Saturday, December 5, 2009
My Mom and I were discussing a family with six kids, and how composed the Mom of six is, despite the fact that she also homeschools them. I will repeat: she homeschools six kids. Alone. Herself.
I have a hard enough time wading through the aisles of the local Target during an afternoon of wailing children, snot-leaking noses, and helter-skelter scampering. I'm not the only one. There is a look that Moms get when they've had enough and wish it were more socially acceptable to leave their children in the parking lot, locked in the family car. The look of the harried Mother transcends race, creed, and fashion sense -- even if it's somewhat blunted by a popcorn infused Target.
I am pleased to report that all six kids are genuinely good kids, in spite of or maybe because of, their homeschooling. They are courteous, well-spoken, and friendly to each other. In other words, they would never be offered a reality TV contract. They are the kind of children those who wish for children hope they actually get. Still, the act of homeschooling (anyone), much less six polite kids, is an initiative I would take on only after a host of tortures had been laid upon me and I still had one more to complete. My admiration for this Mom of six is H-U-G-E. I'd like to buy her a drink, but I bet she'd prefer coffee.
I quickly fashioned a fantasy of what my childhood would have been like if I had been homeschooled, but did not get far. I remember clashing vehemently at the age of nine with my mother over how to proceed with my fractions homework. I don't think a homeschooled childhood would have been bucolic. Very likely it would have sucked ass.
I turned to my Mom and said: "Can you imagine if you had homeschooled me and Booger (my sister)? You would have blown your brains out". My Mom looked up, paused thoughtfully and said: "No. I just would have had a mental breakdown". And with that she returned to her crossword puzzle and I resumed eating my ice cream. But, with a little bit more hope for how the world will run when I am old, gray, and the whippersnappers have whippersnappers of their own.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Dating sucks, and I'm taking the rest of the year off, but that's OK because I have bacon.
A few days ago I bit into a BLT and was immediately reminded of the rapturous way poets describe the sweet arrow piercing of falling in love, because this is how I felt about my sandwich. People in their prose, and poets in their way, have chronicled their ardor in different ways, but the basics remain the same: the senses swim around in dopamine juice as the heart swells, straining against its encasement of ribs and sternum.
And so it is with bacon. With each bite the heart beats itself a bit bigger (I suppose this is literally true if one were to eat bacon at every meal). With each bite a haze of happiness appears. With each bite a symphony completes a movement. Each bite introduces maybe the only true contentment in an aggravating day, or punctuates a particularly blissful one. It is the sole reason why I will never commit to becoming a vegetarian, despite the many and compelling reasons for why it would be advisable.
Dates and romantic attachments may come and go, but bacon will have your back as long as you fry/bake/microwave it properly (respect the bacon, and it will respect you). Of course I won't go into bacon's pesky details, like the USDA's silent treatment on recalls, the debate on sodium nitrite, colorectal cancer, or slaughterhouses. I will, however, allow Sarah Hepola of Salon.com to have the final say:
"Loving bacon is like shoving a middle finger in the face of all that is healthy and holy while an unfiltered cigarette smolders between your lips."
P.S. How to say, "May I have some bacon" in a few other languages:
German: Darf ich bitte Speck
RussianL Позвольте мне, пожалуйста, свиной
Greek: Επιτρέψτε μου να έχει κάποια μπέικον
Spanish: ¿Por favor me puedes dar tocino?