Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Good Posture - mother and son duke it out

                When my son was thirteen he started to slouch.  His tailbone would be inches from the back of a chair and his shoulders rounded.   As his concerned mother, I went into action to get him to correct his poor posture.  I started with reminders to sit and stand straight which led to nagging which led to pleading which led to bribing which led to scare tactics which led to appealing to his vanity.  I told him he would develop painful back problems in later life, along with osteoarthritis and diminished lung capacity.  I told him slouching gave an impression of laziness and defeat.  I pulled out my big guns and told him that he was far too handsome to ruin his 5’11” with crappy posture.   Nothing I said worked.  I cut out posture improvement regimens from magazines and offered to pay for massages if he stood up straight.  But nothing I did worked either.  At some point, he told me to let it go so I decreased my posture comments to twice a year and then zipped my lips altogether.   I haven’t mentioned his posture to him in four years.
                Yesterday, he phones from Alaska where he is working as a petroleum engineer for Conaco Phillips.  He is now 25 years old.  “Mom, I have a second birthday present for you.”  (His first present was a mason jar filled homemade bath salts wrapped with enough duct tape it to keep it safe for the three thousand mile journey from him to me.  By the way it was the best bath salts I’ve ever used.)  “Mom, today I bought a yoga mat and made a commitment to improve my posture.”
                “We’ll that’s great, son.  Why did you do this again?”
                “As a birthday present for you.”
                We’ll I am way too smart to believe that one.  Perhaps it was because he is now 5”10” or maybe because his girlfriend and him are on a health regime.  They swim, work out, eat fish and bake their own biscuits with spelt flour.  “Scott, as a yoga teacher, an occupational therapist and your mother, I am delighted.”  And then I slipped in one last comment to seal the deal.  “I always thought that you are way too handsome to ruin the total package with bad posture.”    He shared my comment with his girlfriend and she agrees.


Monday, January 11, 2010


I am having an issue with my new 2010 calendar. In the bookstore, I passed over the calendars of butterflies, scenes of Ireland, cats and meditation gardens. In a hurry, I grabbed the one decorated with art by Georgia O’Keefe and now I am living to regret it. The January photo is a close-up of an orange poppy. (Poppy 1927) As art it is okay and I have no strong feelings about it one way or the other.

Now, most people know the assertion that Georgia painted genitalia. Duh! Of course she did – flower genitalia. Wondering what flower genitalia looks like? Just cut open an apple and have a look. It seems in the world of biology the design of external female genitalia is similar regardless of species, animal or vegetable.

My life is filling up so I had to flip to the February page and painting. What a graphic shocker! Every time I glance at the giant painting on my desk, I nearly fall over. (Series 1 White and Blue Flower Shapes 1919.) I am no prude, but give me a break! If this is flower genitalia, no wonder O’keefe caught the attention of the art world and became famous.

Concerned, I flipped through all twelve months. Except for May (Bleeding Heart 1932) which is a bit dicey, thankfully, there are no other shockers, just pretty flowers. As far as February goes, I need a plan ….probably a brown paper bag.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


My husband and I were married 40 years on Jan. 4  and we have long ago tired of the usual anniversary gifts of jewelry for me and tools for him. So the anniversary gift exchange thing needed a re-invent.

So, two weeks before our fortieth, we came up with a new approach. For my gift, he fought on the phone with the people in India for hours and hours to get them to give him a number to call a woman in Canada to beg her to fix my new computer which was full of bugs. He convinced her to replace it with an upgrade and it arrived on my doorstep four days ago. Thank-you, thank-you, dear husband. It was the best gift ever.

For him, I promised to not holler at him for six days in a row for any reason whatsoever. Unfortunately, I’ve had to start over three times. Currently, I am up to day four and am feeling confident that I will make it this time. Of course, he can help me out by not using my clean and tidy kitchen counter as a workbench and my best Cut-co knife as a screw driver. Also, in his honor, I wore my new Calvin Klein push-up bra I bought on the sale table at Macys to our anniversary party. It is the first such bra that I have owned in all our years together, and as any woman knows, push-up bras are a pain in the butt – totally a man thing! But I made an effort and it made him smile.

During these past two weeks, there has been a new and deep appreciation by me of my husband - maybe, it was the anniversary party, the reflection of what our lives have been together during these past four decades or the NO HOLLERING policy. All I know is that we are laughing more and having lots of fun. This morning, when I awoke with my arm linked through his, I felt so grateful to have him in my life.