The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Category: opinions (page 1 of 4)

Three cheers for boobs!

Who doesn’t love boobies?!

NOBODY, that’s who.

I myself am a big fan, as you probably already know, based on the number of blog posts and now a bestselling short story I’ve written about my yaboes.

In fact, I interrupt this blog post for an important message: BREASTS ARE BEAUTIFUL. Big or small, (or in my case—one of each), old or new, shaken or stirred, boobs rock. And nobody, I mean NOBODY, can tell me otherwise.

Which is why I am so disturbed about women being told to stop breastfeeding in public.

The following is my opinion about breasts, nursing, and Chick-fil-A-Holes. Warning, there is bad language (from me) and shockingly offensive intolerance (from others). Read at your own risk.

Continue reading

Are your kids on Instagram?

Hiya! I’m In The Powder Room today sharing the six REALLY BIG reasons why my ten-year-old daughter doesn’t have an Instagram account. It’s a PSA with humor and heart. My gift to you.

Instagram is no place for kids by The Bearded Iris In The Powder Room

 

Listen, y’all, I lurve Instagram. It’s one of my favorite ways to connect with friends. If you are on Instagram, let’s hang! I post pictures of everything from my prized Hosta collection to the sparkling inside rim of my freshly scrubbed toilet seats. Yes, I’m THAT fascinating.

But I’ve been using this app long enough to have found some pretty skeevy things about it that all parents really should consider before allowing their children to Amaro their American Girl Dolls or Hefe their hopscotch games. Which is exactly what kids this age should be doing instead of gazing at naked men or horrifyingly violent comments.

Trust me, you don’t want to miss this one.

With care and concern, and a big vat of eye bleach,
Leslie

“But he seemed like such a nice guy.”

Holy Mother of God…

Ariel Castro

WTF?!

The news story out of Cleveland about the three girls who were kidnapped and held against their will for a decade by 52-year-old Ariel Castro has shaken me to my core.

Are you as glued to the news about this as I am?

How can this have happened and continue undetected for a whole decade? And in a neighborhood where the houses are that close together?

My heart is just aching for those girls and their families. Truly, this kind of violence, extreme selfishness, and utter disrespect for humanity makes my blood boil.

Evidence suggests that Castro knew at least one of his victims and her family. Can you even imagine?

And let’s not delve into the fact that this piece of shit was a school bus driver.

I repeat: A SCHOOL BUS DRIVER. Of children. For twenty years. It makes the skin crawl, does it not?

One neighbor said Castro liked to give neighborhood kids rides on his ATV.

Honest to Pete, I am shaking as I write this.

The very notion of those three beautiful young girls bound and chained inside his nasty rundown house for a decade, away from their families, friends, and basic comforts is beyond my comprehension.

And I swear to God, if I hear one more interview where a neighbor says “He seemed like such a nice guy,” I am going to pull out my hair and choke myself with it. (Although, I have to admit, those interviews with Charles Ramsey are pretty damn entertaining.)

Sure, we should all be so lucky to have a neighbor who is willing to put down their McDonald’s to help rescue someone who is obviously in peril. Not to detract from Mr. Ramsey’s heroic act and Internet celebrity status. But wouldn’t it be even more fabulous if the neighbors had gotten to know Castro better and had figured out he was a psychopath, oh I don’t know…8 or 9 years ago?

PEOPLE. LISTEN TO ME NOW.

Put your shoes on, your smart phones down, step outside, and get to know your goddamn neighbors.

We cannot as a society continue to feign ignorance when we discover that the guy next door has a freezer full of human heads or a den of stolen children being used as concubines.

This is not okay.

Castro’s family is doing the news circuit, trying to convince everyone they are totally shocked their dad, cousin, nephew, etc. was such a sicko.

Who else is calling bullshit on this one?

Hasn’t anyone ever stepped foot in that house for the last decade? If they had, surely they would have noticed the locks, or the girls, or the squalid conditions. And if nobody has visited him, why not? Listen, I watch enough Hoarders: Buried Alive to know that if a loved one or friend never invites you in? Serious red flag, m’kay?

When Charles Ramsey was listening to Salsa music and barbecuing with Castro, why didn’t he ever say “Hey man, those ribs are starting to kick my back door down. I need to use your bathroom real quick,” and go inside for a little medicine cabinet peek-a-boo?

I’m ashamed to admit this, but I don’t know most of my neighbors either, and vice versa. Any one of them could be directing someone to “rub the lotion on its skin” in between flesh-centric sewing projects and I would have no idea.

How well do you know YOUR neighbors?

How well do you know YOUR neighbors?

When we moved into this house ten years ago not a single neighbor stopped by to welcome us. Not one. We eventually had an open house to invite them all over and only a few stopped by.  “Southern Hospitality” my ass.

Sadly, I’m no better. We have relatively new neighbors across the street who moved in over a year ago and I keep meaning to invite them over, but never get around to it.

I always have some excuse…my house is too dirty, or where would I put everyone, or they’re afraid of dogs, or we have lice…

But that all ends today. From now on, I’m going to go out of my way to be more neighborly.

…just as soon as I clean up a little bit.

Because I firmly believe in my heart of hearts that if we were all better neighbors, there would be much less violence and heartache in this world. 

Now here is my challenge for you, dear reader. Don’t make me do this alone. I want some camaraderie up in here.

Perhaps you enjoy reading my blog because you are as socially stunted as I am and it’s easier to connect with virtual friends than real life humans. I get that. I do.

Or perhaps you’re just here for the free guacamole and/or occasional photos of my feet. That’s cool too. Whatevs.

Maybe you think this doesn’t apply to you because you live on one of those idyllic cul-de-sacs where you all get together to play Bunco every Friday night and you’re SURE that nobody in your subdivision would EVER walk into an elementary school armed to the teeth with semi-automatic weapons.

Yeah. That.

But whoever you are, and regardless of your social acumen or socio economic status, won’t you please join me in stepping outside of our comfort zones? Let’s all be better neighbors, shall we?

Don’t put it off. It doesn’t have to be Pinterest worthy. Slap some slice-n-bake dough in the oven and take a plate of cookies to one neighbor.

Maybe start with the neighbor who “seems like such a nice guy,” but never invites you in.

When he opens the door, peek over his shoulder. Do you see any ropes or chains? Hear any screams? If you do, call the police. And if the police knock on his door and nobody answers and you see the police officers shrug their shoulders and drive away? OMG. Call back! (Geez Louise.)

If we were all better neighbors by The Bearded IrisStick your neck out. 

Form relationships. 

Trust your gut.

Be a good neighbor.

Or just sit back and be the next clueless schmuck to say, “But he seemed like such a nice guy.” Your call.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some slice-n-bake and a police scanner calling my name.

Look out neighbors! Here I come!

(Lice-removal tips coming soon. Thanks for your patience.)

An open letter to Honey Boo Boo’s Mama

honey boo boo and mama june on anderson cooper

“Those other girls must be crazy if they think they can beat me, Honey Boo Boo Child.”

Dear June,

Like many Americans, I’ve been tuning in each week to follow your family’s adventures on Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and discover interesting things like how to bob for pigs’ feet, harvest road kill, and make a homemade Slip-N-Slide with an old tarp, a hose, and a bottle of Baby Oil.

To be honest, I started watching for sport, because as a humor writer, it’s kind of my job. And after all the negative press I’d been reading, I was expecting to see quite the train wreck. Who doesn’t like watching that?

But instead, I’ve come to see you as a kindred mother who adores her family and enjoys spending time with them.

Sure, we are different in some ways. For instance, I have a boring (but creative) old dog for a pet instead of a cross-dressing teacup piggy; and I’ve never spray tanned my daughter or had her fitted for pageant teeth. But you and I are more alike than we are different, I reckon.

We both live in Georgia, love to goof around with our kids, and think farts are funny.

We both have a jacked-up toe that we keep under wraps except for shock value. Yours is the result of a forklift accident. Mine came from a surprise middle-of-the-night encounter with one of my kids’ toys.

We both have a treasured family recipe for spaghetti (or “sketti”) sauce that includes at least one tomato-based product.

We’re both raising our daughters to know that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

We also both embrace our gay friends/relatives and are teaching our kids to be compassionate and loving toward all people.

We both refer to our vaginas as funny things like “biscuit” and make up words like “vajiggle jaggle” and “vajibblets” and “vajewelry box.” (Maybe in keeping with that theme you could teach your girls to not let boys butter their biscuits without protection.)

On family game night, your family plays “Guess Whose Breath;” my kids play an even grosser version.

I love how your kids know that people usually “oooh on themselves” during childbirth. I wish someone had taken the time to explain that to me 13 years ago!

June, I was honestly thrilled to learn that your show has been renewed for another season. I hope they pay you enough to get your kitchen sink fixed and then some.

I also wanted you to know that I feel really bad about tweeting that your new granddaughter Kaitlyn is “all thumbs” after seeing that she was born with an extra digit. That was mean. I am humbled by the way you used Kaitlyn’s third thumb to teach your kids that we’re all special in our own way. Amen, sister. I think Alana put it best when she said “I wish I had an extra finger, then I could grab more cheese balls.” I’ll raise a toast of Go-Go Juice to that!

Looking forward to season 2!

Sincerely,
Leslie Marinelli
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Originally published In the Powder Room

When Facebookers Attack

We’ve all seen it a million times by now: people who hide behind the veil of technology and fire off nasty, rude, or judgmental comments via social media.

But there is something about Facebook in particular that seems to bring out the worst in some people.

I hearby christen them: Facebitches.

 

 

Yes, with the Back-to-School season upon us, I’ve been noticing an upsurge in mom-on-mom digital aggression. Apparently The Mommy Wars are alive and well on Facebook.

If your replies or comments on other people’s Facebook posts sound like any of the following, you might be a Facebitch:

The Mother Superior. “That’s why I chose to homeschool/private school/public school, so my children won’t ever have to endure trauma like that.” How nice for you.

The Debbie Downer. “I’m sorry to hear about your child’s problems at school. My cousin had that . . . right before he took all those semi-automatic weapons up into that clock tower.” Thanks. I feel so much better now.

The Darwin Award Winner. “Thats not real. Them squirrels r totally photo-shopped into that toilet.” OMG, really? Like, duh. What gave it away? The Xs on the eyes?

The Turd in the Punchbowl. “That’s the least of your worries. The amount of hormones your children are ingesting through the water supply has already shortened their life span by decades.” Not helping. Shut the fuck up.

The Cat Lady. “This is what’s wrong with kids today. If I had kids, I’d . . . ” Bitch please. Try mothering a human child before you judge my parenting skills. Walk away before I kick you in the vagina.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Maybe it’s the act of communicating with typing fingers and thumbs instead of mouths and faces that creates this disconnect of civility, common sense, and respect.

Maybe this behavior stems from the fact that there is rarely any real consequence to leaving a rude comment on a public figure’s Facebook post.

Read Me In the Powder Room!

Whatever the reason, I’m sick of it, and I’m In The Powder Room today giving some of these Facebitches a piece of my mind. Come on over and let’s show them how it’s done.

-Leslie

Those aren’t my family values.

Please join me In The Powder Room today to read the single most gut-wrenching column I’ve ever written. Oy, parenting. Nobody ever said it would be easy, but situations like this make me wish all my babies had four legs and no extracurricular activities.

Scout's honor, we do not condone the BSA policy to discriminate agains LGBT.

 

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