Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Getting By....

Yet another holiday season has given way to the month of January where many of us, already having forsaken our new year's resolutions are strolling down our own personal boulevard of broken dreams.

But that's pretty typical, no?

We did have a wonderful Christmas around here...lights twinkled from our windows, the aroma of baking wafted through the house, hot cocoa was consumed and, as tangible proof of the festivities, our triglyceride levels are a few points higher than before the holiday.

But then, as always is the case these days, the guests who had been draped across our furniture, hogging the best spots in front of the TV and -- in general -- giving us a reason to live, left.

Boom. Seth and I found ourselves alone again.

But we are, actually, doing better lately based on the fact that not only have we gotten used to the children breaking our hearts on a daily, if not momentary, basis but have learned to survive through lowered expectations (don't ask) and speaking as few actual words to each other as we can manage throughout the day.

We have also gotten weirder. As if that were even possible.
Not as weird as Carrot Top, however.

A simple illustration is how we now eat.....
I prepared nightly,
nutritious meals.

When the kids lived at home -- slamming doors, abandoning shoes, books and sports equipment directly in front of the stairs and hoarding damp bath towels in their bedrooms so that I once had to dry myself with a paper towel after a shower, I took cooking seriously.

There would be salads and sides, main dishes and dessert and, most of the time, we actually did manage to eat together. Now that we are empty nesters, we see nothing wrong with single item meals.
Do not fear the
delicious Brussels Sprout.

For example, last night we shared an enormous tray of Brussels sprouts. And it was only because of some errant vestige of civility that we ate them off plates. Our newest inclination would be to enjoy them straight from the baking sheet upon which they'd been roasted.* Easy, fewer dishes.... and who's here to see us?

Anybody with me

Not to mention,we needed to transport them downstairs so we could watch re-runs of "The King of Queens," and it was less likely they'd roll all over the house if corralled in bowls. We are nothing if not practical.

A meal might also be a giant tub of popcorn...and nothing else. We are careful with butter and salt* in our older age but greasy lips and fingerprints cannot be avoided when this is our dinner du jour.

We also play little games with each other. A favorite includes hiding the TV remote, car keys or cell phone and cackling uproariously while the other stumbles about sobbing, but that's nothing compared to our newest game....

If they are playing this
correctly, his wife is trapped
in there.

One of us will, inadvertently exit the car before the other and then will, through the miracle of the remote door unlocking thingie (sorry to be so technical), keep the other trapped in the car until they indicate, via sign language that they are either actually starting to get scared or, upon release, will physically hurt the other.

Seth had me locked in his truck for so long one afternoon, prancing happily in the driveway while I repeatedly attempted to outdraw him on the interior lock, that I came very close to smashing out one of the windows. Sensing this, he released me as I was searching for something with which to shatter the glass.

So, children, while your parents miss you horribly and still question this growing up and moving out ridiculousness, we seem to be managing through bad eating and cruelty, if nothing else.

Now, when's your next visit home?

*Trim the root end of your sprouts, lightly coat them in olive oil, a little salt and pepper and spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes. Yummmmmm!

**Add a little good quality olive oil to the butter for your doesn't change the taste and makes it less disastrous for your cardiac health.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year? Yes, Please!

Well, 2012, you are -- as they say -- toast.

Forced to relinquish power to your next in line and direct descendant--2013, you are little more than a crumpled calendar page in my wastebasket and a heavy heart full of memories.

Nobody's favorite couple.
I don’t mean to imply you were all bad. 

You did show a mischievous side at times by taking down a decorated general and a revered cyclist, allowing Lindsay Lohan to portray Elizabeth Taylor in a movie, bringing Kim Kardashian and Kanye West -- two people who totally deserve one another -- together, watching K-Stew cheat on R-Pat and luring Anderson Cooper out of the closet. 


Let's not overlook how you kept Prince Charles off the throne yet again, entranced millions of women with a trilogy of books about sado-masochism, causing them to wonder why their own husbands have yet to install sex swings next to the Fisher Price “Grow with Me” Kitchen in the family room.

Get well...and then get a haircut.
You chuckled as you discredited the Mayans, as the news media invented and drove us mad with the word "frankenstorm" and sat back as an America-hating flash-in-the-pan rapper danced Gangnam style in the Whitehouse for the president who, by the way, you re-elected this year. 

You also gave Nancy Pelosi a new hair-do while inexplicably continuing to allow Hillary Clinton to wear hers like an aging transvestite in need of a make-over. Plus, you failed to keep John Boehner out of the self-tanner.

Unfortunately, once you chose to get serious, you left many scars and I wonder what you have to say for yourself in the wake of so much chaos and many tears.

Hurricane Sandy's aftermath.

You brought us bath salts, cannibalism and Jerry Sandusky, wrought total havoc in the middle east, devalued our homes, denied rain to a huge swath of the country while sending Hurricane Sandy our way, washing away the homes of thousands in the tri-state area.

You watched as sheer terror was unleashed in a multi-plex theater in Aurora, Colorado, by a crazy-like-a-fox madman left alive to enjoy three hot meals per day on the taxpayer’s dime while twelve families grieve the loss of loved ones who committed no crime other than wanting to enjoy a movie with friends.

Far more than a local tragedy.
And then, 2012, you outdid yourself in Sandy Hook---finishing off with something unspeakable in our very own corner of the world which has now been joined by the nation if not the planet to inconsolably mourn 26 angels, most of them not old enough to tie their own shoes. What were you thinking, 2012? Can you explain yourself?

Got a problem with my sweater?

On a personal note, you said nothing as I ate too much salt, didn’t exercise and looked at far too many pictures of cats wearing sweaters instead of getting serious about the laundry list of topics about which I should have become serious long ago.

And, yes, 2012, that was me you saw in prayer last night. My head fuzzy from champagne and the warmth of an evening with dear friends still around my shoulders, I suggested to God that even though he has endowed and encouraged our free will that we might need a little extra help with your younger sibling after the year we had with you. 

A marvelous diversion.
It's easy to ask for help after royally screwing things up on this fragile little blue marble we call home -- so beautiful from space as well as my back deck -- but we could really use a little help down here.

So, 2012, don't let the door hit you on the way out. Season three of Downton Abbey begins next Sunday and while that’s definitely a good start, I would like to formally request that 2013 be gentle and that we all have a happy, healthy, peaceful new year. “Susan Says…” sends you all love and warmest wishes.

Still a beauty.