Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Danish Mystery

Over the weekend, my husband went to our beach house for a clean-up. Somewhere along the line, he picked up a Pecan Danish by Entemanns. When he came home, he still had most of it left over. He invited the kids to have it for breakfast the next day.

Danishes and Donuts alike have always mystified me. How come they pass for breakfast? A danish is basically a piece of cake. A donut is basically a piece of cake. You can even get it with chocolate icing. Yet, if you had a piece of cake with chocolate icing for breakfast, you would have to go to confession. Imagine the mother who would pass out birthday cake to the kids for breakfast! Reminds me of that Bill Cosby snippet, "Dad is great! He gives us chocolate cake!"

How did pastries ever come to be viewed as breakfast food? I blame the British! It seems like the British would do that. Am I wrong here, people?

Monday, April 21, 2008

She was a good bathing suit saleswoman

I can't move my legs. They were just fine a week ago, but now I can't bend over to wipe up the splattered spaghetti sauce without contorting my face in agony. I'll pay a child a dollar, just to tie my shoes for me. And how did I get in this disastrous state? It all started with a trip to the bathing suit store in Columbia Mall.

My husband planted the seed, so I blame him to start. Then, that charming sales girl watered it. I had my right hand on a perfectly age-appropriate one-piece suit. My left brushed the considerably smaller bikini male fantasies are made of.

The short, bubbly sales girl came to my aide. "Hey, girl! Can I help you find sumthin today?" She asked jubilantly.
"Well, I was planning to get something like this," I started, pushing forward the suit that covered most of sins I've committed against my abdomen in the past 12 years.
"But, my husband would like to see me buy something like this." I touched the bikini gingerly, as though it might burst into flames at any second.

She sized me up. "Girl, you could wear that bikini. Let me see your stomach."
"I've had four babies." I apologized, as I pulled up my perfectly age-appropriate Lands End button-down shirt in inexplicable obedience.
"Girl! Make your husband happy and get in that dressing room! Get your hand off that old-lady suit and let me dress you!"

Before I knew what was happening, I was standing in the poorly-lit cubicle, appraising myself in a bikini small enough to fit in a napkin ring. The bubbly sales girl tossed an endless stream of suits over the door, many of which require hair-removal procedures named for South American countries. Eventually, though, through her barrage of compliments, I convinced myself that I probably could wear a bikini, if I would just get back on track with my workout.

Ah, that is the point, my friend. I jumped back into the weight-training routine I once did many babies ago, as if I had never taken an ice-cream-sundae-filled vacation of several years. And my quadriceps are definitely holding it against me.

It is good, though. (At least it will be once I recover. Mental note: go easier next time.) I've got a concrete goal. I want to live up to that suit! Here is the suit that will either kill me or spurn me into a hardbody:

Wish me luck!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Protest: Down with snacks!

I know I'm risking unpopularity by saying this. My husband told me, "You are in the minority." I'm sure he is right. All the other soccer moms go along with the program. Yet, perhaps somewhere across this great nation there are 3 or 5 other soccer moms who feel as I do. It is for them that I write. For them, I risk alienation on sidelines from Mt. Airy to Hagerstown.

I really resent the concept of the soccer snack.

It probably started out innocently enough. Perhaps there were a few coaches or generous team mothers who often brought a boatload of Oreos and Gatorade to the games. This made the other parents feel guilty, so they decided to share the task of feeding overpriced junk food to the athletes. So, they started out with a voluntary sign-up, which wasn't really voluntary, given the peer pressure.

What have we now? We have an obligatory list onto which our names automatically are written, which binds us to cram one more task into our overwrought brains. Now, not only do we need to discover where on God's green earth West Mountain Elementary School is (past the 12th dairy farm on the left), we also need to bring goodies for everybody. And a chair. And sippy cups for the preschooler. And water. And wipes. And bug spray. And a potty, just in case.

The thing is, lots of people bring snacks anyway, particularly if there are little siblings. When buying snacks for everybody, there's always that concern of just how healthy will the kids tolerate vs. just how junky you can go before the parents disapprove. And then you have all those food allergies out there, threatening to swell the goalie at the mere suggestion of peanuts. Couldn't we just bring snacks for our own families if we want?

One year, we had a coach who seemed (thankfully) to be fairly against sugary snacks, so he suggested that we all stick to the same snack: oranges. This was better in some ways. However, have you ever bought 12 oranges off season? It equals the cost of throwing a smallish party. And then you have the sticky-hands factor, so bring wipes and a trash bag also.

The idea originally was to spread around the cost and effort. Only now, it increases everybody's cost and effort. It's similar to the idea behind governmental health care. Instead of no one person paying more than others, everybody pays. Besides, do the kids always need a snack?

P.S. to my kids' fine coaches. Ignore this. I'll bring the snack as scheduled, as every good soccer mom does. I stop just short of real activism and merely bitch about things.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Wit with Words

I was visiting a writer's forum that I frequent at Writer's Digest online. One poster came up with a hilarious post titled, "Nome de Plume" (although it technically should have been Nomes). The premise was to come up with witty pen names for imaginary book titles.

At first, I couldn't come up with a single one, though I laughed out loud at those that others offered up. But I guess I put it in the crock pot of my mind, because as I was cleaning the kitchen this morning, they were coming fast and furious. Here are some of them:

"Revitalizing Americas Farms" by Bill D. Barnes
"Public Transportation Options" by Anita Carr
"Fun with CB Radio" by Mia Handel
"Disguise Your Baldness" by Donna Hatt
"How to Cope with Disaster" by Kerry Ohn
"Developing Patience" by Terry Long
"Winning Through Passivity" by Dwight Flagg
"How I Handle Difficult Women" by Frank Lee DeBeers
"Attracting Songbirds" by Robin J. Cardinal
"Win at Poker" by Holden Card
"Weather Forecasting Made Simple" by Will D. Weatherby

and, okay, this one is kinda dirty, but:

"Overcoming Erectile Dysfunction" by B. Holman

I had an absolute ball with this. Think up some of your own. I bet my mother would be great at this. I posed it to my daughter and she came up with this one:

"How to Cook a Perfect Homemade Meal" by Amelia Cook

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.