Tag Archives: comparisons

Taking the “er” out of Mother……

I know taking the “er” out of mother would simply leave us as “moth”s.

But maybe that wouldn’t be so bad.

Moths don’t care what their hair looks like, when their children start reading, or what size anyone’s jeans are.

Gray doesn’t mean they are older. It just means, well, they are gray.

Moths don’t need earrings that match a purse that matches their eyes. They don’t have to clip coupons (although that might be fun to watch). Moths don’t have to potty train their little moths so that they won’t embarrass them at the playground.

Moths are just, in every moment, moths.

They spend most of their time searching for bright, shiny light that has all the promise of warmth. And there’s lots of room around those lights for everyone to squish in and warm themselves. Those moths shy away from dark, lonely places.

It’s when we add in the “er” that comparisons ensue. We become mothers and comparers.

She is prettier.

Oh look, she is skinnier.

Her house is bigger.

Oh dear, her child is faster.

And her son is reading earlier.

She might just be better than me. Eeeeks.

Wait just one minute…

She is fatter. And my child is taller. Whew.

I recently read this fabulouso article by April Perry on a website called the Power of Moms (what a wonderful use of “er“) that details how social media isn’t helping mothers one bit. We spend too much time online mourning over who we are not.

We see meals on Pinterest that we could never actually make, party themes that would require an entire film crew to pull off, and others who are supposedly doing it better.

Facebookers share with us trips that we could not/did not go on and college scholarships our children won’t get.

Twitter takes clever to a whole new level. There is tremendous stress in trying to figure out how to be witty or impart wisdom in 140 characters or fewer, especially when emoticons are frowned upon as a wasted use of space.

All the while, our little moths sit and wait for us to stop clicking on keyboards and return to being just who they want us to be. Their mothers.

And if you have evidence that moths actually eat their young at birth, please don’t confuse the beauty of this symbolism with science. I am not trying to be smarter, just less “er“. And that cute little moth made me smile. 😎

Just in case you didn’t get enough of my “er”ism here – I wrote this post a while back. A small warning – I was snarkier then. 😉

Weight and Switch…………

Put your seatbelt on, I am about to turn everything you know about shopping upside down. No, really, I am. 😉

First, we have to remind ourselves why Costco and Sams and BJs and the like are successful. Because the more you buy, the cheaper it is. Right? Bigger is better. Correct?

Apparently not.

I should start by saying that I have not done price comparisons at the warehouse stores. That would be harder because they do not generally give you the price per unit. Well to be fair, I have never paid attention to the price per unit at the warehouse stores – mainly because generally there is only one size of each product/brand available. Super-sized. So it’s hard to compare when the stores don’t break down the math for you or give you options.

But recently I was at a store and I started looking at the per unit prices. Hmmmm. I went to pick up the larger bag of nuts because I just knew the price would be cheaper per ounce. But I didn’t really need such a large bag of nuts. Now we have a quandary. Hmmmm again.

Should I buy the larger bag and initially save money but then end up throwing some of the nuts out thus really wasting money.

I compared the per unit price and was shocked to see the smaller bag was actually less expensive per ounce. Say what?

The price for chopped pecans in the 8oz bag was 48 cents (well really 49 cents if you round up that ridiculous decimal .5).

And then, what to my wondering eyes should appear?

The price of the 10 oz bag is 59 cents per ounce. Huh?

Not being a math major, I double checked my numbers – and I am pretty sure that the larger bag is nearly 10 cents per ounce more expensive than the smaller bag. Boo. You can see it right there – the price of the 10 oz bag is $5.92 – the price of the 8 oz bag is $3.88. That is over a $2 difference for just 2 additional ounces – of chopped nuts, none the less. Those are the pieces that they probably just pick up at the end of the shift from the broken whole nuts. The leftovers. Yep, it’s nuts.

And then I found this.

This 24 oz bottle of Ranch dressing is $3.49. (And notice this store – cough – Target – cough – does not break down the price per ounce. Suspect.)

And so is this 20 oz bottle. Four ounces less but the same price. Really?

And then I realized why. This smaller (same priced) bottle is upside down. Clever, no?

But, even though I am not a scientist, I am fairly certain that if you employ gravity, you can get the same effect – and more dressing – for the same price. Hmmm.

No smoke and mirrors, no magic tricks – just a simple flick of the wrist can save you some dinero. Throw in a coupon and you might actually save enough money for that vacation.

So, pay attention savvy shoppers of the world. Not all is as it seems. 😎

Uh-Oh……

I just received this email from a reader – one I know through the blog-o-sphere and through a mutual friend – one who has been complimentary in the past and is (or at least was) a loyal reader. So I am sharing it with you just in case you have the same concerns.

Hi A Reason to Write
Hope you are well. Just read another post by you.

I hope I am not the only one saying this but I feel your posts have changed a bit lately ever since you have come back to the the States. I miss the humor in your posts and I feel that there is a tongue in cheek attitude in your posts. I know you have mentioned in your previous posts somewhere that you are not trying to demean or belittle life in India. But why do I always feel that you are doing just that? I may be wrong and want to give it the benefit of the doubt. India is India and US is US..there is no comparison, period! You called India a third world country once. India is no more a third world country! In one of your posts, not too long ago, one of the things was people leaving their kids alone on the streets…are these things not happening in the US? India is still a very young country as compared to the US and the progress it has made in this short time is remarkable. I do not think it is  fair to compare these two countries. We should compare apples to apples!

I shared my views with a few like minded people who read your blog on my request. It made me sad to read what was being projected to people who are not familiar with life in India and its rich culture.

Please know that I am not upset. I am just sharing my thoughts with you. Pinky swear! 🙂

Where to begin. Yikes. First of all, thanks for sharing your thoughts and ending with humor – at least I know you aren’t ready to form a picket line in front of my blog – just yet. 😉
Then I would add, that my blog should never be judged just on simply one post. No blog should be. As you say, India has a rich culture and history and I tout that often in my posts.

Then I would like to suggest that maybe, just maybe, this post warrants a re-read.
I will readily admit to being sarcastic. I am and it’s extremely likely that I will continue to be.

And this post is just that.

But it is in no way a criticism of India.

I have always contended that there is no right and wrong – simply differences. Shopping and cooking and driving in India and the U.S. are hardly similar in any way. I benefited from having staff in India because it saved me a lot of time. And I am grateful that there are so many conveniences in the U.S. that equally make my life easier but we might have taken it too far when we sell shredded cheese and premade peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Do I use them? Sure – happily. Do I need them? I would argue no – not even for a second. I even said in my post that my American readers should continue reading just to be reminded of what we take for granted on a daily basis.

Basically what I will say is that this post is more about the excesses in America than any deficiencies I saw in India. I think it is ludicrous that we have 18 different ways to buy cheddar cheese – although I am grateful we do – it’s a tad bit excessive. I don’t ever argue that America is perfect – of course it isn’t. Neither is India broken. There are just things that do not make complete sense through my western eyes.  A continuous thread throughout all of my posts is all that I learned in India and how grateful I am for the experience for me and for my family. I did not love everything about India – but I loved most of it. We have been blessed beyond measure to see that the world is so different and that every place offers tremendous stories and experiences.

As far as India being a third world country. This is truly, truly a fascinating debate to me. Once before, someone adamantly argued that India is not a third world country. Certainly many people in India live well. There is no doubt about that. And there is a lot of opulence in India. However, the majority of India’s citizens don’t have real and guaranteed access to water, permanent shelter, education, and some level of health care. Throw in some pretty high infant mortality rates and you have got some development issues. But don’t just listen to my big fat opinion –

Wikipedia says this:
“The term ‘Third World’ arose during the Cold War to define countries that remained non-aligned or not moving at all with either capitalism and NATO (which along with its allies represented the First World) or communism and the Soviet Union (which along with its allies represented the Second World). This definition provided a way of broadly categorizing the nations of the Earth into three groups based on social, political, and economic divisions. The term continues to be used colloquially to describe the poorest countries in the world.”

Many people will say that India is a “developing” third world country. That’s probably more fair and I will start using that term from now on. And you make a good point. India’s government is still young – there is a lot of growing to do. But the elephant in the room is the waste and abuse that happens in the Indian government that often results in the unnecessary suffering of so many people. Again, is America perfect? Absolutely not. Of course not. We have our own wastes and abuses and not everyone is getting an equal share of the pot.

Part of what has been so hard for me in returning to America is leaving the images of India behind. I too often allow myself to forget that people are suffering – all over the world. How do I throw away bread crusts when children are starving (and yes, not just in India, in America too)? Now I put my crusts and stale bread out for the birds and squirrels. I know it won’t change a thing in the world but at least I am wasting less. That feels better.

I think Americans allow ourselves to be self-absorbed and protect ourselves from the reality of the sufferings of others – and, to be fair, I can point that same self-absorbed finger at Indians too. We all put on our jewelry and drive our gas hogs and live in our houses that are unnecessarily big and melt our shredded cheese and simply allow ourselves to ignore that, for the most part, even on a bad day, others have it much, much worse.

I struggle with how to become a more global citizen and how to have more of an impact in helping others – and that struggle is a direct result of my life in India. I can no longer pretend that life in Northern Virginia is the norm. It’s certainly great but it is not the experience of most of the world. I struggle with how to do something everyday to make someone else’s life better. I am failing miserably in that regard but I am trying.

And I am afraid this blog will continue to contain comparisons between life in India and life in America. It’s all I know and I am not willing to add another experience to my repertoire – at least not yet.

Thank you again for sharing your thoughts. I never want to offend anyone – but unfortunately, the minute you hit publish on the internet, you are very much in danger of doing just that. And remember that I am mostly talking to myself – the fact that anyone is coming along for the journey continues to amaze me. I am at least glad you felt comfortable in sharing your disagreement and disappointment with me and my words. That is one thing that India and America do have in common. Democracy is a beautiful thing.

No more -ER………….

I am going to distract myself from making quite possibly the biggest decision I have ever made and vent a little.

You all know someone pERfect like the lady I ran into on Monday – they are pERfect, their husbands are pERfect, their kids are pERfect, their house is pERfect, their life is pERfect, even the plaque in their teeth is pERfect (oh nevermind – they don’t get plaque) and they make us craziER than anyone else. I have a “friend” like this. And I had the good fortune to see her earlier this week. Oh lucky, lucky me. That will remind me not to stray too far from home again.

She honestly told me how much bettER her kids were than mine at, well, simply evERything. She did not exactly say it – she is a mastER at trying to be subtle while bragging, but I am very good at reading between the lines – thank you vERy much. And, I know when you say that it’s too bad my daughter did not receive the Nobel Prize for litERature at the young age of 9 (oh honey, she still has plenty of time), but you must be off to buy a new outfit for your own child’s cERemony – I get it – I am pERfectly insulted.

And, FYI, I happen to think my own kids are pretty great – it’s my job –  so hER sitting next to me and telling me that hER kids were bettER at evERything on the planet than my frumpy little ragdolls – well it might be a little tough to keep my new year’s resolution of not hating the people who drive me pERfectly insane. And it made it even hardER to keep my good sense about me and not push hER down and take hER lunch money to give to some poor child who was less pERfect but hungriER than her own lovely offspring.  ERRRRRRRRRR is right!

And, don’t worry, she is not from my neighborhood. She doesn’t have time to read my blog – well, between the MENSA classes for her two-year-old and the upcoming space flight for her other little blob of pERfection and hER own vERy important job of telling absolutely evERyone how wondERful her children are, she simply does not have time for my silly little blog. Oh, believe you me, the world would stop spinning if she stopped talking about hER own children long enough to actually read about someone else’s kids – yeah – it is not going to happen. No one will be able to figure out who she is. (And no detective, she is not one of my Facebook friends.)

So anyway, I was watching Oprah not too long ago and Oprah was talking with women who have read Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth. These were woman who actually chose this book to read because they realize they are far from pERfect and they wanted to find ways to bettER themselves. I liked them already.

And, there was a woman who read the book and decided to stop trying to be any more “ER” than anyone else. She was not going to try to be prettiER, richER, skinniER, smartER or anything else more than anyone. She lost some weight because she stopped obsessing about what she looked like compared to other people, she enjoyed spending time more with her kids because she wasn’t worried about how they compared to other kids, and, in general, life just got easiER.

So I am going to try it – I am not going to be more ER than anyone else. Well, except maybe nicER than my sweet, misguided friend mentioned above. Dang, have I lost my focus already? ERRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!