We were going through the airport security checkpoint on our way back from visiting relatives for the summer when my bag was picked for extra inspection.
I suppose it looked suspicious because it was crammed so full of stuff.
The TSA agents dug through my backpack, randomly swabbing various items to test for bomb residue (including some paperback novels, my half- finished quilt squares, and a bunch of Laffy Taffy candy). I wondered which of the Laffy Taffies looked the most likely to be a bomb, since he was only checking some of them.
My nine-year-old daughter took the opportunity to ask me: “Mom, what’s a trophy wife?”
I tried to think of an explanation. “Well,” I said, “I guess it’s a wife that’s way better than the other wives so she costs a lot of money.”
All the TSA agents around us burst out laughing.
I shrugged. “Sorry guys,” I said. “Looks like she’s been listening to people trash-talk each other on family vacation.”
This summer on family vacation, Little Boy purchased a fidget spinner at the souvenir store.
In case you haven’t seen one before, it’s a plastic and metal thingy that kids an spin around in their hand for fun.
They are wildly popular and were being confiscated left and right by the teachers at the twins’ elementary school all year for disrupting class. This of course makes them all the more a fabulous and coveted object in the world of kids.
He was extremely excited about his new fidget spinner and showed it to everyone at the vacation house. In a family full of schoolteachers, this did not go over well. Invariably they said, “Ugh! I hate those things!”
But Little Boy loved it! He played with it all the time.
That’s why I was surprised a day or two later to come in and find the fidget spinner resting in a pan of hot water in the kitchen.
“What’s this?” I asked. Little Boy complained that Little Girl had gotten annoyed with him and taken the fidget spinner away. “And she put it in her UNDERWEAR!!” he finished with indignation.
“I see,” I said. “So now it has to be sterilized?”
He eyed the offending object doubtfully. “Dad said he could get it clean but I don’t know…”
Usually I stand in the kitchen and ask myself, “What will I NOT HATE that I can make tonight without too much trouble?” And then I answer myself, “Cold cereal it is!”
No, I’m joking, obviously.
I do have to cook so the people in the house don’t starve. The trouble is, I really HATE meal planning.
I know people who have wonderful little calendars planned out with each meal for the week all written down, and they buy all the ingredients in advance to fit each dinner so that both grocery shopping and cooking are a model of efficiency.
This is SO NOT ME.
I have mentioned before my model for food shopping, which is basically just throwing stuff onto my cart at random. (Click here if you want to see an illustrated version of that.)
And whenever I try to assign certain meals to certain days of the week I feel trapped and suddenly lose my appetite for whatever I’ve planned.
It feels like Food Slavery to me. But of course, we have to eat SOMETHING.
So here’s what I do.
When I get back from the store and start putting away all my random purchases, I make list of all the meals I can possibly make from the stuff I just bought.
(While I’m saying to myself, “Why did I get this again?” and “Oh shoot, I forgot some essential thing!” of course.)
I post the list on the refrigerator. Then when it’s time to make dinner, I can look at the list and pick something, crossing it off after I make it.
Don’t say I never put anything practical on this blog. Have you SEEN my new recipe tab?!