September 20, 2005

From the Mouths of Middle Schoolers

"I learned from experience not to run after a boy."

This is from a note the 7th grade teacher next door to me found on the floor. It just makes me laugh.

Learned from experience??

Ah, to be 12 and know it all.

About the third year I was a teacher, I realized that there was no use fighting it. The kids truly do know more than I do. I don't really believe this, but I might as well because I can't convince my students otherwise.

But you know, with true wisdom like the excerpt above...I don't know...maybe we do get dumber with age.

This 30-ish year old is keeping her ears peeled for more gems of wisdom from the young whippersnappers.

September 17, 2005

"Dad Says We Can Have Pancakes for Dinner!"

Chris and I went to Denny's for lunch last weekend, but since it was barely noon on Sunday, it seemed okay to have breakfast food instead of lunch. We often eat at those types of cafes where any kind of meal can be ordered at any time of day, and I don't feel compelled to eat the type of foods that match the meal I should be eating at that time of day, but I do often feel guilty. Like my stomach cares. Or the waitress. Or society. Nobody cares! But it usually gives me pause.

So, on this particular Sunday I decide to order pancakes with eggs over-easy. Actually I ordered eggs over-easy because the meal came with hashbrowns, and hashbrowns are best mushed up with runny eggs. With a little ketchup on top. When the food came, I suddenly remembered the best way to eat pancakes was with eggs over-easy between two pancakes. There's something about that buttery pancake taste with eggs. Syrup is an added bonus yet not necessary.

And that just brought back a childhood memory.

Are you with my stream on consciousness, here?

Just out of the blue, I broke into a story to tell Chris (I'm sure he's often confused where these things come from) about how sometimes Dad would come home from work and suggest we have pancakes and eggs for dinner. My brother Tye and I would be so excited because we weren't the type of family that ate pancakes on a regular basis, in fact we were more a cold cereal family. Plus, the idea of having breakfast foods for dinner just seemed so out of the ordinary. Almost taboo.

I flash back to those days when, for some reason, we didn't have dinner planned when Dad arrived home from work. It would be dark outside, so pancake dinners probably happened in the winter. Dad would be in his work clothes, clomping into the house with his muddy work boots, smelling of oil and cold. He would come through the pantry door and ask what was for dinner, and we'd all shrug. (Okay, this part of the story seems weird--like we hadn't a clue what to eat. Where was Mom?) So, he'd say, "Let's have pancakes." So, we'd rush to get the electric skillet out. Gunked and old, it had fried many chickens, bags of potatoes, and only occasionally, bits of liver and onion. (Yuck!) We'd plug it in to warm up, and when it started popping and creaking it's would be ready to go. It only took a few minutes to whip up some batter made from Bisquick, and in just a few minutes after that, we'd be turning out pancakes and eggs. It was all made to order, so on those nights we may have eaten at the table, as we always did as a family for dinner, but it was "Eat it while it's hot!"

To tell it now seems so mundane. Big deal. You ate pancakes for dinner. But then it seemed so special. It wasn't another night of fishsticks and rice. It wasn't chicken and green beans. And it thankfully wasn't another night of hotdish. (I have a gazillion ways to make hotdish.) It was pankcakes. It was special. I was a kid. It was the simple things in life.

Actually, it still is the simple things in life. Perhaps that's why these flashing memories of the strangest things at the strangest times are the best.

September 5, 2005

Cruel Shoes

The day before school started I was doing some last minute shopping at the mall. I was searching for some cool clothing that look professional. I found a cute outfit at Mervyn's that was not practical at all. Well, maybe not an outfit because I don't think I'll wear the pieces together, although I could. The black crops are cute--as if I need another pair of black pants. The pink satin cami is way cute and perfect for the pinstrip suit I bought earlier this summer, although I am still not sure about wearing tops that look like lingerie. The black shrug wasn't practical at all considering it was 105 degrees outside when I bought it.

But it was while I was walking out of Mervyn's on the way to the parking lot that I found the cutest shoes! They're like Mary Jane dress shoes, tennis shoes, and they're SKECHERS! I never met a Skechers I didn't like, and I decided these were perfect!

That was before I wore them. By 7:00 a.m.on the first day of school--an hour before even school started--I was crippled. Some of my helpful friends said, "Put on some bandaids." I did. Shortly after 7:00 a.m. They rubbed off. Cheap-ass bandaids. Another one said, "Girl, you're shoes are too big, that's why you have blisters." No, I was walking with my toes shoved up front so IT WOULDN'T RUB ANYMORE. There were never any blisters. Just open wounds.

So, what's a girl to do besides suffer? Grin and bear it? All in the name of fashion, yesiree! Well, fashion for one day because for the rest of the week I had to find something professional to wear with my leather sandals. And I'm sure at some points I was neither both professional nor fashionable. Sigh. So much for trying.

The root of this shoe problem is that my feet are not used to being trapped. My heels are going to bleed no matter what shoes I put on--no matter how long I've had them or how painful it was to break my feet into them the first time. It's not just back-to-school time, it's TOUGHEN-UP-MY-FEET-FOR-REGULAR-SHOES time. So, wish me luck as I befriend the devil that lives in my shoes. Gotta dash now to Rite-Aid and stock up on band-aids.

My new favorite shoes. Aren't they cool? No, they're cruel.