Philly #3: In Which Broke-Ass Loves Anne-Marie Slaughter, Offers Alternative Microdermabrasion Counsel, and Bellows “Happy Muthafucking Birthday, Uncle Chrissay!”

Babydolls, those of us who have worked our asses off without the benefits of trust funds and rich life companions–and Rhodes Scholarships–have long understood what Anne-Marie Slaughter has unpacked in her imperative read in this month’s Atlantic: “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All.” As Slaughter acknowledges, it requires no small cache of courage to counter the prevailing boomer slogan. But, really: Why should it? It’s so damn obvious to any mother who must, or elects, to work outside the home that it is impossible to be unequivocally there for both children and job in perfect form. Who the fuck were they kidding?

Tell a mom who has to work 10 or more hours a day to support her family–requisite to be even moderately successful in this economy–that it is within vague reach to be available to her children in the ways that she would prefer to be, and all she has to do is point to yours truly. Broke-Ass has missed plays, teacher conferences, sporting events–failed to chaperone homework assignments adequately–because she has to make a living. Or the house will fall into foreclosure. The lights will be turned off. Food will fail to materialize on the table. Children will be unclothed. Period. What the hell are mothers supposed to do? Really? Don’t answer that unless you’ve really, really thought about it. Because it is fucking hard.

Dads, while stepping up to the plate in many, many honorable and essential ways, can fill in the cracks–many of those cracks are downright crevasses. But moms are moms are moms. Broke-Ass would have considered this errant, sexist bullshit before the dawn of the schmushkies. Now, she knows better. Schmushkies need dad. They also really, really need mom. And there is no human way that a mom can provide for her family and be the mom she would like to be at the same time. No. Way. All we can do is try as hard as we can, harder than the Red Queen, who famously has to run twice as fast to stay in the same place. In Broke-Ass’ experience, that’s as good as it gets. Thank God for schmushkies and their endless well of love. It’s hard to muster on one’s own steam. One often feels as though one’s own steam is either hot air or gas.

So. Thank you, Anne-Marie Slaughter–bona fide feminist, politico extraordinaire, and genius–for just saying it. With textured arguments and examples. Because such statements are nothing without textured arguments and examples. Read the article. What a goddamn relief.

Now, on to microdermabrasion. Those of us who have reached a certain age who have noticed the rubbly texture of our skin and who regularly receive Groupon e-mailings may have been tempted to go for the discounted three-session super skin-sloughing treatments to renew our aging complexions. Resist.

Broke-Ass has it on good authority from her friend and hot shit cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Victory Karlinsky (New York friends, book her now before she gets super famous rather than regular famous), that microdermabrasion is kind of a load. Victoria herself uses baking soda three times a week, mixed with a tad of water to form a paste, to scrub the shit out of her face and decolletee. The superfine granules scrape off the dead stuff, stimulate collagen, and expose fresh skin. And she looks like a fucking teenager. A smart, gorgeous teenager.

But for Godssakes, use sunblock, and wear a hat outside. Otherwise, all your efforts will go to hell, and you’ll end up with who knows what. What–it’s not enough that you should work your ass off and raise happy, sparkly-minded children that you should get skin cancer or one huge, disgusting freckle on your cheek on top of it? Ladies. Gentlemen. Wear a fucking hat.

Now, Uncle Chrissay: Happy Muthafucking Birthday. To those unacquainted, Uncle Chrissay was the patron saint of The Rancho, and still is of La Petite Maison de Broke-Ass. He’s saved Broke-Ass, Big Daddy, and their merry band of schmushkies on a regular basis. Our love is his. U.C., go out, get naked, howl at the Soltice stars. Or weed your gorgeous garden. Or whatever you want. Happy, happy birthday.

About brokeassgrouch

I'm goddamned broke and grouchy. I live in the middle of the damned ghetto and raise chickens for eggs; grow all my own vegetables and fruit; bake the bread and make the cleaning products. Why? Because I fucking have to, that's why! That's what you do when you're fucking poor! You have to make the shit yourself, dumb-ass! Broke-Ass Grouch is sick of all you Bennington and RISD trustafarians yapping about your "urban farming co-ops" and your "carbon conscious lifestyle" and your "green choices" in the Times Styles section and every alternapress periodical that you can pick up for free in every eye-wateringly expensive, edgy bakery or green-market. Maybe when you have a trust fund, you can make "choices" or have a "lifestyle" or "decide" how to "spend" your "money." Excuse me, but Mama is just trying to feed her kids over here, you little shits. And stop spraying your art-school graffiti on the fence of the vacant lot across the street from my house. I know who you are, and I'm telling my friend Keith (who lives in the projects) that it was you who painted that cartoon of the African mask. So what can I tell you? I don't fucking know. I know a lot about being broke, sure as Bob's your fucking uncle. I know about how useless an Ivy League degree is when you're flat-ass broke. I know how to unclog a drain with baking soda and vinegar, and I know how to make my own CHEESE, for fuck's sake. You tell me.
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5 Responses to Philly #3: In Which Broke-Ass Loves Anne-Marie Slaughter, Offers Alternative Microdermabrasion Counsel, and Bellows “Happy Muthafucking Birthday, Uncle Chrissay!”

  1. jeannnemae says:

    Great tip from your cosmetic surgeon friend – keep ‘em coming! Maybe now we won’t look as tired and old as we feel!

  2. barbikat60 says:

    Black don’t crack, that’s all ah’m sayin! I must confess that I wish I had stock in Loreal because that damn hair dye is a NECESSITY! I miss you, white woman, and your darling schmushkies!

  3. LOVE IT, BAG. I’m going home to mix up my baking soda and water paste TONIGHT. Because the couple of times I have paid for microdermabrasion it has nearly given me hives with the thought of how that money ought to be going to the retirement fund or something.

  4. Janet Benton says:

    Thank you for giving credit to Anne Marie Slaughter. I also LOVED her article. About time someone at a high level admitted that CHILDREN NEED THEIR MOMMIES–even when they don’t call us Mommy any more. And that there is no way to do both a career and motherhood justice. This is the women’s dilemma of our day. I read stuff about mothers of the past and see that, in some cases, women had broods of kids and several helpers in-house and spent their time traversing creeks and teaching flower names to their children, along with lessons in morality and such. Ah, if only we could get paid to be fantastic moms. I for one would have several more children if I hadn’t had to work throughout the whole affair.

  5. GiRRL_Earth says:

    Dear BAG,
    Congrats on being featured in the November 2012 issue of More Magainze. As a subsriber, and a fan of your blog, I was overjoyed to see your featured article: Burning Down the House. Congrats again!
    Best,
    GiRRL_Earth

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