One: happy birthday redlipstickmama

Birthdays freak me out because of the general expectation that one should celebrate, the anguished analysis of what happened (or did not happen) the year before, and the stressful task of looking ahead and trying to figure out realistically how many years you have left in your life to ‘make it’. Plus, I always had to share my birthdays. All my siblings and I were born between mid September and mid-November which for my parents was good enough an excuse to do a yearly group birthday party- Lao style. And then I married someone who was born on the same day and same year. Ultimately, it is great but sometimes I needed it to be about me. Yes, I never had a birthday celebration on my own…until now.

Redlipstickmama turned 1 on 31 August. It hit me when I received a message a week ago from WordPress marking the day that I registered my blog last year. Have I really ranted about me, myself, and me for a year now? Unbelievable. What has redlipstcikmama achieved in one year? I thought it would be useful to carry out a 2 stages review: performance by numbers and a 360 degrees performance assessment.

The numbers say that:
– my posts currently reach 420 people including an estimated 160 regular readers which one third I have never met in my life. I never thought my friends and family would still talk to me after realizing how crazy I really am and I especially never thought I could actually meet new ‘friends’ in the process.

– I received 179 comments. It is a very satisfying stat; not only people are reading but they also share their opinion and so far I did not get one that reads: ‘you suck bitch, go die somewhere preferably under a lot of shite’.

– I wrote 78 posts (this one is No79), which means more than 1 post per week. So it is officially the most committed I have ever been to a project that is not related to work, education, family or friendship in my entire existence (bare the years when I was obsessed with France national soccer team. Zidane is a god, yes he is). Let’s review my dilettante past as:

  1. a dancer; I did hip hop for 2 weeks, ballroom dancing for 6 weeks, and pole dancing for 30 weeks. I gave up the first one because the whole mirror thing confused the hell out of me and I froze many, many times not knowing where right, up or down meant anymore. I gave up the second because it was threatening my marriage with DH: he could not remember steps to save his life and apparently as a woman, I was not supposed to lead…yeah, right. I gave up the third when I decided that having a pole made of steel between my thighs was slightly inappropriate and probably dangerous when pregnant with twins.
  2. an actor; I took classes for 3 months to overcome my fear of public speaking and ended up wanting to have therapy for the first time of my life. The exercises cut my soul deep. It was emotionally agonizing. And then I had to play sadistic and misogynistic Valmont (don’t ask why I ended up having the male lead part) in a redux public performance of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, which DH by the way does not remember seeing…Nice. Anyway, seconds after it was done and after my teacher gave me an approval look, I ran to the restrooms to throw my guts out from relief. That very moment in some soul less cubicle was my grand farewell to anything resembling performing arts.
  3. a collective sports player; I played both basketball and softball for 9 months. I stopped because I never scored a basket (I am 5ft2 for heaven’s sake) and I was out of breath after reaching first base. Plus although I was drinking beers with teammates afterwards, it was still sports so who was I kidding?

360 degrees feedback

a 360 degrees feedback is feedback that comes from an employee’s immediate work circle: subordinates, peers, and supervisor(s). I thus asked readers and a fellow blogger and awesome writer, Paul Fenton who writes the funny fentonton and Brisbantium to answer the following questions:

  1. The goal of redlipstickmama was: This blog is a vague attempt at articulating my messy journey through diapers, toddlers’ tantrums, job search, losing weight, becoming a New Yorker, keeping my husband and doing all this while trying to look amazing (or at least human)… How do you rate my achievement (1 being I sucked at it, 5 being I nailed this big time)?
    The whopping average is 4.75 ! This comment cracked me up: ‘I would give you a 5, but I have to dial that back to a 4.5 because of plausibility issues: one or all of your family should at the very least be institutionalised by now, or dead. I mean, the maths of it makes my head hurt.’
  2. What are the key strengths?
    I was not going to share this whole answer because it felt like self-indulgence but hey, you don’t get to be 1 every day so what the hell…
    ‘You remain uninstitutionalised and alive. Also, redlipstickmama does not hold back the messy details of parenting or the inner workings of your own mind. I came across a quote recently: I used to wish I could read people’s minds, but then I found Facebook and now I’m over it. This blog is more like a genuine glimpse into the chaos that is your head, without the inane turd-polishing typical of most social media. You are frank, dry, and funny as hell.
    Someone also said ‘commitment and stubbornness‘ 🙂 I’ll definitely take that one.
  3. Areas for development:
    Get some guest-posts from DH! Everyone needs a straight-man. He could be your occasional sensible sidekick.’
    I first thought: ‘what a great idea!’ and shared this with DH and he eagerly said:‘Oh yeah, I’ll do it’ but then I started to steer his thoughts and he’s like ‘Back off, it’s DH’s point of view!’ and suddenly I am thinking: ‘what have I done??? I may have created a monster…’
  4. Overall comments:
    Someone said: ‘I read it whenever I need to be reminded that not everyone is living in the Stepford hell I find myself constantly surrounded by (but not in). I look forward to the movie adaptation, where your character is a multinational hybrid of Carrie Bradshaw, (and) Hit-Girl …’ I started to think who would be playing me for a laugh and the result was a mix of America Ferrara (Ugly Betty), Drew Barrymore and crazy version of Wino(na) Ryder…Yes that sounds about right.

I had a ball doing this review and it gives me energy to keep whatever I am trying to do here. Numbers and raves are great for the ego but what I realized is that outcomes are what matters perhaps the most. And I cannot help but think that redlipstickmama somehow (mainly by allowing me to talk like a sociopath) did:

– strengthen many old and new friendships

– prevent me from putting my head into a washing machine in the communal laundry room

– help me nurture a happy marriage

– and love my kids a little better

Hope you guys will continue reading!

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21 comments

  1. Alison Moy

    You have another dedicated reader here! You have reduced me to tears on more than one occasion – both of laughter and because you moved me so much. Keep the posts coming… xxx

  2. Sandrine

    You rock! With the time difference I get your posts in the morning… On those days I have switched from reading Le Monde and BBC to Redlipstickmama while on my way to the office. Maybe one day I’ll watch the adaptation of your blog on a big screen?

  3. Nittaya

    Happy Birthday!! As family this is just another way we stay connected haha. I enjoy reading your posts and love seeing how the kids are going. Nick and I miss them dearly (They haven’t scared us away from visiting again lol) Keep up the good work xxxx

  4. Laurence

    We’ll keep reading as long as you’ll keep writing 😁 Congrat’s !!!
    Ps : putting your head in the washing machine would definitely ruin your hair style 😉

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