The Secret Ingredient


Intention. It’s the heart of every act – the secret ingredient. Know what it is and you can’t go wrong; fool yourself and you’ll get what you really asked for anyway. For instance, my husband and I didn’t marry for love – we were too morbid for that. I married him because he offended me with his crude sense of humor. Plus, we both listened to hellish music and loved beer.


Twelve years later, we sound like a couple of truck drivers as we drag ourselves out of bed at five in the morning to do suicide jumps, complaining about the horrible workout music – all to keep our guts from reaching whale status. Modern day honeymooners. Bang-zoom-to the effin’ moon.


I have to say, until I had children, figuring out other people’s intention was not my forte. It could be as plain as the mole on their face and I would hold out for some noble, underlying motive. I was once that idiot who would scrounge around my pocketbook forever for a pan-handler asking if I had any spare change. My husband, on the other hand would say, “Yeah, I have plenty,” and walk away.


Children, with their innocence and their inexperienced lying, especially my guys – always make it clear – get the object of their desire. At all costs. Everybody’s expendable – most of all…siblings. Besides, what could be more noble than a straight line to having your needs met, right? And just because they’ve learned how to look like they’re suffering from an excruciating broken heart, doesn’t mean I have to fall for it. At least not every time.


They don’t fool me. Maybe one day they will – but not today. I know what their intentions are and to be fair, I do a daily check on my own. When I’m scrounging for cash (because you know I ain’t gonna ask my husband for spare change) just to get a lousy haircut, I do remind myself. Why we’re on a low budget; why I deal with haggard hens who’s sole purpose is to be a nuisance; why I’m mutating into the obatarian I vowed I’d never be – because I didn’t want to get a dog.

Obatarian, by Katsuhiko Hotta


Author: Namzola_Goodness

A Japanese-American who grew up in the streets of New York during the racially volatile 70's, Nami blogs with guts, heart and humor. Dysfunctional parenting, cynical citizenship of beer to wash it all down.

7 thoughts on “The Secret Ingredient”

  1. I’ve heard a many of reasons why people fall in love with one another, but beer and rock ‘n roll ain’t one of them.

    Gee, you two crack me up big time!

    My son is constantly pretending one of us has hurt his feelings. We (okay, I) never fall for his gimmicks. He plays that game with mommy all the time. But never with me.
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  2. I had never heard of the term “obatarian”- the third definition sounds exactly like the stereotype for a Korean “ahjima” (that word just means married woman- but when someone says, “I’m gonna grow old and get an ajhima haircut, you know what they mean”.) Ha! You are so not an obitarian.
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