Spaghetti and meatballs.

Well, now, that was a nice weekend. A little work, a little play, a new bike for my darling daughter on the occasion of her birthday, even though it’s two days away. She needed it; the bike she got in the year five was starting to look like something a clown might pedal in the circus. Her new one? Does not. It’s a multi-geared, hand-braked dream, and she’ll be riding it until she’s 12, unless she grows even more than I think she will.

Growth charts are amazing. When she was still a toddler, Dr. Mitch told me she’d top out around 5-foot-7 or so, and that’s what I’m planning on. Not too short but not taller than me, either.

We had spaghetti and meatballs for the birthday dinner. I confess, when Kate was born I had every intention of raising her to be an urban, hip child who eats black beans and capers and smelly cheeses without flinching. Man plans, God laughs, etc. Kate eats…nothing. Bread, cheese, peanut butter, all forms of junk, mandarin oranges, carrots, pasta and that’s about it. (I’m watching a “Nigella Bites” marathon on the Style network as I write this, and every time I see Nigella’s kids tucking into one of her mozzarella Monte Cristo sandwiches I want to throw shoes at the TV.) So spaghetti becomes our default OK-with-adults-and-kids birthday meal, most years. I try to fly under her radar by adding stuff like roasted red pepper and red wine, but it’s always touch and go: “Did you make these pancakes in the same pan as the bacon?” she’ll say, curling her lip in scorn, and I think: Five-seven? If I don’t kill you first.

But the spaghetti was good. The sun was out all weekend, the temperatures chilly, but I took a bike ride anyway; I need to toughen up my wind-chill resistance for winter’s long slog. Hardly anyone was on the path, one of cold weather’s very few advantages. I was free to pedal hard and sing along with the iPod without fear of appearing utterly ridiculous — the older women get, the closer we skate to the crazy-lady-in-purple-with-a-metallic-gold-tote-bag archetype.

Bloggage: Every so often I follow a link off of Amy’s blog, just to see what people on her end of the social-conservative spectrum are up to. Most of the time, I’m not surprised. Other times, I’m merely astonished: I have been through the horrors of post-abortion stress syndrome as a result of my sister’s abortion ten years ago. My symptoms were so severe that I had to quit my job (I worked around children, and would break down and cry on a weekly basis). As my sister’s actions were and remain a secret known only by me and her, I couldn’t explain to anyone what was wrong with me, why I was goiing through such a terrible bout of depression, crying fits… It was a terrible thing to have to live with, and it has only been in the past few months that the symptoms have begun to lift and I have found myself able to begin putting myself back together.

It goes on, and it gets worse — at one point, she fantasizes a “visitation” from her sad aborted niece, and yes, she knows it was a girl, God knows how, although I guess that visitation helped. And then it gets better: I have told my sister about my experiences and while she regrets the abortion she has also told me, flat out, that I am “crazy” and “overdramatic” for having been so effected. At least one member of the family still has an oar in the water. But if you want to know why so many people seem to talk past one another on this issue, this may give you a clue.

Also, remember the Anne Hull WashPost story about the gay teenager growing up in Oklahoma? Here’s a follow-up. Yes, Fred Phelps makes an appearance, but the ending’s an upper.

Posted at 6:42 pm in Uncategorized |

5 responses to “Spaghetti and meatballs.”

  1. Dick Walker said on November 14, 2004 at 10:33 pm

    Saw the Oklahoma story. Everytime I get ready to just friggin’ give up on people, get thinking that the a#$holes are just gonna win, somebody steps right out of character � or what I thought was his character � and says, “You be what you need to be, kid. I got your back.” Then the tears well up and I want to hug the gimme-cap wearin’ sob.

    Heroes, that’s what they are.

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  2. John said on November 15, 2004 at 12:55 pm

    We have a local anti-abortion activist who claims her breast cancer was a result of her having an abortion years ago. She said that it was her punishment from God for the abortion. Her husband is a Navy doctor at the sub base who refuses to discuss or prescribe birth control pills and/or devices because of his religious beliefs.

    I watched (again) the first Harry Potter movie Saturday night. It is a nicely done, whimsical movie which I enjoyed. The first time I watched it was when my brother-in-law bought it on PPV for my nephews, a couple of Thanksgivings ago. The entire movie, my father-in-law felt the need to keep repeating “This isn’t real. This isn’t true.” so his grandchildren wouldn’t be bewitched by devil worship.

    Not a real point here, but just a simple plea, Can’t we all just get along?

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  3. Mary said on November 15, 2004 at 2:16 pm

    I remember a gynecologist who was affiliated with my college health service who would not give birth control to students. When I naively asked him for contraceptives, he asked why I would need them. I guess it’s ok for him to have his beliefs, but I don’t understand the point of pretending people don’t have sex in college. We all mananged to schlep down to Planned Parenthood for what we needed, but it seemed a bit stupid for the college to be paying someone to pretend that all the students were virgins.

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  4. Michael G said on November 15, 2004 at 2:35 pm

    Keep in mind while talking about red state vs. blue state that neither is monolithic. That is, no red state is 100% pro administration and no blue one is 100% anti. What it actually comes down to is red households and blue households. Trying to puff up controversy between states over this doesn’t do us any good. I think our similarities are more numerous and more weighty than our differences. Let’s promote that.

    I have the feeling that opposition to gay marriage is broad but not deep. Most people aren’t particularly affected by it and don’t have very strong feelings one way or the other. It just isn’t an issue in their lives. They don’t walk around all day worrying about it and cringing under the threat that somewhere a gay couple’s relationship will somehow threaten theirs. They have enough common sense to realize that two gays cohabiting won’t have any effect on their marriage and besides, they have other things to worry about. If, however, the question comes up and they are asked they’ll disapprove. That seems to be mostly it. As with so many things the issue is perpetuated by a vocal minority. At least I hope our country isn’t filled with this much hate.

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  5. Danny said on November 15, 2004 at 3:48 pm

    I think that you are right, Michael, about the opposition being broad, but not deep. The folks I know are more concerned about what gets “taught” in school. And I do not mean tolerance, which is correct and proper, as is the extending of common civil rights to all people. Most are worried that there is an agenda out there to teach public school children Anal Sex 101 at junior high school level and younger. They are kids, for crying out loud.

    And for the record, I would also add school prayer to the list of things that should be left out of public education curriculum. Forcing belief systems on one another is…stupid.

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