Tuesday, October 22, 2013

CONUNDRUMS IN ABSURDIA: An Unscientific Quiz on Living and Parenting in the 'Burbs

1.     You throw a birthday party for your 8-year-old, with magician and a balloon-animal twister.  All the kids show up but all they want to do is text and play on their smartphones.  You…
a.     Are relieved that you wont have to entertain a bunch of noisy kids.
b.     Are appalled!  Who buys their 8 year old a smartphone?
c.      Get creative and have them play “hot potato” with their smartphones
d.     Take away their phones and force for them to be social and have fun.  You paid for it, didn’t you?

2.     You’re shopping at a the local market and your bill for organic chicken breasts, olives, parmesan cheese, tomatoes and a loaf of Italian bread comes to $50.  You…
a.     Are proud of the high-quality products our town offers
b.     Wince and tell them “never mind”
c.      Roll your eyes, but pay up.  You feel good supporting our local vendors.

3.     On the weekends, your husband lives in fleece.  You…
a.     Figure it is okay. You like to be comfortable too.
b.     Love his snuggle quotient
c.      Give it away to Good Will and tell him that you found an even more comfortable fabric called cotton.
d.     Explain that Under Armour is the new black.

4.     Your daughter comes home from a Bat Mitzvah celebration with an obscene amount of parting gifts including an iPod, sweatshirt, custom chocolates and 10 framed photos.  You…
a.     Explain that the real world isn’t like this.
b.     Are thrilled!  You needed another iPod and the sweatshirt fits you too!
c.      Appreciate the generosity but secretly dread the day your children become a Bat Mitzvah.

5.     Your child works the goldfish booth at a religious festival and can’t get over the complaints she got on their too-tiny fish-bodies, bulging eyes and poor backstroke.  You…
a.     Explain that goldfish are a valuable commodity
b.     Don’t know what to say.  Who are these people you call neighbors?
c.      Examine and write up a complete report on the goldfish specimens for size, bulging eyes and backstroke ability.

6.     You just moved from the city to the ‘burbs, thrilled that your two toddlers will have a nice lawn on which to frolic, but your new next door neighbor informs you that ticks are a problem and to keep your children off the grass.  You…
a.     See this as a sign that the world is coming to an end.
b.     Research Lyme disease and allow your kids to frolic, certain that you will be able to detect a target, no problem.
c.      Keep your kids off the grass.
d.     Pour cement on your front lawn to create a basketball court.

7.     After the snow melts, you discover a large and smelly deer carcass on your lawn.  You…
a.     Call animal control and are disgusted to find that it will cost you $150 to have the deer removed, but do it anyway.
b.     Haul the deer on a tarp to the side of the road and hope the garbage man picks it up.
c.      Find an out-of-the-way spot on your property and get the family together for a burial.
d.     You are a city slicker.  You have no idea what to do…

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Fair to Remember

During this past summer, as I recovered from my Achilles surgery, there were few high moments.  Mostly I look back at it as a blur of intense exhaustion, strenuous hopping and surprising pain.  But thanks to our great friends the Cashmans, there was one summer memory that I will treasure forever, though I wasn’t even there.

Greg and Peg Cashman took Amanda and Jake – along with their three kids - to the Yorktown Grange Fair.  Like most country fairs, there were rides, livestock shows, cotton candy and carnival games, with the requisite swindler behind the booth.  

The "One in and Win" basketball shoot caught Jake’s eye.  Jake prides himself at being a pretty good basketball player, but mostly he was excited to see that one of the prizes was a giant stuffed panda and he had to win it for Amanda – lover and collector of all things Panda.  He paid $2.00 for one shot and missed.  Then he paid $5.00 for three shots and missed.  Apparently the hoop was made of rubber and the balls just bounced off.  The trick was to get a “swoosh.”  Amanda told him it was okay and that they should just go on the rides.  But Jake was determined (as Jake is).  They would be back.

After the nausea inducing round-up, the giant slide and the ferris wheel, they were back.  Jake handed the man the five dollars for three more shots.  And wouldn’t you know it, on the 2nd shot, he got a “swoosh” -- and a truly giant panda!

Rob and I wish we were there to witness the fist pumping, jumping up and down and squeals of joy, but we got an incredible recount when the kids arrived home.   Their faces were alight as they painted a thrilling picture, and my heart was full.  “Jake is my hero,” Amanda said. And then my heart swelled.