Thursday, April 19, 2012
I'm incredibly lucky to live where I live, a small town of 10,000 smack in the middle of the Bay Area-part of Northern California. We moved here because they have great schools and I have Stretch and Shorty currently underfoot. We also have skinny women everywhere, yes women over 40 who wear a 2 a 4 or even the incredible ZERO....This is not the first time I've lived in Lilliput, the home of diminutive people from Gulliver's Travels.
Spending four years in France after routinely traveling there for three years made me very aware of my SIZE. Even though I was a younger, fitter version of myself I still towered over my counterparts in Aix en Provence. While the women looked to be an inch or two shorter than my five foot eight, they were usually wobbling around on 3-4 inch platform shoes and their boyfriends were my height. I was often asked if I was German, I am by lineage, because I was so "grande."
Moving to my current Lilliput at my heaviest in August of 2009 made my SIZE really pronounced. There are a few moms who struggle with their weight but many of them are rail thin, mere months after giving birth to their latest bundle of joy. An equal number of them are 5'8 or taller so it's worse somehow...
If you have read my blogs you know my journey back to health has been long and taken different turns and twists along the way. Last summer I was down 25 pounds, no one noticed as I was still SO LARGE. At 25 pounds down I traded in my husband's work out shirts for women's work out tops, still an XXL but an improvement over his.(XXL) I had dropped serious inches but other than my husband and some family it wasn't very noticeable.
Then it happened, a mom I hadn't seen in six months stopped me in the parking lot of our local store and said, "I meant to tell you, you look great!" She asked if I had lost weight, by this time I was down about 35 pounds. She is one of the few moms who towers over me and is battling 25 pounds of her own. This became the theme, anyone who was overweight themselves, from my barista who whispered her compliment to me in front of the line of size four ladies queued up to other moms battling the baby weight.
I traded down my pants from a 24 to an 18, then a 14 and now a 12. My tops are XL with a smattering of L thrown in. I am Zen about never being a 6, 4, or 2. It's not EVER going to happen. It is about proportion and that's where everyone can succeed.
I'm on a committee with a mom I've worked with before. I refer to her as "Barbie Girl" so you get the picture?! I waltzed into a fund-raising meeting two months ago and she sized me up and said, "wow, someone's been hitting the gym!" I almost fell down. I'm still ginormous in her world at a size12 but with my broad shoulders that have hoisted bales of hay, small children, large dogs and shoveled many yards of mulch, this size works. Don't get me wrong, this isn't my final resting place. I'd like to shed a few more pounds to insure knee longevity, my arthritis is progressing pretty rapidly so the lighter the better. People get frustrated all the time because they aren't the correct weight or size. Every body is different. Honestly step back and check yourself out. Determine what size works well and is maintainable for you. Don't worry about what is happening in Lilliput, it was only ONE island in Gulliver's many adventures! It's much more important to be healthy so you can enjoy all of life's adventures versus being just like everyone else. As long as I don't end up a Yahoo, I should be OK!
I know that junk food is cheaper than healthy food. A "happy" meal is twice the fat and half the nutrients of a deli sandwich on whole wheat bread, and of course half the price. Soda is cheaper than milk. Wonder Bread, in all it's nutrient deficient glory, is still under a buck whereas the bread I grab for my family is $4.69 a loaf.(when it's not on sale) Knowing all this I wonder, why doesn't the average person complain? Why is our biggest manufactured FOOD PRODUCT high fructose corn syrup and soybean oil? As we were plowing under the fruit orchards of the Napa Valley to be replaced by wine grapes and paving over the apricot and cherry orchards in San Jose to make way for strip malls... why didn't anyone say, Whoa-let's think this through for a minute! We moved all the agriculture to California's Central Valley including industrial animal farms and yet we wonder why we periodically have contaminated spinach or lettuce, the stuff planted across the street or down river from 3000 hamburgers on the hoof? We also have this problem with getting water to the Central Valley, and as a California native experiencing another month of blue sky winter, water is not cheap nor easy.
This is not a new rant, I tried to develop a cooking class for low-income women in the 80's who were spending their food stamps on Coke, chips and high fat meat like bacon or bologna instead of ingredients like beans, rice, eggs, chicken that could be made into MANY meals. This particular variation came about yesterday when I ventured to Whole Foods Market, for the first time in years. I'm old enough that I remember my Uncle Bob working in a Whole Foods in Menlo Park, he was an owner, it was co-op. It was not high on my 9 yo self list as they sold the dreaded Carob chips that my mother tried to valiantly pass off as dessert and the cereal that went mush moments after the milk landed in the bowl.
Fast forward almost 35 years...Stretch was home from school and I had this $100 WF gift card in my wallet. They have a new store in Oakland and I needed some groceries and thought we'd grab lunch as I had noticed some cafe tables outside when I drove past the place a few weeks ago. Off we went and what a shock. Kudos to all those who routinely shop there and don't pass out at the register. I grabbed some potatoes(6.25)kiwis(1.99) some celery(4.15) four apples(2.82) 3 bell peppers(3.99)one pkg tortillas(5.19)Almond Butter(8.99), bread, couple cans of soup, some fruit leather for lunches, cookies, jar of jam, one slice of pizza for Stretch, some lentils off the hot bar for me and BANG, $100.26. I kid you not! No dairy, no meat, no coffee and wow, $100 spent. We had one and a half paper sacks worth of groceries. Clearly this is a place I can't afford to shop, so the question is why? We have farm subsidies everywhere. We pay for cows, pigs, corn and soybeans and yet somehow we have created a system whereas the healthiest option is only an option for a tiny percentage of the population?
After spending years living in France I can tell you, this isn't normal. Every village, every city,every town holds a Farmer's Market a couple of times a week. These are not only held in the summer but weekly, all 52 weeks of the year. In Paris every neighborhood has their own so it's walkable for most everyone. In our neighborhood, the Boulogne, market days are Tuesdays(small), Thursdays and Saturday which have the biggest proliferation of merchants. Wild strawberries are only in season for 3 weeks, so that's when they are at the market and everyone buys them. In August, tomatoes, corn and squash are everywhere just as clementines, pears and apples are prolific in the winter. There is no movement to "eat locally"because that's what is available and at reasonable prices so that is what everyone eats. You can be standing next to a woman on a fixed pension and a woman in a fur coat, they are buying the same cheese because it's affordable to both. The french have food subsidies as well, they simply subsidize the farmer, not Agri-business.
Before you scream at cost, look at our overall declining health as a nation. Look at the skyrocketing medical costs of our people, look at the obesity rate. Clearly the system we have isn't working? It's great that some folks have the option of eating well. Before you scamper off to Whole Foods for that Fair Trade coffee why not send a quick email to your local Congressperson, Governor or even Michelle Obama. Ask why are we subsidizing growing food additives versus consumable food? Why do we think it's okay to sell our dangerous and outlawed pesticides like DDT to Chile and then import their fruit back to the US? Joke's on us! We talk about Universal Healthcare, maybe we need to talk about Universal Food Care? When every person is eating whole wheat bread, low fat dairy, multiple servings of fruits and veggies then we can talk about healthcare. The first part of staying healthy is what you eat. You don't have to have similar political agendas to agree that eveyone should have access to healthy and reasonably priced food? School lunches should not be so processed that they no longer contain the orgin of the food in the name...Tater Tots and Nuggets for example. Every see a Tater Tot tree or a Nugget Farm? Me neither.
Sunday started out with a trip to the Hallmark store, not for the dreaded forgotten Valentine, but for a sympathy card. Two young women (early 20's) lost their mother in a freakish car accident on Saturday evening. The standard, "I'm sorry for your loss" wasn't going to work. Coupled with the fact that these women had a complicated relationship with their mother and she had an acrimonious relationship with her husband, their father. Hallmark makes a lot of cards, unfortunately they didn't have one for this scenario. This woman was not "mother of the year", but after all of our posturing...who really is? Having just read a blog from an online friend who said that her mother, an apparent saint, had died on the daughter's birthday unexpectedly fifteen years prior, this grown woman was never going to have another "happy birthday,"I realized that everyone has a complicated relationship with their mother regardless of what type of mother you had. The death of your mother whether you experience it at 10, 20 or even 60 is going to be a big deal, whether you know it or not.
You might scoff at the notion because you are grown and NOTHING like your mother, this is my camp. If this is your position as well, you definitely need to keep reading. Hopefully, you will pick up a pen or record a few thoughts electronically to your child, to be read after you die. You cannot possibly know when your time is up, why take the chance you may have left something unsaid, something really important?
Your mother is like a compass, she will always show you true north. In my case my mother was always headed in a southern direction therefore by rebelling against her, I found my true north. I don't begrudge her those decisions, her decisions directly impacted my life and my experiences as a child and young adult. Because of my experiences, some unique, others not so much I am the person I am today. I don't have a problem with that person and much like a quilt made of scraps of fabric, I'm whole even if the scraps don't match and some are downright ugly.
My letter to my kids whether I was the saint or the not so saintly mother would go something like this:
Dear Child of Mine,
I knew my life had changed forever when I met you. I wasn't sure what was in store for us but I promised you that I would try my hardest to create more good memories than bad for you. I wish I could say that I was perfect, as you know my abysmal housekeeping rules me out of the Mother of the Year contest. Probably having, "Fend for yourself night" or "dessert for dinner" night would render me ineligible as well. I wish I had never lost my temper, never caused you to shed a tear or never said anything that might have hurt your feelings. I unfortunately didn't lose my humanity when I became your mother so I still have my shortcomings and foibles. Sometimes my patience wears thin, sleep deprivation has always made me grouchy and it did seem as if I had already asked you one thousand times to do the same thing. I know, it was probably your brother or even another kid altogether.
My rules were pretty straightforward and simple even if you didn't always understand them. I would never be mistaken for a warm and fuzzy mother, to be fair I'm not a warm and fuzzy person so it's not you but truly me and the sum of my parts. Most of my decisions about you were made because I hoped to help you grow up to be compassionate and kind. Forgiving of yourself and others. Brave enough to try new things while staying safe and out of harms way.Capable of laughing out loud and definitely at yourself. I wanted you to be able to form long-lasting bonds with your friends and family. I wanted you to understand how to be a friend so that you could build a community of people around you whom you love and whom love you back. I knew my time with you would be cut short whether I celebrated my 100th birthday or not.
If I accomplished what I set out to do while raising you, my death will not be the end of your world. I hope that once the tears have dried you will see me in your day to day life and remember that above all else I loved you dearly, deeply and with all my heart. Every-time you see an orange flower, roll dice, smell coffee or laugh out loud at a joke, you will think of me. I want you to remember the fun we had and the memories we shared. Don't put me on a pedestal, but honor me with a kind act or by using my grandmother's chocolate chip recipe that you memorized. Repeat a family story to a loved one or your own child. Passing down my history insures that I will always live on, just as my grandparents and your grandparents live on in your memory.
The choice I made to become your mother was not one I entered into lightly. I don't know if I was the mother you wanted or the mother you needed. I do know that whether you learned from my example of what not to do or I actually got something right and you are doing something I did, we are intertwined and always will be. For this I am eternally grateful, because of you I got to witness life and childhood from a different vantage point that was uniquely yours. I was so very lucky to be your mother. Much love today and always, mom
Consider this a Valentine to your child, simply an affirmation of your love for them. Let the dishes sit another five minutes while you dash off a few thoughts or before rushing from your desk tonight spend a couple minutes recording your thoughts about your children. Don't leave it to Hallmark to say the right thing, your kids are much too important.
Mommy wars were originally the stomping ground of the working in the home mom versus the working out of the home mom. Now most people understand no matter how you slice it, it's ALL WORK! Why bother fighting over who does what best. In my world it goes something like this, I'll make the cupcakes(disclaimer below) and you do the spread sheet. Before Excel, carpools went something like this, hey if you drive Monday, I'll drive Thursday? I can read a spreadsheet, just don't ask me to write it or even print it, I don't need 16 pages to tell me I drive on Thursdays...I digress however, the new mommy war is a foot.
The battle of the alpha mom versus the slacker mom. We've all known Alpha moms, they were usually telling you that A) they had a natural birth, upside down in the bath tub, and they nursed until their kids were old enough to go to kindergarten which is why B) their child is so advanced, they walked at 9 months and were "eliminating" in the potty at one(the last is utter BS on so many levels) C) their child plays and instrument, reads, speaks a forigien language etc...(no,"agua" doesn't count?!) at 3 and will most likely be a genius. Somewhere in our sleep deprived brains we knew to get AWAY from those alphas and left them and their tribe to their own devices. We found our own tribe, the ones who subscribe to the "5 second rule."
You can pick a groovy pre-school and avoid their withering glaze at the park until you are all thrown in the pot again in elementary school. It gets more apparent as your child goes through the ranks and stuff starts to "count." Another ambigous term, remember when you would be threatened with, "young lady, this will go on your school RECORD!" Have you ever been denied a job because the evil Mrs. Saunders(3rd grade) added something to your school record? The purpose of elementary school is to learn the basics, a little math, reading, writing a complete sentence, acting human versus animal-like, practicing your "inside voice" and other helpful skills that ideally will allow you to learn a lot more as you make your way into middle school, high school and finally college. In the big picture, NOTHING in "ELEMENTARY SCHOOL COUNTS." The infamous STAR test, it will go the way of your school record.
The Alpha mom hasn't figured this out yet, they are the parents with the 1st grade Science project of working solar panels, ten different types of goop and a comparitive analysis of the goopiest . Most 1st graders are still amazed at how much their baby tooth decayed in glass of Coke and are pretty sure the tooth fairy isn't going to pay them for this one!
My current mantra is, "hey you, Alpha Mom, you've already done 4th grade, how about we let the short people have at it?" My current rant has been triggered by the second round of the "kelp forest project." Que bad music. Two years ago I survived this same project. Pretty straightforward, make an animal that dwells in the Kelp Forest. Each kid was assigned an animal. Stretch got the red octupus. He, not being very interested in art, deemed the Sunday before the project was due to request the trip to Michael's. Bright and early, we were off and he bought a pink styrofoam egg, some wired irridescent ribbon, some brown paint(apparently they are only sometimes red, but mostly brown) and some googley eyes. He played around with the supplies and a couple hours later had an octopus. I was thrilled, he was thrilled it was a WIN! My only doubt about the kid project had been raised on the Friday when I ran into my co-room parent. When asked about her plans for the weekend she said, "I just spent $145 on leopard print velvet and I'm on tap to make Goldilocks her (lifesize) Leopard shark for the Kelp forest with my new sewing machine." I asked our local version of Mr. Hooper and he laughed and explained that his oldest had done the same project a few years earlier and stapled and stuffed some paper cutouts together only to find she was the only person without a life-sized, sewn, stuffed and or robotic sea creature. He said, "it's all about the parents."
However, since all the projects were due the same day I opted to not share this with Stretch and he made his Red Octopus with little fear that it was less than perfect. Shorty came home two weeks ago and announced he had WON the Harbor Seal. I must have inadvertently rolled my eyes because he quickly said, "it's ok mom, I can do this, we can even use paper!" He even assembled some grey paper and squirreled away some newspaper. I happened into class last week to drop off a forgetten lunch as a 6 foot long, crushed blue velvet, Whale Shark was dragged in by a lanky 9yo. Shortly thereafter a two-tone grey, Great White shark(also 5 feet long) made an appearance. One look at Shorty and I knew he was realizing his paper version wasn't going to be "enough." After school, he came home and announced that the seal was going to be way too hard, he wasn't good at it and he should just lose the 100 points or whatever it was worth. I explained that I would help him but it had to be something he could actually do, since I've already been to 4th grade and have the sugar cube Mission to prove it. He looked highly skeptical but thought it was worth a try. I made the dreaded Michael's trip and opted for felt, they only had black for $3.69 versus the $15 a yard "mottled grey"velvety stuff. I figured he could cut the felt and if he screwed it up neither of us would be too upset. I picked up a glue gun, some stitch witchery, stuffing, googley eyes and still spent almost $60, how is this NORMAL?
Today we found a picture of a harbor seal swimming, luckily they look a lot like a fat torpedo. We drew it in chalk, cut it out and stood over the ironing board with our stitch witchery stuff. He then very carefully stuffed it and we took a break to resume tomorrow. He is pleased so I am pleased but this wasn't necassary. Please don't tell me that anyone let their 9yo take scissors to $80 worth of fabric or run it up on the sewing machine. The Alpha mom thinks she and her offspring are winning but where is the WIN in mom doing the project? Granted the seal looks more like a finless killer whale but Shorty couldn't be happier because it's comparable(ok it's fabric) to his peers and he did it. We need to remeber that we had our chance at 4th grade and now it's their turn, no vicarious living please. Do something mom-like and shame me with a spotless house, carpool spreadsheets or kick my butt in the local fun run but stay clear of the classroom, it's not fair to the little guys!
I remember clearly being asked when my eldest started pre-school, "what are you going to do with all your free time?" At that point I still had a toddler under foot so really, what free time? Same question arose when the eldest went to kindergarten. The 2 yo went to pre-school from 9-12 and the newly minted Kindergartener from 11:15 to 3. The drive to one school from the other, twenty-two minutes in the Batmobile. Finally the youngest started kindergarten, he too went at 11:15 which meant his brother was an 8-3 guy and he was an 11-3 guy. I actually for a moment thought "free time" was within my grasp. It seemed a possability until I was drafted to work in the classroom for Stretch two mornings a week with Shorty in tow for writer's workshop. Of course I also did one afternoon in Shorty's class for language arts. Wednesday was a minimum day, everyone went at 8. That coincided with the year I became the box top queen so morning assembly was on my agenda. It was also a popular day for teachers to plan an activity that required parent assistance. Living in a working class neighborhood I became one of the few SAHM's after Shorty entered 1st grade. There was a small cadre of women who became my network and helped keep me sane.We'd hope for the same classroom placements so one could take point in one classroom while the other took point in a different class. We knew if we called in a panic because someone was ill for a party or field trip that the other mom in question, "would make it work."
Regardless of my PTA or community projects, I was constantly asked about spending my hours of "free time." Invariably, I answered with , "laundry, cleaning, gardening, cooking and errands." People always looked at me with a glance suggesting that I really hid out at home watching soap operas and eating bon-bons.
My kids are older now. We've moved to a school with better funding so less classroom time is needed. I have carved out an hour of "me" time to work out 5 days a week. I have to plan for this hour as with my abundance of free time last week, I was stuffing envelopes for a school fundraiser, selling the dreaded cookie dough for LAX, creating an email database for the Spring Gala and answering emails about field trips. I also tracked down a blue Science board, took all the furry kids to the vet(I'm still in recovery from that outing), took two of the furry critters to the groomers, found missing socks, donated the 500 white "friendless" socks to charity and the list goes on. Today, Saturday, I was up at 4:50 am getting Stretch and Shorty ready to catch a bus at 5:30am for a day on the mountain. Shorty, ever the optimist, asked me, "what are you going to do all day when we are gone? You have a whole day of free time!"
Coming from him this is especially funny because his "sea animal" project is due Monday. It's a Harbor seal. He originally talked about making it out of paper and stapling it together, until the 8 foot long handmade sewn WHALE SHARK and six footlong GREAT WHITE SHARK showed up to class. He realized that this was WAY past a paper project so today I will be tracking down Harbor seal material(as if this is a color?) and possibly a pattern we can adapt to my handy glue gun and limited stitchery capabilities. This is after I pick up uniforms for Stretch's LAX team and drop them off to some other unsuspecting mom. The guinea pig needs a bath, my car needs to be de-furred, the house needs a good clean, the database that was done: needs expanding, my taxes for the business need to be started or finished depending on how the day goes. It's 6:50 am and my free time doesn't sound so free anymore. You can keep the bon-bons, I think some sweat equity will go a long way in clearing my head with the hopes that I will be able to optimize my free time. Now if I could just find my other WHITE running sock! Enjoy your free time!
Dear powers that be who manufacture women's work out clothes,
I have outgrown my current arsenal of work out gear, my compression tights are baggy, ditto my sports bras so I ventured out to find some mid-range priced replacements. Oh my, you have lost your minds! The key word here is WORK OUT clothes so functionality may in fact trump form. Something has gone terribly wrong since my single self could run into any store and grab any Adidas product off the rack, knowing it would fit. I found a store that had a huge selection of work out gear, their own brand, on sale. Never having worn their products I grabbed a few pair of boot leg pants, a few bras, a couple shirts , etc. This would be where it all goes south.
Padded sports bras, what the heck? No, not the type of padding sewn into the garment insuring that if you get caught in the rain(hello Title 9 10K) you will not look like a reject from a Girls Gone Wild video but removable padding, the kind that slips around???? The only "rack" I want to think about is the one where I will be putting these 25 pound dumb bells after I knock out some chest presses. I do not want to look down and see one half of my chest bigger or bulging because the pads "slipped."
Vanity sizing, a flawed concept at best in regular clothes but in work out gear is completely useless. I'm in SPANDEX, my body is visible. The whole world can tell if I'm built like Kate Moss or Queen Latifa, I don't give a hoot what "size" it says inside my pants, it would be nice if once I buy these I can always grab this style and in this size until my size shrinks. I came home with three pair of "Yoga" style pants. One is sized medium, one large and one XL. They all look the same, their material is all pretty similar and they are all black. Somewhere in the design department, some deranged sizing pattern maker is cackling.
"Yoga" pants that fall down in the dressing room while trying to pass the "touch your toes test."I don't do yoga but I've seen some pretty remarkable women pretzel themselves during class. Your pants cannot roll down your hips, EVER! These pants are companions apparently to the cute, cropped t-shirt that rides up past your bra the first time you do a Burpie. If you don't know where a shirt should hit, call the Mermaid Series women, their shirts are fitted, nipped at the waist and long. This insures you will not be showing off anything other than you're running form while crossing the 10K finish line.
The absolute bane of my existence is found below my knees, yes the shoes. I like many of my female counterparts am a shoe whore. We have no problem with dropping serious cash on cute shoes. We have no problem buying an entire collection in EVERY color if we really like it. At 46 I have pronated feet, apparently HALF of all folks have some sort of pronation. This means we need something called a stability shoe. So why then do most companies offer one or two pair of aforementioned stability shoes. We blame Ronald Mc Donald for our thighs sparking when we run. Maybe more people would run if their feet didn't hurt??? To the people who routinely make stability shoes, we are not all practical folks, over 80, who want a white shoe to "go with everything."In fact we don't own ANYTHING in white, baby blue and grey, the 3 colors most likely to be found on a stability shoe at any reputable running store. Our feet may be older than 29 but our brains aren't, live dangerously with some color, please!
I started this piece about finding some mid-range priced work out gear so yes price is a consideration. I appreciate that your "sports technology" that enables you to charge $60 for a sports bra but it's $60 for one, not 3. After I sweat for 90 minutes EVERYTHING needs a good wash and maybe even a quick run through the dryer to kill the nasty gym bacteria. I work out daily if the stars align so I will need more than one bra? Your technology only needs to insure that A) everything stays firmly in place B) I don't have the dreaded mono-boob because everything is squished towards the middle of my chest. C) I don't have quad-boob, the effect you get when you cut a sports bra "daringly low" and I do a decline pushup. Contrary to what my husband says, you can have too many boobs!
I'm fairly sure that this technology can be attained for much less than $60? Champion routinely makes a decent product in the $20 range.
Finally, everyone take note. Fashion designers should stay on the runway, not designing your sports clothes. Providing grey pants smocked from my ankles to my waist( a bad MC Hammer pant) makes me look like I ate my way, alphabetically, through Ben and Jerry's collection. If I wanted to look that way I would save the $95 and simply EAT MY WAY INTO THIS LOOK!
2012 is well on it's way. I'm thankfully not having to drink Grape-tini's anymore, the 13.1 miles is done and the school year has inched by with only one musical performance and two field trips that I had to chaperone. My freezer has more space as the dreaded, "not waffles" box is gone and buried.Basically, everything is sailing along smoothly. That of course would be the kiss of death, when you think, "great I have everything under control."
I really should re-iterate that my standards are pretty low so on somedays being in control simply means my house is NOT YET ON FIRE. My first mis-step was to accept a job I didn't understand. No, I didn't sit through an interview thinking it was a CEO posistion and really I am the janitor. I accepted an offer to volunteer for our annual auction. This is an amazing undertaking by a bunch of talented, driven women. Talent aside almost nothing inspires me to be relentless in my pursuit of perfection therefore this is not the job for me. I think it was a bait and switch and my co-chair definitely thinks she got tricked into it so she's fuming as she chaperones a 6th grade dance as I blog. (see it always gets worse when you think it can't possibly get ANY worse) There's an email list to create, a form letter needing personalization and follow up phone calls. It wasn't so daunting as I scribbled notes while watching the clock. I was awaiting a text to go pick up the 21yo, grabbing a meal and catching up in his world-wind life in my alloted 60 minutes before his next adventure started but I clearly asked, "do you have an email list you can forward?" I was met with, "it's easy, all the addresses are in the directory." Originally I thought that sounded a bit daunting as last year there were fifty families who underwrote this event. I must have unconsciously thought, "it can't be worse," because the dance chaperone just replied, "that would be great if you can set up the e-mail list, you know it's all three schools, right?" Where did I put the Grey Goose?