness and mean conversation about a classmate.  Fortunately, my Lemon continues to stick up for people when her friend (one in particular) insists on being nasty.  Often, I let Lemon do it, and just sit in the other room listening, feeling proud of her kindness, and willingness to assert herself with her peers.  But this time, the banter included conversation about chopping a girl up and strewing her body parts around (!! I do not jest !!) and so I intervened.

The speaker-child said, “oh, actually, I’ve had this conversation with my mom, and she’s fine with it, so we’re good.”

To which I responded, “but that’s when you’re at her house.  Right now, you’re at my house.  And it’s not okay with me, and so you need to change the subject.”  They weren’t happy with me.

And I heard them continue to whisper, and I was convinced they were still talking about it, so I LEAPT up off the couch in the other room to stop them …

and kicked a full glass of wine (which was going so very well with my white 4-cheese, garlic-covered pizza), sending it flying.  When I say flying, I mean that most of it created a puddle on the rug, but some of it ended up on the wall! and the picture on the wall! It was a mess.

Fortunately, only WD and I were witness to my accident, and he went into crisis mode while I went in the other room and threatened to send everyone home.

Interestingly, they weren’t mad at me.  They came back over the next day, just as happy and chatty as before my group-discipline.  Of course, my theory is that the poor speaker-child is really starving for decent parenting. Hence her statement:  “Suzie, you know that show Wife Swap?  Well, I think we should invent Mom Swap, and I should switch with Lemon.  Maybe for more than a week.”

Of course, that statement came before the lecture and threat.

And even more interestingly … it came up as I was serving her a salad, and offering many toppings and dressings.  She said she wanted to swap houses because at our house, we have “better food.”

Funny part?  Almost every day that she doesn’t have a scheduled activity, Lemon asks to go to this friend’s house.  When we pushed about why there instead of our house, she cited “better food.”

Turns out, the “better food” at the friend’s house is junk food and snack food, and the “better food” at our house is salads … the grass is always greener.

Sunday was Mouse’s pumpkin-carving day.  Turns out, twelve year olds create much more chaos, lots more noise, and lots more help needed.   Also less gossip and more … craze.  I worried for fingers.  Hence the “more help needed.”  Or rather, forced upon them.  And they were so all over the place, I don’t have pictures.  A few of the designs kind of failed, and one of the unfinished, but partially-carved pumpkins is still in my kitchen (not Mouse’s).

Still, I am always so happy to have both girls’ friends in the house.  I love knowing them, especially as they get older.  On Sunday, with the younger kids, I sat in the kitchen with another mom while the kids were in the dining room – and we could barely carry on a conversation because of the “Suzie, can you come help! I can’t get the nose out!” and “Suzie, are you listening?  I’m telling a joke – I want you to hear it.”  Very satisfying.

But not so satisfying that the second they were done, I didn’t shoo them to the park.  They were just so very loud.  And I got to sit down and finally watch an entire Patriots Game, except for the 15 minutes during which I dozed off, which was also nice … since before I could host five 12 year olds, I spent 7 a.m. until Noon at the office, wrapping up some deadlines for work.


Hard to Please

August 25, 2010

I have been giving huge thumbs-down to the heat here in the Boston area all summer.  We’ve been running our air conditioners non-stop, and have been careful about when to leave the house.  All in an effort to avoid the 90+ temperatures.  I longed for the fall.  The beautiful colors, the crispness in the air.  A reprieve from the heat.

I also think I have earned the right to complain about the heat.  Not because I live in one of the hottest places, where it’s been over 100, instead of just over 90.  But because I do love the winter.  I do not complain about snow.  I like snow.  I like sweaters.  I like warm coats.  So I am not one of those people who say: “oh, it’s so cold, I can’t wait for summer” just to whine anew come summer.


I am consistent.

Last week, we had some days in the low 80s instead of the 90s, and I liked it.  Lemon and I were getting up in the mornings to run, and some days were steamy already in the morning – over 70 – and I frowned.  But then there were other mornings that bordered on nipply.  And while it was 80 during the day, it was chilly in the shade, and the breezes left you wishing for a sweater.

Then, Sunday came.  It was even cooler, and with some rain.  When Lemon came to the table for dinner on Monday, she had to dash off to get a sweater.  Her comment, “how nice to need a sweater and have it NOT be because of air conditioning!”  It had drizzled all day, and while it wasn’t cold, the temperature in the 60s felt good.

Okay – so then – why couldn’t we just stop there?

Why did the drizzles have to turn into downpours?

Why did I have to walk to and from work on Tuesday wishing I could transport myself in a waterproof bubble?

Why did I get home yesterday to peel my soaking wet dress pants off my soaking wet thighs?

Why was the rain causing this DESPITE a rain coat and an umbrella?

Why, today, did it not only have to be worse, but also have to be coupled with the stupid MBTA’s “switching problems” that caused the trains to be delayed and the cars packed with people so that the rain from our clothes was just suspended in mid-air?


Tomorrow.  Tomorrow will be a bare 80, and there will be clouds.  And I have plans to sit on my dear friend’s deck after dinner, with a couple of other friends and some new Mah Jongg tiles that Ebay sent me, and a glass (or 2.  maybe 3) of wine and a sweatshirt.  Because it will be chillier in the evening.  Yummy.


Mah Jongg Weekend

August 16, 2010

When I was in college, I read The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, and then subsequently watched the movie.  I was fascinated by mah jongg – the game that the characters played.  I wanted to play.

So I looked for the game, but all I could find was the computer version:

Not what I was looking for, necessarily, but addictive nonetheless.  I knew this wasn’t “real” mah jongg, but I sort of forgot about my interest in the game, and moved onto playing other games.  Like Candyland, and Chutes and Ladders.

Flash forward to 2008, and a work friend said, “hey, a friend of mine wants to start a mah jongg group – any interest?”  I may have squealed in response.

I joined the group, learned how to play (American style), and in true Suzie fashion, became obsessed.  But how can you not?  How can you not love the tiles, and the intricate rules, and the purposed time spent with adult people playing a challenging game and talking?  [And 90% of the time … drinking wine.]

I started telling a non-Mah Jongg-playing friend of mine about the game.  She did the whole maybe-a-squeal-thing, and said she wanted to learn how to play, too!   When I finally found and bought a set of my own, I taught her.  I also taught Writer Dude, S~ and L~ how to play.  I no longer had to wait for everyone in what I call my work-group to be free.  I had players in my own home!  Players who lived around the corner!

It is a 4 person game, though.  If S~ or L~ were bickering, it was no fun.  WD didn’t love the game, and my friend around the corner was just one person.  I CAN play with only 2 people.  But it’s not the same.  You lose some of the game, and it is easier to win.

So my friend around the corner (J) and I started to talk the game up, and found a couple others who were interested.  Wa la!  Another group!

I’ve been playing now for 2 years, and love the game no less.  I may or may not admit to spending a certain amount of time at a certain website where I can play the real game in real time with other live players.  I may or may not have spent the Saturday that WD left for his schooling in July (my first of 10 days home alone) playing an all-day tournament on that site.  Maybe.

This weekend, one of my home-group players (as opposed to the work-group), invited us all to her weekend home in a more rural part of the state to play Mah Jongg.   We had invited more than the 4 needed for a game, thinking we could easily take turns.  We invited husbands, thinking we can have them cook for us and clean for us, and we happily invited no small kids, and only the two who weren’t at camp (Lemon and the hostess’ daughter, who is a year older than Lemon – they’ve been friends for years).

But then a few people couldn’t come.  Trips to Paris, work deadlines and visiting weekend at kids’ camps got in the way.  We ended up with 3 players – one who had actually never played before.  Fortunately, she was super-quick and then beat the pants off us for the rest of the time.

We played a lot of games, and the weather was lovely.  We played, we swam, we ate, and we drank.  The Saturday evening gathering was a little larger as neighbors joined the party.  The new player (new friend for me, old friend for the hostess) makes a mean martini, and I had a few.

The weather was absolutely glorious on Saturday.  Blue skies, breezes, and I don’t think the temp went above 80.  I am not a fan of temps above 80.  It was fantastic.  Sunday was dreary, but since it was also very cool, it was welcome.  We all (minus the ridiculously sleepy teens) sat on the porch in the morning with coffee and books in our laps, and had to migrate inside because it was cold!  Oh, the joy!

It was a great time, and I’m glad that we went.

On the way home – we were supposed to stop and get me my new iPhone.  It was a tax-free “holiday” in Massachusetts this weekend, and I thought since I’ve been planning the purchase anyway, why not take advantage?  Sadly, despite having 4 Apple stores in our metropolitan area, it was all sold out.  So I didn’t get my iPhone.