Sunday, March 16, 2014

Pink, blue & purple

It was literacy center time in first grade. Kids were participating in reading groups, correcting sentences and cutting out and illustrating a poem to glue into their poetry notebooks. 

J hates cutting. I offered him a deal: if he cut the top half, I'd do the bottom. When he was done, he handed me the half-cut poem along with a pair of purple scissors. "These are for you, because girls like purple," he explained. 

I groaned inwardly. I didn't want to take away from literacy time by launching into a long discussion about gender, but I also want to do what small part I can to send my students the message that these rigid gender rules no longer apply. I decided to address the matter quickly. 

"You know, J, some girls do like the color purple," I told him. "But girls can like any color. Some girls like green, other girls like blue, other girls like yellow. And boys can like any color, too. Red, green, purple, you name it." 

J looked at me blankly.

I tried to make one more point before wrapping things up. "J, when you talk about me, or Ms. M or Ms. C or any of your teachers, there's a better word that you can use than 'girl.' Girls are children. Am I a child? No. So do you know what a grown-up girl is called? A woman." 

The two other members of the literacy group piped in at this junction (both of them are female). 

"And women wear dresses!"

"And they get married!"

I gave up. Maybe, just maybe, J and the girls now think that some of those dresses that women wear are a different color than pink. It's doubtful, but one can always hope. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Two feet forward

If I'm honest with myself, I have had a few moments of being a little bit crazypants the past few weeks. Maybe even more than a few. For instance:
  • When Robot told me he was at a specialist doctor's office, but failed to specify what type of specialist, I decided that it was probably an oncologist. (It wasn't.)
  • There have been times when I haven't heard from him in as short a span as two hours, and become certain that he's going to break up with me. 
  • When he woke himself up from a dream by saying "Nooooo!!!" out loud, I asked if he was dreaming about me. (Fortunately, apart from that, I've mostly succeeded at hiding my crazies from him.)
  • He sent me a text that read, "You're pretty great." I thought, "Only PRETTY great?! He's clearly losing interest!"
We've been having a *lot* of fun together lately. On Sunday we drove up the coast and went exploring. He took me rock climbing for the first time, and I managed to neither injure nor humiliate myself. And one night he serenaded me on his guitar with an enchanting mix of Bob Dylan and Iron and Wine.

But really, I like Robot so much that it doesn't much matter what we do. Spending an hour shopping with him at the camera store, or going to the library to look for a book for one of his students, or even driving with him to the airport is about 1,000 times more fun than going out on a fancy date with any of the guys I've dated over the past two years.

Robot is away for a couple of weeks, and I'm ready to let go of the crazies and put both my feet in. Watch out, CVS, I might even be ready to invest $1.99 in a toothbrush.

Saturday, March 1, 2014


I get very superstitious when I have a new boyfriend. It's hard to believe, but I've never had even a SINGLE relationship work out, so you can understand my trepidation.

The other day I went to the CVS and spent a solid ten minutes in the toothbrush aisle, debating whether I should grab a toothbrush for my new boyfriend, Robot. (No, he doesn't work in IT.) I just couldn't bring myself to do it, so eventually I walked away, toothbrush-less. I was sure that if I got him one, it would end up being thrown away unused.  So until things feel more solid or my dentist gives me a free one I'm making him use mine. My dentist would not be happy about that, but so far the relationship gods seem to be smiling on me, and if my dental hygiene suffers it's a small price to pay.

This weekend, he mentioned that his birthday is in a week and a half. Like the many toothbrushes I've thrown away over the years after just a few uses, I have invested time and time again in gifts for boyfriends for birthdays, holidays, etc. that had to be returned, or that I was stuck with. I bought La Moustache yarn to knit him a sweater just before our epic breakup; with Monkeyboy, in addition to several generous gifts, I had purchased ingredients to bake him his favorite cake. Most recently, in December I bought one Christmas gift for Trusty and was about to purchase a second, non-returnable one.

I don't think that Robot is going to turn out to be another Monkeyboy, nor do I anticipate that we will be breaking up in the next ten days. I like him an awful lot, and the feeling seems to be mutual. But I'm not running any risks. I'll be buying him a birthday gift en route to his house on the day of. If the only store I can find is a gas station, so be it. Happy birthday, Robot, I got you a gas card.