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The Answers to All of Your Burning Questions, Including Whether I Really Am the Size of a 10-year-old Boy

Let’s just get this over with.  You’re wondering if I’m going to read Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom.  I can hear you thinking it across the Internet; it will, after all, fragment our society yet again in the same way that there were the Titanic-watchers and the non-Titantic-watchers (who later also divided into the Avatar-watchers and the non-Avatar-watchers).  So, fine, yes, I’ll put you out of your misery so you can know which side of the line I’m going to fall; are we friend or literary foe.

I am going to read Franzen’s book.

But I’m going to wait until it comes to the used bookstore because I’m cheap (sorry, Mr. Franzen).


Many years ago, my pediatrician said as the punchline to another comment, “But Melissa is the size of a 10-year-old boy!”  This idea has stuck with me; so much so that while in a store, purchasing the Wolvog’s winter wardrobe of vintage Star Wars t-shirts, I wondered if I could fit into one of the larger sizes.  The boy’s department sign said that it carried clothes for kids ages 5–11 (I’m assuming this is because boys who are in middle school don’t want pyjamas with woodchucks on them saying, “Little Rascal!”)

So I went back into the dressing room and low-and-behold, though Batman’s symbol stretched suggestively across my enormous boobs, I could fit into a large children’s t-shirt.

Which opened a whole new world of clothing opportunities.  Did I want a pyjama top with a woodchuck that says, “Little Rascal?”  Well, no, I didn’t.  But I certainly wanted a vintage Star Wars t-shirt and a Superman one.

I tried them on for the kids when I got home and promised them that I’d only answer to the name “Bat Mum” from now on.


Now that I have answered that I am reading Freedom and I am the size of a 10-year-old boy, I’m certain there is very little else you’d want to know.  But ask away if you have any other burning questions and I’ll answer them in a future post.


1 Kymberli { 09.08.10 at 1:20 pm }

With your new book on the brink of release, are you “cooking up” any ideas for new books yet?

2 Kymberli { 09.08.10 at 1:21 pm }

…and I’m quite jealous that you can fit into kids’ shirts, because they have some of the coolest ones in existence.

3 Kristin { 09.08.10 at 2:10 pm }

I am seriously jealous that you can fit into those rockin’ t-shirts.

4 a { 09.08.10 at 2:36 pm }

I have been known to shop in the kids’ department myself. Sometimes the pants are too long, though.

My burning question, because it is one that plagues me too, is:

Will you color your hair or let it gray naturally?

5 PaleMother { 09.08.10 at 2:47 pm }

BatMum. I love it.

That is Dylan’s favorite shirt right now (“It’s a Lellow Bat Signal,” he tells everyone who comments on it, as if it required explanation). He also has the Superman shirt and I favor that one, as superhero t-shirts go. The colors are more flattering on him and I like the subtext, but he’s not interested in my agenda, of course.

6 Mrs. Gamgee { 09.08.10 at 2:58 pm }

Wow… I’m so jealous. I haven’t been able to wear kids clothes since I was 12 or 13.

My question… we all know you are a very talented cook/baker . What was your most memorable flop? Have you been able to master the recipe since it flopped?

7 The Casual Perfectionist { 09.08.10 at 3:39 pm }

I thought I was the ONLY one who did this!!

When I want cheapy t-shirts that are just in plain colors, I get boys’ t-shirts, too! How funny. There is something about the cut that allows for boobage. I think I need to revisit that part of the store and see if there are any designs I like! 😉

No additional questions at this time. Just poppin’ in. 🙂

8 Annie { 09.08.10 at 3:47 pm }

Love the shirts! My question is – how do you manage to do soooo much so well? You sound like a really great mom and wife, you manage a bloggy empire and help lots of people that way, you write books, you cook . . . A superhero T-shirt is so perfect for you!!

9 loribeth { 09.08.10 at 3:56 pm }

My first-year university roommate was very petite (short AND thin!) & she used to shop in the kids’ sections all the time. She said the clothes there were a lot cheaper.

No burning questions at the moment. I’ll put on my thinking cap.

10 Myndi { 09.08.10 at 4:57 pm }

Before we started TTC, I was underweight and could sport girls tops and mostly shopped in juniors. Now that I’m pregnant with triplets and quickly outgrowing my maternity shirts, I’m breaking into my husbands collection of t-shirts…Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Give a Hoot Don’t Pollute, Captain America…he’s got scads of these t-shirts. And I’m lovin’ it!

11 HereWeGoAJen { 09.08.10 at 6:52 pm }

Yes, but many ten year old boys are enormous. Matt was already over six foot or something. That is why the shirts are giant. I must argue this point because I also fit into a child’s large.

12 Angie { 09.08.10 at 8:00 pm }

It is fascinating to see the actual evidence of you being the size of a ten year old boy, because you have mentioned that you are shorter than people think you are, and I understand that logically, but still in my mind you are taller than a ten year old. Maybe because people I like and admire always seem taller to me. My mother is 5 foot, though, and her booming presence always felt much much bigger than me, and I have at least six inches on her. So, my question, which is neither burning nor dire, but interesting to me nonetheless is this: as someone who is told that you are shorter than imagined in person, which blogger, that you have met in person, was much different, i.e. shorter, taller, stranger, kinder, deeper-voiced, etc, than you imagined in real life and how so?

13 Calliope { 09.08.10 at 9:13 pm }

You are the cutest 10 year old boy EVER!!!
and, and, and…are you wearing pig tails???

My question: What movie or book or tv series from your childhood are you guys excited about sharing with the kiddos? What happens if they don’t love it the way they are supposed to? (I am already bracing myself for W not loving Muppets- but I can’t imagine this will happen as I have started the training early…)

14 Foxy Popcorn { 09.08.10 at 9:22 pm }

I had a very petite roommate who used to wear boys underwear with her boys tee-shirts. She was a peculiar bird.

Annie already asked the first question that I had … How do you do so much and do it all so well? Mama, Wife, Author, Blog Mother, Organizer, Thinker, Chef, I’m sure the list goes on and on!

When I first discovered your blog I thought, “This lady is awesome, I wonder how many helpers she has?” I’ve come to realize that you are just really great at being YOU.

Having said all that, I’ll leave the first question to Annie. What I really want to know is: How can I help you? Or more specifically, How can I help you in your capacity as Stirrup Queen aka Blog Mother?


15 TexasRed { 09.08.10 at 11:08 pm }

Fantastic T’s. Enjoy the book!

16 PaleMother { 09.08.10 at 11:45 pm }

Pick one or all …

Considering the shirt, if you were a superhero, what would your current super power be?

What is your all time favorite quote? (I know, it’s so hard to pick one. It’s like asking Mozart to pick his favorite note or Picasso to pick his favorite color.)

How in the world do you resist blogging about things that might get you in trouble … blogging about your family, people who drive you nuts, personal stuff? You have such great instincts about that and do such a great job focusing within your boundaries here. How do you resist the writing-as-processing urge that leads to regret, especially as a writer person? You must have other outlets? Does the benefit of blog-and-run, as Eden calls it, ever outweigh the risk? I know you’ve touched on these topics before. It always interests me to hear your thoughts. Can a blog be too unfocused, too undefined?

Mel … I could ask you questions all day. You shouldn’t let me in here ….

17 Kristen { 09.09.10 at 12:02 am }

I wish my boobs were the parts of my body making 10 yr old boys’ clothes tight 🙂

18 Cherish { 09.09.10 at 7:14 am }

I needed a laugh this morning, thanks! BatMum, that’s awesome.

19 coffeegrl { 09.09.10 at 9:30 am }

These shirts look lovely on you! Burning questions? Do you know where (figuratively and literally) you want to be 10 years from now? I’m not sure I can see my future 5 years from now (what with the moving around and all which makes puts our place of residence in flux as well as any career I might have) and as a result, I’m always interested in how others are imagining/planning their short-terms futures as a sort of inspiration.

20 Lori Lavender Luz { 09.09.10 at 4:33 pm }

OMG, I love seeing you.

I will read the Franzen book, too. In paperback or from the library. I’m 141st on the list.

21 Bea { 09.09.10 at 6:10 pm }

Oh wow! I am a little jealous. (I have come such a long way from your earlier post. I am now able to accept this without having it fuel my self-loathing 😉 That Star Wars shirt looks pretty awesome.


22 Vee { 09.10.10 at 7:14 am }

Oh Max would have LOVED those shirts he had quite a collection.

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