Martha and Mary and Primitive Screwheads

Tuesday, December 06, 2011 9:00 AM Comments (79)

This year, we were bound and determined not to ruin the last few weeks of Advent with shopping.

This year, no sobbing in the aisles of Target as some undeserving jerk nabs the western hemisphere’s last remaining copy of Godzilla Unleashed for Wii. No tense evenings hunched over the computer as mom and dad show their love for their family by nearly coming to blows over whether or not one can trust the Amazon reviewers of the Li’l Cutie Maggot Farm Starter Kit.

No, this year, we were going to dispense with that foolishness, and keep Advent the way it ought to be: a holy season of quiet anticipation and preparation. We were, for once, going to choose the better part.

We accomplished this by...READ MORE

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Big and Angry Goes for a Drive

Friday, December 02, 2011 8:55 AM Comments (153)

Warning:  the following post is uncharitable, nasty, brutish, and too long.  It’s inappropriate for Advent, and unbecoming of Catholicity in general.

Think of it as a kind of therepeutic literary effleurage:  by indulging in some light grousing, I’m distracting myself from my larger, more serious beef, which is that I’m still here.  Not lying in a hospital bed with heated blankets tucked around my legs, hearing the nurses say, “You know, Mrs. Fisher, all babies are beautiful, but this one is really something special.  Here is some food that you didn’t cook, and when you’re done, you really must take a nap.”

All right, so here we go.

We don’t have any bumper stickers on our vehicle.  I...READ MORE

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Breastfeeding Bullies

Thursday, December 01, 2011 9:00 AM Comments (212)

At my last prenatal visit, I saw a new midwife.  Her exam room had all the usual distracting mobiles and soothing photos of crocuses and placid water birds.  It also had, right on eye level as I leaned back on the paper-covered table, this photo  (WARNING:  not for sensitive viewers).

I was stunned—first, from the incredible insensitivity of displaying the image.  At 38.5 weeks, I am barely keeping my head above the flood of a thousand anxieties about my baby, myself, my family.  Maybe I’m a pampered American brat, but when I recline to hear my baby’s heartbeat, I don’t expect to be confronted with horrors.  But there was a suffering child, one who was not saved, and the image of her...READ MORE

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Audio Entertainment for the Prevention of Intra-Familial Automotive Mayhem

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 9:00 AM Comments (58)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, in theory.  This holds true when you’re having a happy holiday at home, and it’s also lovely to see friends and family who live far away.  But you have to get from one location to the other, the wonderfulness can decrease pretty rapidly, mile by mile, rest stop by rest stop, shriek by shriek.

On our rare road trips, we search around for some audio entertainment that the whole family can enjoy—a tall order for kids aged 13, 12, 10, 9, 7, 5, 4 and 2, not to mention parents who still have some standards. We got through our last long trip with The Hobbit audio book adapted by Bob Lewis (available on cassette).  It was pretty good, but the long, noisy...READ MORE

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No Thanks Giving

Friday, November 25, 2011 9:00 AM Comments (32)

It’s the day after Thanksgiving, and you guys are all either breathing your last as the hordes of shoppers trample on your head to reach the last Lalaloopsy Silly Hair doll available in North America, or else you’re weeping into a pan of leftover cornbread stuffing, wondering how you’ll ever face your girlfriend again after that . . . thing you did at her parents’ house.  In any case, I know perfectly well that no one’s reading this.

I, for one, had a lovely Thanksgiving.  The food was great, I didn’t make any of it myself, and there were cousins galore. My husband stuck to his “do not mention” list of interesting factoids about Newt Gingrich, and we’re fairly sure that, in the absence of...READ MORE

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Thanksgiving and Desire

Thursday, November 24, 2011 9:00 AM Comments (15)

My daughter is in kindergarten, and we had the following conversation last night:

Sophia:  In school we were making these leaves, and we had to put things that we were thankful for.  Everyone else was just putting their family.  But I didn’t.
Me:  Oh?  What did you put?
Sophia:  I just put Jesus.  Our family is TOO BIG.
Me (a little taken aback):  It is?  Do you really think our family is too big?
Sophia:  Yeah!  It has alllllll these people in it!
Me (thinking, “Rash words from child number six!”):  Well, which person do you think is extra in our family?
Sophia:  The new baby.  Yeah, the new baby is definitely extra.
Me: (really kind of stunned now, because this kid loves babies): ...READ MORE

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Dangerous Books for Teenage Girls

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 8:00 AM Comments (107)

Believe it or not, I still haven’t seen the final installment of Stephenie Meyer’s masterful saga, Pretty Hair, Platelets, and the Hottest Chastity Ever, or whatever it’s called. From what I hear, it’s either fiercely and unexpectedly pro-life or horrifyingly damaging to the pro-life movement.  One things seems certain:  it’s a pretty crappy movie inspired by a crappy book.  So.

More interesting than the books themselves is the debate over whether or not they are dangerous to young women’s ideas about love.  I’ve made sure that my own daughters would rather eat Vaseline than read a Twilight book (snobbery has its benefits).  But as a dopey and malleable teenage girl, I came across lots of...READ MORE

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True Grit and Winter's Bone

Friday, November 18, 2011 8:00 AM Comments (17)

By coincidence, I watched both True Grit (2010) and Winter’s Bone recently.  Both films were nominated for Oscars in 2011, and much has been made over the parallels between them: incredibly tough teenage girl, left alone to care for her siblings and hapless mother, shows preternatural courage and determination on her quest— in True Grit, to find and kill her father’s murderer; in Winter’s Bone, to find her father, dead or alive.

It’s irresistible to compare the two movies, and it’s refreshing that neither girl is made a puppet for either feminist or conservative agitprop.  But it doesn’t serve either film well to rate them against each other.  They aim for and achieve different things.

...READ MORE

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About Simcha Fisher

Simcha Fisher
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Simcha Fisher, author of The Sinner's Guide to Natural Family Planning writes for several publications and blogs at I Have to Sit Down. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and nine children. Without supernatural aid, she would hardly be a human being.