About Me:

Aloha! I'm Wendy Kennar. I'm the mother of a seven-year-old son and a wife living in Los Angeles. I was a public school teacher for twelve years until a chronic medical condition made it necessary to leave my teaching career.

I've always been described as "quiet" - really, I'm just biting my tongue. I've got lots to say, and lots of thoughts to share, I just prefer to write them. That's the purpose of this blog. Each Wednesday, I post a personal essay offering my observations and thoughts.

A few fun facts about me: I've wanted to be a writer since second grade, when my teacher, Mrs. Jones, made me a "book" with a yellow construction paper cover. I have never learned to whistle, have always preferred sunflowers to roses, and have spent my life living within the same zip code.

Through the years, my writing has been published in the Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, United Teacher, GreenPrints, L.A. Parent, DivineCaroline.com, RoleReboot.org, XOJane, and Brain, Child Magazine. Additionally, my personal essays have been included in several anthologies, including: The Barefoot Review, Beyond the Diaper Bag, Lessons From My Parents, Write for Light, Being a Grown-Up: A User's Manual for the Real World, Ka-Pow!, How Writing Can Get You Through Tough Times, Breath and Shadow, The Grey Wolfe Storybook, and Sisters Born, Sisters Found.
I am a regular contributor at MomsLA.com, and you can also find me at Goodreads.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Feel free to comment and share my blog with others!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The A to Z List of Things I Question

   One of my college philosophy professors once said that a truly wise person can admit when he/she doesn’t know something.  I admit it - there are a lot of things I don’t know, a lot of things I don’t understand.  Here is my A to Z list of things I question.
A Attire.  Adults make their own money and will buy what they want.  But, kids’ attire is another story.  Someone is buying the clothing these kids are wearing.  Someone is letting a child come to school with a shirt that proclaims “Homework kills trees.”  Someone is purchasing short-shorts for girls and t-shirts that proclaim, “Here comes trouble.”  Why?

B Bathing suits that reveal more than my underwear.  Some neighbors like to sunbathe outside in their teeny-weeny bikinis.  Frankly, I don’t want to see everything they’re showing.  But there’s not much I can do but not look.  It’s allowed.  Yet, if I went outside in my mis-matched bra and underwear I could be arrested for indecent exposure.  Why is it that bathing suits have become an item of “clothing” whose sole purpose seems to be “How much can I get away with showing?”  Why do women want to show everything?

C Curse words.  Somehow I missed it - missed when it became acceptable for certain words to be said on television, during the day.  The “b” word comes to mind; the word my sister and I referred to as a “female dog.” 

D Digital billboards.  There are enough distractions on the streets.  Why are drivers bombarded with multiple advertisements, and now this new wave of digital billboards with images that change every few seconds?  Aren’t we supposed to be watching the roads, checking our mirrors, looking out for pedestrians and cyclists?

E Easter’s observance.  I am not a traditionally-religious person, but I do understand that both Christmas and Easter are Christian holidays involving Jesus.  Why is it that Christmas has a fixed date but some years Easter is observed in March, and other years it falls in April?

F Footwear.  I have read that the foundation for the human body is our feet.  Why then do so many women teeter around on high heels?  I’m not talking about pumps, I’m talking about mega-high heels.  Your whole body is off-balance and improperly aligned.  

G Games.  Specifically, violent video games.  The Nazis were real.  War is real.  People fight, innocent people die.  All these facts seem to run contrary to the purpose of a game.  I thought games were supposed to be fun, a form of entertainment, a source of amusement.  

H Hang-Ups.  If someone took the time to dial the phone, let it ring through, and listen to my out-going message, why not take the extra few seconds and leave a message.  I cannot always get to the phone.  Leave a message - tell me why you were calling in the first place.

I Indifference.  I don’t understand how people cannot care.  I know the world may seem like one big mess, and it can be a bit overwhelming, but we’ve all got to care about something.  For instance, how in the world do adults still smoke in front of young children?  How does an adult drive a car without all children buckled safely and legally?    

J Jam, jelly, and marmalade.  What is the difference?  I know it’s been explained to me, on more than one occasion, but I can’t keep it straight in my head.  And really, does it matter?

K Kids’ items.  Having a child is expensive.  Diapers alone add up.  Then there are all the things that babies and toddlers need - car seats and booster seats, high chairs, potty seats, bed rails, step stools, special plates and cups and utensils.  Why then are so many kids’ items so expensive?  Kids’ clothing rivals the prices of adults’ clothing.  And let’s be honest - kids’ clothing doesn’t last - kids outgrow it, they fall and rip it, or they stain it.  

L Love.  The easiest love I know and understand is the love for my son.  It was instantaneous - from the moment I learned I was pregnant.  The love I have for my son is unwavering and fierce.  The love I have for my husband is not as easy; the person you romantically love can cause you great ecstasy and great heartbreak.  The person you love the most can be the person who hurts you the most.  In my mind, that person should be the last person who hurts you, but romantic love isn’t simple, and it certainly isn’t always easy to understand.

M Meal delivery.  Why is pizza often delivered to one’s home or business?  Pizza is best served hot (at least the first time around).  Yet, businesses work with the added stress of delivering food (I’m thinking of pizza and Chinese food, for example) that must reach its customers in a hot, fresh state.  Why isn’t someone delivering sandwiches?

N Narcissism.  All people are self-absorbed a certain amount, sometimes.  But there are people who are completely oblivious to those around them.  I’m talking about the people who double-park their cars without the thought that they may be blocking the way for someone else, or the people who place their shopping cart dead-center in the aisle without regard to the other shoppers in the market.  Our planet is big, but our population is many - probability dictates that our actions will certainly impact someone else.

O Outward appearances.  There are whole department store floors designed to sell women cosmetics because we’re not enough the way we are.  We’re not beautiful enough, young enough, thin enough, blonde enough.  Just women, mind you, not men.  Now, I wear lipstick, I periodically polish my nails, but that’s about it.  I don’t want to be younger.  I want to be my age, I’m fortunate to have 36 years worth of experiences.  I want to celebrate that.  And while there are certainly things about my outward appearance that I wouldn’t mind changing, I am who I am.   

P Phonics.  I didn’t make the spelling rules - that’s one of my first disclaimers to my students.  Why don’t letters always maintain their sounds?  Why is a “c” sometimes sounding like a “k” (as in coffee) and other times it sounds like a “s” (as in Cinderella)?  Why does a “g” sometimes sound hard (as in gopher) and other times it’s soft (as in giraffe)?  

Q Quadrilaterals, specifically the rhombus.  In fourth grade math, students (and their parents) learn that a square can be a rectangle but never vice versa.  Students learn that the shape they have commonly referred to as a “diamond” is now a “rhombus” - a quadrilateral with four equal sides and equal, opposite angles.  Why not just teach kids the term “rhombus” from the beginning.  Why make math more complicated than it already is?

R Restrooms, with “energy-saving upgrades.”  I’m talking about automatic flushing toilets, hand dryers (I miss paper towels), and automatic sinks.  Do they really save water?  I wonder, especially when a toilet flushes while I’m in the midst of taking care of my business or the hand-dryer finishes its cycle and I’m forced to use toilet paper to try and finish drying my hands. 

S Streets change.  Here in Los Angeles, I can drive down Sunset Boulevard and be in tourist-heavy Sunset Strip.  Drive west a bit more, and the tattoo parlors, eateries, and clubs have given way to multi-million-dollar mansions.  How does one street evolve that way?

T Tardiness.  I know - things happen - accidents on the freeway, intersection lights that don’t work, flat tires.  Life is unpredictable, but those incidents are exceptions; they’re not everyday occurrences.  Somehow though most people think it’s okay to be late, it’s okay to keep a teacher waiting for a conference, keep a friend waiting for dinner.  It’s not okay - but a genuine apology goes a long way in making things more right. 

U Upside-down bottles.  Ketchup bottles are now being made “upside-down” - it’s a matter of allowing gravity to do its thing.  Why hasn’t this trend spread to shampoo and lotion bottles?  I wind up turning the bottles upside-down anyway, seems to me Suave should be doing it.

V Vehicles.  Gasoline is over-priced.  We’re running out of oil.  We’re concerned about our environment, our ozone layer and smog.  Why then are large, tank-like cars still manufactured?  For most people, they’re not necessary.  Most people don’t need them to haul heavy cargo.  Most people aren’t transporting people or things that couldn’t fit in a smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicle.  Stop producing those cars.  People will buy something else.  They can’t buy them if they’re not for sale.

W Wealth.  Some people have more money than others.  It’s always been that way.  How much money does one person need?  Shouldn’t there be some sort of a cap on the amount of money one person can have, or what they can spend it on?  Does anyone really need multiple cars or a handbag that costs thousands?  I can’t afford those items, and it doesn’t mean I’m not as hard-working or as deserving. 

X Xylophone.  When you’re teaching a child the alphabet, there aren’t a lot of items that start with “x.”  So the xylophone is the object most closely associated with the letter “x.”  Except, xylophone sounds more like a “z.”  The “x” sound you hear in “box” and “fox.”  So, why confuse a kid?  Spell xylophone with a “z,” and be done with it.

Y Youth, and things people do in their “youth.”  I’m thinking of tattoos and piercings that, let’s face it, won’t look the same when someone is in their 60’s.  Why would anyone want to stretch out their earlobe?  Why put a spike in your chin?  (Yes, this is the letter where I appear judgmental.)

Z Zombies.  And vampires and werewolves.  I don’t know where or how this preoccupation began, but suddenly, every other television show or movie seems to involve characters of the zombie persuasion. 


  1. Honey,
    Your A to Z series is fantastic! Keep up the great work!
    Love, Paul

  2. Wendy,your writing is FANTASTIC.Your writing is so meaningful and with such clarity.I don't understand how a parent can send a child out wearing short skirts or shirts that have hurtful sayings on them.I don't understand why women walk around dressing with leaving nothing to the imagination and enough make-up on for a few women to wear.I have never been a phony and I have always felt a person has to like me for who I am and not for the brand of clothes I wear or how much money I have.I feel in today's world so many people try too hard to be someone they aren't instead of just who they are.I am hopeful someone soon will read your work and pay you for your work.I love you and I am so proud of you.

  3. I am always impressed with your story line. The ability to capture a snap-shot of our culture in a few lines of text. You are a gifted writer and your Mother & I are proud of you.

    Love, Dad