Friday, September 14, 2012

The Mysterious Green Stuff That Is My Breakfast

This is my "fruit" smoothie. Yes, it's green.

So lately we’ve pared our breakfasts down to two possibilities – either bran cereal with soy milk or fruit smoothies.   Now, for the most part, I’m okay with either of these selections.  This is a far cry better than the cardboard-type cereal that Vince tried to palm off on me during one moment early in our marriage by saying, “But, Janie, it’s good for us!” 

Sorry, but I do not see how eating cardboard can possibly be good for us.

But that was then and this is now. 

Now, I do not turn up my nose when I arrive at the breakfast table that Vince has so lovingly set while I’ve been busy getting ready for work.  (He lost that coin toss early on since he leaves for work later than I.) 

He places my cup of coffee on the coaster, which is situated on the upper left corner of the placemat.  The small tin cup with the 1,000 or so vitamins and supplements we take on a daily basis is set on the upper right corner of the placemat along with a glass of cold filtered water.  And either a bowl of cereal and a spoon or my double-walled see-through “J” cup filled to the brim with a fruit smoothie and a straw are set dead center in the middle of the green glass charger.

Ah, routine.  It’s comforting to know what to expect in the morning, especially since I am not, have never been and never will be a morning person. 

In contrast, on the one morning a week I get up to fix breakfast for Vince since he works on Saturdays and I do not, the table looks like I have  haphazardly flung spoons, bowls, boxes of cereal and containers of soy milk in the general direction of our seat assignments.  That is because this is what I do.  Did I mention I am not a morning person? 

And sometimes I miss.  It is on those mornings when bran flakes litter the floor, that I sincerely wish we had a dog instead of two finicky cats.    

And, yes, it’s a very good thing that Vince leaves for work later than I most mornings.

Lately, we’ve been trying to incorporate more vegetables and fruit into our diet.  And by “we” I mean “Vince.”  I’m okay with green veggies like broccoli, sugar snap peas, beans and even spinach.  In my salads

But we’re crossing the line when I see a big bag of kale, for God’s sake, being emptied into the blender along with the strawberries, blueberries and bananas.  O.M.G.

He has tried to be sneaky about it, too, methinks.  First he started adding flax to our smoothies.  The only reason I knew he added flax was because he added too much and I was picking bits of what looked and tasted like sawdust out of my mouth. 

Then he started putting in a handful of raw spinach.  He didn’t tell me he’d put a handful of raw spinach in our smoothie that morning, however.  The only reason I knew (crack detective that I am), is that I spied on the counter the ring of cellophane used to seal the container of spinach.  Aha, I thought, there is green stuff in my smoothie!

I was all prepared not to like it – but surprisingly, it wasn’t bad.  I didn’t notice any “green” spinach-y taste and mostly tasted the sweetness of the berries and the banana.  Okay, I thought, I can handle this.

Sludge, er, fruit smoothie. Picture does NOT do it justice.
Encouraged by what he thought was my ignorance over his green food additions, Vince went a little too far.  It may simply have been that we were short on berries that day.  It may have been that he thought my salad for lunch wasn’t enough greens for me.  It may have been that Vince just likes to push the envelope.  But one day he added too much green stuff to my morning smoothie. 

And, this, my friends, was the result.  Can I just tell you, that there IS a visual appeal to food.  And this was not appealing.  The smoothie was not, well, smooth either.  It was gloppy.  It sort of oozed out.  And it was just plain nasty to look at.  Again, surprisingly, it didn’t taste as horrible as it looked.  But let me just say that it was NOT my favorite morning smoothie Vince had ever made.

Since then we’ve gotten a better blender.  And our smoothies do come out better.  But sometimes they’re still green. Or – more accurately – sort of a grayish green.  It makes them hard to drink.

So what can I do?  Stop drinking them?  Get up even earlier so I can take over blending duties?  (Yeah, that’s not gonna happen.)  Revert to pre-Vince behaviors and grab a breakfast bar and a can of Diet Coke as I rush out the door? 

Looks a little like toxic waste or something, doesn't it?!
No, that’s not a good idea.  I mean, I know this green stuff is good for me.  And I enjoy our morning ritual of sitting down at breakfast together, saying a morning prayer and downing 1,000 or so vitamins and supplements.  That’s so fun. 

So I’ve decided that my only option is to get another double-walled “J” cup.  Only  this time, I’ll make sure it’s opaque and not see-through. 

Either that - or I'll simply have to shut my eyes when I drink it.  Breakfast of Champions?  Sure - just don't look!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Love and Marriage

Real life. 09/06/09

Last week was our third wedding anniversary – and I’m shocked by this.  No, silly, not that we actually made it to our third wedding anniversary.  I’m shocked by how quickly the time has flown. 

Has every day been blissful and wonderful?  Um,  s-u-r-e? 

Yeah, right.  Like there has ever been anyone ever in the history of the world that has had a blissful and wonderful marriage every single moment of every single day throughout their marriage. 

Heck, even the characters in those smarmy romance novels go through some sort of major conflict on their way to true love and happiness.  And, sure, it’s usually some nefarious villain who wants to inflict bodily harm on the heroine, so her knight in shining armor has to come to her rescue.  Or – because we’re in the age of enlightenment and us womens don’t need no man to take care of us no more – the heroine saves herself, but she knows her white knight could’ve popped the bad guy if only she’d said the word.   

Like no one in real life ever. Anywhere.
Hey, I warned you.  I used the word “smarmy” and everything.  (And apparently in the “age of enlightenment” we use poor grammar. Tsk, tsk.)

But, anyway, back to us.  And, no.  Our marriage is not perfect.  But I’ve gotta tell you, it’s pretty darn good. 

Could it be because we were older when we found each other and fell in love? Yeah, maybe. Could it be that we’ve learned from past relationships and past mistakes?  Perhaps.  

Could it be that we’re just really awesome people?  Oh, yeah.  That’s it. 

No, seriously, I think it’s because we communicate well.  Sometimes I get “quiet” and Vince – brave knight that he is – asks me what’s wrong.  And I feel safe enough to tell him.  Half the time I’m not even sure what the problem is.  But we talk it through and figure it out.    

Other times he does the guy thing of getting silent and pensive.  I’ve read that men get this way when they’re working through a problem.  They figure they are supposed to work it out on their own, so they don’t share with us what is on their minds.  Fortunately, Vince will open the vault for me and we’re able to talk about it.  Not that there are always solutions to every problem, but at least we don’t have any secrets and stand united in whatever situation that has arisen.   

The worst thing we could do would be to ignore something because we don’t want to deal with it.  As Vince says, “We don’t have lumpy carpet in our home.”  (Well, except for maybe when Twinks burrows under the area rug and peeks her little head out. But that’s not quite what Vince is talking about.)

It has been said before that communication is the key to successful relationships – and I’m sure it’ll be said again and again ad nauseam – but sometimes there is a reason things get repeated ad nauseam.   It’s because there is truth to it. 

And, yeah, so we’ve only been married three measly little years and what do we know?  But, c’mon.  I’ve known people who have had marriages fall apart in less time than that.  So at the very least we’re on the right track.

Probably it’s because Vince buys me a lot of flowers.  Doesn’t matter if some of them come from Costco – they still count.  It just lets me know he’s thinking about me.

Pretty Posies. 
So flowers help.  But, really, I think the communication thing matters a lot more than the floral thing.  

Oh, but I just remembered an even better thing: jewelry.  Sparkly jewels really, really help.  Yeah, I’m gonna go with jewelry. 

But…no.  No, I should still stick to the communication thing.  That has more weight and research behind it.

Or maybe it’s just a combination of all three?

Ah well.  No matter what it is, I’m happy to be in this marriage with my husband.  It’s good.  And we’re going to keep working on it to stay good. 

So I want to wish yet again a happy 3rd anniversary to my best friend and husband, Vince.  And happy anniversary to all of you out there who have celebrated, are celebrating or will celebrate another anniversary this year – whether it’s your first or your fortieth.  Remember that communication is the key. 

That, and lots of posies and sparkly things.  That way we can end with...

"...And they lived happily ever after."

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Darn Karma

Today has been one of “those” days.  You know the ones where nothing seems to go right?  Yeah, that’s apparently been scheduled for today.

For me it started around 5 o’clock this morning when Jinx, our mirage cat, jumped up on the bed demanding my attention.  Other than Vince, no one has ever seen Jinx in real life since she scurries under the bed and hides whenever she even thinks someone might be approaching the front door.  To prove we have a second cat, we have to show evidence, which is either photo documentation – or her vet bills.

Nevertheless, at 5 o’clock in the morning, she’s pretty bold.  I think she really wanted me to get out of bed to feed her, but she has been around the block a time or two and knew that wouldn’t be happening.  So she was willing to settle for a little petting.  Problem is, at 5 o’clock in the morning, I’m not functional.  No amount of bumping her head against my hand or purring loudly into my one good ear was going to work on me.  So eventually she gave up and curled up at the bottom of the bed to catch a few winks herself.

It was at this precise moment I turned over, kicked off the covers and unintentionally punted Jinx off the bed.  I felt so bad I couldn’t fall back asleep – for about 2.3 seconds, anyway.

Karma got me back a short time later, though.  I managed to get up on time, get showered without slipping on the tiles and I even applied my makeup without spilling foundation down the front of my jacket or poking myself in the eye with my mascara wand. 

No, it was the hairspray that did me in.  Since it was not a scheduled hair-washing day, hairspray application  is mandatory.  Only I evidently hadn’t cleaned the sprayer of the bottle thoroughly the last time I cleaned it.  Because instead of a fine mist settling softly all over my hair, I got a direct spritz of spray precisely in the middle of my left eye.  Believe me when I say don’t try this at home, kids; hairspray in your eye stings!


Fortunately, the rest of the morning seemed to flow smoothly without any further mishaps, so I figured that I was paid back in full. Take that, karma!

Yeah. Right.  Not so fast there, Skippy.

So did you know that karma payback is transferable?  Seems to be.  There I was sitting in my office at lunchtime when my coworker walked in the door asking me if I’d seen what she had done.  Alas, I hadn’t.  She was walking into the building, talking on her cell phone with her purse slung over one shoulder, holding an open glass bottle of some fancy juice in the other hand.  She was also trying to open the door to enter the office.  In the midst of all this, her sunglasses start slipping off the top of her head – and she didn’t  want to stop her conversation or alert the person she was talking to that she can’t walk and chew gum at the same time (as it were), so she reaches up to grab her sunglasses with her other hand.  The one holding the open bottle of juice.  Which she then proceeds to dump all over her head, sunglasses, necklace and dress.

As I’m retelling this story, I’m SO regretting that I didn’t look out the window so I could’ve actually witnessed this spectacle.  Darn.

Anyway, I tried not to laugh – but it was a little tough looking at her with her sticky orange-flavored hair and the big juice splotch on her shoulder.  She cleaned herself off the best she could and went upstairs to her office to continue her afternoon. 

Shortly thereafter, however, she came back downstairs toting her big purse, the bigger-than-she-is backpack she carries every day and, because that’s evidently not enough storage for all her stuff, a third bag.  The bottle of juice was mysteriously absent.  She was rushing out the door on her way to collect her youngest son from school who either fell or was playing in a big mud puddle.  She needed to hose him off and put him in fresh clothes before bringing him back to school.

As she walked out the door, karma apparently figured she’d had enough, so it leapt back onto me. 

Right about then I decided I needed to hydrate myself and walked into our copy room where our water machine is.  Naturally, the bottle was empty as the last person to fill up their glass hadn’t replaced it.

(Um, that last person may or may not have been me.  But I'm not admitting to it since you can't prove it.)

Sighing in frustration, (um, mostly because no one else had felt the need to hydrate themselves and replace the bottle of water), I put down my cup and started to pull the empty bottle off the base.  Only it was stuck.  So I tried twisting it with one hand while holding the top piece of plastic down on top of the machine.  I was trying to be slow and methodical so as not to lose control of the bottle, but sure enough, the bottle suddenly popped free of the machine and smacked me right in the nose!  

I dropped the empty bottle and stood there in stunned silence for a moment as my nose started throbbing and my eyes started watering.  Fortunately, no blood was spurting out of my schnoz, so I determined that a trip to the emergency room was not warranted.

Even more fortunately, no one had witnessed this embarrassing little event, so that was a relief and I figured I was in the clear.  Of course, writing about it makes it public  knowledge, but whatever.  It’s one thing to talk about your embarrassing moments.  It’s quite another when those acts are witnessed by others who then get to spin the tale into something even more monumentally embarrassing.

Several hours have passed since the nose-bopping incident and nothing else has happened.  Maybe karma has moved on?  Knock on wood.  But, hey, I think I’ve learned my lesson.  Sorry, Jinky-Jinx.  Didn’t mean to punt you off the bed this morning.

And tomorrow morning when Jinx tries to jump on the bed for a little attention?  Yeah, she’s not gonna get that far since I’m planning to close the bedroom door tonight.

Take that, karma!