At least I know when the milk goes bad. Probably.

Posted in Snarky Pride?, Teh Cuteness on September 4, 2015 by Misanthropic Mom's Group

My cat is a total dick.

Don’t get me wrong, I adore his fuzzy butt, and he is an wonderful, good natured, fluffy ball of purrs. It is just that he is also kind of an asshole.

Case in point. For some obscure feline reason he feels the need to inspect dairy products. If he sees dairy, he needs to sniff at it. He doesn’t actually lick it, and once it is sniffed he is basically done, but that sniffing must occur. (Except that he has developed a taste for ice cream. Specifically my ice cream. Whenever I get it out of the freezer he immediately teleports to directly underfoot, and I am obliged to share. He doesn’t do this with anyone else in the house, so it is uncertain whether he just knows that I am the only one who will share with him, or if he just really likes coffee toffee ice cream in particular. But I digress.)

His most regular dairy inspector job is my morning coffee. (I don’t care what time it is, if it is the first thing consumed after waking up, it is morning coffee.) I drink my coffee heavily latte, so I generally pour milk into the cup about a third of the way up before adding coffee. He has gotten so that when the cup is set down and I am still opening the refrigerator he has himself in position. When I do this in the kitchen he almost never misses a cup. But if I am upstairs at the mini-fridge he sometimes isn’t there.

The other day was a day when he missed it. I had just filled the cup with coffee when Mark said, “You didn’t let Momo inspect the milk!” I mumbled something about how Momo would adjust and went off to heat up the coffee-milk. A minute later Mark was standing in the doorway looking stern.

“Go LOOK at what you have done!”

I go look, and lo and behold Momo is sitting on top of the mini-fridge just staring at me. Unblinking. With that cat look that is somewhere between disappointment and condemnation.

Well, there was really nothing else I could do at that point but get another cup and go pour a token amount of milk in it so he could sniff it.

He sniffed it.
He dipped his paw in the cup. (Okay, so much for that milk.)
He put his head down, as if to rub the side of his face appreciatively against the cup. For a microsecond I thought to myself, “Look! I’ve made him happy and he is grateful.”

That was the moment when he started to push the cup off the mini-fridge. Luckily I KNOW HOW HE IS, so I caught it in time. But yeah, my cat is a total, unrepentant dick.

I still can’t figure out why that fact is so damn cute.


The Man Ain’t Got No Culture *

Posted in Geek Pride!, Mostly Snarky on May 29, 2015 by Misanthropic Mom's Group

*Updated for 2016. Please see Addendum below Main Story.

So WHO stood up for the validity of Geek culture and won? Me. You’re welcome.

Tasha’s school was yet again having their annual slightly tone-deaf “International Day”, in which students are supposed to write about their ethnic (read non-American) culture, and prepare a beloved cultural dish to share with the school. Sounds reasonable? Maybe it did for the first 3-4 years, but by year 7 is was getting a tad ridiculous. Particularly for our family who are just basically mutts. Even on the Chinese side you have to go back generations to find immigrants, and the Jong family cultural dish is take-out in pink boxes. On my side it is just picking random northern european countries that ancestors may or may not have come from in the distant past. Our cultural cuisine was “whatever is quick”. The only lovingly handed down recipe comes from my step-father, and latkes do not lend themselves to potlucks. Also the essay portion would have to be something like, “My mom’s stepdad was a jew from Queens, NY. We think part of the family might have come from Russia, but pretty much every family member is dead or has Alzheimer’s, so we aren’t sure. Anyway we make latkes on Christmas Day most years. We also put a star of David on the top of the tree. None of us are Jewish, but fried potatoes are delicious. Then we all watch the Doctor Who Christmas Special.”

Which brings us to Geek Culture. The school had handed out the flier announcing yet another “Let’s Pretend We Have a Heritage” day and I expressed frustration to the teacher, at which point all of the older kids started chiming in on how they loathe this practice. I said, “The only meaningful culture we have is Geek Culture. I could make Tardis shaped cookies, and Tasha could wear her Inspector Spacetime t-shirt.” And her teacher, who is cool and sympathetic, thought it was a great idea, and said she would ask the Powers That Be if the formula could be tweaked somewhat for the older kids to do things like that.
Needless to say, this went very, very wrong. Next thing I know I am getting a text on my phone from the school saying that allowing Natasha to do something like this would violate the family values of the event and send the wrong message to the other children.

I was pissed.

I was pissed, but I did NOT hit reply. Okay, maybe I did, but I did not hit send. I was good.

I did, however, have an extensive email conversation with the teacher, part of which included this paragraph:

“My own grandmother hated to cook, and did so dutifully and without anything verging on enthusiasm. We have no handed down family recipes. Our Christmas Day tradition is to watch the Doctor Who Christmas Episode. No one on either side of Natasha’s family has a living memory of any family member who was not born in the United States. She is however, a third generation Real Geek Girl. My mom read The Lord of the Rings in 1963 when the only copies available were pirated. She read them all out loud to me when I was five years old. My first crush was on Mr. Spock. When I was 7 she took me to an SF convention. I’ve had an email account since 1989. I have friends in several countries and across the US that I met in the 1990’s on a MUD platform, long before the WWW existed. In Santa Cruz in the late 80’s and 90’s we had “Geek Houses”, which were groups of housemates living together in fully wired communities. The houses had names, such as The Armory, The Institute, Animal Farm etc. Everyone knew one another through email, bulletin boards, and forums. Periodically people would call Food Runs and as many as 50 people would show up at 11pm at the local Denny’s. We would get together for group viewings of shows like Star Trek: TNG or Twin Peaks. Groups like this existed in other places than Santa Cruz. I have a friend who did her dissertation on this very subject. Natasha is a born and bred denizen of the internet. From YouTube personalities to podcasts to memes, she is a product of people who lived for things like technology, fandom, role playing games, SF/Fantasy, and just generally being smart people. When I suggested it I was not being flippant, or making a joke. I was very serious. It is our culture. We made it ourselves.”

Then we knuckled under, said Tasha is maybe 1/32 French Canadian, and made Poutine, which I do recommend. Very tasty.

I was going, with some trepidation, to pick her up this afternoon when I get ANOTHER text from the school apologizing profusely. I am then met at the door by the headmaster’s wife who proceeds to apologize so much it was a tad embarrassing. Bottom line is that if Tasha wants to be a Geek next year, and explain her unique (and previously unheard of) culture, she is free to do so.

Then when I got home I saw an email from the teacher saying this (Eric is the headmaster, Gayle is his wife):

“So Eric asked me during international day if I wanted him to explain to Natasha why they didn’t want other kids dressing up in Spider-Man costumes and I said NO!!! choking on my samosa. At that point I thought I had to mention to them briefly some of the points you said, but not the venting parts. This was to spare Natasha from a Spider-Man joke.
Also, Gayle said she hoped she didn’t offend you. I didn’t say anything, just that geek culture is actually really important to you guys, not a joke, and more complex than they think it is.”

The very thought of Tasha in a Spiderman suit made me laugh. She would have laser eye beam powers of derision.

Addendum: June 1, 2016

International Day Report or How to Make Your Stepfather’s Heart Melt


Geek Culture

Laundry Day and Daleks

Posted in Geek Pride!, Snark, Snarky Pride? on January 20, 2015 by Misanthropic Mom's Group

While mining for laundry in Lamp’s room I came across a particularly rich vein of socks. At least a half dozen “pairs”. Meaning that they are all black because I only buy him black socks, so I use the term pairs loosely. It is funny how much pleasure this gives me. My life is sad.

There are also some stains of questionable provenance. But we mustn’t go there.

When mining for teenaged laundry one needs to take the same sort of precautions one would take for any other sort of mining. First it is imperative that someone else knows you are in there. You don’t need to be in constant two way communication with someone on the outside, but at the very least there needs to be someone who will alert authorities if you fail to return in a timely manner. Cave ins are always a possibility, and your screams could be muffled if you are beneath a pile of laundry, old kleenex, and a metric ton of Legos. Because of this, you should always work from the top down. Pulling a likely looking sock from the side of a pile could easily result in a landslide.

Always watch your footing. Place each foot down gently yet firmly to ensure that the substrate is stable. As always, watch out for Legos. They are everywhere, and unlike guitar picks can deliver a nasty wound. If you see one, be assured that there are 10,000 more in hiding.

Breathing gear is optional, but recommended for any but the most strong of stomach. Food containers can and will have things growing in them that may emit hazardous agents. Try to remember that your goal is only the laundry or you could be trapped for days. Get in and out quickly, yet safely. You can always check pants pockets for money after leaving the hazard zone.

Bright lighting is a bit of a quandary. One needs light enough for safety, and to be able to avoid at all costs stepping IN something, but there are certain things that one would rather view in a softer lighting. If one must view them at all. I find that a single overhead is more than enough and can even be dispensed with entirely on bright days if the window happens to be visible.

Finally, try not to think too hard on where the stains may have come from. Just wash the blanket/sock/shirt/curtains and move on. Too much thought can lead to dark places, and that way leads to madness. However, as I learned after the quail incident, sometimes the reason it smells like something is dead in there… is that something is dead in there.

Anyhow laundry day was a nice break from the partially completed knitted Dalek shaped coffee press cozy which is taunting me from where I discarded it in exhaustion yesterday. It is slightly lopsided so far, and is only about 1/3 complete, but I can still hear it in my head. Obligate! Obligate! Obligate!

I think I may actually be getting better at un-knitting mistakes than I am at knitting them in the first place.

Mourning My Imaginary Gay Son

Posted in Snarky Pride?, Um, Seriously Snarky? No. Snarkily Serious. on July 7, 2014 by Misanthropic Mom's Group

* Edited for 2016, please see end

Recently I got a lot of Facebook love for a quip I made about wanting to turn my son gay. It was in reference to someone else’s snark about how the god botherers are worried everything will turn their kids gay. It was meant to be satirical, so like all good satire it was almost entirely true.

“Lemme tell you, I’ve tried and tried to make my son gay. I raised him in San Francisco. I never put him in sports. I encouraged music and drama. I made him watch Cabaret… nothing. The damn boy insists on being straight. I put him through 9 years of episcopalian boys’ school, for fuck’s sake. Even though we are atheists! I’ve tried to explain that if he insists on being a musician, he could use a husband to support him. I’ve exposed him ad nauseum to the gay agenda. Nada. Now I’ve got a long haired, neon skinny jeans wearing, guitar playing straight teenaged boy on my hands, with nothing to look forward to but years of *girlfriends*. GIRLFRIENDS. The very thing I wanted to avoid.

I am here to tell everyone, I am living proof that you can’t make a child gay.”

Every detail there is actually true, except that I never would try to make my son be anything. (Also, he did do one year of soccer in 1st grade, but that was his father’s fault. And he hated it.) It has always seemed to me an absolutely unforgivable parental abuse to deny one’s own child for being gay. Or straight. I would really struggle if one of my kids came out as Republican, but I can’t see disowning them. Thankfully the capacity to use logic and reason seems to be somewhat genetic, so neither has shown any dangerous conservative tendencies. But I would still love them.

I hope.

Before I became a mother I was confused as to why even some liberal parents would hope their kids didn’t turn out gay. I was told that it was because they wouldn’t wish them to be discriminated against, which makes some sense, but never really washed for me. However, your perspectives on parenting issues often do change significantly after actually becoming a parent, so once my baby boy was born I wracked my brain trying to decide if it would bother me, even the slightest little bit if he turned out to be gay. I examined numerous scenarios, and I just couldn’t see a downside. I wouldn’t just accept a gay son, I think I’d be happy about it. The statistics on the percentage of the population that is gay are questionable, but it is pretty safe to say that the odds of getting lucky are against you. Only a small percentage of mothers are fortunate enough to get a gay son.

Periodically as he grew I would revisit the question in my mind. Would it bother me? At all? And all I could think is “What is not to love?” I wouldn’t have to deal with teenaged girlfriends, that is one big plus. I was a teenaged girl, and I knew plenty of them, and in general? Not a fan. Ditto that I would not have to worry about PREGNANT teenaged girlfriends. Big plus. He is very good with children, so it is likely he will want to be a dad, but that is hardly even an issue anymore. Gay guys have strong networks of friends, and a wonderful culture. And they love their moms. I could SO live with that.

I fantasized about my gay son. He would be gorgeous, of course. He would always know he was accepted by his family, so he would be unconflicted about his sexuality. He would have a series of fun boyfriends, like Lorenzo, who would do my hair. We would go out to tea, my gay son and I. And sometimes brunch, so long as they serve late. We are NOT morning people. Eventually he would meet a nice, quiet boy with a good paying, yet meaningful career. Perhaps a pediatrician. And even though my son would sometimes forget to call me, Josh would be the type to keep in touch and send me endless pictures of the grandchildren.


Of course we love the children we have, not the ones we imagine. Yet for years I tried to ignore the little signs that he might be straight. I told myself that there was plenty of time for him to discover the truth about his orientation, yet I think I always knew. My dream died about a year or so ago when we were backing up his laptop and found some porn in his browser history. Straight porn. I was a little bit crushed. I thought he might just be experimenting, but I knew the odds were not in my favor. I live in San Francisco. I grew up in a gay resort community. My gaydar is above average for a basically straight woman. I had to face the fact that my sweet little boy was straight. His tastes in clothing are certainly… different. He is definitely not a macho guy. He still hates sports and wants to be a musician. He wears his hair long these days and has a wry, artistic sensibility. He doesn’t care what people think of how he dresses, or behaves. He is unconcerned with being popular. He plays guitar. And sings. On stage. In front of people. He is an unabashed nerd.

He is really, really cool.

Holy beer-battered Christ on a stick, I have inadvertently created teenaged girl catnip.


So I utterly love the boy I have. Yet there is a part of me that mourns the gay son I don’t have. It hardly seems fair that there are women out there who are lucky enough to hear the words, “Mom, I’m gay.” and instead  of being properly grateful, they turn him out of their home. Those mothers don’t deserve to have a gay son.

But maybe, somewhere out there, there is an unloved gay boy who needs a mom.

We could do brunch.

* EDIT: UPDATE 11/15/2016

I take back everything I have said about girlfriends. His girlfriend is lovely. Couldn’t be better if I’d picked her out myself. Which I totally DIDN’T DO, okay? That would be creepy. His sister picked her out. And while I will admit that is a little bit like me picking her out in that his 13 year old sister acts enough like me that there isn’t much difference. But it is totally different.


Anyway. Girlfriends are cool. While a final answer may change given limited sample size, and a lack of a control, I’d even be prepared to say that girlfriends are cool in all instances. With the way the country is going at the moment it’d be a relief to have a gay daughter. The discrimination can be mostly mitigated by living in our ultramarine blue area, and with the upside being that the risk of unintended pregnancy drops to near zero? I would advocate that all girls in this country just consider lesbianism. It doesn’t have to be forever. Just until we all regain our senses, or until the inevitable descent into the world of Mad Max.

The Sibling Wars: Drone Strikes

Posted in Uncategorized on March 31, 2014 by Misanthropic Mom's Group

Now those of you who have been playing along at home know that He Who Shall Not Be Named has another child aside from mine. The child in question is a little girl who is now about 18 months old, and from photos I have seen, is quite adorable. I have not actually met her, or her mother, but I have been in occasional contact with said mother. As fellow baby mommas and veterans of HWSNBN, we have certain interests in common. I actually envy her, as she got out relatively early. But I have absolutely nothing against her or the little girl. I do not believe in punishing babies because their father happens to be an idiot.

Tuki, on the other hand, holds no such qualms. From day 1 of Baby’s existence she has been feeling affronted. Her father, in a stunningly tone deaf feat of being completely, predictably himself, chose to give his new daughter the same middle name as his previous daughter. I have no doubt that he thought that this would somehow tie them together… but if he had ever once paid the slightest bit of attention to Tuki’s personality he would have known to ASK HER FIRST. So (Surprise!) she was royally pissed to have her name “stolen” by the new baby. My attempts to explain that it was actually stolen by her father have fallen on deliberately deaf ears. As far as she is concerned human babies are loud, smelly, annoying and suffer from a distinct lack of fur. On the one hand, as a parent of a nearly teenaged girl, I like to encourage such opinions. On the other hand, I don’t really want her to take out her annoyance on an innocent child. So I find myself in the odd position of championing this baby who belongs to someone else, and trying to get Tuki to see reason. It doesn’t matter one whit if it is “fair” or not that Baby exists. She does. It isn’t her fault. She doesn’t deserve a big sister who constantly bemoans her existence.

Of course there is someone else whose existence is bemoaned by Tuki, and that is of course her brother. Basically this girl would strongly prefer to be an only child, and if only the universe would succumb to her will, it would be so. They are in a near constant state of squabbling, most of which seems (to me) to be driven by Tuki being annoyed at anything and everything that he does.

Most of it… but even the most tolerant and oblivious of brothers is going to fight back somehow. And, well… he is human. So he goads her. In the style of brothers from time immemorial if something annoys her, he does it over and over again. And she is SO easy to annoy! Apparently he does this more when they are at their father’s apartment, because it is tiny and they are all living in each other’s laps. And of course I hear about every offense in intimate detail as soon as she comes home. Just as I hear exhaustively about all the things that Baby does to her that drive her crazy, as if she expects an 18 month old to act with malicious intent.

18 month olds do not act with malicious intent. And I think that deep down she knows that.

14 year old brothers, on the other hand, certainly do.

The other night I was chatting with Lamp, and I mentioned that I am torn between bowing to Tuki’s desire to spend less time with Baby (i.e. get me to ask her father to allow me more days per week), and wanting her to work out her feelings in that regard. Lamp agreed that she does need to do so. He, himself, is quite fond of Baby and enjoys playing with her. He told me that it probably isn’t helping matters any that he has been teaching Baby to do things to annoy Tuki on purpose.

My quiet son had a bit of a sly smile on his face when he explained that he has taught his toddler sister to give him high fives. Which he now has her do with him. Every time she does something that makes Tuki angry.

He said he considers it a long term investment.

That’s no lady, that’s my mom!

Posted in Uncategorized on January 29, 2014 by Misanthropic Mom's Group

During an amusing session of online banter I found myself engaged with several other persons with whom I have no tie in “life”, but with whom I share at least one common interest, namely all being fans of a certain writer. The conversation had veered wildly off topic and a few of us made a succession of rather bawdy comments, at which point someone said, “How do all you ladies know so much about *insert topic here*??? I’m coming over with some beer!”


Prior to that point I may or may not have noticed that all the participants were female (other than the last commenter), but it had not seemed important to me. I hold no rancor for the guy in question either. He was trying to be funny just as the rest of us were. He wasn’t making any sort of value judgement or even making a skeevy pass. I don’t care about that stuff. It is all online anyhow, and I have a really thick skin when it comes to humor. Plus I was the one who took the jokes in a vaguely sexual direction. I certainly can’t complain if someone else goes there. One thing I try hard not to be is a hypocrite.

Still. Ladies.


This isn’t the first time I’ve run up against this recently. Another online friend, who is extremely feminist in his leanings, posted a meme talking about what he finds sexy in a woman. The point of it was that the things that are really sexy aren’t the things that are played up in the media, but whatever. One item on the list was “an innocent looking lady who can swear like a sailor.” And I rankled. I did.

Why, I can hear you asking? What is wrong with calling a woman a lady? Isn’t it a compliment?

Well, it IS meant to be. The witty banter I engaged in this evening was on a feed that tends to skew somewhat older than I. I recognize the fact that the use of that L word is intended to be flattering, or at least neutral. Which is why I didn’t actually say anything at the time. I don’t like to get into it with strangers, and I hate making people feel bad, even to make a point. That was neither the time nor the place.

Still. I aint no GODDAMN lady.

Why? Because it annoys me that the fact of my gender should somehow exclude me from any body of information. It annoys me that I am supposed to pretend ignorance on subjects that “aren’t fit for a lady.” It annoys me that even in this day and age “innocence” is considered a virtue, when to me innocence is another word for ignorance. Why is it feminine to be uneducated? On any topic? Why are there words I am not supposed to know? Or supposed to demurely pretend not to know? Why is it somehow sexy to secretly know these words, but appear not to?

I am by nature a curious person. I am. I want to know things. Often the things I want to know are not comfortable things. They are not necessarily palatable things. But they are true things, to the extent that I can make them so. I don’t think ignorance of ugliness is protection from ugliness, but I guess that is just me.

I guess I am just the kind of mom who watches Family Guy with her kids, no matter how old they are, and then answers any questions that may come up. I answer them honestly, and in detail. Until they tell me to stop. This is how I do it. I know it isn’t how most people do it. So I’m the kind of mom whose 10 year old daughter asks me to please stop talking about the best way to dispose of a body when we are in public. I can accept that.

But I am no fucking lady.

Don’t make me angry… you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry…

Posted in Uncategorized on January 23, 2014 by Misanthropic Mom's Group

So the first thing you need to know for this story is that Tuki wears a poncho. As in wears it all the time. As in I’ve mended it three times and made myself really proud by refinishing the “brass” plastic buttons using fingernail polish.

She wears it to school.

She wears it on stage.

You can’t get her out of it.

It was really a masterful buy on my part, as I ordered it without first consulting her. That is normally not something one wants to do. She is really picky and pretty unpredictable. I ordered it because I liked the pseudo military styling, and because she really needed a new light jacket. It was a huge relief when she loved it. Other people had complained that because it is a knitted material, like a sweater, that it stretched, but in our case it seems to just keep growing with her. She has been wearing the thing for about two years now.

Jump to Christmas time when my father asked me if I thought she would like a new poncho. I was not certain. After all, love of current poncho does not equate to love of all ponchos. But he decided to order one he thought she would like. He found it on eBay, and it was shipped from the UK. It cost about $30, and shipping was free, so naturally it arrived late. Which was not really an issue. She doesn’t mind late gifts. The problem became apparent first to my mom, who opened it. She took one look at it and said, “It’s tiny!” My dad pointed out the label that said 9-10 Years. My mom said it was obviously mis-sized, so they would have to take it back. My dad pointed out that the size on the label was indeed the size he had ordered, so he didn’t think the company would take it back. My mom pointed out that labels are sometimes wrong.  My dad wanted Tuki to try it on. My mom demonstrated the tininess by showing how it would not come close to fitting over her head. My dad wanted Tuki to try it on. My mom called me and told me it was tiny. I said to send it back. My dad wanted Tuki to try it on. My mom said she was absolutely sure it wouldn’t fit anyone over the age of four. My dad wanted Tuki to try it on.

It was mailed to me.

I took one look at it and knew it would never fit. I told my dad to send me the payment info, and I would deal with it. He still wanted her to try it on, so I waited until she returned from a vacation trip. It would not fit over her head. However, she DID like it… if only they would send one that wasn’t toddler sized. My dad sent me the ordering info. The receipt was signed by “Vilma”. I began very nicely.


Dear Vilma,

My father, David Hathorne, purchased a lovely poncho from you (reference below) as a Christmas gift to my daughter. Sadly, it is very, very much too small. This is somewhat confusing as she is a rather petite 10 year old, not at all a large girl. However, the poncho we received, although marked 9-10, will not even fit over her head, and if it were forced would only just barely cover her shoulders. The item looks to me to be sized for a 4 year old at best.
As I said, it is a lovely item. We would love to have one that would fit her. Please inform me as to the best way to proceed.
Alicia Hathorne

Hi there,

I’m very sorry, but we do not have a bigger item in stock. As our return policy, we offer a refund if you are unhappy with your goods in any way. If you wish to post item back we will happily return the money you paid once we receive the item. If you do wish to return the item, please make sure it is returned in the condition it was sent. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Kind regards,

 Vilma Simkiene

 Lotmart UK Ltd


As this item was very seriously mis-sized, please send me a shipping label for return post. 

Now it is at this point when Vilma must have bumped me to her supervisor, because my next email comes from “Valdas”.
Hi there,

 I’m very sorry, but we do not provide return labels to USA. As our return policy, the buyer is responsible for the return postage costs.

If there is our mistake we will return the shipping cost to you once we receive the item back.

Kind regards,


 Lotmart UK Ltd

Unit 7B, Midas Business Center, Wantz Road, Dagenham, Essex, RM10 8PS, United Kingdom




Dear Valdas,
 I am not certain what you would consider being your mistake. The fact is that the label on the product does say 9-10 years. It is also a fact that the actual garment would never fit anyone over the age of 4. However, I can’t prove this to you without also shipping you my 10 year old, which while tempting, would violate laws in both our countries. At least I assume so. I am not up to date on UK postage law, but here in the states they had to crack down on that sort of thing after several people got into the habit of mailing their toddlers to Grandma’s house.
To reiterate my previous letter to Vilma, this is not a case of buyer’s remorse. We actually like the product, or we would if there was a sufficient amount of it to cover a good sized vole. I understand that the problem most likely originated in the factory, by mis-sizing the product, and that you are merely the middleman trying to sell it. However, you are NOT going to be able to sell it again to another 9-10 year old unless what they are really shopping for is a hat. I would be perfectly happy to toddle off and pay to post this to you except for two things: 1) It was a gift. At this point I am paying for NOT having a gift for my daughter, and 2) the quality of customer service received so far does not reassure me that my father would be seeing a refund before Essex is inundated due to Global Warming let alone MY receiving a refund on postage.
Now I am more than happy to send you photos of my daughter with this “poncho” perched on her head like an oddly symmetrical headscarf, but I am afraid that at this point I am going to have to recommend that my father request his refund from PayPal and resort to the only recourse of the eBay buyer… the dreaded feedback. But he WILL NOT be the one writing it. I will. If possible I will include the photos.
Or, perhaps you could see your way clear to sending me a return mailing label.
Kind Regards,
At this point I really don’t care any more about sending the damn thing back. Now I am just doing this for my own amusement. I am therefore somewhat surprised to hear back from Valdas.
Hi there,

 Can you please send us photos of your daughter with this poncho?

 Kind regards,



 Of course I got this email on Monday when Tuki is at her dad’s. I am cursing myself for not planning ahead and taking the photos at the time of the original threat, but I really didn’t expect to hear anything ever again. So I quickly sent the following:


Dear Valdas, 

I am so pleased that you replied. Unfortunately my daughter is away for the next two days. Please be assured that a complete photo log WILL be forthcoming by no later than Wednesday evening, PT.
However, to show that I am serious, please accept this photo in the meantime of the only family member who is able to get the product over his head.
Kind Regards,
p.s. Apologies for the photo quality. It was hard to get him to hold still and hold the phone at a reasonable distance. I am hopeful, but not in any way certain, that this will not be a problem when photographing my daughter.  Fingers Crossed.
Then, as I had promised (I always keep my promises), I sent this:

Hello there,

So, my daughter is 55 inches tall and weighs 70 lbs, which is dead average according the the government charts for the US. I doubt there is an appreciable difference in the UK. Here you see the extent to which she is able to wear the poncho. The arm holes are here roughly at the height of her neck. Even if she were able to get it on properly, these would be just below her shoulders and useless.
Here you can see a closer shot.
Here she is, looking rather adorable. As I said, it does make a rather good headscarf. 
Kind Regards,

Hi there,

Thank you for the pictures. We have refunded you in full for the unsuitable item, you do not have to return it. Sorry for any inconvenience caused.

 Kind regards,




All for $30.35.