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Sex on the Beach and other Indulgences April 25, 2007

Posted by rootie2t in Uncategorized.
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There’s not a whole lot of controversy in the minds of Northern Girl and Rootietoot right now.  In fact, Northern Girl is very busy finding out just how many fruity booze-laden beverages a person can consume before dissolving into a sticky watermelon scented puddle on the Pensacola boardwalk.  I am very busy making lists and checking stuff off (I love that feeling) in a calculated attempt to appear more cheerful than I really am. So, until she gets home and sobers up (whichever comes first), and my mood returns to something fairly sunny, this is all there is at Omega Women. Unless one of you has something meaningful to say.

Icelandic Truth April 20, 2007

Posted by northern girl . in Ad Truth.
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Oh, my. This made my morning. (Found via AdRants)

Comments?

Truth? April 18, 2007

Posted by northern girl . in Ad Truth, Announcing.
3 comments

I get an email everyday from AdRants. I don’t know who these guys are or how I ended up on their email list, but every once in a while they sniff out something interesting in the world of advertising and marketing and include it in their email message. Not everyday, but often enough that I can’t bring myself to figure out how to “unsubscribe” to the email.

(For example, the Dove “Real Beauty” commercials were pointed to by AdRants as noteworthy. I so love Dove.)

So as a category, I thought, and Rootie agreed, that we should create a place to point to merchants who “tell the truth” about their products, use spokespeople who look like real people (versus a skeleton with skin stretched over it) and stay true to their message, despite the fact that they could probably sell more product if they stooped to using pretend testimonials or bandwagon mentality in their ads.

If you find something interesting – send an email to just a northern girl at gmail dot com (no spaces etc.) with a link or at least point me in the right direction and I’ll highlight it here.

Spin it positive.

So, you think you’re some sort of housekeeping phenom? April 17, 2007

Posted by rootie2t in Uncategorized.
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Do you remember in one of the “Back to the Future” movies where Marty time travels in his Delorean to some distant point in the future? While there he goes into a novelty shop that has all kinds of things that were popular in the 80’s-90’s and one of them was a “World’s Records” Book. With a DUST JACKET.

Why was a dust jacket a novelty in the future? Because some genious invented “DUSTLESS PAPER”. Huh. When some genious comes up with DUSTLESS PIANOS, sign me the hell up. Just look at the dust! No. Don’t. Don’t look. Oh, I can’t believe I’m sending this out for all the internet to see. ~Northern Girl

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So, your bathroom’s somewhat…um…aesthetically challenged? How about a bathroom used by 3 boys? With wallpaper project started but not finished because I’d rather be doing other things? ~Rootietootbathroom-002.jpg

 What part of your house ‘suffers’ because you’d rather be doing something else?

Send in a picture to rootietoot@gmail.com, with a brief story or description and I’ll post it for the world to see. And remember, it’s the InterWebs! No one really knows who you are!

An Omega Moment April 16, 2007

Posted by rootie2t in Uncategorized.
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 My moment is a frequently occuring one.  I park the 8 yr old in front of the tv with some sugary drink and fatty snack, and tell him to be quiet and leave me alone for an hour.  Then I go do something selfish, like eat something I know he likes but I don’t want to share.

And I don’t feel bad about it.

 For one thing, the sugary drink and fatty snack are no big deal. You should see the child, he’s built like a fence post. I also know he’ll tire on the tv in a couple of hours and wander outside to pretend like he’s blowing something up, or maybe extort money out of the golfer who hits his ball into our yard.

So, what’s your Omega moment? When do you do something selfish and lazy, and refuse to have guilt over it?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder April 14, 2007

Posted by rootie2t in Uncategorized.
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I’ve been looking at art, particularly with people as the subject. I seem to be finding that fine art- painting, sculptures and photography, involves alot of very realistic people as subject matter.  With the commonly accepted fine art paintings, from notable artists like Matisse, Picasso, those guys who are accepted as masters, the women are lush, large, sometimes outright fat (there, no pussyfooting today), and yet the paintings are considered beautiful. Of the photographs I’ve seen, there’s all sorts. The lean model types are more photos to sell a product (clothing, makeup), and the ones that, to me, seem like real *art*, with an eye for the total imagery and not just the product being marketed, have women in them who are imperfect. I like that. It makes me believe that I can be attractive and interesting, too. So, because JerseyChick asked, and when she asks, I deliver, here is a small selection of Art, featuring Women the Media Would Ignore.

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Stepping back and taking a breath April 14, 2007

Posted by rootie2t in Uncategorized.
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Here’s what I’m thinking. On one hand, OmegaWomen started out as Anti-Alpha.  I’m rethinking the wisdom of approaching something from the Anti- slant. It’s reactive rather than proactive.

 On the other hand, this media generated phenomenon is real. There really are people who think they have to have it all or else they won’t be happy and their children will be deprived or whatever. That’s not good.

 On the other other hand, there really are people, through hard work and ambition, do have pretty much all of it. I don’t want to denigrate them because most of them have worked very hard to be where they’re at.

 Here’s a piece of my history. Before we moved here to East Georgia, we lived in a tony little burg in Alabama (and no, tony and Alabama aren’t mutually exclusive). It was a bedroom community of Atlanta, Montgomery, and Columbus, with the highest per capita income in 3 states. It was a properous place, with many many wealthy citizens.  We belonged to the Church That Rich People Attended. The university president, the coaches, business owners, anyone who was anyone there went  to that church. How rich was the church? the average Sunday offering received was over $150,000. Per week. More during revival and football season. The church was full of (what SD and I called) The Pretty People. Young, hip mothers with The Right Stroller and The Right Haircut and the Right Sized Pants. Some of these women were quite nice. Some were double barrelled bitches who took delight making the less financially advantaged women feel grateful for their attentions.There was a fierce competition within our church community, to have the latest Land Rover (Suburbans were for middle class), the most interesting vacation, to be in the Right Sunday School class, and the Right Bible Study.  There were plenty of us ‘old-schoolers’ (we’d been members for 18 years)who already had our established activities, that participating in the circle-sniffing was purely options.

My point is this…There is, and always will be, a pecking order. There will always be women who will climb to the top of the heap and establish themselves as a social authority. Perhaps it’s charisma, ambition, or whatever. But they exist.  There will always be women who want to be like that, but for a variety of reasons, don’t quite measure up to the same standard.  Of the women ‘on top’, there are the ones who see it as an opportunity to encourage, and those who use it to squash.  There are also those of us  who choose to remain outside of that, who really don’t give a rats ass if our child goes to the finest state of the art day care, or receives the latest and greatest parenting method. Our kids know we love them, and that makes up for a world of parenting shortcomings.

 I see OmegaWomen evolving into something that benefits women, mothers and everyone else, by reassuring you that you’re worth as an individual is based on your ability to love, not on your ability to be perfect.

The probelm I’m having right now with the “alpha” concept, is how the term and developed in our lexicon to imply a fierce competition, a struggle to be #1. Our media encourages this by telling us we have to have this to be happy, or that to be accepted, or the other for our children to succeed. And, we’re buying into it. I know over the past 20 years, I have wished that I had a phenomenal kitchen, huge, with all the bells and whistles and  pair of those drawer dishwashers (Paykel and Fischer, please). If I only had that I’d be truly happy.  Oh! The meals I could cook in a kitchen like that! Phooey. Now? I have a Harvest Gold 1967 Tappen wall oven and a 1974 Kenmore cooktop. And I cook grand meals. This means, I won and the Media lost.

So, I’m challenging you to find something about your life that the Media says is is inferior, maybe it’s your size, or the bathtub, or your sofa, and turn it around into something that you can hold up and tell The Media Monolith to stick it in it’s collective ear (or arse, depending on your mood).

Take a picture of it, email it to me at Rootietoot@gmail.com and we’ll post it up. Be sure and write something about it.

See here… April 13, 2007

Posted by rootie2t in Uncategorized.
1 comment so far

 Go read this, because she’ll make you go Hm.

The Daily Drudge

Tell me if I’m thinking too much April 13, 2007

Posted by rootie2t in Uncategorized.
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I’m looking at the Alpha Moms, and I’m thinking all sorts of self-righteous thoughts about “well I never had that!” and “My children didn’t do those thing and they turned out fine!”. Then it hit me like yesterday’s sour dishrag. If I’d had the money, I woulda.

I had 3 kids under the age of 4. I would have sold a kidney to get a nanny. I had a nervous breakdown when my kids were 2,4 and 5. If I could have hired someone to take over for a couple of weeks so I could get my brain rearranged, my recovery would have been alot smoother. None of that was an option, tho. And I didn’t dwell on it. I don’t think it ever occurred to me to wish I had more, because I already felt like I had more than I deserved.

Now I’m older. My kids are starting to leave the nest (HUZZAH!) and I’m turning into one of those grumpy women who says things like “Well! Back in MY day we had to (insert ridiculous old-fashioned chore here)!” You want to know the truth? I used cloth diapers. For the cost of 4 packs of pampers, I had enough diapers to last 2 days ( 1 day for the wash, next day to wear), that lasted the entire (insert Bad Mommy Who Was Lazy About Potty Training Time-Span here). See, in MY day I didn’t use those landfill clogging disposables. No. AND I hung them on the line to dry. Humph.
But, that wasn’t because I was an Eco-Geek. I’d have used Huggies or Luvs or whatever in a flamin’ heartbeat, if I could have afforded it. Well, I liked playing the part of the Old Fashioned Pioneer Woman…not so far as to use spagnum moss in their pants, but still. Playing a role made it fun, rather than dwelling on what I didn’t have.

The point of this long and winding thought process is this. I believe my initial reaction to the Alpha Mom phenomenon was, in a large part, pure green-eyed envy. All that money.

So I’m looking over the News Article from Hell about Isabel and her Alpha Mom business, and I’m thinking, there are a few bits in there I think may be true. She is a high energy, organized person, and she’s translating that to her parenting. She and her husband have been very successful financially, so she has the resources to do things like hire nannies and such. If I were in her shoes, I’d do exactly the same. Go Isabel!

We aren’t all handed the same set of blueprints for our lives. In addition to a gimpy leg and bad eyes, I was given creativity and a muscular sense of sarcasm (NO! ya think?) which has seen me through many circumstances that would have crumbled a more sensitive person. My friend Kristen has artisitc ability, wit, and a child who had many physical hurdles to overcome when he was younger. All of us have a unique pattern of ability and circumstance, and getting pissy because someone has more than you do is SOOO (here it comes, my favorite analogy) Junior High! Chances are, that person with more just might have actually done something to deserve it. Most rich folks didn’t inherit, you know.

I’m sitting here, mulling over all this, and feeling ashamed of my reaction. I have a rich and wonderful life, full of interesting people and just enough hardship to make me appreciate the good times. I loved my life with little kids, a whole houseful of snot-nosed boys leaving peanut butter on the walls and matchbox cars outside my bedroom door. We were, and still are, happy with our lives.

My hope, for those women that the Media has tagged “Alpha Moms”, is that they are happy too, in their own lives that they are living in their own way. I’ll try not to envy the nanny anymore.

So who’s the REAL bad guy here? April 13, 2007

Posted by rootie2t in Uncategorized.
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I love the way things work out sometimes. When I wrote that last post at Because It’s Personal, I’d just read this creepy article about the founder of the Alpha Mom company.
I was kind of boggling at the concepts of motherhood presented in the article, and deeply disturbed by the tone.  So I reacted, and wrote what I wrote at Because It’s Personal

Then Alice of Finslippy commented, enlightened, straightened a few things out, and very politely told me that Isabel had been mischaracterized most heinously, here at Omega Women. (Thank you Alice, for your tact)

Boy, that was a relief.  I hate being wrong about things, but this time I really was happy, both for Isabel and her young family.

So now who’s the real bad guy in this discussion?

It’s the Media. It’s that juggernaut that tells us we have to be size 6, have a kitchen full of commercial appliances and a brand new Ford Explosion. It’s the entity that, when they show pictures of women who’s size in in the double digits, they show their arse in tight pants, or cramming a burger in their mouths. I went hunting, at the request of my very favorite girlfriend, for Rubenesque proportioned women pictures that were flattering. I didn’t look real deep, because by the time I got to the 4th page, I was discouraged and frustrated by the images I say.  The media tells us fat is bad.

We are told that we have to have the Finest carseat, use the Latest Method of Childrearing (as if every child to come before is a dribbling rube of an adult now, how does our species survive?), spend every waking moment teaching our child, going to classes, every single action related to our child must boost their self esteem and make them Smart. What ever happened to letting them roll in the grass and read the clouds? Why does everything have to be a Life Lesson?

The Media uses thin, young women in news broadcasts. They can use 50 yr old goofy men (Steve Doocy, anyone?), but the women have to look 30 and have fabulous legs. 

When was the last time you saw someone walk onto a set with a cane or a limp? Or thick glasses? (I have all 3)

Think about the commercials you see. Ok, for instance, there’s this dog food commercial, I forget the brand because I don’t pay attention to that.  This woman if fixing her dog a yummy bowl of kibble in a kitchen that’s the size of a small Caribbean nation and outfitted with Wolf and SubZero and granite and an apron sink I could bathe my car in.  This is a subtle message, that someone as ordinary as this (size 6) woman, who actually touches the food her dog eats, has a $100,000 kitchen, and so should you.  It’s Normal to have a kitchen like this. It’s Normal to be a size 6 (the average size of American women is size 14, this means fully half the population is over size 14…including me). It’s Normal to be White and American and have a pedigreed dog. Ok, I have 4 pedigreed dogs, we all have a bit of Alpha in us.

This message pervades every aspect of the Media, from print ads and magazine covers (Lose 40 Pounds and Be Happy! while putting a picture of a chocolate covered sugarbomb on the front), to every single thing we see on TV. 

Watch the shows sometime, stuff that has nothing to do with Living A Perfect Life, and yet, the people on the shows are young, hip, and thin. (MythBusters, Any HGTV show, any TLC show except ‘Honey, We’re Killing the Kids’)

The Media is…subversive.  They are subtly playing to our insecurities in order to sell us their agenda. I’m not sure what that agenda is, except that it involves telling us that we’ll only be truly happy if we do X, buy Y, believe Z.

The sad thing is, people believe it. They absorb the information and come to the conclusion that they are not measuring up because, perhaps their child really isn’t a math genius. Is she kind? generous? gracious? Those are qualities you don’t see touted. They have to be smart, driven, competitive. People believe this message. They try to emulate what they see, and end up slamming their square peg of a kid into a round hole of popular culture. They think their child will be happy if sie’s The Best.

That’s not where happiness is.  I can’t tell you where it is, because every person has their own version of it. But, I can tell you it’s not in Ford Explosions or someone else’s concept of perfection.