Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Screaming obscenities makes me feel good

You'd think he would have figured it out by now. He being the ex, very lovingly referred to in our household as "Mr. Dumas" (as in Dumbass). It being that I just don't give a shit about his excuses.

My day had already started to fall apart. Mostly because of my horrible attitude as of late, but also because...well, okay, fine. My horrible attitude. Anyway, I can usually keep my cool with Mr. Dumas, having learned a few years ago that everything I do and say is a reflection of my character in the court and also a test of my own patience and action/reaction skills. I play nice now. Even when he's hurling insults at me and telling me I'm a money-grubbing, pathetic excuse for a mother because I created a broken home for "our" child, I play nice. Even when he tells "our" child that I'm only using her to get money out of him, I play nice. Even when he calls me for the umpteenth time to cry about how his stellar Master's degree in Physics prevents him from getting any kind of job worthy of his academic background, I play nice. And laugh, because how can I possibly get money from someone who has no job?

Today's phone call registered as number umpteenth + 1, the number of times he's called to whine about not being able to find a job.

"It's a tough market out there," he said.

"Fuck you," I said back.

"What?" he said, a little shocked that my sympathy cup hath runneth dry.

So I repeated myself. Again. And again. And again. He kept trying to nudge into my rant, like he was cutting in line or something and that pissed me off even more. This called for more - "Fuck You". I lost count of how many times those two words flew out of my mouth. The red light at New Berlin Road kept me stationary for a minute or two, resulting in more naughties than you could imagine spewing from my lips.

Boy, you done pissed me off.

At some point I stopped, but only long enough to hear him threaten me with more legal action. He asked me if I was prepared for a legal battle. Another legal battle. I reminded him that he's already dumped my sorry ass into the debt pool, so what's one more go-around? Then he felt compelled to tell me about his wonderful new lawyer. He works pro bono.

"And he's Jewish!"

Huh? What does that have to do with anything?

Mr. Dumas and I. We went back and forth, up and down, east to west, north to south, roundabout, and back around again. All the while, the little slips jerked off my tongue ("Fuck you!!!"), and I'd take a deep breath just so I could say it again, and louder. With more ooomph! Because a pissed-off single mom dealing with a deadbeat dad has alot of oooomph. Then it was over.

Twenty seconds later, I was in my daughter's school parking lot and shaking from so much adrenaline. Wow. Did I just hold all that in for the last three years? Did I just get three-years' worth of "Fuck You!" out of my system in a matter of minutes? Why, yes! Yes, I did! And, dammit, it felt good!! I almost can't wait to do it again!

But I must go back to playing nice now. It was fun while it lasted and I deserved the enjoyment it gave me. Countdown to October 28, 2012.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Not-So-Great Outdoors

I spent the night outside last night. A very miserable, cold, sleepless night. Because, contrary to popular belief, Florida is not always warm this time of year. It may be warm to some of you who live in the Midwest or New England, but you have not been schooled in the ways of humidity and the misery it can inflict upon those of us who are forced to sleep outside with air temperatures in the 50s and high levels of humidity. Not only is it cold, it's wet. It's a wet cold. Ugh.

Two months ago, I was notified of this big Girl Scout camp-out. Elle was really excited, to the point of wiggling on the day of. The day temps were in the 80s and the sun was shining - perfect weather for 20+ little girls to play off their energy with games of Tug-Of-War, sack races, bobbing for apples, and generally running 'til they dropped. Elle was warned months ago that I would NOT be sleeping over (my mother never stayed over with me during camp-outs) and she was overheard telling her friends that "It's much more funner when your mom's not there!", referring to me and her ability to get away with things during my absence (and earning her the nickname More Eller). Because I wasn't going to spend the night, I did volunteer to attend the daytime activities. By 9:30 I was wiped out and could feel the temperature and Elle's confidence in sleeping in a tent without me take a drastic turn downward.

"Please, please spend the night with me!", she cried. Yep, CRIED.

Freakin' guilt trips.

Elle had my only sleeping bag so I had to drive home to pull a comforter out of my closet, throw a pillow in the car, and scramble for some cozy socks to wear to sleep. I packed an unopened bottle of Scope and a warm, fleece hoodie. I was good to go. By the time I returned to the camp-out, the kids were in their pajamas and had their sleeping areas all set up. They are all as cute as buttons but, dammit, can they ever be territorial! My littlest tentmates showed me where I was going to be sleeping for the night and tried to make me feel better by telling me that I had windows in my room.

My room? Yeah, it was basically the front porch section of the four-person tent. And, yes, I did have windows but they had no zipper closures. The windows didn't close. Fat chance, kiddos. I'm moving' in with you!!!

So I did. When the girls fell asleep after 12:30 (!!!), I hung out by the fire to absorb as much warmth as possible (those of you who know me well know that I am NEVER warm) and braved the bedtime blues by pulling my hoodie over my head and tightening the strings around my face so that only my nose was exposed. I folded my comforter in two (for poofiness!) next to my daughter and clutched onto my little fleece blankie for dear life. Then I spent the next 6 hours wide awake, shivering and mumbling about what a ****ing nightmare this was and...

What the hell? Why is Leticia sitting straight up and yelling about "Those darn kids!" while ruffling through her overnight bag? Why is Leticia digging through her loud, crinkly sleeping bag and arguing with it because it made her forget something at home? Oh, crap - she's one of those kids. One of those kids who should be tied to her bed when she's asleep at home to prevent her from running around the house at night building robots or making cheesecake in her sleep or some shit. So when I wasn't freaking out about the owls hovering and hooting overhead, I was keeping a watchful eye on Leticia and trying to keep her from unzipping the tent and wandering into the woods. Oy!

The campfire was still burning when I finally climbed out of the tent around 7am. Our girls stayed asleep for another hour or so and the troop leader was wonderful to have the coffee/creamer/sugar all prepared for us. The kids woke up and immediately hit the hot chocolate (another wonderful troop leader idea) with marshmallows (self-serve!) and they were just so cute. So, so cute!! Breakfast was amazing and I'm pretty sure everyone had a great time.

Yes, even I did. I'm sure Elle will always remember her first time camping and that her mom was there with her. She'll also always remember her first time burning a marshmallow and making a real s'more, or painting pumpkins with twenty of her closest friends, and having the biggest damn slumber party of her life! Seriously, as miserable as I was, I do believe it was worth it.

My "room", with windows!

Sack races!

Elle. Pumpking painting.

Bobbing for apples!

And, cute!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Cat Fight!

A couple of days ago my cat returned home with a swollen back leg. Polly (a polydactyl, hence her name) hobbled along for the night, licking and tending to her wounded back leg. There were two puncture wounds and I assumed that one of the non-venomous snakes in our area finally got a good whack at her. A much-deserved victory for the snakes, in my opinion. I do get tired of her bringing them onto our back porch and flinging them around like jumpropes. Not cool. So, score for the snakes.

I decided to take her to the vet on Friday, the day after we noticed the swelling, and it turns out that it wasn't a snake bite. The doctor shaved the wound and cleaned it up and explained to me that the three slice marks on the pad of her foot were more likely from another animal, even another cat. That's believable. Polly, she's a ruffian, a scrappy little cat who spent her first weeks of life without a mother and defending herself from the grabby hands of a pre-teen girl who didn't know how to take care of her. My cat is 'hood.

His suggestion? I'm to give her .02 mLs of "Cat Advil" in the morning and, for 4-6 days, soak her wound in a betadine/water solution, then an epsom salt/water solution, then rinse completely with running tap water to remove any risk of Polly licking the epsom salt clean off and developing a monster case of diarrhea. He was concerned that I wouldn't be able to handle this. I told him there are five people in my household and if we can't handle one little cat...

Well, let's flash-forward to explain why I am sporting a greasy coat of Neosporin on over 50% of my back and about 20% of my front. I have holes in me. Not scratches. HOLES. And this sordid tale pretty much proves that at least two people in my household can't handle one little cat.

I grabbed Polly's front legs and back legs to gently set her in the warm water soak of betadine I'd prepared in the bathroom sink. After a brief struggle, I sternly explained to the cat that I would win. I always win. Elle giggled because she probably knew, in the back of her mind, that she was about to witness her mother get busted up by a cat. Polly made some noises I can't duplicate or spell out, so just imagine a low-key cat fight in your backyard. Now involve water and 20-something claws. My assistant, Elle, calmly stepped back and giggled some more. Then she popped the drain after a few minutes and we started prepping the epsom salt soak.

The epsom salt soak went rather well, I think. I held the cat in a headlock pretty much at this point and just stuck her bottom half in the water. She fought me again until I reminded her that I always win. I should have known that, with those words having been said, my cat would begin to channel Satan (or Satan's cat). Her eyes glazed over and she stared right through me, but quietly endured the epsom salt soak. I was good for about two minutes until I told Elle how freaky it was that Polly was looking at me like that, with her eyes so big and her mouth wide open. The second Polly let out a low growl, Elle hopped into the bathtub for safety and just watched me from the mirror. Elle kept saying, "ooooh, oooh!! Ooooooooh!! (giggle, giggle) Oooooh!!" It was annoying. I'd been given very specific instructions by the vet to rinse as much epsom salt off of Polly's leg as possible to prevent her from developing a bad case of cat-diarrhea if she licked it off, so my assistant popped the drain and I started running the tap water.

Yeah, okay. People, don't ever do that. Seriously, if the cat gets diarrhea you've got to admit it's better than losing an eye. Or two!! Polly freaked the hell out and instead of jumping out of my arms and tearing down the hallway in a panic, she decided to climb me like a tree. Claws were suddenly in my back and in my front and in my arms and in my scalp! Elle jumped in the bathtub again and nervously screamed, "I wanna leave!" and I screamed, "Get the cat off me!! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!!!!" and she screamed, "Polly's ripping holes in your shirt, Mommy!" and I continued to scream, "Get the cat off me!! Aaaaaaaaah!!!!"

Meanwhile, my parents were watching a rerun of The Locator and left me to depend on an 8-year old to answer my increasingly desperate pleas for help. The same 8-year old who was hiding in the bathtub!

I finally grabbed Polly's arm or tail or something and yanked her off of me and threw a towel over her, much like Steve Irwin used to do when he would catch man-eating alligators. The towel was rigged to swaddle her and prevent her from sticking a rogue claw in me again. I took her back to her crate and locked her in. Polly instinctively started to lick her leg and since I never got the epsom salt rinsed completely away, I reminded her that I won. There's a kitty litter box in there with her. She'll be needing it soon.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


For three consecutive nights, I woke up choking and gasping and nearly suffocating in my sleep. My previous erratic breathing patterns had led me to take a class where I was taught how to use my diaphragm, and not my lungs, to draw in oxygen. A more relaxed rhythym, a natural rise and fall of air being absorbed and forced back out from my lungs, was the only was to keep me from becoming lightheaded and tingly-faced. That's easy to do when you're awake, when you're aware of your breaths falling out of step with the others. But you can't keep time like that when you're asleep and your brain takes over completely, leaving your conscious self outside to wait to hold the reigns during your waking hours. I was completely alone in the house for an entire week so after three nights, I moved into my parents' bed and hoped the scent of their familiarity would comfort me at least through the night.

I woke up again, this time worse than the others. It was nearly four o'clock in the morning and I hated that I was awake to experience what I thought was my death. Why couldn't I have just stayed asleep? Why couldn't I have simply slept my way through the ungodly pain and fear associated with running out of oxygen? I was drowning, it felt like, and nobody was home to save me. Convinced that I was dying, I struggled to force my lungs open and succeeded, drawing in a breath so deep that I could have made the walls bend inward. My parents' bedroom provided me with no comfort, after all. I decided to go to the emergency room.

It's embarrassing for me to admit that I was probably around eighteen or nineteen years old when I climbed into my parents' bed that night. I'd never been alone for that long before and, to be honest, I was very lonely. It was my first real taste of absolute quiet and I didn't like it. I called my friend's mom and, through tears of frustration, exhaustion, and near-panic, convinced her to drive me to the hospital herself instead of run me via ambulance. This dear woman was at my front door in less than ten minutes. She proceeded to drive me to the emergency room, park the car (not a dropoff), and sit next to me in the waiting room for four hours.

"If this were my daughter, I'd expect someone to stay with her if I couldn't be there myself."

Around 8:30 that morning, the nurses took me to an exam room and I was poked and prodded with needles and cuffs and quickly prepped for the heart monitor. I was lying on the bed's loud and crackly paper, with my top off and an enormous amount of round white stickers stuck on my chest, nipples and all. Some stickers had wires, some had none. When the technician on-call came in, she gasped loudly enough to get everyone's attention and practically diagnosed me on the spot: Anxiety.

I'll be the first to tell you that anxiety sucks. It sucks hard, too. Anxiety disorders are often coupled with depression and the whole thing has become a "What came first - the chicken or the egg?" discussion. Imagine my surprise when I was given a diagnosis and I immediately started to feel better. The hidden triggers started becoming more well-known to me and I learned how to stay one step ahead of my attacks alot of the time. Not each and every time, but enough that I can step back and breathe my little rhythmic routine just well enough to prevent hyperventilation. Hyperventilating is another thing that sucks hard, too.

It turns out that the technician who recognized me did so with a sharp eye and an even sharper memory of my frequent visits over the last few months. She had treated me when I'd found my way to the ER many times in the previous weeks, each time while complaining of breathing, swallowing, heart palpitations. face tingling, and nearly blacking out.

"I'll bet there isn't a physical thing wrong with you. It's all in your head." And she was right.

Anxiety is not a fun disorder. It's crippling, in fact, and can hijack your life with no warning whatsoever. It can hold you hostage. It messes with your personality in so many ways that you lose yourself. After so many years of struggling to stay calm in everyday situations, and surrendering parts of your character over to this anxiety, you just become exhausted. You're drained and just plain ol' tired.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Rodney Yee makes me cry

For my birthday, I asked for a Rodney Yee yoga DVD. I know there are a bazillion yoga DVDs to choose from and that it probably doesn't matter whose DVD you have when you're just beginning, but let's face it - the guy is HOT.


Years ago, my friend Wendy and I used to meet up every Wednesday night for yoga night. We'd spend the first hour or so huffing and puffing our way through Rodney Yee's Flexibility VHS tape. The second hour was Recovery Hour which we spent on the couch watching John Cusack films and stuffing our faces with pizza. Or tacos. Whichever. We did fondue night once, too. It's obvious that we weren't in it for the reasons most people are in it for. We just wanted something fun to do and that's what we did.

This was before my Mommy Years. I recently picked up yoga again when I quit smoking last summer. I needed something to help pull the stress out of me once I noticed how the tensed-up muscles tightened until they came close to snapping. Kickboxing was too expensive and too physical. And since I have a bad back, I needed something that was soothing but that would kick my ass at the same time. This, technically, amounts to any activity requiring movement. So I chose yoga. And I chose Rodney. Because the man is delicious. Here, look again:

Rodney Yee Pictures, Images and Photos

And then I got lazy for a few months. Until tonight.

Elle wanted to do some yoga with me. She's in gymnastics and can do all kinds of stretchy things with her young, limber body, but she'd like to be able to one day do the splits. I was in gymnastics once upon a time and would like to be able to one day touch my toes again without groaning. Same rainbow, different pot o' gold. I slid the new DVD in my laptop and placed it on the floor. Elle was all giggly because she's been wanting to do this yoga thing for quite some time. She liked the soothing water sounds and how Rodney Yee looks like our friend, Daniel. And she likes that Rodney Yee does his yoga at the beach.

And she likes how Mommy says, "What the shit is he doing!? I can't do that!", while grimacing because Mommy's hamstring just snapped in half and her face is turning purple because being in the downward dog position cuts off circulation to Mommy's head. Elle also thinks it's funny that I have to say "Oh my god!" every time I collapse onto the floor in a heap of sore muscles and oxygen deprivation because...well, yoga hurts when you haven't done a lick of exercise in...say, six months! After I found my way back up to a standing position, I decided I was tired of being laughed at and sent the kid to bed, where she continued to poke fun at me about how I was constantly falling over during the Centering chapter.

Believe it or not, after I read Elle her bedtime story, I came back and tried one more chapter. It was called Surrender and I honestly thought it would be the chapter during which I could be flat on my back on a mat and just do leg work, because that's easy! Man, was I wrong. At least, I think I was. The chapter started with him in some sideways pose with his legs facing one way, his chest facing the other, and his hand and face upward.

Ha! You're crazy. Eject.

My back is still tingly and my right leg is wobbly. But oxygen has found its way back to my brain. And Elle has finally stopped laughing at me.

Friday, October 9, 2009


The little Italian boy sat next to me at lunch everyday. I was the only American kid there and the only person in the entire building who spoke English, otherwise I would have been able to tell my preschool teachers why I cried every afternoon and wanted to go home to my mom.

Because my mom doesn't take her plastic lunchtime fork and jab it into my leg and drag it up and down until my tights are completely destroyed.

I didn't know my family was poor. I only knew my family couldn't afford to buy me a new pair of tights after every mid-afternoon assault. It was frustrating, being there in that school, with such wonderful, loving, dark-haired Italian women who obviously cared about me. It was frustrating because, even though I could point at things and demonstrate with my hands and tell a story with my body language and facial expressions, my teachers and I just couldn't talk to each other.

I eventually learned Italian and became quite fluent. I did so well in my language class, in fact, that my teacher selected me to learn American Sign Language, too. Boy, oh boy, did I ever think I was the bee's knees. Living in Italy came with some perks. The DoD school I attended even thought I was pretty damn special. They invited me to join the Talented and Gifted program. TAG, we called it. It was like being in a club. A special club.

I moved back to the states and had myself set up to test into the district's TAG program in my new school. Oh, wait until they hear my resume! I'll tell them about the time I visited a nursing home at Christmas time and sang "Buon Natale" at the top of my lungs while signing in ASL for those who couldn't hear me singing at the top of my lungs. They were probably the lucky ones that night.

To make a long story short, I failed. I failed the test. I wasn't considered Talented and Gifted enough for the United States. The cultural differences made no difference to them at all.

What cultural differences, exactly? Well, for example, school buses are blue and fire hydrants are brown. And cheese comes from goats. Right?

No. Not right!

This story reminds me of the time I took my daughter to a speech therapy consultation. She was three-years old at the time and it was in the middle of a scorching hot summer. To get a starting point to measure her developmental progress, the therapist showed her a series of pictures and asked her to name each one.

(picture of a dog) = Puppy!
(picture of an apple) = Apple!
(picture of a bed) = Night Night!

And so on...

(picture of a house) = House!
(picture of a book) = Story!
(picture of a cow) = Moo!

Until we hit a few roadblocks...

(picture of a knife) = ......uh, I can't play with those.
(picture of a winter coat) = ....Mommy, what is that?
(picture of mittens) = ....ugh, forget it.

Therapist: "You can't help her."
Me: "But she's never even seen one of those before. This is Florida."
Therapist (to Elle): "What do you wear when it's cold outside?"
Elle: "A sweater."
Me: "*snort* Well, Therapist, what did you expect? Good job, Elle. We're all done here."

Ha. Another Talented and Gifted flunkie is in our midst.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


After dragging my bottom half out of bed this morning, I hit the snooze button to give myself twenty extra minutes and crawled back under the covers to stretch out my muscles in a spread-eagle sprawl very similar to the chalk outline of a dead body. You know, belly down with my face in one direction and one arm down my side with the other curved up close to my nose and a knee pulled up halfway into my chest cavity.

Before showering, I spent seven minutes plucking gray hairs out of my head, parting my hair and forcing it to go in unnatural directions just so I could catch a glimpse of any gray hairs that got away. There are always gray hairs that got away and this bothers me, but not as much as I used to think it would.

As I was showering (don't worry, we'll keep it clean...heh, clean...puns are fun), I considered shaving my legs but soon realized that nobody's feeling me up anyway. I also don't like the fact that I have a splotch of something big on the back of my left leg and people like to call it vericose veins. I don't like to call it that so I just call it my splotch. I've had it since before I was a teenager. I guess if I really looked at it closely, I could map all the cities of West Virginia with much geographical accuracy because it is such a weird shape, but really it's just a splotch.

After showering, I plucked my eyebrows and slathered my face with some expired Nivea anti-wrinkle cream, paying special attention to the crow's feet, my sun-damaged forehead, the new freckles on the bridge of my nose, my "parentheses" around my mouth, and the dry patches of skin that have become my cheeks. Okay, fine. I slapped that damn cream all over my face.

Since I quit smoking last year while I was a relative newbie to my dirty thirties, my ass has expanded and my tummy pudges out. My pants size has climbed from sparkly-butterflies-on-the-ass size 16 girls' to a whopping women's size 2. Because the weight gain is something I've welcomed, I usually rejoice in the need to buy underwear that fits me and makes me feel like that infamous line from Steel Magnolias wasn't captured on film just for me. C'mon, you know the one..."Looks like two pigs fightin' under a blanket!" Yep, that's the one.

My feet are so sore that I stick light-absorbency pantiliners in the soles for some cheap cushion. My body screams for coffee every morning because it cannot fall asleep every night. If I take a sip of water at 9:33pm, you can bet I'll be awake at 3:17am, muttering curses about my effing bladder while blindly groping my way to the bathroom with eyes half-open and hoping I'll be able to fall back asleep, if I can even remember how to get back to bed.

Tomorrow's my birthday. I'm turning thirty-three. Maybe the birthday fairy will gift me with a bone-shattering calcium deficiency or...oh, better flashes. To be honest with you, though, I'm most looking forward to being spoiled by my daughter and eating carrot cake and not having to do laundry. I'm hoping to unwrap a Rodney Yee DVD so I can finally get my sore body into some kind of working order again. I'm even planning on splurging at Starbucks by upsizing to a grande...with 2 shots of espresso!

See, I'm not one of those women who complains about getting older because getting older upsets me. No, no, no. I have a pretty clear, although basic, understanding that the human body changes with age, both internally and externally, and there's not a damn thing we can do to stop it. Science provides us with the chemicals to cover it up - the Botox, the laser skin removal, the surgical remodeling of one's face - and that's fine for some people. Not for me, though. I'd rather be accepting of what's to come than add one more worry to my already stressful life.

When I wake up tomorrow, I'll have endured yet another year of triumphs and heartaches, of successes and failures, of embarrassments and admiration, of motherhood and friendships. My daughter will probably overwhelm me with hugs and kisses and "I love you, Mom", and present me with one handmade card after another (because, sometimes, she's just downright uncontrollably crafty). My co-workers will ask me if I have any special plans for the evening and I'll say, "Yep, I'm eating cake!" I'll open the birthday cards that arrived in the mail and share a dinner at home with my family.

It will be as simple as that. No tears. No depression. No anxieties about growing old and lonely. Besides, I only have one cat and I need to hold on to some emotional breakdown symptoms for when I turn 40.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I follow recipes. Sometimes.

I received this on the couch this morning:

All About My Mom

My mom is a exelent baker cause she sometimes follows recipes. An some just pop out of her mind. My mom is very very funny but I dont know where she gets this from? And especially she takes good care of me. An most of all moms birthday is only 3 more days is'nt that cool! huh? is it? Well mom I love you.


Awwww, shucks. I love you, too.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


(Elle - the birthday girl!)

Finally, after two years, Elle got her ears pierced. For two years, I've had to listen to the "...because it's gonna hurt" or the "...just do it next year" and it really started to get to me. Each time Elle walked away and backed out was just another invitation for disappointment and frustration. She would kick herself and tell herself that if she had just done it, it would be over with already. Smart kid.

This afternoon, Elle climbed into that chair, chose her earrings (called Pink Ice for the October birthstone), and immediately froze. I could see by the expression on her face that she had already mentally checked out. If I tried to talk to her she would roll her eyes in my general direction and stare right through me. It was freaky.

She woke up as soon as the first post was thrust into her earlobe. Aaaaaah....tears!! Shit!!! What do I do? What do I doooo? The last time I made her go through a procedure against her own will was when she was catheterized by a group of nurses and it took five of them just to pin her down! (Elle was three years old but she has the strength of a pissed-off pitbull terrier. And, apparently, the memory of an elephant. She still brings up that incident in the hospital.) So I regrouped and looked Elle straight in the eyes and said, "Well, now you have to do the other one or you'll just look ridiculous!"

She took a deep breath and kind of smarted off to me. "Fine! I just want to get this over with!" Yes, my threats of social awkwardness worked! Way to go, Mom. I patted myself on the back and admired my beautiful, evenly pierced daughter.

After that traumatic experience, I bought myself an iced hazelnut latte and told Elle about the time my parents tricked me into getting my ears pierced. I was five years old and hardly a girly girl. And I screamed. Man, did I scream! And my parents kept telling me that I looked like such a pretty little girl because of my new earrings and I wanted to punch them because I didn't want to be a pretty little girl!!

That's one of the differences between Elle and me. That she does want to be a pretty little girl. And she is. Oh, she is!