Nov 9, 2013

I'm A Bad Addict

I recently wrote an essay on addiction. It ended up being more somber and science-y than intended, because I sometimes take myself quite seriously when writing for someone else. The gist of it, if you're not one of the few dozen people who read it, is that there is a difference between bad habits and true addictions. I am, it turns out, a failure as an addict, because rarely have I indulged in substance abuse and experienced physical dependence at the same time. I remain ambivalent about this.

So I give you a list of bad habits to which I have mistakenly considered myself addicted over the years. In no particular order of chronology, severity, or significance:
  • Diet Coke (my precious)
  • cigarettes (I'm gross. Whatever.)
  • lip balm (Is this bad?)
  • Afrin (yes, the nose spray)
  • alcohol (No comment.)
  • Bejeweled 3
  • validation (Everyone needs this, right?)
  • Vicodin (cold turkey, bitches)
  • gossip (deliciously naughty)
  • caffeine (I'm okay with this one.)
  • clonazepam (and this one...)
  • oversharing (oops)
  • X-Files reruns (I want to believe.)
  • toxic relationships (so over that shit)
  • spicy cheese grits (mmm...)
  • procrastination (It's happening right now.)
  • the internet (See above.)
I'm still working on ditching many of these. Not surprisingly, they're the ones that have been with me the longest.

On a positive note, I have some good habits to balance my failed addictions:
  • flossing (daily)
  • admitting I'm wrong (also daily)
  • napping (ditto)

Why are bad habits easier to slip into than good ones? Why don't I crave raw fruits and vegetables instead of carbs drowned in melted cheese? Why isn't exercise as tempting as, you know, not exercising?

I need adult supervision, someone following me around asking, "Does that seem like a good idea, Laurel, or a really, really bad idea?" But apparently I'm the grown up around here. I don't know how this happened.

I'm going to take a nap.

Nov 7, 2013

Poorly Handled Conversations With My Daughter


"Mommy, do I look sexy?" She assumes a hip-thrust, arms akimbo pose.


"Am I sexy?"

"Do you know what sexy means?"

"I don't know. Like, pretty?"

"Sort of. Do you know what sex is?"


Awkward silence.

"Then don't worry about it. You're eight. Eight-year-old girls should not look sexy."

She makes a huffing noise and walks away.


"I saw a word on the bathroom wall at school."

"What was it?"

She hesitates. "I don't want to tell you."

"You tell me all the other words you see."

"It was F-A-" She starts to say "G."

"Okay! I get it!"

"Is that a swear word?"

"That's worse than a swear word. 'Bitch' is a swear word. That's a hate word."

"Hate is an ugly word." (She parrots me.)

"Yes, and hate words are worse than ugly words or swear words. If I ever hear you use that word—"

"I won't! Jeez, Mom. I was just telling you I saw it."

She walks off and I call after her, "Thanks for telling me, honey!"


"What's wrong, Mommy?"

"Nothing. I just have cramps." (I'm lying in bed, moaning.)

"What are cramps?"

"I get cramps when I have my period."

"What's a period?"

"Once a month, women bleed for a few days."

"From where?"

"From our privates." She looks horrified.

"I don't ever want to get a period."

"Someday you'll want to. Trust me."

"But I won't be able to go swimming!"

"Of course you will. You can use a tampon."

"What's a tampon?"

"It's like a... oh god, can we talk about this later? Like in a few years?"

"I am never going to get a period."

She runs from the room.