Monthly Archives: May 2015

Dear Disney (You got it wrong)

Dear Disney,

You got it wrong. Usually your TV programs are the one I encourage my children watch. Imagine my surprise the other evening when my children were watching “Jessie“. In the episode, Bye Bye Bertie, the loyal butler had enough of the children’s shenanigans and quit. Yes! I thought to myself. Finally the children (and mine) are being taught a lesson that adults are to be respected, that we are not here to just clean up their messes and we are not their friends.

Cue the next scene, when the butler is hired by the neighbor. A rich, extravagant woman with fetishes. First, what the hell are fetishes doing on a Disney program? Sure they go over my child’s head but Disney, you are sending a subliminal message and it isn’t pretty.

Then it got worse.

The rich lady had the butler put on tight shorts, talked to him in a degrading fashion and proceeds to chase him around the condo.

Does he quit because of the abuse? No.

Does he say, “you cannot treat hired help this way”? No.

Does he in anyway defend himself of call her on her actions? No.

Does he call the police, the condo association or any victim help group? No.

Do the children he used to serve and his former co-worker protect or defend him when they see him being abused? NO.

The Butler only quits when the children apologize for their behavior and ask him to come back. He is immediately replaced by another butler who is immediately subjected to the behavior that hasn’t been allowed in the workplace since Lilly Tomlin showed her boss who was in charge 9-5.

Did the Butler, the children or the nanny stop the abuse of the new butler? No. They ran away laughing.

Disney, if this had been an episode where the pretty nanny had to dress in tight clothes and be subjected to lewd comments from her rich boss it wouldn’t have made it from the writer to the table read. The episode would not have been filled with a laugh-track but poignant moments where you taught children everywhere what a respectful workplace looks like and how employers treat their employees.

Or they face a lawsuit and criminal charges.

Disney you could have done great with this episode. Debby Ryan, the STAR of the show, has been very public about being in an abusive relationship. She has a campaign about dating violence. Do you not think that maybe workplace violence falls into that same category? Did not one person at the network or on the show say this episode might be sending the wrong message?

Disney, you could have shown children how Bertram stood up for himself, how the children he serves stood up for him and how his coworker (their nanny) taught them how to behave.

Instead you went for the cheap laugh.

And my children have one more TV Show on their “do not watch” list.

A parent who knows what is funny and what is criminal behavior.

Kindness makes yard work more enjoyable

Last weekend I decided to plant a vegetable garden. Why you ask? I have no freaking idea. I hate yard work but was feeling industrious. It was the first warm weekend of the Spring. One where I was certain we wouldn’t need coats until September (I was proven wrong on Monday). I convinced David to dig me a 8×4 area of the yard before he left for work. Bridget and I had the day alone together and figured it would be an opportunity to get her used to being on the grass and in the dirt.

She loved it. Continue reading

It was a beautiful day

Okay, here I go….The Listen to Your Mother Show (Boston) was such a huge experience for me I’ve had trouble putting it into words. Weird, right? I mean here I was in a show reading MY words and I couldn’t capture it in a way that makes sense. So this might ramble a lot bit. Bear with me!


It was a gorgeous day, the sun was shining. I found the Church and the parking garage without an issue. I had built in an extra 45 minutes just to be sure. As I approached Old South Church I was taken aback by the sheer majesty. I sat in front of the church, listening to Jimmy Buffet as I tried to calm my nerves.


Suddenly a flock of birds flew over and all I could think was, please do NOT crap on my head. Cause you know I have that kind of luck! As I sat there just observing the city I saw the best smile coming my way. My friend LTYM friend, Terri, was heading my way. Something about Terri, she is the most put-together person I have ever met but she never intimidates. If you look up fashion chic, there her picture would be. Here I am in my yoga pants and sweatshirt (because I was not driving two hours in heals and a dress) and Terri gets off the bus looking like she should be on 5th Ave.

Terri (photo credit Amy/Emily photography)

(photo credit Amy/Emily photography)

This IS Listen to Your Mother. Eleven women who are completely different but who have bonded over their stories. I want to tell you all about them but cannot do them justice. Every one of them is someone I would want to have at my fire pit. Every one of them I would not have met or known without LTYM. We are just too different and from such different walks of life.

Photo Credit: Amy/Emily Photography

Photo Credit: Amy/Emily Photography

We all had pre-show jitters. Laughing over the term “nervous peeing” (yes, it’s a thing and I did it often). As the pre-show pictures were being taken (and a little of champagne was sipped) I watched these beautiful women from every walk of life laugh and talk like they had known one another for decades.

We had only met twice before.

We will forever be bonded to one another over this experience. Sounds sappy, but true. I can never (or would want to) unhear their stories. They are etched in my brain and in my heart. I have watched them evolve over two rehearsals, last minute re-writes and gather their courage to lay their souls bare. That we all felt safe to share was clearly due to our veteran director and show producers. They gave us advice (talk SLOW), encouragement (you will NOT fall up the steps) and bolstered our confidence as show time grew closer.

We entered the Church together, I anxiously scanned the crowd. There were my Spaulding chicks shouting from the back. I cannot explain how their cheers calmed my jitters. I was second to last to speak. Then almost too quickly, it was my turn at the podium.


Photo Credit: Amy/Emily photography

Yes my legs are in a very awkward position. I couldn’t figure out how to uncross them without tipping over so I left them as is as I read my piece (tune back tomorrow, since this is already a novel). When I was done I still hadn’t seen David. I walk back to my seat feeling elated that I did it without breaking down (it was close) and worried that David was stuck in traffic somewhere. As I as down I glanced to my left and see this face:

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Photo credit: Amy/Emily photography

David had worked with a few friends to give me the surprise of the day. They had hidden behind the podium so I would not realize she was there. Lisa (my best friend from Junior High) had driven in from Baltimore to surprise me. Thank the Gods that I did not see her before the show. I never would have made it through the show.

But I did. I made it through the show. Thanks to the LTYM producers, my cast mates and my friends.

My Spaulding family: Julie, Christine & Lauren along with and David who  always encourage me

My Spaulding family: Julie, Christine & Lauren with Lisa and David. Thank you for always encouraging and supporting me

Then came the after party. Can you say make your own Mojito? SheKnows Media hosted all of the cast and guests at Lolitas. Where I had the best Mojito ever made. Seriously, if you’re in Boston and are thirsty check them out. You will NOT be disappointed.


Thank you to Listen to Your Mother, Blogher and SheKnows Media for a day I will never forget, for friendships that were made and for the mojitos. Thank you to Amy/Emily Photography for the beautiful photos. It truly was a day to remember, for all of us.

I cannot quote Phyllis, but she said something so eloquently in her closing remarks I hope I can adequately repeat her feelings:

We all have stories. Write them down, submit them. Even if you are “not” a writer. Half the cast were non-bloggers. Just women with stories and the courage to share them. Your story should be shared as well.

Because together our stories bond us.

I’m here…just well read on

To say I have a lot to be thankful this week as obvious as saying a hawk thinks bunnies are a wonderful appetizer.

Our local hawk trying to make our bunnies his free meal

Our local hawk trying to make our bunnies his free meal

In fact I have so much to be thankful for that I am at a loss for words. Or maybe just the energy to write them. Hence my being MIA this week. Yet here I am wanting to share my week and a half of thanks: Continue reading

Inflate this…

Driving home from Children’s the other day, I passed 15 men and women with cups in their hands asking for coin. Wearing signs that they were homeless and please, anyone help them. Before I hit the expressway I passed a bridge where 9 men were sitting in the shade all of their worldly possessions in the carts surrounding them. This led to my recent Facebook rant post:

I love the Patriots. But am I the only one who wishes as much research, money and attention were spent on rare syndromes, autism and mental health issues as have been spent on the amount of air in a football? Continue reading