Princess Cornflakes

Too trashy to print on a cereal box

Archive for May 2007

mythologies

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Last night at a T-ball practice I saw another mom disciplining one of my son’s team-mates, a first grader. Bending to his level and scolding her son in a pointed finger gesture, she looked like something from a sunday-morning comic, or Lucille Ball or any number of TV housewives. This morning during the chaotic hour that is called breakfast – hurridly making Ovaltine, pouring Cheerios, drinking coffee, trying to keep my 2 year old from dropping too much on the floor while fielding my 7 year old’s questions about dinosaurs, I heard myself saying “Eat your breakfast! We’re not taping up the box for your science project until you finish your oatmeal!” That too could have been a line from “Family Circus” or maybe written for Alice on an episode of the Brady Bunch. I too, have become a cliche.

Far from something I laugh conspiratorially about with the supermarket cashier, exchanging epithets like “When did I become my mother?” or lamenting about the travails of taking care of children, I do not like the fact that I have become a myth and a cliche of frustrated 1950’s domestic motherhood. I wonder when it happened and if it will ever end. Will I ever go back to being myself?

In the 60’s, that era that everyone seems to have forgotten about, Roland Barthes wrote a lot about contemporary mythology. He describes myths as a second-leve semoitic system. I don’t really know that that means, but I’m glad that he has opened this area for discussion. Like metaphor, our society depends on myths. They are images that we can communicate and digest easily, the knowing father who gives advice, the friendly black service worker, the Mexican gardener, the TV mom. We tolerate and propogate myths, and that is the problem.

I’m sick of living with myths. I seek new ways of representation and new ways of expression. I’m a mom but that doesn’t mean my life has to be an absurd endless repetition of the life of Carol Brady, or Alice, or a comic strip. That is why I like blogging. I can’t escape from these roles in daily life, but at least I can talk about them on the Internet, and then I can concern myself with that science project without going crazy.

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Written by nattie

May 26, 2007 at 12:11 pm

Posted in Heather

Cimetière du Père-Lachaise

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This is one of my favorite places in Earth, or at least in the 20e arrondissement of Paris. I know Pere LeChaise is reviewed everywhere. I just wanted to have it on my site because thinking about the place makes me happy. I love cemeteries, not because I am goth, but because they are such beautiful places to stroll and full of memories and reminders of our mortality. That said, this place has everyone. We all know that Jim Morrison is buried here. But so are Chopin, Moliere, Oscar Wilde, Delacroix, Colette. Heloise and Abelard, ill-fated ecclesiastical lovers of the 12th century are also here at long last. The cemetery is huge and full of little streets, like a city of the dead. There are amazing statues, carvings, and memento mori everywhere you look, all intricately carved and sculpted in true Catholic fashion. You need several days to see the whole thing, and after you do, you’ll never want to go to Disneyland again. Salut.

Written by nattie

May 25, 2007 at 1:02 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Maraschino Cherries

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I realized that was what was missing from my life – maraschino cherries. So I went out and bought two jars yesterday, one with stems and one without. The stemless are better for baking, but it’s fun to try to tie the stems into knots with your tongue.

Written by nattie

May 24, 2007 at 12:58 am

Posted in Uncategorized