Posts from the Me Me Me Category

I could lie and tell you that I’m relaxing on my couch while I get this post ready. I could tell you that I’m sitting here, all chill and basking in the warmth and good vibes. But I’m not. It’s Election Night, and I’m nervous. Anxious. Picking at my hangnails. Because I just don’t know how things are going to go. So instead of lying, I’m just going to share some random facts about me because this month, it’s all about us. We’re a little selfish like that, and quite frankly, we’re okay with it.

The only type of toothpaste I like is the Arm and Hammer Baking Soda White toothpaste. My husband decided that he likes a different brand, so now we have two full tubes. It breaks my heart a little bit, not sharing the same toothpaste.

My parents gave us just about everything we needed or wanted; they asked for very little in return. It’s a model that I have tried with my girls.

I would love to get LASIK and get rid of the glasses that I’ve worn for the past 35 years. The only thing that stops me? I can see the crow’s feet deepening around my eyes and I’m just too damn vain to do it. Plus all the images that you see with the surgeries when the eye juice spurting up kinda scare me a little bit.

At night, I wind up sharing my pillow with our 17-year-old cat. She used to sleep around the top of my head like a halo. Now she takes the Mohawk position. Neither one means I sleep any better.

As stupid as it sounds, I’ll probably save the email from Twitter saying that John Heilemann replied to one of my tweets forever. Because I’m a political junkie and he’s pretty much the bee’s knees for me. You know what would make my decade? Having Mr. Heilmann speak to my classes about the excellence in writing (and if you can make that happen, there’s some quality hand knit socks in it for you . . . seriously, make this happen).

Knitting? Yes, I do.

I have a not-so-secret crush on Joe Bidden. I figure he has a thing for English teachers named Jill, so it could happen.

The word barrette bothers the living shit out of me. So do the phrases, “Let’s reach out to them,” and “I’d like to piggy back on the comment,” when you really wanted to say, “Let’s contact them about . . . ” and “I’d like to add . . . ” A co-worker said the “piggy back” comment at a parent/teacher conference once, and I nearly came across the desk at him. He absolutely did it on purpose. And I absolutely got him back for it.

Apparently I really need to clean my glasses (and fix that zit on my chin . . . what self-respecting 43-year-old gets a zit?!)

Reading = love. However, I rarely read books written for adults. Not a crime but kind of odd.

The soundtrack to Camelot holds a special place in my heart. Meaning, it’s a huge inside joke in our house.

Got any random facts about yourself you’d like to share?

by jess lewis

unloader of dishes.

tender to plants.

owner of newly cleaned out car.

runner of baths, wiper of butts.

drinker of coffee, and late afternoon beers.

maker of lesson plans.

washer of a dog that rolls in stinky unknowns.

mother of a very toothless boy.

index card lover.


*please, if you haven’t already, go vote today.

by Tiffani Michele

I’m happy we’re doing a month of “Me!” here on O+U.

Isn’t it decadent? Indulgent?! Selfish, even? Me, me, me, me, me!

When was the last time you thought about you. What was best for you, what you thought about something, what you wanted. It probably doesn’t happen very often. There are jobs, responsibilities, spouses/significant others, kids, friends, and basic life that seems to get in the way and impose itself on personal wishes.

Also, society in general isn’t very kind to women who put themselves first, who talk about themselves in glowing terms, who take the time to get to know themselves and make choices based on their own happiness. Or, at least, the society that I’m used to keeping. Women like that are selfish, with the wrong priorities, who will probably end up alone and sad. Selflessness is the path to happiness! Service to others! The road to perfect womanhood is paved with sacrifice and martyrdom!


I wish I’d spent a little more time in my teen years learning about what made me happy as I did learning about how to make other people happy. I wish I’d spent more time in my pre-marriage/kids years making myself happy instead of pleasing everyone else. I wish I’d taken more time to ask myself who I was and who I wanted to be instead of caring so much about who others thought I was and who they wanted me to be. Do you feel me, readers?! Can I get a hell yeah?!

I didn’t know who the hell I was when I married at 20. I didn’t know who the hell I was when I had kids shortly thereafter. I coasted along for a while, on the fumes of being a lot of who other people wanted me to be…but inevitably I ran out of gas and everything fell apart. The biggest casualty has been my marriage, but I also think I could have been a much better mom than I was.

I’m making up for a lot now. Figuring out who I am, who I want to be, what makes me happy. There are weekends when my ex has the kids, and I have 2 whole days to be by myself. And sometimes he takes them for a week or two at a time on a fun vacation, and guess where that leaves me? With just myself!

Me, me, me.

For the first time in my life, I’m putting myself on the list of “people to care about and make happy.”

It’s a hard question to answer first, and people get a little testy when they realize you are asking it of yourself and they still haven’t. Like, how dare you think of yourself like that! I’m martyring myself on the altar of mindless housework/70 hour workweeks/being at my family’s beck and call 24/7…to be my friend you must be as miserable as I am so we can complain about it over a late night glass of wine!

It takes some finagling to balance everything. I’m not as much of a chef as I used to be. The kids are doing their own laundry now. Sometimes they want to do something and I have them wait until I’m done hooping.

I like what this is showing to my daughters, though. I like thinking of them not as martyrs, sacrificing themselves to something outside of themselves, be it a man or kids or a job. I like thinking of them as themselves, strong in the knowledge of what makes them happy. I want them to have a joyful life based on decisions they make surrounding what they want. I want them to know that they matter, their opinions matter, their happiness matters.

“Follow your bliss” is what Joseph Campbell said, and I believe him.

But first, you have to know what your bliss is.

Do you know? Have you taken the time to figure that out for yourself?

– Erika “me. me. me.” Ray

Remember when Oprah had a show?  Remember how she devoted countless hours of programs for woman who couldn’t say, “No” or never took time for themselves?  Remember all those Ah-Ha moments she delivered for millions of women?  Maybe you had one of your own WTF moment thanks to Ms. O.  Maybe you cried when she said, “It’s ok to not please everyone.”  I congratulate you.  I applaud you for getting your very own lightbulb moment.  I hope you claimed it and swam in a sea of indulgence moments.

I never needed Oprah for that wisdom.  I’ve been selfishly selfish for years.  Say No to something?  I do it thrice daily. Take time for me?  Please.  That’s shit’s easy. For example, I purposely take a bath while the boys are awake.  In the beginning of parenthood, Mark used to ask “Why not wait 30 minutes and do it when they’re in bed?”  Easy.  That’s not the point of a hot soak.  A bath is purely selfish and luxurious.  And how do you make it more luxurious?  Take it when your kids are awake.  When someone else is in charge.  That’s damn near Queen-like and that’s my exact point of taking a bath during kid-hour.  Sure it will feel just as nice if I did it after bedtime, but the pleasure of skipping out on responsibility is fantastic.  And I think the world would be more glorious if we all took baths at “irresponsible” times when someone else is in charge.

During November, lots of people focus on gratitude.  For the past two years, I’ve taken a photo or written a post every day in November.  For the entire month, I give Thanks to someone or something.  It’s not that hard (maybe…) and it feels great.  Even during a move when I can’t find my underwear, I’m doing it again.  O+U could have taken the same route.  Different “Thank You’s” from all different voices.  It would have been a month full of gratitude and probably some happy tears.  But we thought we should spend a month on something just as fantastic: us.  We’re being completely and utterly selfish and we’re going to write or photograph us.  Because loving yourself is pretty awesome.  You were either raised by someone who taught that valuable life lesson or you learned it after trial and error.  And if you don’t know it yet, jump on the “You Are Awesome” train.  This month, you’ll get to know each contributor a little better.  Perhaps you’ll relate to one of us better than expected.  And we’ll all realize that this world is smaller and cozier.  Go on and snuggle up with the O+U ladies this November.  And share some of you in the comments.  We’ll have a big fat snuggle fest.