Paw-ty

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Men Are Like Unicorns

In the movie Footloose, filmed here, in Utah, the question “Where have all the good men gone?” was posed.

Yesterday, my neighbor asked me the same question.

“They don’t exist. They are like unicorns,” I explained.

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“I’m beginning to think that’s true,” Mary replied.

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Leaning in and Pulling Up

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Sheryl Sandberg teaches women to Lean In. Take a seat at the table. Contribute. She also speaks about mentors. In her book, Lean In, she writes “Don’t Ask Anyone to be Your Mentor.” Rather than asking for a mentor, she advises women to ask people both senior and junior for specific advice on problems. Doing so, creates more productive and positive relationships.

In addition, it builds community.

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Literary references to lifting oneself up by one’s own bootstraps go as far back as the 19th century in referencing “a poet who lifted himself by his own boot-straps from an obscure versifier to the ranks of real poetry.”

Then, in 1922, James Joyce wrote in Ulysses, “There were others who had forced their way to the top from the lowest rung by the aid of their bootstraps.”

Many think the reference is, like the poet, to lifting oneself up.

But, as a woman, as a leader, I am grateful for the women who took one look at me and pulled me up by my bootstraps; they taught me how to do it for myself and showed me that it was my responsibility to do it for others.

Philosophy

In 1994, I arrived in Michigan TERRIFIED. I was a 23-year-old bride surrounded by 60-something women. One made millions with Weight Watchers’ franchises and another was an Academy Award winning director/producer. I did not which fork to use let alone how to engage in conversation.

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But, they were kind. Florine insisted I go Power Walking with the Ladies each morning. It was there that I could listen and learn.

Talking about food, I explained, “If I have a bag of OREOS, I eat the whole thing because then I can be good the next day.”

“That,” replied Florine, “is the definitive fat person attitude.”

Lois, my Jewish mother, a travel broker and wife of an artist taught me to smile.

“Keep a knipple,” Lois told me. A knipple is a stash of cash, or, as my friend Christie calls it, “foxy pocket money.” As a woman, if you have a knipple, you can always leave.

The last lesson I learned from Lois was, “always have a day girl.” It took me a few years and having my own career to understand that it wasn’t about having a housekeeper, it was about employing others, boosting others up.

Moving to our cabin at Sundance scared me. Dwight lived there with his previous wife. I wondered how I would fit in with her friends, her acquaintances.

But, just like in Michigan, the women were kind.

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With Bylle, I learned to appreciate talent and life. She helped me learn to ride a horse. Bylle was kind.

Going back to school this fall, I challenge all of my friends, men and women, to find one thing to bolster, praise or celebrate about a colleague each day.

 

 

 

 

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I’m Definitely NOT Carrie Bradshaw

Boy Interrupted-Retro Relationship

In this episode of Sex and the City, Carrie asks, “When it comes to matters of the heart, did we have it right in high school?”

NO.

At least, I did not have it right in high school.

As a sophomore, I had a huge crush on a senior, one of my brother’s friends. I was not alone. Most girls crushed on Pitter Patter . . . .

On New Years Day, during my 1:00 on 1/1 luncheon with friends, Ali and I friended and messaged him on Facebook.  We messaged, we spoke, and, he stopped by after work.

  • He did not further his education.
  • He does not read.
  • He spent time in jail for abusing a girlfriend.
  • He lives in his mother’s basement.
  • He reproduced.
  • He does not have custody of his children.

Those were all red flags.

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But, he claimed he liked dogs. He claimed he had a Bernese Mountain Dog. He seemed nice enough.

Then, he knocked on my door, sat down and told me the following:

  • He supports Trump.
  • Gay couples should not have children.
  • Single people, like me, should not have children.
  • And, more . . .

Within seven minutes, I asked him to leave. I explained that “hatespeak” is not acceptable in my home.

That was my first and last personal experience with an uneducated white male supporting Donald Trump.

I did not have it right in high school.  I’m only just now, almost 30 years later, getting it right.

 

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A Mormon Mom-versation

My mother is the youngest of five children. Her older brother, Lawrence, an interior designer, introduced the family to an artist, Florence Ware. All five children and her parents owned at least one Florence Ware piece.

Mother, however, loved a portrait of a Native American Chief.

MOM:  Remember the painting of the Indian in the airport that Florence Ware painted?

ME: Do you mean Native American? Feather, not dot.

MOM: No. I call them Indians.

ME:  Mom, that is politically incorrect.

MOM:  What should I call them?  Lamanites?

Mormons believe that Jesus visited the Nephites and Lamanites in North America before he was resurrected.

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ME:  No. Tell me about the Indian.

MOM:  Well, those dumb bunnies when they re-did the airport moved him.

ME:  Where did they take him?

MOM:  To a senior center not too far from Jeff’s houses.  Uncle Lawrence and I went to see it the other day.

ME:  Good.

MOM:  You know, I could go to the senior center to play bingo.

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Why We Can’t Have Nice Things #2, 312

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This is my bed. It is also the dogs’ bed.

A few weeks ago, I discovered a giant hole in the purple top sheet. Someone, featured in this photo, may have been scratching his way to China.

So, now, NOTHING matches.

The bottom sheet is purple, the top sheet is rose colored, and only two of the pillow cases match. (My mother made the Care Bear pillowcases when I was in the eighth grade.)

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A Mom-versation about Men, Modesty and Meds

My ringtone is the theme song from NewsroomLooking at caller ID, I saw “Mom Cell.”

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ME:  Hello, Mother.

MOM:  I missed talking to you yesterday.

To make up for lost time, we speak at least once a day.

ME: I’m sorry. I had a date.

MOM:  With a man?

ME:  (laughing) Yes.

MOM: Why?

ME: I’m not a lesbian.

MOM: How did you dare after the last one? (Reference to Satan.)

ME:  Mom, all men aren’t bad.

MOM:  Well.  How old is he?

ME:  61.

MOM:  You’re still interested in older men.  What is wrong with you?

ME:  I’m celebrating the 30th anniversary of my 16th birthday next month. I’m not exactly young anymore.

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MOM:  Well, how did you meet?

ME:  Mutual friends. (You know, the staff at Match.com.)

MOM: You know, I had mother’s intuition. I thought, “I bet she’s on a date or she would have called me.”

ME: You were right.

MOM:  What are you doing tonight?

ME: Going out with Jeff.

MOM:  Jeff who?

ME:  Your son. I’m having a bromance.

MOM: What are you wearing? You still haven’t brought me that dress you wore at the Huntsman awards to fix.

ME: I’ll bring it next time.

MOM:  You better.  There’s not much material to work with, but I should be able to make it more modest.

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ME:  Have you been drinking?

MOM: Oh, Julie!  Of course not. But, I did tell Jeff I think I’m getting addicted to my pain pills.  They just make me feel so much better.

 

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