Michele Minehart

words & yoga

Month: April 2016 (page 1 of 2)

Because I haven’t been controversial in at least a year

I went to Target twice in the last week. While there, I went to the bathroom. The most amazing thing was inside. STALLS. With doors. That locked.

I’ve actually yet to come across a stall-less Target bathroom (and I’d like to say I’m a professional on such things. Moms of toddlers know their – ahem – shit). So pardon me for being quite so simplistic, but… why are we so concerned that someone might be peeping at a pee-pee? Perhaps if the concern circled around the vintage trough-style urinals of the old Ohio Stadium, I could foresee some apprehension. But for my children, we’ve tried to instill in them the use of a door to conceal a view.  (At least, in public.)

There’s a lot of fear in this whole trans-bathroom issue. Yet we seem to have difficulty distinguishing between the justified fear of pedophiles and the unjustified fear of transgendered people. Somehow the two groups became synonymous. They’re not.

I know people who have been molested. None of them by a transgendered person. The stats say you’re more likely to be sexually abused by someone you know (and perhaps even love) than by a stranger. And if we fear for our little ladies in public restrooms, we must continue protecting them when they become young women at college campuses. (MSU, I’m looking at you.)

For the sake of argument,  let’s say a transgendered person would actually perform some sort of sexual misconduct in the bathroom of a Target. Please remember that this occurred because of the person’s wrong view of humanity – namely that people exist primarily for personal pleasure – not because of the offender’s gender identification.

The “correct” bathroom will not solve the problem of our young women becoming victims; learning, as a civilization, how to treat women, will.

Don’t make “them” the problem. We – all of us – are the problem when we allow inequality to continue in our midst.

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A Story: The trip to the liquor store.

I needed tequila. It’s an ingredient in the sangria I’m serving tonight (hashtag, book club problems) and it’s a tad more than what I could borrow from a friend, though I tried. It became clear I would have to make a trip to the liquor store, which I hate. For some reason, such places heap shame on me, as if only dirty men wearing flannel would go there.

I carefully chose my outfit. I opted out of the yoga pants I really wanted for my more mature, functional adult looking jeans and t-shirt. Only the most decent for such an occasion. I briefly considered putting on office-y clothes, as if I were running an errand on my lunch break instead of buying alcohol mid-morning so I could immediately put it in the sangria, so the flavors could dance as long as possible.

The multi-tasker in me decided that I needed to rearrange the large pile of clothes to purge from the house and my ingenuity said, “hey! Just take them to the consignment shop uptown!” And so, I decided this must be completed ASAP. Because the store is right down the street from the liquor store, it just made sense. Both stores opened at 10am and it was well past 11.  Perfect. Stars aligned.

I carefully decided that I would get the tequila first. I told myself it was because I could park on the correct side of the street for both stores, which is a big deal because it was raining. Really, I think I just wanted to make sure that I wasn’t that mom who sold her children’s clothing and took the cash to buy booze.

We made the first stop. I had the toddler with me and he held it together pretty well for a room full of glass. He even scored a piece of candy from the friendly Alcohol Man. Then we headed to the consignment shop. Lo and behold, a handwritten sign on the door: Closed. Will open at 12:00 on Thursday. (Friendly reminder: this would be a great message to include on your up-to-date Facebook page. Just sayin’.) Noticing I didn’t have the preschooler with me, I confirmed: it’s Thursday. We had twenty minutes to kill.

So in midst of our wait, belly full of sugar, the toddler decided he needed a nap. This is not advantageous for afternoons. I would NOT have the dreaded 20 Minute Nap ruin my day. So I tried tickling. Teasing. Playing. Finally, I resorted to outright bribery. We walked across the street for a yummy treat.

We indulged in a few donut holes and things went south from there. He wanted more, or a cookie. And then he knocked his hand on the table and started screaming. The older women meeting at a nearby table switched their, “oh, how adorable” looks to the “get him out of here, I cannot hear a thing” looks. So we bailed. It was 12:02. And the consignment store still had its lights off.

I gave up and loaded him in the van. I tried to drown out his crying with a favorite song, to which he began screaming, “I hate this song!” Turn the radio!” By the time I reached our driveway he was full-on meltdown. Tired, sugared yet hungry, and – come to find out – with a splinter under his fingernail (ouch!). “Carry me in!” he wailed.

This, my friends, is why liquor stores should not be open during the day.

The end.

Laura’s Sangria Recipe

AKA: The reason you should keep tequila on hand

(*I had to quadruple this to use the full bottle of wine. Because, book club.)

  • 8 oz. red wine
  • 4 oz. orange juice
  • 4 oz. pineapple juice
  • 4 oz. tequila
  • 2 oz. fresh lime juice

Chop apples, pineapples, oranges, and lemons and let them mingle in the mix. Chill and serve with a “splash of sprite and sugar.”

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In a day’s work

It was a long day. Often, it was a hard day. The youngest is breaking into his Threes, showing us all of his unwillingness to be cooperative, fighting off help and refusing instruction. I realize this is the plight of most parents. The Threes are terrible, and we learn to pour a glass of wine for one another.

Having a Three at home all of the hours of all of the days brings its own challenges. (Mind you, this is not a comparison of “which is harder, managing up your CEO or negotiating cup colors?”) My job, essentially, is to show patience and boundaries, love and direction, to this small human who might be diagnose-able on the DSM 4 if he were scaled as an adult. It’s maddening.  And, really, the only other tally in the Productive Column is the  sorted laundry that has sat in your room for no less than a week.

But you take the girls on a run. You watch as one of them half-prances through the less-than-one-mile turn-around while the other powers through and rolls her eyes when sister needs to stop and rest. You hear them talk about their strong muscles and how fast their shoes are.

Then, you go out to eat. You drink a margarita on the patio with your family and no one screams or spills. You smile at your husband.

And then you get in the car for a quick trip to your mother’s house. She eases your mind that your children do NOT have head lice. (Let’s not discount the ease of mind this brings.) Your childhood friend who now serves as your household audiologist (what? you don’t have one?) drops off BRAND NEW hearing aids. You sit out on the back porch, watching children tumble and climb and run in the sunshine.

Finally, you come home. You tuck in the children and you sit out on the front porch to watch the sun finish its work. You hear the goats from half a mile down the road. You take in the last sips of your Pinot Noir. And you bask in the blessings.

It’s not perfect, but it’s good. It’s a really, really good life. Far from magazine quality. (Child number 3 has the bite marks to prove it.) But so brilliantly, delightfully good.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting the most from life; planning, dreaming, visioning, wishing, working and trying. As long as you’re not ignoring the beauty sitting right in front of your pretty little nose. Today was a day of that. Seeing the beauty in the struggle.

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