It’s Not Okay But Who Cares?


Will we ever stop obsessing? We’re either too fat, too poor, too crazy or too stupid but in the end, nobody cares. We all wind up in the same place. Yes, this post has philosophical tendencies. It’s not because I had an introspective moment, it’s because Samu’s fish died and I was wondering how to get rid of it.

“Should we put it in the compost?” I asked my husband.

He’s a sick guy so he just laughed and said,”Yeah!”

Seriously, no – we didn’t put the dead pet in the compost. We took the traditional route of flushing the thing down the toilet. He had a mini-funeral and everything. I even cleaned the fish bowl in the dishwasher for the next tenant. Then we analyzed what could’ve killed the fish besides the overall neglect.

“I think it’s because you changed his name.” Samu said to his daddy.

Initially, Samu named it something ridiculous, then he changed it to Rex. Nobody called the fish “Rex”. Then, about a week ago, my husband decided that the fish didn’t look like a “Rex” so he changed the fish’s name to Fishy-poo. The name stuck and a week later – the fish died.

Coincidence? I think so. Still, I’m not going to ask my husband to name any pets in the future – unless I want them to go away.

What I wasn’t expecting was Samu’s mourning. Unlike the deaths of the previous pet fish and the hermit crab, Fishy-poo’s passing brought Samu to tears. He was sad and mopey for a while and he didn’t ask me right away if the void could be filled with another pet. It was the perfect opportunity to talk to him about appreciating life and living for the moment and all that good stuff that I often fail to practice myself.

As of late, I confess I’m a writer who hasn’t written. Every day that passed without writing a word, I used to convince myself that it was okay, there was life threatening laundry and classes to get to. But in reflecting, seeing Samu take our talk to heart, it’s clear that it is not okay.

“It’s okay” is just an excuse and who can do anything with those? Even the best excuse is still just an excuse, I tell my boys. When their homework is taking too long or there’s wads of toilet paper in the sink and I ask why, they know not to give me excuses. If they do for lack of memory, they are made to simply apologize – then do 10 plank push-ups. You’d think they’d look like Mr. Incredible by now instead of the scrawny chickens that they are.

So I’m writing again. And hating it. But love having written. My ass is getting bigger as are the dust bunnies and various other messes that would normally take up writing time to maintain. Certainly, it’s not okay but who cares? Otherwise, I’d have to name my life Fishy-poo.

Fishypoo copy

Roots, Radicals, Reese’s Pieces


As a full time mom, I get to chaperone a lot of the school field trips for my boys’ class. I get a kick out of them. While getting to know my son’s classmates and teachers is a huge perk, the real bonus is in watching them act like monkeys who escaped from the zoo.

Recently, we went to the Queens County farm, where they took a “Colonial Kitchen” workshop in a farmhouse. During the presentation, these 4th graders learned about life in the Colonial days – how children did chores all day, ate after all the adults were finished, married early, caught on fire easily and hardly had sugar.

No sugar?!

Kids and their priorities. They were put to work during the workshop, cutting the farm’s fresh vegetables, making cornbread with molasses (remember, no sugar), churning butter from cream. When it was all done, only two kids actually finished their cups of soup – the rest preferred to finish off their 30 oz bottle of Gatorade and barbecue flavored chips.

You only live once, I suppose. Fresh food isn’t a novelty to them when we have three supermarkets in a five block radius who all sell organic produce.

Damned kids – I thought the soup was delicious and had two helpings – screw them. Then again, it was a mere five degrees outside and the class voted to go see the frozen cow while the soup cooked. Dumb cow.

In the end, what I learned was – I could never work on a farm. But somebody has to. Somebody has to know how to grow potatoes. I mean out of the 28 kids in the class, only one knew that flint rock and steel was a way to start a fire. And he wasn’t even a scout.

It’s sad when you think about it, how little city folk know about surviving and how even less they can pass on to their kids. I could teach my kids how to get anywhere by subway but outdoors, I couldn’t guide them to the North Star unless there was a huge white arrow pointed to it. But at least I know it’s crucial to find it if you’re lost.

These kids? Well, the instructor asked the students what sweeter they thought replaced sugar in Colonial days, as a hint she said it starts with an M and rhymes with glasses. All the kids searched the furthest corner of their 4’x5′ brain and one kid stuck up his arm like he was having a stroke.

“Peanut butter!”

I clawed at my face and thought, we’re all gonna die.

See - Men do belong in the kitchen
See – Men do belong in the kitchen