Friday, June 3, 2011

How the mighty…

I was never popular or cool or a hipster. I was neither a queen bee nor a wanna-be. I was kind of bee-irrelevant. But looking back on my teens and twenties, I was cool enough that my young self would be completely horrified by some of the things that now completely f-ing make my day. I’m not talking about my kid telling me he loves me in pidgin sign language (point to self, make heart with fingers, point to mommy). Even my edgy(ish) twenty-something self would understand how that would cause my middle-aged heart to melt into a sopping puddle of goo. I’m talking about the truly pathetic things that make me happy. Like these:

My minivan. The doors open and close by magic. I can fold down the seats in the back and have enough space for furniture, boxes upon boxes of yard sale crap, or a week’s worth of groceries. It can fit 4 car seats plus 4 adults. It smells vaguely of sour milk and the carpet is coated in mystery crumbs. Bonus: if we are ever trapped in a blizzard, we could assemble an entire carton of slightly dessicated but probably still edible McDonald’s French fries from beneath the seats. I am so in love with my minivan that when I told my sister that minivans are sexy, I was not even being facetious.

Brown rice sushi from the grocery store. Gone are the days of west coast sushi snobbery. To get west coast quality sushi here costs more than I am willing to spend. But my grocery store has brown rice sushi. Brown rice unagi roll. With toasted sesame seeds and “eel sauce.” Bliss.

Speaking of the grocery store, grocery shopping alone. Grocery shopping alone while Daddy watches the kids feels like a trip to a favorite bistro for brunch followed by a calming walk on the beach. I get to choose the perfect apples rather than just throwing the closest ones into my kids’ miniature shopping carts and then watching the carts overturn, bruising all of the apples anyway. I get to peruse meats on sale to stock up the sad empty freezer. I get to sample the pumpernickel bread with fancy imported Irish butter. I often get mildly flirted with by at least one random stranger (or the dude behind the deli counter) when shopping alone, which is a little disturbing given my shopping cart full of multiple gallons of milk, Cheerios, and miniature frozen pancakes. But hey, I’ll take it. P.S. The rumor that we are soon getting a Wegmans in Columbia has me in a gourmet grocery tizzy. It would be tragic how happy this makes me if it weren’t just so exciting.

A new dishwasher. Our dishwasher has been on the fritz for more than a year. It was disgusting. We switched to detergent with bleach in it because there was some sort of mold problem developing in there. Dishes were coming out dirtier than when they went in. You would think I would consider hand-washing instead, but I have OCD an aversion to having dirty dishes in the sink. They have to go straight from table to dishwasher. Finally, this past weekend, we took advantage of the Memorial Day sales to replace that piece of crap (a piece of crap that is only 6-7 years old, by the way. It was new when we moved in. Had 2-star ratings on the Sears website for all of the same reasons I have always hated it.) We now have a brand new 5-star-rated dishwasher. It’s stainless on the inside. Why this brings me so much happiness, I have no idea, but looking at that shiny silver non-moldy interior brings joy to my heart. Also, it doesn’t have hard water stains down the front of it, and it WILL NOT get any, because now we have a water conditioning system for our well water. Best of all, it is nearly silent when running, so it will not force me to turn up the TV while watching The Bachelorette.

“Indigo” by Clarks. Clarks’ cuter, trendier line of shoes. They are not as comfortable as Clarks proper, but they are more comfortable than the non-Clarks version of the same shoe. In my 20’s, I didn’t even know what Clarks shoes were. I would not have been caught dead in any “comfort” line of shoes. Now I am pretty much just waiting for Dansko sandals to get a titsch cuter, and am considering the sparkly sequined version of the FitFlop. (If you go to Zappos or wherever and look up Indigo shoes, no, I have absolutely never spent that for them. Clarks outlet... clearance section. That’s how I roll.)

Box wine. Gentle readers, I truly never thought I would see the day. I was never a hipster, or cool, or whatever. But I WAS a wine snob. I am still kind of a wine snob. I have the palette potential of a sommelier. I sniff and swirl and suck air and pretty much do every pretentious thing that one can do with a glass of wine. (Although when servers give me the cork, I am always a bit at a loss. What am I supposed to do with that? I don’t give a rat’s patootie about the cork. I sniff it and nod so they will stop looking at me and just pour some wine into my glass already, but the cork tells me nothing. If I’m wrong about this, please, someone tell me what I am supposed to be doing with that thing.) Aaaaaaanyway, all that is to say that I love wine. But finances being what they are, we have sunk to the lowest of the low... box wine. It’s shameful. But it’s $18 for 4 bottles, less when it’s on sale (10% off every Tuesday at King’s Contrivance Liquor and Smoke Shop). And it is totally drinkable. Especially the Bota Malbec and the Big House “Naked” (i.e. un-oaked) Chardonnay. It’s probably just a matter of time until I am drinking Franzia White Zin with ice cubes in it ($12 for 5L, compared to the $18 for 3L I am spending on my snooty elitist box wine.)

Last, but certainly not least, my cordless stick vacuum. Light, maneuverable, with floor and carpet settings. Cordless stick vac, you complete me.


  1. My fat feet don't like Clarks, but Dansko? Now you're talking my language. I wore Dansko sandals for my wedding. And did you know their company store is just over the PA/DE line? The cheapest you will ever find them. So next time you head up to NJ....just saying.

  2. You sure hit the nail on this one. I do love my minivan as well (swagger wagon). Grocery time is now "me" time, I take my iPod and enjoy my time alone!

  3. You are supposed to check the cork to make sure it didn't dry out and let air into the wine, which would ruin the taste. If the wine was properly stored on its side, the cork will be wet on the inside end. That is why you aren't supposed to store bottles of wine upright, because the corks can dry out without contact with the wine. Didn't you learn this in your trips to Napa and Sonoma during grad school?? Btw, I love the Black Box wines!

  4. Thanks Julie! I learned lots of fabulously pretentious habits on my Napa and Sonoma trips, but no one ever offered me a cork until I moved back east. So, stop sniffing it. Just look at it. Check. Thanks.

  5. I have my own delights. :) One being my new mini-van. Hoo-yah!