Tuesday, January 29, 2013

897. That's Not What Happened AT ALL

“MOV, I can’t believe you said I hate Opera!  I never said that.  Why would I say that?  I actually love Opera.  Geesh.  What do your readers think of me?  Why do you have to paint me that way?” 

“Oh, Sweetie, chill.  It’s a blog.  It’s not like I’m in the courtroom, taking an oath for perjury or anything.” 
“Against perjury.” 

“Yeah, whatever.  Anyway, how interesting would that be?  ‘The Husband loves Opera’?  Come on.  Boring.  Predictable.”
“Predictable?  Making me prefer a football game over Opera is predictable.  You’re just reinforcing a stereotype about men.  I want you to write a new blog and correct the old blog.” 

“’No’?  What do you mean, ‘No’?” 

“Just what I said:  No.” 
“MOV, I mean it:  stop telling lies about me!  When people meet me, they are going to think I am so one-dimensional!” 

“Who?  Who exactly are you meeting?” 
“You know, like, your fans.” 

“How are you planning to meet my fans?  I’ve never even met my fans.” 
“You told me some guy asked for your autograph outside the bookstore one time?” 

“Oh, that guy?  Well, I sorta told you he asked for my autograph, but he actually asked me for a dollar to buy some coffee.” 
“Where can you buy coffee for a dollar?  I think even 7-11 charges a buck fifty.” 

“That’s beside the point.  The point is, he was homeless, he asked for money, and so I embellished the interaction a little bit and told you later that he asked for my autograph.” 
“See?  There’s that lying thing again.  You tell lies on your blog, and then you tell me lies about people asking for your autograph.  If you needed something interesting to write about, why not tell about how cute Short looked for the Alice in Wonderland ballet all dressed up in his little suit jacket and how proud he was and kept saying he looked like me when I am going to work and you could also write about how Tall tore off his uncomfortable dressy clothes layer by layer starting in the car before we even got there?  Now that is funny.”

“How is that funny?  And who is writing this blog?  If you want to write your kooky stories, you are welcome to start your own blog.” 
“Maybe I will.  I’ll call it ‘The Real Truth, Nothing But the Truth’ and I’ll have a lot of readers, readers who don’t want to be lied to for the sake of entertainment or a cheap laugh.” 

“You know what, Sweetie?  You are so overreacting.  Blogs are made of letters and words and stories, some true, some inflated, some squishy.  I reserve the right to inject my stories with the occasional white lie, and pepper them strategically with black and blue lies, too.” 
“What is a black and blue lie?  Like a bruise?” 

“The point is, it’s fiction.  Some of it is memoir, and some of it is make-believe-oir.  My readers can tell the difference.” 
“I don’t like it, MOV.  I don’t want to lied to, manipulated.  I only like truth.”  He picked up his dog-eared People magazine, and exited the room. 

p.s. thank you to Haley for the idea for this (blog from husband's point of view) 

Monday, January 28, 2013

896. Tall and Short in Wonderland

We arrived early, posed for photos, bought a candy bar.  Our velvet-cushioned seats were in the Orchestra section, mere feet from the musicians tuning their instruments.  Silk dresses, wool suits, fur coats, cashmere sweaters with dry cleaning tags still attached—everyone was dressed up and on best behavior. 

We were at the ballet. 
Not just any ballet, but a world-class professional performance of Alice in Wonderland, where tickets cost $100 a pop, and they don’t even offer a discount for kids.  My dad and step-mom Nichole had generously purchased four seats for our family as our Christmas present, part of the trend of “experience” gifts instead of adding to our ever-expanding collection of “more things.” 

(We immediately walked into the gift shop and bought a white rabbit ornament.  We needed a thing to remind us of our experience.) 
The performance lasted three hours, and if you ask me, that was about 21 hours too few.  I LOVED EVERY SECOND.  The latent art major in me gobbled up the set design like gourmet chocolate at an all-you-can-eat buffet:  towers of oversized playing cards, a moving “sea,” a garden maze in psychedelic colors, a giant video of a spinning rabbit hole.  Combine this with flawless music, sublime dancing, exquisite costumes, and colorful tissue-paper confetti falling over the audience’s unsuspecting heads.  One hundred dollars a ticket?  I think that was a bargain.    

Tall and Short stared in awe.  Even The Husband, who had reminded me three times while driving over that he was missing a football game on TV, seemed to be enjoying himself.  I momentarily forgave him for continually pestering me before the show started to verify if this was actually going to be an Opera. 
“Because I hate Opera, and I’ll leave,” he declared.  He said the word Opera with the same contempt most people might reserve for gum on the bottom of my shoe.   

"Ballet," I confirmed, "not Opera."      

After the first act, I leaned in and whispered to Tall, “What did you think so far?” 
“There’s more?” his voice rose in glee. 

“Yes!”  I smiled.  “That was only the first part.  There are still two more acts.” 
At the end of the show we sprung from our seats, along with the rest of the audience, and gave the dancers a well-deserved standing ovation.  We clapped and stomped and cheered and whistled.  Loudly.   

And The Husband only thought football fans get that excited.
As we drove home, Tall and Short chattered excitedly about the performance.  “Remember when the Mad Hatter started tap dancing on the table?”, “And when the Queen took that flamingo and whacked the hedgehog?”, “And what about that Cheshire Cat—he was my favorite!”, “Or the dancing frog!  I loved him!”, “And Alice—WOW!  What a great dancer!”    

When we returned home and walked in the house, Short turned to me to share one final impression:  “Mommy, I love the Opera!” 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

895. Stalker Sends Art

This package arrives in the mail yesterday, and it is not from LLBean, Amazon, etsy, nor any of the usual suspects. 

It is from a blogger. 
I carefully open it up and am amazed to find this incredible piece of art, very David Hockney-esque (you know, if David Hockney made ocean collages instead of roads and deserts and swimming pools), and I gasp. 

Literally, gasp.  Someone I have never met (and have not sent money to) mailed me art!  WOW!  
Now, I must give you a bit of the backstory here.  Lillian Connelly (the artist/ blogger extraordinaire in question) recently posted a very kind review of me and my writing on her blog.  I sent her a thank you note.  Next thing you know--voila!  She sends me art! 
So I immediately drove over to the Smithsonian and of course they wanted the collage.   
“Yes, absolutely, we are very interested in it,” said the Director of Acquisitions.  “It is phenomenal.” 

I didn’t really want to donate or sell it to the Smithsonian, I just wanted validation that it was worth millions. 
“Millions,  without a doubt,” chimed in the Appraiser.  “You have a very special piece on your hands.” 

I nodded and turned to leave.  I was going to frame it and hang it in my dining room, the one place my children are not allowed to kick soccer balls. 
“Where do you think you are going?” inquired the Supervisor of Security.  “You may not leave the building with that piece.”  He reached over like he was going to grab it from me. 

Right then, the Museum Curator intervened.  “Don’t touch the art!” she screeched.  “Keep excess fingerprints off of it!” 
“I am taking it home,” I clarified, “and I promise I will wear gloves at all times.”  It was a lie and they knew it. 

“I hate to tell you this, Madam MOV, but we had a verbal agreement,” said the Attorney of Museumish Affairs. 
Then he pressed a button on his iPhone and a voice that sounded eerily like mine started rambling:  "I have a piece of art that you might be interested in.  I am considering donating it to you as a tax write-off, or (insert nervous giggle here) if you want to provide me with, say, a year's supply of Target's Ritter Dark Chocolate with Marzipan, that might be what I would consider a fair trade."  
The room went silent.  Just then, a uniformed guard knocked on the door.  He and a helper were struggling to push a large industrial dolly with six wooden crates marked Ritter.  "Your chocolate, Madam." 
“A deal’s a deal,” declared the Director of Acquisitions, a petite woman who I was liking less by the second.  “You have your preferred payment, and now we get the art.” 
Fast forward to me sitting in my dining room gazing at the mermaid collage. 

I had laughed at the Smithsonian, laughed in their faces.  (Only six crates of chocolate?  That wouldn’t be enough to get me through the week.) 

"Museums Of Vision"

P.S.  A HUGE thank you to Lillian of It's A Dome Life for the gorgeous collage (and readers, FYI:  she does sell them).  Lillian, you rock! 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

892. Inner Feng Shui Ninja

You wake up one morning and tell yourself that today is the day you will get rid of everything you don’t need.  That broken lamp in the basement?  Why are you keeping it?  It is not going to magically repair itself.  The toddler toys in the garage?  Please.  Your kids are now six and nine.  The books you read once and promised yourself you would go back and read again “when you had time.”  Guess what?  You will never have that kind of time, and if you do, you will want to go to the bookstore or the library and get a new book you have never read. 

Yes, Inner Feng Shui Ninja has arrived. 
Ninja shows no mercy, takes no prisoners, shoots from the hip, calls a spade a spade, and takes the tiger by the tail.  When you hold up the half of a royal blue sweater that you started knitting in college, she laughs so hard she snorts.  Uh, no.  It’s gotta go. 

Ninja goes room by room, methodically assessing the use of each and every item.  The espresso machine that you use every day?  It stays.  The 12-year-old juicer that broke but you seem to think it might still be under warranty?  Buh-bye.  Your younger son’s school “art project” that he did last week?  Ninja has her hand on it, but you opt for the temporary purgatory of the front of the refrigerator instead.  Ninja is not happy, but she knows how sentimental you can be about “art.” 
“I might frame it,” you justify yourself to Ninja while trying not to sound like you are begging.  Ninja points out that you have five large boxes full of “art” you “might frame.”  You would need to buy a much bigger house to display it all.  Ninja advises you to go through it, piece by piece.  At first it’s hard, but after a short break for chocolate chip cookies and a double espresso, it somehow gets easier.  You get it down to two boxes (one for each child) and Ninja smiles. 

Ninja likes clean, she likes uncluttered, she is allergic to piles.  She wants the excess gone, and she wants it gone yesterday. 
She has heard all the excuses:  It’s valuable, Aunt Sally gave it to me, I might use it.  Ninja shakes her no-nonsense head.  The only thing that matters to her is the final goal:  a livable house. 

“You can breathe better when you have open space,” she explains slowly and loudly, like she is talking to a deaf dog.  “Trust me on this, MOV.” 
Frankly, you don’t trust her.  The last time she showed up (three years ago), she made you get rid of some quirky 1950s costume jewelry that you had originally bought from a garage sale and that you later saw on eBay for $600.  You can’t afford those kinds of mistakes. 

Ninja nods.  “I know, I know,” she says apologetically, “It won’t happen again.  Now, help me get your husband’s dusty stacks of baseball cards into the trash, right next to those old coins.  They’re out of circulation anyway.”
P.S. And thank you to Shell Flower for the idea for this post (from her comment on my Martha Stewart post)! 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

890. REI, The Exciting Finale

I brought the new kayak home and immediately put it in the kitchen. As predicted, The Husband was not happy.

“Why would you buy a canoe?” he screeched unsupportively.
“It’s not a canoe, it’s a kayak,” I boasted, proud of myself for knowing the difference.

“It’s a canoe, MOV. See the raised seat? See the paddle you bought? In a kayak, the seat is lower and you use a double paddle. Geesh. When were you planning to go canoeing?”
“That’s the beauty of it—never!”

“So you bought the canoe for decoration?”
“No, not at all. Do you ever go to REI? They have this program called R-E-Icing on the cake, and when you buy something at full price, they will send someone over to clean it and take care of it for you! Isn’t that great?”

“Are you kidding me with this? Who cares if someone cleans your canoe, it doesn’t ever get dirty because you do not know how to canoe, and plus we don’t even live near water!”
Sometimes The Husband could be such a killjoy.

I took a deep breath and tried to explain again, like I was telling one of my children that the moon is the opposite of the sun. “Sweetie, they send someone over. To. Clean. The. Canoe. And the person cleans everything around the canoe as well. It is included in the price. Why do you think I am storing it in the kitchen?”
He shook his head and walked out of the room, as if he didn’t approve. He will approve once he sees how clean the REI employees get our kitchen!

The next day, the REI person showed up at 10 on the dot. “I’m here to clean your canoe,” she said brightly. “Is it in the garage?”
I showed her where it was, and she got right to work. Twelve hours later, the canoe and the kitchen shined like triple flash photography of sunlight and cubic zirconias on snow at high noon. I was impressed.

“I’ll see you next week, then?” I tried to say it like a statement, but it came out more like a desperate question.
“Yes,” she affirmed. Her hair had come out of its ponytail and she looked tired. “It won’t necessarily be me though.” Then she mumbled something that sounded suspiciously like, “if I can help it.”

The next week, exactly according to my plan, I moved the canoe down the hall and into the bathroom. A different employee showed up and cleaned the canoe and the bathroom. This cleaning schedule continued for a month or so, and my entire house gleamed. I was mentally berating myself for not finding out about REI sooner, like maybe 20 years ago.
“What is this bill from REI?” The Husband asked in an accusatory tone when he came home from work one evening and was sifting through the mail.

“What bill? I didn’t buy anything, besides the kayak.”

“Yeah, whatever. Canoe.”
He furrowed his brow 'til his faced squished up like a porcupine. A very angry porcupine. “It looks like they’re billing us for cleaning supplies.”

“Cleaning supplies? What do you mean supplies? Why would they charge us for that?”
“MOV, it says right here in black and white: $1000 for cleaning supplies. Did you not read the fine print?”

I could feel hot tears starting to plump up in my eyeballs. Turns out, I had not read the fine print.
“MOV, don’t worry about it,” The Husband continued semi-sympathetically. “Tell you what: just return the canoe and then maybe we won’t have to pay it. I’ll help you load it into the car.”

“I can’t! I haven’t used it yet!”
“Well, that is even better because they will definitely take it back, right? They can re-sell it to some other sucker.”

“No, you don’t understand. If I take it back all pristine and new, they will realize that I don’t even know how to kayak!”

“That’s what I meant.”
In the end, The Husband won out. I returned the kayak.

But I kept the paddle. I store it in my car. Maybe the REI employees will still clean my car for me?
p.s. And thank you to TheRanting Monkey for the idea! and yesterday's story too!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

889. REI, Part Deux

One of my loyal readers wrote in to tell me why REI charges such insanely high prices.  He wrote, “For those prices, I’d expect someone from the store to be coming by the house once a week to wash, dry, and put away the clothing.”  Who knew?

This could be the answer to all my prayers, or at least the most important ones.    
I raced over to REI like I was being chased.  When I got there, I went directly to customer service.

“Excuse me, sir?” I whispered, breathless.  “I heard that you come over and wash people’s clothes for them?  That, like, it is a service included when you buy something?” 
He guffawed.  “Ha!  Who told you that?” 

“Well, I am a blogger, and, uh, one of my readers mentioned …” 
“You know we only offer that on full-price items, right?  Not sale.”  He said the word sale like it was dirty and offensive, like you might say dog poop on my shoe. 

“Oh,” I rallied, “I didn’t mean sale.”  I matched his tone on the word sale, but tried to take it up a notch, like vomit on my new suede jacket. 
“Oh, okay then.  Yes.  Of course we offer that service.  How do you think we would get away with charging such insanely high prices otherwise?  We would be out of business in two seconds.” 

I nodded enthusiastically. 
“Okay, just come back up after you find something, and we’ll make sure you are eligible for the service.  It’s called ‘R-E-Icing-on-the-cake.’”

Leave it to REI to come up with something clever like that.  “And by the way, what does REI stand for, anyway?  I heard it stood for Recreational Equipment, Inc?” 
“That is what we tell the public,” he leaned in conspiratorially.  “It actually stands for Really Expensive Items.”       

I started looking around for something I could afford.  I found some cute mittens right away and noticed they were only $48.  If that is what it took to get an REI employee over to my house to do laundry, so be it. 
“I’d like to buy these,” I chirped merrily, like someone who just won the jackpot in Vegas after only playing one dollar. 

“Those are children’s mittens,” said the clerk dismissively.  “Did you know that?” 

Ah, details.  I put the mittens back and looked for something else.  I quickly found a wool knit hat for $75. 
“I guess I’ll buy this, then,” I squeaked semi-merrily, like someone who just won the jackpot in Vegas after only playing one dollar twice. 

“Oooh, sorry, that just went on sale.” He frowned, as if I was trying to trade in counterfeit chips in Vegas after I thought I won the jackpot.  “That means R-E-Icing-on-the-cake would not be applicable in this instance.” 
Dammit.  Story of my life.  Every time I try to pay full price, someone forces me to pay less. 

I searched in vain for more full price items.  The only thing I could find was a kayak. 
“Would I be eligible with the kayak?” I whimpered. 

“No.  A kayak is not considered clothing.  In that case, we would offer you kayak cleaning service, plus we would be happy to clean whatever else is around, like, say, your entire garage.” 
I smiled and got out my credit card.  One swipe and $1400 later, I was the proud owner of a new kayak. 

I knew just where I would store it:  in the kitchen.  Then next week I plan to move it to the bathroom, and then the study, and finally, the storage room.  This new venture of mine will pay off after only four weeks.  Icing on the cake, indeed.   

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

888. Why I Can't Shop at REI

Backstory:  The Husband plays basketball on Sunday mornings.  This particular Sunday, Tall was invited to a laser tag birthday party, which meant that I had to take Short with me to drop off Tall.  Which is fine, except that the laser tag place is far away, so I did not feel like going all the way home and then all the way back, nor did I feel like buying a gazillion tokens for Short to play video games.  Luckily, there was an REI next door. 

Short and I walk into REI to “have a quick look,” which translates into him suddenly wanting to take up kayaking and me wanting to find a cute skirt on sale.  I have not been in REI in a long time (okay, maybe ever) so I am soaking in the vibe of all things REI.  This place looks like a cross between LLBean and Dick’s Sporting Goods.  I am magnetically drawn to a rack marked “Clearance.” 
“Wow, look at this cute fleece jacket!” I say to myself, but Short thinks I am talking to him. 

“You should get it, Mommy,” he nods enthusiastically. 
I glance at the price tag.  Regular price:  $220.  Sale price:  $181.  For a fleece jacket?!?  That looks like it is from Target and should cost $30?  I look around for a salesgirl, as the tag must be mismarked. 

“Excuse me, miss?”  I wave hopefully at the REI girl walking past.  “Is this price right?” 
“Yep.  That’s right!  Can you believe it?  That is almost $40 off!  What an unbelievable sale!” 

It’s unbelievable all right. 
Undaunted, I soldier on.  I find a darling long-sleeved t-shirt to wear around the house.  There is a fun design of little skiers on the front. 

“How much does it cost?” inquires Short, as he notices me holding the t-shirt up to the mirror.  I take a deep breath and look at the tag.  Original price:  $165.  New price:  $109.  For a t-shirt?!  That will fall apart in three months? 
I am flabbergasted.  Socks cost $40.  Skirts are $120.  I check the labels:  cotton and Lycra.  Nope, no gold. 

I don’t mind paying Macy’s or Nordstrom $100 for a cashmere sweater that looks like it cost $100.  What I really love is getting it on sale for $65 and having it still look like it cost $100.  What I have a huge problem with is buying something that actually looks cheaper than it is. 
It’s like REI is an upside Target, with expensive prices on cheap stuff instead of cheap prices on expensive stuff. 

My brain flashes back to a few Christmases ago when The Husband and I gave my sister Oakley a $75 gift card.  She seemed very happy at the time, but now I realize she could not afford to buy a t-shirt with that, even on clearance. 
She could perhaps buy a sleeve. 


Thursday, January 10, 2013

886. Martha Stewart Lives in My Head

“Pinecones!” she exclaims exuberantly.  “Scoop them up—you can make a wreath!” 

I do as I am told, and now I have a big box of dusty pinecones in my basement.  They have been there for three years on the off chance that I will buy some silver spray paint and get to work. 
“MOV, buy that label maker,” she whispers the next time we are at Target.  You can label the shelves of all your cabinets and the linen closet especially.  Sheets, pillows, laundry detergent—you know, so your husband will put things back in the right spot?” 

I dutifully put the label maker into the cart.  Later when I get home, the label maker languishes in a bag near the pinecones. 
“She won’t use you either!” a Pine Cone laughs at Label Maker.  Label Maker responds hopefully, “That’s not true, she did at least get out the instruction book.” 

“Don’t throw those seashells away!” my internal Martha screeches the next week when I am out in the garage looking for some light bulbs.  I have just picked up a bin of seashells, debating whether to throw them away or donate them.  We had collected them on a beach vacation five years ago with the intention of buying a glass lamp and filling it with the shells. 
“So the lamp thing didn’t exactly work out.  Who cares?  You could still get a nice mirror at a thrift store for about ten bucks and glue gun the shells to the perimeter, and then add some decorative grosgrain ribbon around the trim.  It will be easy!” 

I agree.  It does sound easy.  And I have been meaning to buy a glue gun.  And grosgrain ribbon.      
“By the way, not to be bossy or anything, but you should really keep light bulbs in the house, not the garage.  Maybe on a shelf in the linen closet.  Labeled.” 

She’s always there, reminding me that things will be easy or that they should be glue gunned or spray painted or ribboned or labeled.    
“I know, MOV!  Let’s string together popcorn and dried cranberries!” she bellowed at Christmas.  “Why don’t you needlepoint your own ornaments!  And it’s easy to embroider your monogram on your apron and some small pillows!  You could make hundreds of custom orders and sell them on etsy!  Let’s do it!” 

I like the idea of stringing popcorn.  I buy the special string.  And who wouldn’t want their initials monogramed on their apron or a small pillow?  Of course I would love to make some extra money on etsy selling these simple and not at all time-consuming crafts.     
This morning, I accidentally chip a plate as I am washing it.  As I hold it up to assess the damage, I notice a hairline crack spreading across the radius of the plate.  It clearly belongs in the trash. 

“Nooooo!” she screams, blocking me from getting to the trash can.  “You can break that plate all the way and use the pieces to make mosaics!” 
I sort of knew she’d say that. 


Monday, January 7, 2013

885. This Must Be My Lucky Number

Short asks me for a piece of paper.  The next thing you know, he is meticulously writing out some sort of special note and affixing the finished product to the sacred place of honor in our home:  the refrigerator door.  The note reads: 
“Short’s Lucky Numbers:  15, 25, 8, 32, 12, 4.”
I recognize this information, as the numbers were copied directly from the slip of paper in his fortune cookie from the Chinese take-out we finished mere moments ago.  Not sure why he couldn’t grab a magnet and stick the fortune itself right up there instead of having to spend the time re-writing it. 
“Because I don’t want Tall to think they are his numbers, or Pop or you to think they are your numbers!  They are my lucky numbers,” he explains patiently.  Then he continues:  “I am so glad I know them now.”    

I have to suppress a smile.  He somehow thinks that whoever packed up his sticky rice and sweet and sour beef also happens to hold the keys to his future, via important lucky numbers. 

“Mommy, how old were you when you found out your lucky numbers?” 
I am realizing that six-year-olds take the information dispensed to them from whatever source, reputable or not, without question.  Teacher says not to run in the hall, so that must be a fact.  You cannot have dessert unless you eat most of your broccoli first:  indisputable fact.  Santa comes down the chimney, even if you do not have a fireplace?  Accepted fact.  Chinese restaurant bestows your special numbers to you?  Now you commit them to memory, as they are a new and crucial fact of your life.

The next day we are driving and Short notices the speed limit sign. 
“Mommy!  Did you see that?  My number:  25!  On the sign!  Look!  My lucky number!”  He is bouncing in the booster seat.  “It’s happening already, this is so great!” 

I am not sure exactly what is happening, except that I was going 35 and now I tap on the breaks to stay within the speed limit. 
At the dry cleaners later, the clerk calls my number:  “I can help number 32, 32 please?” 

Short is tugging at my elbow insistently.  “Mommy!  Did you hear that?  My lucky number!” 
This continues on in any situation we encounter over the next several days:  how many cars are parked in a row (4), how many eggs in the dozen we just bought (12), or how many gallons it takes to fill up my car (15).  Lucky numbers abound. 

I want to set him straight, to tell him that just because someone says something to him (“These are your lucky numbers”) does not make it true.  How can children believe anything without questioning it?  At what age do we get savvy and cynical and start to question the so-called “facts” as subjective?   
Now we are at the department store, as I need to buy some eye cream.  The clerk tells me about the latest miracle cream and how it erases fine lines quickly.    

“If you use this twice a day, you will see dramatic results in just two weeks,” she says, her college-age skin looking like it will never need eye-cream.  “It is fabulous, revolutionary!  You should get it, it will make you look 10 years younger.”

I nod at her.  Eye cream.  Revolutionary.  Ten years younger.        
“And we are having a sale!  The eye cream is 25% off, just for today.  This must be your lucky day.” 

I have never heard of this cream nor this brand, but the salesgirl is telling me it works.  Who am to argue?  I buy the eye cream.  Apparently, this must be my lucky day.    

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

883. I Got Back Together with My First Love

Don’t get me wrong:  I love The Husband.  It’s just … yes, I’ll admit it, I do think about my first love sometimes, especially this time of year.  In fact, if you must know, my first love stopped by the house earlier today. 

When I invited my first love into the kitchen, it was exactly like old times—sweet!  I smile constantly to even think about being near my first love.  My first love is so, well, addictive. 
Then, just like that, my first love was gone.  My first love managed to take all my self-control and self-esteem.  Oh, Sugar, my love!  Come back to me!  How can things be over that fast?  That’s right:  I ate an entire bag of over-priced gourmet cinnamon gummy hearts in less than one hour.  Pure sugar, expensive and delicious, my lifelong obsession.    

Oh, they were so good!  I could not just eat one or two or twelve … I had to have all. 
Now my tummy is sick, sick, sick.  The Husband just got home from work and asked why I was feeling ill, clutching my intestines as if I might throw up at any moment.  My first love caused me to lie to my beloved spouse of a dozen years:  “Sweetie, it must be the flu!” 

But then.  Evidence.  He found the empty candy bag in the trash and walked into the living room where I had been lying on the couch basking in his sympathy. 
“You don’t have the flu!” he laughed while holding the bag up for my inspection.  “You just ate too much sugar.  This always happens.  You have no will power.  Why do you even buy these?” 

My brain flashes back to that day long, long ago (okay, yesterday) when I was working at the high-end kitchen store.  My boss told me to move the left-over Christmas stuff to the sale table and put out the items for our next holiday. 
“Wait—this bag says Valentine’s!” The Husband interrupts my important career reflections.  “Does the high-end kitchen store already have Valentine’s stuff?  It’s only January second!”

I groan, partly because he is right—we are super late this year for putting the Valentine’s merchandise out—and partly because the sugar is affecting all my internal organs including my teeth. 
“I think I feel a new cavity coming on.”  It is my one last stab at sympathy.  Not only does it not have its desired effect, but my new pronouncement garners fresh disdain. 

“Serves you right!  What were you thinking eating all those gummy hearts?” 
I know why he is really mad:  I forgot to save him one.     

"Mistress Of Valentine's"