Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Granola Glam

There is a lot of emphasis in the Natural Parenting Community on what you do that makes you granola...or crunchy. Those terms describe people who live a more natural and earth-friendly lifestyle. There is a wide range of behaviors and actions that make one granola. Anything from using coconut oil as deodorant to making your own shampoo out of common kitchen ingredients can give one a certain level of crunch. Of course, there is a bit of competition between those who consider themselves to be granola. A mere sentence such as, "I just made my own homemade granola with the kids," can be expected to be one-upped with something like, "well, we made our own granola out of oats we grew ourselves, honey from our own beehives and I then mixed it with yogurt that I made from my own breastmilk." I'm serious, it really happens.

Every now and then, you have someone on a forum ask what you do that makes you crunchtastic. Obviously, this leads to the competition. Not shaving gets you points. However, if you do shave and manage to spin your just-shaved hairs into some type of human wool and then weave that into a Waldorf doll then you are the Grand Goddess of Granola. We bow to you. These questions are fun, despite some competitiveness, because you can learn new things. But, I also love when people ask what you do that isn't granola. It's fun to watch people sheepishly admit that they take long showers, eat McDonald's or drive an SUV. And that Grand Goddess of Granola? You find out that she bought her kids a plastic baby doll bottle from the dollar feed the Waldorf Wooly Human Wool Doll. I love how this question highlights something - it is presumed that if you are a crunchy, granola hippie chick such as myself, you can't be glamorous or girly.

I am often met with surprise when I admit that I have a shoe fetish or that I love 1950's housewife fashion. Eyes widen when I admit to using nail polish and sparkles. It is assumed that us super granola crunchy hippie chicks cannot be feminine, cannot be glamorous and must always roll in dirt and dress ourselves in vinca vine in order to maintain our crunchy cred. Well....phooey. Yes, you will often find me in T-shirts proclaiming my love for the planet and long, flowing gypsy skirts. However, you will also find me in frilly sundresses, fantabulous and bright sandals and loaded with nail polish and sparkly jewelry.

The following things about me deduct points from my hippie soul:

I have said the following on many occasions - "I want to have sex with those shoes." Now, I would never engage in actual shoe coitus - they can't buy me dinner - but I have a major shoe fetish. Thankfully, we are pretty dang poor, so I am left to merely drool in shoe stores. Every now and then I "splurge" (Mama doesn't buy shoes that are not on super sale or clearance - $30.00 is steep for me) and treat myself to a pair.
I take long showers and baths. This is something I am trying to stop. Sure, a good soaking in some Epsom salts and lavender essential oil is good now and then, but there is no excuse for my long showers. I do it to get some "me time," but I can easily pretend I have to poop and just hide in the bathroom with a book. No need to waste water doing so.

Nail polish. I love nail polish. I try to buy the rather pricey brands that are lower in nasty toxins and are cruelty free. I don't do fake nails and I don't do the standard French manicure. I have gorgeous nails of my own that I take the time to file nicely. And I paint them in funky colors. I'm going through a slight neon phase right now. Neon is everywhere, but I actually remember it when it was truly cool back in 1988. I was 10. I'm often seen wearing at least two different color polishes on my hands and my toes.

While I mainly clean with concoctions made of vinegar, water, essential oils and castille soap, I will bring out the big guns. I do own a small bottle of bleach. I can count on one hand the number of times I have used it in the past 2 years. Still, it's there and I'm not getting rid of it. Recently, I had the stomach bug from hell and it landed me in the hospital for a day. As soon as I came home, I kissed my husband and kids and headed straight to the bathroom to bleach the fuck out of every last little puke germ in there. I believe that bleach has a time and a place. This was that time and my bathroom was the place. In addition to bleach, I own a few Magic Erasers. We live in an apartment and they used somoe kinda of crappy, chalking matte paint that shows every single little smudge. We painted a few of the walls, but some were left white and those are the ones that my son decided to scribble all over with crayon.....with the one non-washable crayon among a sea of 10,000 washable ones. Far be it from me to stifle his creative genius. I don't yell at him for it, but after a while I'm tired of looking at it. I have tried making all sorts of magical potions out of vinegar, baking soda, borax, lemons, sea salt, Dr. Bronner' name it, I've tried order to naturally remove the crayon marks from the walls. Nothing worked. I resorted to that smug bald bastard with the tacky gold earrings, Mr. Clean. I probably don't want to know what makes it so magical...

I shave. Oh, the horror. Just admitting that has pierced many a crunchy heart. Listen, I understand  that we are mammals and this hair serves a purpose. I'm totally down with that. I have zero problems with folks who refuse to shave. For me, I like to smooth some areas out. I am not against growing my own socks in the Winter, but when Spring comes, I whip out my Preserve razor (made from recycled yogurt containers!) and mow quite a few lawns on my body. I like the look and feel of nice smooth armpits and legs. Heck, ask my husband about labor. The moment I realized I was in labor with my son, I hopped in the shower and shaved. And my daughter's birth? As if the start of labor with my daughter wasn't fun enough, my husband walked into the bedroom to find me sitting on the floor in front of the mirror, legs spread and up in the air while I took the electric razor to my bikini area. Again, this says something about our relationship when the only thing he said in response to that sight was, "would you like a pillow to sit on instead of the bare floor?" Awww. That's love.

I wax my eyebrows - My original eyebrows can give Bert a run for his money. They get so out of control that I can feel the weight of them on my face. It's awful. Again, if you love the size and shape of your eyebrows, I have no problem with that. I don't like mine plucked thin, but I like them nicely trimmed and shaped. I am unable to tweeze them. I find that I get bored halfway in between doing the first brow and the second. I once dozed off when tweezing my own brows. I had finished the first brow and was on my way to attacking the second when the sandman came. When I woke up, I completely forgot that I had been grooming my brows. I headed out to the supermarket and had no clue why people were looking at me saying things like, "bless her heart," and "that poor girl," under their breaths. So, to avoid all of that, I visit my hair salon and my lovely stylist slathers on some hot wax and rips the offending hairs out of my brow. I stop at eyeborws, though. They fucking hurt and I have no desire to rip the hair from larger parts of my body. You will not find me bent over in front of some chick while she rips wayward hairs out of my Funky Little EarthCrack. Ya know what I mean?

I love frilly dresses - Us hippie chicks are supposed to wear flare jeans and sandals or peasant tops with long gypsy skirts. I own all of those, but I do love me some sparkly and girly dresses. I have been known to visit bridal shops with friends just to dress up and twirl around in gowns for fun. I love 1950's style housewifey dresses, which also kicks away some feminist points (insert eyeroll here). Lace? Yay! Frilly, flowy fabrics? Woo-hoo? Sparkles? Come to Mama! Dresses of all kinds are a major weakness for me. Boho, retro, wedding, hollywood glam, long, short, sleek, poofy - I love 'em all. I adore getting dressed up.

I would love to dye my hair - if I could find a truly safe and natural to obtain some fantabulous blonde highlights, I would do it. Alas, I have yet to find a method. I know a lot of folks swear by lemon juice and/or chamomile tea. I haven't had any luck in that area, but maybe I'll try again. There are days when I am super tempted to go to my stylist to get some plain old foil highlights.

I go to the doctor - 99% of the medicine we use at home is homeopathic, herbal or FOOD. I even make some of our medicines. I use my own dehydrated placenta as an anti-depressant. I see a chiropractor now and then, I have an acupuncturist and I get energy work when I can afford it. Yet, I still see Western medical doctors. They know I'm that crazy chick who prefers natural treatments and will likely question everything. I have a cardiologist that I like to see on a regular basis. I go to a primary physician now and then. I take my children to the pediatrician. My husband goes to a variety of doctors (primary, cardio, pulmonary, neurologist, ophthalmologist). To me, doctors are like that bleach under my sink. I think they are overused in many cases, but there is a time and a place for them. You may have read about my daughter's hemangiomas and how we decided the natural course of therapy was not going to cut it for her. While I prefer alternative medicine, I am not opposed to western medicine if I find it is needed. Speaking of doctors, I am slightly obsessed with having my blood taken. No, not in a sparkly vampire sort of way. I love hematology and I do request yearly or bi-yearly bloodwork just to see how the old blood cells are holding up and if my chemistry values are behaving. Can't help it. My midwife will indulge me with this. She'll order up anything I ask because she trusts in my instincts and knowledge.

Gas - I drive a 2009 Nissan. It has 96,000 miles on it. *hangs head in shame*

You see, even I'm not perfect when it comes to keeping a high crunchy credit score. While I have made a lot of changes in the past decade to reflect a more Eco-friendly and holistic lifestyle, there are still some things I do that are less than Earth-friendly (even shoes and dresses - consumerism, ya know?). I am a crunchy granola hippie chick, but my granola is coated in ultra-fabulous tacky glitter.

You can't tell - but those are 4 inch heels and that's a retro 40's dress. We went hiking, all dressed up, on the way home from a wedding.


Monika said...

LOVE! The out-granola-ing is tiresome to me. If everyone does the best they can to be the best them that they can, that's all that matters. Thanks for showing your frilly side.

It matters that we are true to ourselves and lift each other up.

Funky Little Earthchild said...

It is very tiresome, Monika. You are so right - we should be lifint one another up. :-)

Mrs. Riccobono (a.k.a. "Mrs. Rick") said... - I would buy half the damn site if I could afford it. Lot's of wonderful 50's inspired clothing that totally indulges my inner Donna Reed.

Big Families Rock said...

You sound soo much like me. I try to live Crunchy/granola, but I do have my weaknesses, I drive a mini van (alot), I eat Mcdonalds sometimes (I love their hashbrowns) and I too have a big weakness for shoes and NAIL POLISH. I really dont shave (mainly bc I dont have time with 5 young children lol). I think I shave once every couple of months.

Funky Little Earthchild said...

Michelle - you are supposed to be encouraging me. lol

BFR - The shoes and nail polish are just so pretty. :-)

Funky Little Earthchild said...

I mean, you are NOT supposed to be encouraging me.

tjbaarty said...

Oh my goodness, I think I just peed myself in reading this. My daughter, in the kitchen had to come over to see what I was reading that was causing me to giggle, no, make that full out belly laugh, taking time to wipe my tears laugh. This was excellent. I, too, try to do granola type things but sometimes the ease of old way of life just calls to me. Anyway, thanks for the liver exercise for the day!! Keep it coming :)

Mud Mama said...

I'm thinking...we have our own dairy animals but we still buy coffee cream and it isn't even organic (no BST in canadian dairy though thank goodness)and LOL when I get too busy canning/spinning/farming etc I open a can of instant Habitant pea soup and serve that with saltines to my kids for dinner - seriously I'm too crunchy today to cook - eat this processed salt fest for dinner tonight :-)

Kathy Mayes said...

So funny! I'm a beginning crunchie. LOL. I'm just starting to make some of my own cleaners, my hubby and I are growing some veggies and herbs this year, but that's about it. Oh, and we keep a couple stands of bees. I LOVE heels, and I occasionally get the urge to break out the neon pink or purple sparklely nail polish as well. But we also get dumb looks when we break out or own shopping bags at the store, or when I tell the cashier I'll just put it in my bag. Thank you for being the source of my daily snort! I'll never be able to hear about someone getting a bikini wax again without laughing! LOL!

frugalistablog said...

Well now I love you even more!! I am not crunchy or as earthy as most. I'm pretty suburban. BUT, I do a lot of what you describe. Acupuncture has changed my life!
I still love haute couture, stilhettos, gorgeous handbags made from luscious leather... I know... so sad. And I will lust over a beautiful cosmetic from Dior or Chanel. And yet, I pull out the Dr. Bronner's for my hand washing, and rarely bleach but use microfiber cloths to clean. Unless, like you mentioned- there's poo or puke!

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