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Thursday, November 23, 2017

#Diversity

Scary Mommy

#Diversity


If You Tickle Your Kids, Remember This

Posted: 22 Nov 2017 06:00 PM PST

Beware: Tickling isn't all it's cracked up to be.

I was on the phone with my friend Elizabeth when I heard her 9-month old daughter Poppy screeching in the background.

"Ooooh!" I winced. "Is Poppy okay?"

"She's not crying. She's laughing!" Elizabeth explained. "Greg's playing Tickle Monster with her."

Oh, no! Not Tickle Monster! I thought, my heart racing. "Are you sure she loves it?" I asked gingerly.

"Yes! Why?" she replied in a way that said, This better be good.

"Well," I started, "just because a baby's laughing doesn't mean they're necessarily enjoying…"

"Are you serious? Believe me, she loves being tickled," she said. "Anyway, I gotta get going."

Click.

Shit!

I was sorry I'd said something, but at the same time I thought, How could I not have? You can't tickle a helpless baby, for God's sake!

Like many people, Greg and Elizabeth took Poppy's giggles at face value. That's the problem with tickling. It causes the same physiological reactions as humor — i.e., laughter, goose bumps, and convulsive muscle contractions — which means we can look like we're having the time of our lives while suffering, sometimes greatly.

In the New York Times article
 "Anatomy of a Tickle Is Serious Business
 at the Research Lab," evolutionary biologist Richard Alexander explains, 
"[T]icklish laughter is not the happy phenomenon that many have assumed it to be […] A child can be transformed from 
laughter into tears by going the tiniest 
bit too far […] [Tickling] does not create
 a pleasurable feeling — just the outward
 appearance of one."

Historically, many cultures capitalized on tickling's ability to cause pain. For instance, during the Han Dynasty, Chinese tickle torture was the punishment of choice for nobility because it caused sufficient suffering while leaving no marks. And in Ancient Rome, offenders were tied up, their feet soaked in salt, and then goats would have at them with their tongues. More recently, I read a harrowing account of a Nazi torturing a Jewish prisoner by tickling him with a feather.

But today, it seems we've somehow managed to deceive ourselves into thinking tickling doesn't have a dark side. Yet, I've heard plenty of personal accounts from people who shared with me their traumatic childhood experiences:

"I hated and feared being tickled as a child and still do. It reminds me of gasping for my breath while being suffocated and unable to communicate."

"My mother always tickled me even if I said stop. It was so frustrating because I wanted to show her that I was having fun with her, but I felt powerless and controlled."

"I loved being tickled to a point, but several people would ignore my clear requests to stop. Gasping and pinned, it would often end in a panic attack for me that left me crying and running away to calls of 'I didn't hurt you! Don't be such a baby!'"

"Even though I'd yell 'Stop!' my dad just never got that I meant it. So, finally when I was 13, while struggling, I broke his finger! That's when his tickling finally ended for good."

I wonder if parents routinely ignore their children's pleas to stop because they're genuinely deceived by their kids' laughter or if they're willfully duped. It seems as if we've come to use tickling like it's a magic button that will change our kids' moods or the way they're feeling about us, for the better.

I remember being in a room with my daughter and a bunch of her 5-year-old friends. They were all sitting around a table intently coloring when one of the dads walked in. No one noticed. So he came up behind his daughter and wiggled his fingers in her armpit. Grimacing, she pulled away. I'm working! she seemed to be saying. Nonetheless, he did it again.

"Stop it!" she groaned.

"What? Relax!" he said defensively. "I'm just tickling you. Be nice."

My guess is that he was searching for a sign that his daughter was happy to see him. And it seems as if his daughter was as happy about the way he went about it as I would be if I was working at my computer and someone randomly started tickling me. Annoying, at best!

I'd be remiss if I failed to mention that tickling is one of the means used by sexual predators to groom their victims. Psychotherapist Tracy Lamperti explains how sexual predators do this:

"Gateways to the victim, […] [are] successive, thought-out strategies used by a perpetrator with the victim and/or the family in order to facilitate their being able to carry out the acts of sexual abuse on the child with the highest probability of being able to do it without getting caught. While not all adults who tickle children are paving the way to sexually abuse them, tickling is a good example of the grooming process. When trust can be won over and defenses can be disarmed, the offender is then able to have their way with the child. With the example of tickling, the perpetrator is able to publicly and/or privately tickle just a little bit. The act is carried out cheerfully and playfully. In this 'controlled experiment' the offender is able to see if anyone is going to set a limit, 'Oh, Uncle John, we have a no tickling rule in our family. Stop tickling Sam.'"

Of course, no one wants to think about this. But every time we respect our child's "No" or "Stop!", whether they've said it explicitly or via their body language, we help them learn that it's their body and their right to decide what happens to it. This will serve them well when they are dating.

As the great psychologist Alice Miller wrote, "If children have been accustomed from the start to having their world respected, they will have no trouble later in life recognizing disrespect […] and will rebel against it on their own.”

Am I saying never tickle your kids? No! I know some kids love it. I think we can tickle responsibly. Here are my guidelines:

1. If a child is too young to talk, don't tickle them. Better safe than sorry.

2. Before tickling, ask. While it takes away the element of surprise, you can be playful about it.

3. Come up with a signal that means "Stop" if they're laughing too hard to speak.

Excerpted from ParentSpeak: What’s Wrong with How We Talk to Our Children–and What to Say Instead (Workman Publishing). Copyright © 2016.

I Survived Date Rape, And This Is What I Want People To Know

Posted: 22 Nov 2017 06:00 PM PST

When I awoke on that bright spring morning of March 21, 1986, in a pensione in Venice, Italy, on my semester abroad, I didn't expect the day to end on a dark, deserted beach with an Italian boy I'd just met pinning me to the ground hissing in my ear that he had a knife and would kill me if I didn't "fuck" him.

Getting dressed that morning, I didn't know I'd have an out-of-body experience where I seemed to float above the scene, looking down at the two bodies grappling on the sand below, feeling profoundly sad that my mom might never know what happened to me after I died on a little beach so far from home.

I managed to survive my attack, and all these years later, I'm a mother. My daughters are 10 and 12, and the thought of them ever being in a similar situation is intolerable.

Bad things can happen no matter how prepared and careful we are, but when my girls are old enough, I'm going to share my story with them and hope they'll see the warning signs for date rape that I missed. Maybe these can help your daughters too.

1. Your date tries to get you to ignore your instincts.

When my friends and I were dining in Italy over our spring break, a handsome Italian stranger named David asked to join us for dinner. We were looking for a romantic adventure, so we acquiesced. It was enjoyable, but as we were leaving with him, two of his friends, Fabio and Marco, seemed to magically appear out of nowhere and asked to join us for a trip down to a little beach. My gut told me this was a bad idea, but after a lot of coaxing and cajoling we allowed all three boys to join us.

2. Your date wants to take you to a secluded location.

My friends and I accompanied the boys to the deserted beach even though we felt a little uneasy. We didn't want to seem like uptight spoil-sports.

3. Appearances lull you into a sense of safety.

David, the boy who attacked me, was very handsome, and I must admit, because of this, I trusted him. The beach was cold, so the boys ferried us into a little changing shack on the beach to light candles, drink, and talk.

4. Your date encourages you to drink or take drugs.

My friends and I were plied with wine from some bottles the boys produced, and it wasn't until after the attack that I recalled none of the boys were drinking.

5. Your date tries to separate you from your friends.

After about an hour, my date encouraged me to stay inside the shack while the others went outside to look at the full moon. I was looking for romance and wanted a kiss, so I decided to stay.

6. Accomplices and conspiracies.

There may be multiple perpetrators who conspire to commit the crime. I believe all three boys were in cahoots about separating my friends and me in order to get us to have sex with them. What I didn't know, while I was kissing David in the little wooden shack, was that Fabio and Marco were convincing my two friends to leave the beach with them.

7. Date rapists amp up their attack gradually so the victim doubts herself.

Again, listen to your gut. When David kissed me, I enjoyed it, but kissing was all I wanted. I don't know exactly when things began to go wrong, but at some point, I realized the kiss didn't feel like a kiss anymore. It felt like something hard and sharp, like a knife forcing me to the edge of a black pit. Unfortunately, my lapse in reaction time helped Marco and Fabio get my friends off of the beach. Shortly after that, my date made his intentions clear. He had planned to rape me all along.

What will I teach my daughters to do differently?

1. Make a game plan with friends and have a signal if you need help.

My two girlfriends hadn't wanted to leave me alone on the beach. They wanted to go back and get me out of the cabin. But Fabio and Marco pressed them, suggesting I probably wanted to be alone with David. The girls didn't know me well enough at the time to be sure that wasn't true, and we hadn't made a game plan beforehand. It's imperative that girlfriends have each other’s backs in social situations, so be sure to talk and make safety rules before you go out.

2. Stay sober and aware.

The wine I consumed muddled my judgment. It's so common for young, inexperienced women to get inebriated or high in social situations because maybe they need to quell their nerves and want to be confident. Unfortunately, this gives the perpetrators free rein to exploit and injure you.

3. If you are being attacked, engage your vocal chords, scream, and yell as loud as you can.

I didn't realize it, but from the moment David's kiss turned bad I hadn't engaged my vocal chords. I had whispered, "No, no, no, let me go." But I hadn't actually made a sound that anyone but David could hear.

Years later, I went to a friend's self-defense course graduation. I learned there that when women are attacked they frequently become paralyzed and don't speak. I learned that engaging the vocal chords loudly actually ignites adrenaline, which allows women to fight back. Women are often raped and killed without making a sound.

After grappling for what seemed like hours, when David was finally able to jerk me onto my hands and knees and get my pants down, a wild hysteria and a refreshed panic to get free overtook me. Sensing I was going to fight again, David threw his arm around my neck from behind.

Suddenly I found my voice and screamed "Rape!" for all I was worth. Adrenaline shot through me. I threw my elbow back and caught him smack on the nose. I saw blood spurt and then I saw nothing but sand and a solitary streetlamp on the distant street as I ran headlong up the beach.

It was the scream that gave me the surge of power I needed to escape. David chased after me, but I was able to get to the lit street before he could get to me. Then he disappeared as quickly as he'd appeared.

When I think about how close I came to becoming a Natalee Holloway or Meredith Kercher or Jennifer Levin, it makes me shudder and catalyzes me to share this story to help young women heading out into the dating world.

4. Finally, if the worst happens, rape is NOT your fault.

Over the next months, and even years, I blamed myself for the attempted rape. I should've listened to my instincts. I shouldn't have gone down to the beach with boys I didn't know. I shouldn't have drunk any wine. I shouldn't have wanted a kiss. I was too flirtatious, too bawdy, a slut.

I deserved it.

All too frequently rape begrimes a woman's reputation. There are still many countries around the world where "honor killing" of rape victims is allowed due to cultural and religious beliefs, which victimizes the victim twice.

Although my attempted date rape shook my confidence about moving freely through the world, ultimately I became more street smart and savvy, far better able to protect myself and take necessary precautions to stay safe.

And I hope that's what this story will do for my daughters. And perhaps yours too.

If you connected with this article, head over to like our Facebook Page, It's Personal, an all-inclusive space to discuss marriage, divorce, sex, dating, and friendship. 

Raising Children Who Give A Damn

Posted: 22 Nov 2017 06:00 PM PST

John le Carré dedicated his book The Constant Gardener to Yvette Pierpaoli, a humanitarian who devoted her life to helping refugees. The dedication read: "To Yvette Pierpaoli, who lived and died giving a damn."

Yvette was the mother-in-law of Pascal Lemaitre, my collaborator on the recent picture book, Come with Me. We dedicated our book to Yvette too. It was she who said, "Though at the level of the individual our actions may be light as a cloud, united they can change the color of the sky."

Pascal told me that Yvette wanted more than anything else to be fully alive, and that she was driven by passion. At the same time, she was totally devoted to others because of compassion; from her childhood experience of being rejected by her own family, she understood what it was to be humiliated. To live with others and for others was the meaning of her life. The world was lucky to have her.

As a parent, it is one of my greatest hopes that my children will somehow find a way to follow Yvette's path of passion and compassion, using whatever gifts they have — and even with Thanksgiving just around the corner, I am thinking back a few weeks to Halloween night, and one of the ways I think children learn empathy.

My youngest is 12, and he plays viola in a youth orchestra. The orchestra is pretty rigorous, and the October 31 practice was not canceled — my son wouldn't be home till 7:30. A friend of his agreed to wait until he got home to go trick-or-treating.

But when my son got home, the mom of the friend called and said that her son had already gone with some neighborhood kids and was too exhausted to go out again.

The tired viola player was very, very sad. I looked at my husband and he looked at me — both listening to the sound of a boy who'd been passed over by his friend.

It was 8 p.m., a school night, and there weren't many options.

The doorbell rang. A late trick-or-treater who lived down the street. Not a good friend — but maybe our son could finish his rounds with the child and his dad? The dad said that wouldn't work as they were heading straight home after our house.

Then I noticed my 14-year-old, a high school freshman, at the kitchen table. "Hey," I said, "could you ask your brother to go trick-or-treating?"

"I'm doing my homework."

"There's a costume in the basement," I said, keeping my voice soft. "The one I wore last year. You can see out of it, but people can't see you. And you can put it right over your clothes."

She agreed to take a look.

In the basement, I started digging for the costume, hoping we could salvage one of his last Halloweens as a kid. I found it, and she put it on. "Do you want to go with me?" she asked him.

He said she was just asking out of pity.

And I told him that sometimes it's okay to be pitied.

He sat.

"Come on," she said.

"Okay."

Returning an hour later, the 14-year-old came into the family room and high-fived me, and the 12-year-old was in good spirits. They'd made up a skit to do together as they went door to door, saying they were identical twins who liked to finish each other's sentences.

Our story had a happy ending, but they don't always, and watching our kids get their hearts broken is harder than feeling our own heartbreak. But it is our duty to let them go through it and be grateful that by doing so, we are helping to raise children who will be more likely to "give a damn."

Hardship and humility helps build empathy, and I'm guessing my son will likely be kinder to the next person he meets who's been disappointed by a friend or who feels alone or forgotten in some way.

Empathy is defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. And it starts at home, on the tiniest stage, as we allow our children to go through their emotions, with us by their sides.

Which brings me to the picture book I made with Pascal — between the covers of this book is the story of a little girl whose parents don't panic and allow her to go through the emotions of fear about what is happening in the world, rather than pretend those fears aren't valid. From there, the girl learns that she can make a difference by going out and connecting with another person, just as my daughter did for my son.

Just as Yvette did for the world.

Just as we can all do, in our own way, this Thanksgiving.

Holly McGhee is the author of the tender-hearted New York Times-bestselling story Come With Me about being kind in the face of fear is the most vital picture book for kids – and adults – of the season.

I Miss My Ex-Mother-In-Law

Posted: 22 Nov 2017 06:00 PM PST

I never thought I'd say this, but I miss my ex-mother-in-law. Weird, I know. The truth is, I miss her every day, but especially around Thanksgiving.

For most of my adult life, I spent Thanksgiving with my ex-husband Billy's family. We started dating in college. My family lived too far away to travel home often, so the first Thanksgiving we spent together was at Billy's childhood home.

My first Chapman family Thanksgiving is clear in my memory, even 20 years later.

Thirty people attended, arriving hours and hours before dinner was to be served. There was food on every surface in the house — turkey and ham and every pie imaginable and pickle trays and chocolates. Football games boomed in stereo from five different televisions and children played stretched out on their bellies in the kitchen, directly under the action. Everyone brought their dog. It was warm and loud and smelled fantastic. I'd arrived lonely and feeling a bit out-of-place, and was quickly swept up in the warm embrace of my future mother-in-law's home.

The party lasted all day long, and included neighbors and relatives and friends and assorted strangers linked to each (me). The next day, the fun continued with leftover pie for breakfast and elaborate stacked turkey sandwiches for lunch and dinner. No one left the house to attend to real-life responsibilities; no one had more pressing items on their agenda. We were home together.

That was not how my family celebrated Thanksgiving. We got together and had turkey for dinner and went about our business after loading the dishwasher. It was adequate — I hadn't known I was missing anything. But my mother-in-law's Thanksgivings reset the bar. Kathy proclaimed that Thanksgiving was her favorite holiday and set about converting everyone around her. She made a powerful case.

Thanksgiving showcased the best of my mother-in-law. She was open and warm and loving from the start. Because I loved Billy, she loved me. A terrific cook, she transformed food into love and memory, making everyone's favorite everything on Thanksgiving and throughout the year. She was generous to a fault, leading me to lecture her as only a first-time mother could, on not spoiling our precious toddler Simon (she ignored me, as all good grandmothers ignore first-time mothers). We spent weeks and weeks with my in-laws every year, traveling internationally and visiting them in their seaside town. Kathy and I talked every other day, and I asked her opinion on anything and everything related to my life — kids, career, marriage. Nothing was off-limits. I loved her deeply — she was my other mother.

Billy and I separated in the fall, and I sent the children with him for Thanksgiving that year. It was what they knew and loved, and I didn't want them to miss it. I missed it and them and Billy and Kathy so deeply I didn't get out of bed for three days. I texted Kathy that I loved her and thanked her for keeping the children safe and whole. To my surprise, she called me. She said she was grateful that I had been in her life.

I am sad to say that was the last real conversation I had with her.

In the years that followed, I've kept talking to Kathy. I share information about the kids, send pictures, and ask for her help when I am traveling. I send birthday cards and flowers at Mother's Day from me and the children, and occasionally ask for her recipes. I love her, for the wonderful grandmother she is to our children and the generous mother she was to me.

But things are different now.

Divorce is a pebble in the water that creates ripples for everyone in the family, and each chooses how she can most comfortably move forward. I don't assume that because Billy and I are in a better place, Kathy and I will be too. Our relationship, though based on my marriage, was outside of it, and takes its own path. She is a mother to me only in my memory.

And so, as Thanksgiving nears, I am often sad. I feel out-of-place and a little bit lost again. For nearly 20 years, I spent Thanksgiving with the Chapmans. I miss that warm, loud, dog-filled house. I miss the food. Most of all, I miss my mother-in-law.

But a part of me is still her daughter, and she taught me well.

I host my own Chapman Thanksgivings now, filled with noise and children and comfort. I use Kathy's recipes and fill my own counters with food. My oldest makes the Chapman green bean casserole and the not-so-baby bakes chocolate pecan pie. We use ovens all over town and everyone brings a dog or two. Some things are different (no football here), but the love and memory remain.

Parents Of Girls, It’s Not Your Job To Fix This

Posted: 22 Nov 2017 06:00 PM PST

It's not your job to tell your daughters not to dress "too sexy."

It's not your job to warn your daughters about parties, drinking, and hookup culture.

It's not your job to teach your daughters to avoid walking alone at night.

It's not your job to teach your daughters to avoid walking alone at anytime.

It's not your job to tell your daughters to keep their heads down while using public transportation.

It's not your job to encourage your daughters to say they are in a relationship to avoid unwanted attention.

It's not your job to teach your daughters to ignore the catcalls.

It's not your job to tell your daughters smiling or being friendly might be mistaken for wanting something sexual.

It's not your job to give your daughters whistles, or mace, or a knife or a sharp set of keys.

It's not your job to teach your daughters how not to get harassed or assaulted or raped.

For far too long, we have made women and girls shoulder the burden for the inappropriate and often violent behavior some men inflict upon them.

Women are reminded from a young age of our status as victims, as prey in waiting. Whether it's avoiding a street because someone tried to grab us there, or dancing in a group to better ward off jerks at the club, we spend so much of our time in this fight-or-flight mode.

I am a bit older. The catcalls have dwindled, I rarely go out and I am seldom alone at night in public. I am a mother, and in many ways, my role his shifted.

I have two boys. Though they may be small, I often wonder what they will be like as teenagers and young adults. I think about some of the unfortunate encounters I have had with guys, and wonder, will my kids turn out that way?

I know parents are not to blame for everything which may go wrong with their kids. I know perfectly lovely parents can produce perfectly horrible children. Friends, society, the media, etc., all play a role in shaping how our boys view and treat women.

I also acknowledge the vulnerability of young men in our world. The thought of anything happening to my sons makes me sick. I think the stigma against reporting sexual abuse toward men needs to end, and I will never dismiss or downplay anyone's story, regardless of gender identity.

But because women are more likely the victims of sexual assault, molestation, violence, or domestic abuse, I want to do my part to encourage my fellow parents of boys to do more.

It's our job to teach our sons not only "no means no," but often "yes doesn't mean yes."

It's our job to teach our sons to not look at a drunk girl as an easy target.

It's our job to tell our sons that shouting things at women on the street, even if the words are "nice," is harassment.

It's our job to tell our sons that nobody should be touched in any way unless they explicitly ask for it.

It's our job to teach our sons that buying a woman gifts, taking her out to dinner, or doing anything "special" for her, doesn't mean she is required to return the favor sexually.

It's our job to teach our sons that hair pulling, bra snapping, and butt pinching is never funny.

It's our job to tell our sons that their sexual reputation is less important than a woman's worth.

It's our job to teach our sons to not help their friends engage in harmful behavior toward women, or worse, let their friends help them.

It's our job to tell our sons that sharing private photos, bragging about conquests, and slut-shaming perpetuate a culture that demeans and devalues their female counterparts.

It is our job to do better by our girls by doing better by our boys.

We have to put an end to this "boys will be boys" attitude about how our sons treat girls. We need to recognize the self-entitlement we may have given them and how that shapes the way they view women. We can't let girls and those who care for them shoulder the burden of their safety.

When I see one of those dads of daughters memes, you know, the ones with the dad threatening to kill any boy who dares to mess with their baby girl, I feel sad. I feel sad that even today, people feel like boys are still predators and girls are victims. I am angry that, in many ways, this is still true. I am hurt that generation after generation goes by and nothing seems to change.

Well, that stops now.

My fellow parents of boys, let's commit to doing more to raise better men. Let's do this so their female friends, co-workers, and family members no longer have to fear being sexually harassed or worse.

We have a responsibility to teach our sons to treat women better, so you don't have to teach your daughter how to be safe.

It is our job.

15 Things You Can Never Find Now That You’re A Mom

Posted: 22 Nov 2017 12:00 PM PST

Yes, it's true that you may never be able to find these things now that you're a mom. But you could find yourself saving up to 15% or more on car insurance with GEICO.

Motherhood changes everything. This isn't earth shattering news. You were prepared for it, but not really prepared. It's the little things you've never thought about, the stuff that's not in any parenting book and your pediatrician never mentioned. Probably your lady friends said, "this will definitely change" and you heard them but shrugged it off and kept buying every single cute onesie that met your eyeballs because they say things like, "strong like my mom."

YOU KNOW IT.

But now you're deep into the trenches realizing you're up to your forehead in self-doubt and where for the love of all things holy is a t-shirt without an actual stain. Ah, welcome to motherhood: where your clothes are a roadmap of the day's meals, you have zero time and you can never find anything. Here's 15 things you can never find now that you're a mom.

1. That one healthy food your child will actually eat.

Sometimes you just need to admit defeat and lie to yourself that ketchup is a vegetable. There are only so many hours in the day, right?

2. Anything that matches.

Whether it's plastic food containers, shoes, socks, whatever. Anything that comes in a pair you might as well light on fire and burn.

3. The time to shower.

There is no showering, only dry shampoo.

4. The elusive tube of mascara that doesn't have you looking like a raccoon by the of the day.

Because why not accessorize the bags under your eyes by drawing even more attention to your sleep deprived self. Thanks for looking out, makeup!

5. Anything that fits.

There is only one size in motherhood and it's elastic waist.

6. Time to yourself.

What, hello, is this thing on?! Time to oneself? What is this you say?! Never heard of it.

7. Your perky boobs.

Mine only point down as a constant reminder that the only thing I should be doing right now is napping.

8. Literally anyone that doesn't have an opinion about everything you do.

Who knew that motherhood was a collaborative project where you do the very best you can raising a tiny human and everyone else gets to tell you what you're doing wrong. Thanks, folks! Huge help.

9. The will to leave your house.

It's too much work to go "out there." You'd actually have to put on pants. And who wants to do that?

10. A body part that doesn't jiggle.

Is that a flag or your underarm flapping? We will never truly know. The post pregnancy body, in general, just settles. Probably gravity, so shake your fist at the moon. I guess you could work out, but at what cost? We don't shake it like a polaroid picture, moms jiggle like gelatin. I've made my peace.

11. Not Me.

Who is this mystery person that takes the toothpaste and channels their inner Jackson Pollock all over the sink? The person who NEVER replaces the empty toilet roll. The one that drinks the last whatever. When I get my hands on Not Me, we need to talk.

12. More than one hair tie.

And you will have to pry the one I have from my cold, dead wrist so help me.

13. A hot meal.

Up and down, up and down. Who needs a workout when dinner time is basically step aerobics because someone forgot this and another one needs that and can you cut this and, wait, the butter noodles aren't actually buttered because, well, who are you and how did you get here. Is this real life?! Wake up, girl, wake up.

14. Space on your phone because ALL the pictures.

One Day I will print these photos. Just not today. Or probably ever. Just being real here. I will go to my grave thinking, today was almost the day I printed those.

15. Cold hard cash.

It comes in, it goes out and it's never to be seen again. Like an unsolved mystery or some wizardry magic. You're sure it was just right there and, nope, it's gone! Poof.

If you want keep some of that cold hard cash from disappearing, switch to GEICO for your car insurance — where you could save 15% or more by visiting GEICO.com.

Trump Finally Makes A Statement About Roy Moore And It’s As Bad As You Think It Is

Posted: 22 Nov 2017 10:43 AM PST

Trump backs Republican regardless of accusations

As we all know, the most endearing quality of pedophiles is their honesty. So it’s no wonder that yesterday the President voiced his support for accused pedophile Roy Moore, who, he said, “totally denies” charges of sexual misconduct made by eight women who say Moore pursued or molested them when they were teenagers and Moore was in his early thirties.

In his usual empathetic and well-spoken way, the President said the following yesterday when a reporter asked if an accused child molester would be a better choice than a Democrat in the Alabama Senate race: “Well, he denies it. Look, he denies it. I mean, if you look at what is really going on and you look at all the things that have happened over the last 48 hours, he totally denies it. He says it didn’t happen. And, you know, you have to listen to him also. You’re talking about, he said forty years ago this did not happen. So, you know.”

Right. Wait, what?

Since when did saying, “I didn’t do it” mean that someone didn’t do it? “Your honor, in my client’s defense, he says he didn’t do it.” “He didn’t? Well, then what are we doing here? Case dismissed.”

This isn’t the first time this administration has stood for the rights of the accused over the accuser. In September (just in time for back-to-school), Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that her department would be withdrawing from Obama-era guidance for how schools should handle sexual assault allegations, saying that the current guidelines make the standard of proof too low, and therefore turn some of the accused into “victims of a lack of due process.”

Then, of course, there’s the fact that Donald Trump, who was accused of sexual misconduct by 16 women, was elected President of the United States. That makes this situation even trickier for Trump, as it’s difficult for a sexual abuser to demand that another man step aside because he is a sexual abuser. (First, they came for the pussy-grabbers, and I said nothing….)

It’s almost as though this administration believes that women don’t matter and that men have a right to use our bodies however they want to whenever they want to, regardless of how we feel about it or whether or not we are in the middle of trigonometry class.

The message that our current leaders are sending victims of sexual abuse is that no matter what, they will not be believed: it doesn’t matter if they have dozens of people backing up their accounts, it doesn’t matter if they are among many accusing the same person, it doesn’t even matter if there’s a recording of the man admitting to it. They won’t be believed because it doesn’t matter who they are, it matters who he is.

To be fair, many leading Republicans have asked Moore to step aside: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senator Jeff Flake, Senator Susan Collins, Senator John McCain, Senator Lindsey Graham, and even Speaker Paul Ryan are among those who have called for Moore to drop out of the race (though some have hidden behind the caveat that this should only happen “if the allegations are true.”) But on the party-despite-pedophilia side, we have Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, the Alabama Republican Party, and now, the President of the United States.

Roy Moore 2017: Because We Haven’t Hit Bottom Yet And He’s Got Rocks In His Pockets

16 Tweets About Thanksgiving That Will Make You Feel Less Alone

Posted: 22 Nov 2017 10:24 AM PST

Are you ready to work for hours on end cleaning your house top to bottom, baking, chopping, sweating, wrestling a giant turkey into a roaster pan, and then panicking all day that you cooked it wrong only to have your kids refuse to eat a single thing anyway? Then you’re ready for Thanksgiving.

It’s that special time of year where we see family we love and family we could absolutely do without ever seeing again, all around the same table. There will be arguments. There will be kid tantrums. There will be adult tantrums. That’s why you should pour a glass of pinot, prepare to plaster on a fake smile to greet your obnoxious uncle wearing his MAGA hat, and read these funny tweets about Thanksgiving.

1. This is too real.

I’m feeling attacked by how close to home this hits. And I feel a similar bursting of blood vessels when letting my kids “help” make Thanksgiving pies. Pass the Advil.

2. It’s impressive AF.

It’s like he doesn’t even notice that I’m plotting his murder while making a four-course meal while simultaneously cleaning the entire house. Hope he’s relaxing, though. He deserves it.

3.  Routine is important. 

Why take your kids’ regular bullshit on the road when you can sweat over a giant bird all day while listening to the usual din of tantrums and nonsense in the background? No place like home for the holidays because that’s also where your Xanax supply lives.

4. *shudder*

They may look cute, but never trust a toddler this time of year, because ’tis the season for family, food, and fucking flu.

5. Sigh.

While everyone else relaxes and enjoys, you’re literally doing all you can so your kids don’t stop them from relaxing and enjoying. Just keep telling yourself, “this is what the wine’s for…”

6. Can’t. Wait.

Frankly, it will be impressive if they consume more than a buttered roll and a handful of olives, but yeah, they’re definitely not eating any of the other stuff you’ve spent three days preparing.

7. Helpful tip.

Like we just went over, they won’t really eat anything anyway, so what they toss on the floor is pretty much their portion. Makes planning easy-peasy!

8. Accurate. 

And in just one month, they’ll have ANOTHER week off. Teachers, you’re lucky we love you so much, because this is otherwise bullshit.

9. The choice is yours.

Or you can run deep into the woods and scream into the abyss and then return to spend the day with your extended family. At least that’s my plan.

10. It’s the least you can do.

They didn’t spend a full 48 hours scrubbing parts of their home that have never been scrubbed before so you could just walk on by. Compliment. The. Fucking. Baseboards.

11. Just like mom used to make.

Mother-in-law eye rolls and passive aggression included in every side dish!

12. Go big or go home.

We didn’t cook all this food just to watch everyone else go to town. Out my way. I need more stuffing.

13. Because let’s be real.

Not too proud to admit that I ask my 6-foot tall husband to do this when I cook a big dinner because I can’t reach and I know how real the risk is. Just living my truth.

14. Seriously, why though.

It sounds like a great idea when it’s weeks into the future and then, you want to enter witness protection, move to a new state, and forget the whole thing.

15. Genius.

Everyone loves pizza, so why the hell are we doing shit to yams? I’ll pull up my Yelp app.

16. Sounds about right.

Have fun, everyone!