“Mom?” Can I say a curse word?” This, from the backseat. I am driving Pax to snowboard practice and am only half-listening.
“A curse word?” I ask, absently. “Why?”
“Well…” he begins. “I need to say it OUT LOUD so you can tell me what it means.”
I grip the steering wheel a little tighter. As far as kid questions go…this one is fairly terrifying. Especially since — thanks to an older brother — he’s already pretty well-versed in *most* curse words. Which one could he possibly be wondering about?
“Sure, buddy!” I tell him, with forced nonchalance. “What do you want to know?”
Pax takes a deep breath. “Pussy,” he says.
“Well, Pax,” I chirp, faux-brightly, “it’s a word that refers to the female vagina!” I wince as the phrase “The Female Vagina” comes out of my mouth. What am I even saying?
Nevertheless, I continue: “Sometimes guys use it on each other as an insult, like it’s somehow weak to be feminine, but we know that’s NOT true — right? When used that way, it’s really misogynistic — you would never hear Dad or I say that…especially since vaginas are really REALLY strong. They can stretch out huge to birth a baby and snap right back or, well….mostly snap back I mean…’snap’ isn’t…really the right…way…”
I trail off. Someone seriously just shoot me. End this now.
Predictably, after that deluge of mouth garbage, there is complete silence from the backseat. I peek in the rearview mirror — Pax looks stunned.
“Well,” he says. “That was…unexpected.”
Awkward silence descends.
A few minutes later, I hear Pax muttering to himself. “Well…” he says, under his breath, “I guess that’s the problem with curse words. They can literally mean…anything.”
Aaaaand on that ominous note…how was your week? Did you learn anything unexpected?
I sure did.
I learned that Texas has its own power grid. And it’s been privatized, which also means that it’s not subject to the same federal regulations as everywhere else. Which, evidently, also means that profits can be prioritized higher than, say, readiness for unpredictable weather (which is about to become even more frequent, thanks to climate change).
If you — like me — are wondering why the heck we have three separate grids in the US and are wondering if, in fact, there is a better way? Maybe take a peek at this interview in IEEE (nerdy engineering magazine) that talks about what happened to the big study done (2011- 2018) to see what miiiiight happen if the United States combined their three power grids.
Spoiler: Not only would it quickly pay for itself, but we’d greatly reduce our reliance on coal and gas.
I should ask Pax if he has a curse word for this.
I propose “cruz“.
If you can help the most vulnerable in Texas…we pulled together a list of places to donate to, here. Every little bit counts.
I’m going with shoes. Nordstrom is having a sale, and this gem is only $500 (#snort). Personally, I’d stick to these sleek neoprene Hunters. It occurs to me that they’d be really pretty with a navy raincoat this spring. I also love the look of these waterproof Sorels — vintage vibes, but with contrast laces and an unexpected (yet subtle) stripe.
Cute tees. Some of my best-fitting tees are from either rag & bone or FRAME, and I love snapping ’em up on sale. I just picked up rag & bone’s black-and-white floral tee (midweight but drapey — I wear a size small), and am considering their oversized gray tee, or Frame’s linen one.
Like the beloved stupid pants…but in cashmere. I want.
Gray hoodie…but make it fashion. Shop Social Threads sent over this seriously cool gray hoodie and I LOVE IT. I *thought* it was Free People, but it turns out it’s from a small brand they found, and therefore…is under $50.
If Laura went skiing…we all decided that this set is what she’d wear. It’s awesome.
Backpack for summer? I love this backpack from Black-owned business Grant BLVD. It’s made from organic cotton twill and reclaimed leather remnants. I can see myself stuffing in a towel and sunscreen and heading to the beach.
Sitting is over-rated. Introducing….MOTHER Denim’s standing-only pants! (We have Scotti to thank for this gem.)
Vintage find. Someone snap up this seriously cool vintage ski sweater. I DIE.
Don’t call these SWEATPANTS. This is a funny one (thanks, Laura!).
Let’s geek out a sec. The Mars Rover, gang, just landed successfully on MARS!! NBD…it’s just the FIRST TIME a HELICOPTER is being flown on a different planet. And — even more exciting — the whole point of this mission is to look for evidence of ancient life. I DIE. It’s seriously so v. exciting. See some sneak peeks from the rover, here.
I’m dying! Sorry for your uncomfortable car ride, buuuuttt…srsly. I love Pax and your responses! Being a mother of boys is such a joy. Snort. And sadly, that Commes de Garçon beauty is sold out. Just…why???
Beth, come clean: DID YOU BUY IT? 😉
This is my first comment ever but I had to because while every word of this was entertaining, that last line made me laugh so hard my coffee is now down the front of my bathrobe and I don’t care:)
Ahhhhh DYING! Thanks, girl. xoxo
Shana!!!! I LOVE this!!! It so reminds me of MANY conversations at my house 🤣😳🤣. Keep having the honest conversations, you won’t regret all the “unexpected” things you will learn. Much love 🥰😘
LOVE YOU WEBS!!!
Shana. You never disappoint. I look forward to your Sunday posts and this one is SOOO great. Aren’t you lucky (in an awkward way) that your boys ask you these questions? You are! Thank you for always being so human and vulnerable. It lifts us all up. And provides laughter, which is always good for the soul.
Oooo…Toni, I love this perspective: I AM lucky. Thanks for pointing that out. xoxoxoxoxo
Hahaha. I am an OBGYN and probably say “vagina” 1000x per day at work in a medical context, but am still super awkward and uncomfortable talking about stuff like this with my kids! You told that story just perfectly!!
Haha – thanks, Liz. 🙂
Now you have to watch I’m Sorry on Netflix, her conversations with her daughter are so THIS and then I want to yell “just stop talking!” Very similar convo in-I think-episode one, do not watch with kids!!!
AHHHH thanks for the warning!!! Adding to our queue now. 🙂
I cried a little bit when the Mars Rover landed….Because it’s just so freakin’ amazing that we can get something that far and then it still works on a different planet!! My kids thought the landing was a wee bit boring, and I can’t really blame them but it is still awesome!
SAME GIRL, SAME.
Living in Texas, I’m learning what a vital resource water is. It’s been a rough week.
Oh MAN. Hang in there, Anne. xoxo
During IEEE’s panel discussion on the Texas energy crisis last Friday, the prevailing opinion seemed to be that interconnected grids would not have prevented the blackouts. I personally am not sure that the answer is simply more regulation or investment in clean energy either. I live in CA- a highly regulated, highly taxed state that has invested heavily in clean energy- and we are subjected to blackouts on a regular basis throughout the year. Sometimes for “safety reasons”, sometimes to “conserve energy”; regardless, the loss of power translates to inconvenience and suffering. I know it’s fashionable to pick on Cruz- and I agree that the optics of his trip were unseemly- but he really doesn’t define this problem.
I’d love a link to the panel discussion! I’m so fascinated by this whole topic. And the issue – if I understand the IEEE interview correctly – isn’t just that connecting the grids would immediately *fix* the problem, but it would allow us to start using better AI algorithms that eventually could fix it.
Shana, I’m dying with laughter!! So much so that I read it to my daughter who laughed and said “funny” (btw, she’s not feeling well and is pretty quiet so that was something!) The image of you having that convo is priceless! I love that you keep it real!
I have the cashmere Naadam sweatpants. I think you should do a post where you buy both and compair. Love all the other stuff too!
Autumn, the decisions here are not simply CONNECT or DON’T CONNECT. Having the grids all connected gives us the opportunity to optimize the entire system (which is what the article I linked to is talking about). You can’t optimize a system that doesn’t exist. But we DO have the technology to do this optimization, and the data shows that upgraded, optimized grids perform much, MUCH better than the system we have now. The panel discussion you linked to is simply talking about what might have happened if you connected the Texas grid to our existing grid and walked away.
Hi Shana, I used to subscribe and then stopped a few years ago because I wasn’t enjoying the consumerism this site was promoting. So I have missed quite a bit but am so glad I came across this post. CRUZ is the best cuss word there is. Make it happen, girl!
From poussé to cruz (what a tool), loved the whole thing. I’ve got a four year old boy and we’ll get there no doubt. And I second I’m Sorry. Hard to believe every parent hasn’t seen it by now.
I almost snort-laughed at this. I have three boys and have had many of those awkward conversations. We all just do our best and are often surprised what comes out of our mouth in the moment. His response was classic.