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Date archive for: September 2013

Surf Lesson

I’d like to tell you that I’d always wanted to surf. That I’d spent decades on the shore, secretly longing to be out shredding tubes with the sun-kissed stick jockeys. It would be romantic to say it took 40 years to get me to climb onto a surfboard. But the truth is it took only two words:

Champagne. Brunch.

My son’s school organized a surf-lesson fundraiser with booze, breakfast, and a band of adventurous, surf-virgin moms. As a California native who’d never hung 10 — and whose arm needn’t be twisted to slurp mimosas with her toes in the sand — how could I say no?

My surfing friends say there’s something spiritual about a day on the board. It’s meditation in motion. It’s prayer without words.

So imagine my surprise when our instructor informed us that he was fresh off a tequila bender from the previous evening. He zipped us into wet suits (which offer a full-body SPANX effect that I rather enjoyed) and began a lecture about point breaks, riptides, offshore winds, and other facets of physics that I was still entirely too un-mimosa’d to care about.

My attention ebbed and flowed like the tide, but I heard instructive blips like “zip up your ankles … squat low … no ballerinas… eyes on the beach … or you’re gonna nosedive …” We practiced popping up from our bellies to our feet while we were still on the sand. And then we hit the water.

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Selling Used Pregnancy Tests?

I love the Internet. I do. God bless that sprawling cyber jumble of eclectic digi-data. Today alone I used the dub-dub-dub to figure out what the hell is going on in Syria, to satisfy my curiosity about whether pigs can swim (yes! I saw the video!), and to find a synonym for uncouth (see crass, below).

And yet … I have to be the Cantankerous Person Born Before 1980 here and point out that having an information free-for-all at my fingertips also serves as a daily reminder that the world as we know it is coming to a crass and unattractive end.

The latest evidence: Pregnant women across the nation are posting ads on Craigslist offering to sell positive pregnancy tests to anyone who, um, needs one. No joke. They’re peddling used plastic wands bearing the little blue plus sign or parallel pink lines in the tiny indicator window — and they’re asking $20 to $40 a pop.

“I will provide the positive test and deliver to an agreed-upon public location,” read one last week.

“This will NOT be a dollar store test,” assures another — a label snob. “Will be either Clearblue, First Response, or e.p.t. Let me know!”

Some of the ads offer suggestions for precisely how to use the sticks to your advantage:

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