Friday, April 15, 2005

Where's Jasmine?

Little Boogie loves Jasmine, the princess from Aladdin. In fact, she has to watch the movie every day. Her third birthday is coming up in a few weeks, and she said she wanted a "Jasmine party." I told her I thought that was a good idea.

It wasn't. This past week, I went to every party store in town, trying to find Jasmine invitations and decorations. The only thing I found was a princesses theme, that showed all the major players: Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Ariel, Belle, and Jasmine. However, Jasmine wasn't featured on each piece, just a small cake plate, the napkins, and a balloon. The limelight was definitely stolen by the top three: Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty.

Now, I realize that these three are the key princesses in the Disney line. Everyone and their mother knows who they are. And I know that they are the main characters in their respective movies. Jasmine is a secondary character in Aladdin (actually, she's probably the third character considering Robin William's portrayal of the genie surpasses even Aladdin.) I'm fine with those three being featured more prominently than their counterparts.

But then, I looked more closely at the decorations and found something disturbing, perhaps even a little sinister. In addition to the princesses theme, there were decorations that only featured Cinderella, that only featured Snow White, that only featured Sleeping Beauty. Again, that's fine. But then ... there were decorations featuring only Ariel (OK because she's a major character, but still, she's not in the same league as the others), decorations featuring only Belle (now we're getting a little into the gray area because she had to share the limelight with the Beast), and decorations featuring only ... ready for it? ... Tinkerbell.

What? Was Tinkerbell the principal character in Peter Pan? No! It was Peter Pan, Captain Hook, and then Tinkerbell. And she's not even a princess! That got me fired up, especially since I was frustrated at the lack of Jasmine ideas. And it got me thinking. What do all of these characters have in common?

They're white! Now, I too am white, but it seems a little unfair that others are not represented. Boogie has a little padded hop-scotch mat that features eight Disney "princesses": The five white girls, Jasmine, Pocahontas, and Mulan. But where are the hispanic princesses? Where are the African-American princesses?

My sister-in-law, who is hispanic, jokingly said that there's Dora the Explorer(which, by the way, is now the theme for my daughter's birthday party). While there is now a princess Dora character, she's not Disney.

Anyway, I know I'll have some fun games to play using the Dora theme: a scavenger hunt; a version of a potato sack race using large red rubber boots (similar to the ones Dora's friend, Boots, wears); a Dora pinata.

It just makes me sad that there are little girls out there, who look nothing like the key figures in the princess line, who have no role models for them. And Boogie, while being half-hispanic, has blond hair and blue eyes, but she should still have the option of playing with princesses from all ethnicities. Something to think about.

What a Load Off

When I got home from work yesterday, my husband was in the office, working on the computer. "What's this?" I heard him yell from the back room. He came into the living room where I was talking to little Boogie.

Husband: What was your last blog all about?
Boogie's Mom: It's nothing. Just something I needed to get off my mind.
H: But what is it about?
BM: Nothing. Just that I'm not proud of, OK?
H: Is everything OK?
BM: Yes. Don't worry, it has nothing to do with you. It happened before us.
H: You're worrying me. Just tell me.
BM: I don't want to.

I could tell he was worried. I knew he was thinking the worst. What could I have possibly done that I couldn't tell him? What would make me so upset? I realized that I should just tell him the truth. What I had done wasn't illegal. I hadn't killed anyone or hurt anyone physically.

I took a deep breath and told him. And once the words were out, they weren't so sinister. Saying the words out loud somehow made them less traumatic. I realized that it was something that happened a long time ago, and that it was time to move on.

H: Thank you for telling me.

He gave a hug and left with Boogie to go to an all-area band recital in which one of his students was playing. Left alone with my thoughts, I realized how lucky I am to have a husband who loves me unconditionally, and who has given me such a great life.

Thank you, Hon!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Skeletons from my Past

Every once in a while, I think about you. It could be a song on the radio, or simply a random thought that morphs into bad memories of you.

Sometimes I get angry. Angry that you could take advantage of my vulnerability, of my need for attention, of my altered state of mind. Sometimes I get angry at myself, for allowing myself to be put into that situation, for knowing you weren't right for me, for risking losing everything for you.

Sometimes I feel guilty. For being so reckless with emotions. For knowing that I'll never be able to share with anyone the relationship I had with you. For hurting others who never even knew it.

Sometimes I feel sad and alone because I can't talk about it. That no one would ever understand the situation. That I'd be judged harshly or seen with new eyes, ones that wouldn't look kindly on me.

I know in my heart that God has forgiven me. Or maybe I don't. Maybe that's why I continue to feel so angry, guilty, sad. I know I've changed. That you were a part of my past life, more than a decade ago. So why can't I let it go? Maybe you'll always be there as a reminder of who I don't want to be. As a reminder of how far I've come.

Maybe it's true what they say, that if you forget the past, you're destined to repeat it. I never want that to happen.

Signs You're and Idiot

As you ride your skateboard on the sidewalk through the underpass, take full opportunity of the steep incline at the side of the underpass to practice your skills. As you come back down the incline, make a sharp right turn to continue on your way down the sidewalk, not realizing that the slightest miscalculation will send you careening into the street directly in the line of traffic. Then do it again as my rapidly moving SUV approaches.