wishy-washer (adjective)
Definition: Slang term used to describe an individual who does not wash their hands after using the toilet or who posses poor bathroom cleansing habits

Example: Mary’s friends didn’t like to touch her after they learned that she was a wishy-washer.


If I could figure out how to use the WordPress polling plug in for Raw Drip, I would do so – particularly for this post.  Unfortunately, I’m not that smart and my parageek (aka Dick) is busy doing stuff that earns us actual money to support my shoe-buying habit.  So, until we get the polling plug-in sorted out I’m just going to throw this situation out to you in the hopes that you’ll actually use comments to interact with me (yes, I mean you!).

So, here’s the situation: 
You’re in the ladies room at work.  You’re chatting with a co-worker at the sink washing your hands when you spot another co-worker – an acquaintance I’ll call “Marge” – coming out of the bathroom stall and then immediately walking out the door without washing her hands.

Which of the following do you do? (Choose one)

A) Immediately warn all co-workers with whom you’re friendly (only those who are discreet about their sources…) to avoid shaking hands with Marge.
B)  Ignore it. Don’t make mention of Marge’s filthy habit, but avoid touching her or her belongings at all costs.
C)  Keep quiet and assume Marge’s lack of hand-washing was an oversight rather than a lifestyle.
D)  Confront Marge with your concerns about her health and provide her with some WebMD statistics about e-coli infections.
E)  Anonymously leave a bottle of anti-bacterial hand lotion on Marge’s desk and hope for the best.
F)  Report Marge’s filthy ways to the Office Manager.
G)  None of the above.

If you’re like me, the correct answer is obvious; it’s A: Immediately warn all trusted co-workers about Marge.  

I think A is correct for several reasons: 

  1. I cannot keep my freakin’ mouth shut.  Yes, I know that gossiping is wrong and that it can damage people’s reputations but the way I see it…
  2. If you’re going to skip hand-washing – a basic courtesy to your fellow humans - than you’ve got it coming, and
  3. There’s ALWAYS time to wash your hands after the bathroom…ALWAYS!

Dick, on the other hand (like the pun?), would say the correct answer is C: Keep quiet and assume it was an oversight rather than a lifestyle.  While that may be one of the least meddlesome and most considerate and mature ways of handling the situation, I think it misses the mark in several areas:

  1. If everyone just goes around assuming that Marge is a polite and hygenic person, she may never learn about the importance of hand washing. 
  2. People could catch something from from that filthy wishy-washer! 
  3. Hello?  What about shamelessly mocking the laziness of others to make yourself look superior?

So, while Dick thinks that my choice of A is worrying because it means that I’ve succumbed to a “Mean Girls” philosophy of human relations, I think Dick’s choice is worrying because it is exceedingly polite but potentially disgusting. Even worse, option C shows a lack of appreciation for the entertainment value of intra-office mockery. 

So here’s the bigger question: What answer would YOU choose and what do you think it says about you?


Don’t forget to donate!


Spread the Love:
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis

The onslaught of summer birthdays begins soon and as Adam is fond of reminding us, we will not be getting off easily this year.  He’s made it clear: he expects a full-blown multi-day celebration with parades, hot air balloons, trumpets, stallions, the entire contents of the FAO Schwartz flag ship store on 5thAvenue – you name it.  Oh, and either Scooby Doo or Transformers themed party decorations; he remains undecided on that point.

As Dick and I began negotiating a birthday budget for King Adam’s celebration, we couldn’t help but long for the good ole days of birthday oblivion when our children were too little to be aware of elaborate birthday fanfare let alone to express opinions about the breed of stallion that should be pulling their golden carriage through the city streets.  All our previous birthday celebrations were quiet family affairs featuring simple pleasures like a picnic, a day in the park or a trip to the zoo.  Birthday cake was homemade and ineptly decorated by your’s truly.  Party decorations, if any, were sparse and hung hastily by Dick while the kids were napping.  A few times we went crazy and got some balloons.  As Dick and I wax nostalgic on these modest family birthdays I can’t help but feel that we’re viewing events with the same kind of reverence our own parents had for the good ole days of 3 TV channels, AM radio, and rampant racism.


Now that Adam has (predictably) fallen prey to birthday party peer pressure, we can assume Tabitha’s a goner as well.  We figure once she sees how Adam enjoys being King for a day, she’ll be plotting her own little parade route through the streets and perfecting her royal wave as well. 

Having attended about a dozen elaborate & semi-elaborate birthday parties for school mates this year, the bar has been set high.  Tabitha is still flexible on the birthday details.  But Adam knows exactly what he wants.  He knows what a “real” birthday looks like now and it doesn’t take place at home and it doesn’t feature one paltry balloon, 2 parents, and 3 gifts.  He’s made it clear that he expects nothing short of:

  • Two parties – one with us and one at school
  • Bouncy castles for his family birthday party and water-play for his school party
  • Both parties will serve pizza, and both kinds of pizza – pepperoni AND cheese
  • Two birthday cakes; one for each party
  • Themed décor (see above) 
  • Music, singing, and “fire” on his cake (lit candles, I’m hoping)
  • Gifts – LOTS of them

I’m sure I’ve left off a few big items - like the fireworks extravaganza and the tributes of gold, frankincense and myrrh – but you get the idea.  The boy’s got big plans and we’ve got a big bill to foot.

Dick and I foresaw the unavoidable birthday expenditures this year and mentally prepared ourselves to take the hit.  But TWO parties? One involving expensive rentals, party play “coordinators”, themed décor and pricey bakery-crafted cake?  That’s all proving to be much pricier than we’d imagined.  Less of a hit and more of a knee-capping.  Forget asking the grandparents to send a gift to the birthday boy.  Have them send all gifts to the parents in the form of a check made out to “Mr. & Mrs. Pathetic Sucker”. 


On top of all the stress about the money being spent is the fiercely competitive nature of other parents who are all vying to secure that most coveted venue and the even more coveted Saturday morning/early afternoon slot for their kid’s birthday party.  Trust me when I tell you that the competition is BRUTAL.  Roller derby is less cut-throat. 

Of course the consequences of NOT securing an acceptable party venue and a good time slot are even worse.  Even with months of advance planning, preparation and a fair amount of bribery you could still end up desperately scrambling for a picnic table at the local community park.  If that happens, you’ll be lucky to convince any kids or their parents to come to  your kid’s mosquito-ridden, haphazardly organized party, particularly if they’re required to ditch some other kid’s ultra-cool, bouncy, air-conditioned party.  Shame, ruination, and complete social ostracization will follow…and that’s just for you.  Years of therapy won’t even begin to scratch the surface of the damage done to your innocent child’s self esteem.

I’m kidding, of course; just being extreme to make a point.  But from talking to other parents about the absurdity of it all – the fees, the planning, and the scrambling – many of them come across as believers in the very kind of birthday party urban mythology I just laid on you.  So traumatized by the process and intimidated by the social pressures, these poor people are actually relieved to throw money at someone else to “make it happen”.  They consider it a bribe gladly paid to offset even the potential for guilt feelings later on down the line.  When I ask what made them decide to go for the canned & pre-planned birthday party, they all recite the same lines:  

“It’s a totally hassle-free way to throw a birthday party for your kid.  They do all the invitations for you, provide all the toys, the music, the oversight, the food  & drink AND they do all the clean-up!  It’s a bargain, really.”

Wow. They’ve all had a drink of the birthday punch, Kool-aid no doubt, and there’s no going back. 

Frankly, it makes me a little bit sad to think of the demise of the simple, old-fashioned family birthday party.  Even sadder when I realize that Dick and I are treading down the party path of least resistance, right along with all the other Kool-aid swilling parents.  I wish I could say that we’re going to do things differently, that we were going to stick to our less-is-more stance by hiring a balloon artist and having all the neighborhood kids over for some weenies on the grill and a pinata in the backyard.  But the truth is, we’re not going to do that.  In the end, it’s not about us or our birthday dreams for Adam.  It’s about what Adam wants and when what he wants is within our grasp, for good or for ill, we’re going to bust our chops to get it for him.  We will bleed money and Adam will be King  (with either a Scooby Doo or a Transformers theme – he’s still deciding) and all will be welcome.

Funny how the birthday lust object of my youth – the pinata - now seems like such a quaint notion, like those articles in science magazines comparing the computing power of an 80’s era calculator to the latest MacBook Pro – ridiculously simple.  Much like the pinata, the low-key birthday celebration at home is a quaint thing of our not-so-distant past. Now that our mini-humans have their own ideas and opinions, Dick and I are left standing by wondering what happened to the good ole days when life was simple, telephones had chords, and kid’s birthday parties didn’t require a signature loan.


Don’t Forget to Donate!


Spread the Love:
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis

Maybe my vision of the world is a little too upbeat, but whenever the going gets tough I see most of us out there doing more for our fellow humans rather than less.  Of course I always applaud good behavior (it being so rare in my own house) but I’m an even bigger supporter of giving for the sake of giving.  When it comes to a great old-fashioned way of giving nothing says win/win to me like the words “bake sale”.  Bake sales are to health-conscious, image obsessed women what methadone must be to heroin addicts – a welcome relief from the withdrawal symptoms.  From sampling your own “work” to finally having a good excuse to buy cookies, bake sales are a brilliant invention.

Clearly I have no problem admitting my love of bake sales.  I’m a regular at all the local church & school bake sales, not out of a burning desire to support my community but out of a selfish compulsion to eat homemade baked goods that I don’t have to dirty a bowl to enjoy – all while feeling like I’ve given generously to others.  See what I mean?  Win & win.   But the problem with bake sales is the post-binge heartburn, the sugar headache and the inevitable guilt that comes from hiding 2 pounds of brownies from your family by stashing them in a stack of unmatched socks in the laundry room.  When it’s all said and done, the only thing that makes you feel slightly better about yourself is knowing your money went to a good cause.

So let’s cut out the charade.  I know you’re not out there prowling bake sales for the good of mankind and you know it too.  So I’ve decided to spare you the humiliation of having your secret brownie stash discovered by making my first annual bake sale a virtual one that’s all about raising funds to feed hungry kids.    

Seriously, the latest child hunger statistics are sobering.  According to Share Our Strength.org:

  • By the end of 2009, more than 12 million children in the U.S. will be worried about where their next meal is coming from
  • 500,000 more children live in poverty in the U.S. now than 1 year ago.
  • The highest unemployment levels in 20 years mean that millions of Americans now rely on local food banks and pantries.
  • More than 30 million Americans participate in federal nutritional assistance programs – the highest participation level in 40 years. The average benefit per person is $1.12.

Crushing, eh?  So I decided that it was time I stopped supporting my community by buying brownies or even baking brownies.  Instead, I’m participating in the Great American Bake Sale by holding a virtual bake sale.  My goal is to raise $500.

Some other reasons why I’m holding a virtual bake sale…

  • 100% of funds I raise will help feed kids.
  • It’s a fun solution with a large impact.
  • I didn’t have to train for six months to run a marathon or make a large donation to make a big difference.  (Besides, you all know that I don’t run – ever.)

So Loyal Drips, won’t you join me in whipping up a fresh batch of love for the wee ones around us?  It’s been said a million times before but in a country with so much wealth (even now) there’s no reason children’s bellies should be empty.  If saving starving children or donating to a virtual bake sales just isn’t your thing or if you just blew your last bit of disposable income on ramen noodles because of your own scarce food supply situation, please do me the favor of passing on a link to this post or spreading the love via the social networking medium of your choice. 

Remember, this is the best kind of bake sale: guilt-free, fat-free, carb-free, and environmentally friendly!  Thanks for your support!



Here’s the link to my donation site:bake_sale21

Spread the Love:
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis