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Monthly Archives: December 2012

2012. It’s a Wrap!

I just wanted to say Happy New Year to everyone, and thank you all for reading and, hopefully, liking my blog.

One of the biggest things that have happened to me this year has been the start of this blog. I began in the beginning of July, and I can’t believe how much my blog has grown and changed in just half a year, and me along with it. I love and appreciate so many things about blogging. Here’s just a few…

I love the time that it gives me to think and create.

I love that I’m doing something important for myself.

I love that I can look back and remember what I was thinking when I wrote a post and how it captures a moment in time.

I love that I get to write about myself, my family, my feelings. It’s free therapy!

I love that I have a positive reason to ignore my kids. Sorry, boys, get your own crap. Mommy is ‘working’.

I love that I’d rather be sitting here by myself doing this than almost anything else.

I love that you guys read it. It makes the whole thing more worthwhile and satisfying. Yes, I’m an attention seeking whore. Read more. Tell your friends.

So happiest, healthiest New Year. I wish you all double scoops of love and laughter, with sprinkles of  ridiculous and crazy on the side.

Bring on 2013!

My Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions… For Other People

Since I’m still in the spirit of giving, with just a bit of vent thrown in, I thought I’d do a little public service and offer up my top 5 resolutions that I hope others make for the New Year. You know who you are. Just think about it…

1. Get off the phone in the gym!
Really? Do you think we all care what your plans are for tonight? Or how annoying your husband is? Seriously chick, take that phone and that high pony tail and get off the machine next to mine. I do not want to hear you. Nor do the other people who are giving you polite dirty looks that you choose to ignore. Do you realize you’re speaking in decibels higher than Kathy Lee and Hoda who are plugged directly into my ears?! You’re messing up my hour of me time, and it makes me want to mess you up.

2. Park in one spot!
Oh My God! Really, dude? You’re supposed to park in the lines, not over them! Did you flunk out of nursery school? WTF?! I want to be stereotypical and chastise all the obnoxious Porsche drivers, but honestly it’s not just them. I see you suburban mom, dragging out your kids, looking exhausted and pretending not to notice. I see you Grandma, and think you need your eyes checked. Not only can’t you park, you never seem to see me at the deli counter. You most certainly were not next!


3. Pull your car over when you run into someone you know in the neighborhood!
It’s really not rocket science. This is a street, not your front lawn. You cannot just stop in the middle and chat. Pull the frig over! Immediately! And no, you can’t just finish up your conversation, unless you’d like me to ram into the back of your car, which you are begging for by the way.

4. Take your doggy bags!
I’m not talking about the poop bags, although that could be number 6, I’m talking about leftover food. I know, I might be special in this regard, since I have been known to take home other people’s leftovers. (I know.. I know… but only people I know. Ya know? ;)) And I will eat leftovers till they’re green. But really people, don’t order what you can’t eat. Or, just take it home. It’s so wasteful. Don’t make me come over there and show you the Save the Children infomercial.

5. Don’t be snotty!

The snotty sleeve slide is never pretty

An actual snot-nosed sleeve slide

As in, here’s a tissue, wipe your kid’s disgusting nose! Huge EW! Do you really not see that green goop hanging there, just waiting for his sleeve  or to drip into his mouth? Ugh, I can’t even look. Tissues. They are your friend. Carry them. Use them. For the good of mankind and preschoolers everywhere, I beg of you!

There’s more, so much more, but I don’t want to piss off everyone. Ah, what the hell, let’s piss-off some of my runner-up offenders… Person at Dunkin Donuts – Don’t close the door on me as I’m walking through. If you’re holding it up to that point, why would you choose to release it right as I get there? And worker at the yogurt store, smile. I get that the general public is annoying or that maybe you haven’t had the best day, but, you’re at work, lady. There is no sneering or eye-rolling. Save that for your break.

Please, people, take these resolutions as your own. I give them with love. I’m just trying to make the world a better place. Okay, just do it. Seriously. Don’t make me use this many exclamation points again!  🙂

Five New Year’s Resolutions That I Probably Won’t Keep

It’s almost the new year! Ho Ho Holy crap. Does that mean I’m supposed to reassess and all? Do some reflection and make resolutions? I’m Jewish, I did my reflecting back during Yom Kippur. I don’t want to do it again. Wine, wine! No that isn’t a typo. I’m not bitching, if I’m going to do this, I need some wine.

Okay, now that my cup runneth over, here are 5 things I hope to accomplish in the New Year.

One – Just say no. As in, No kid, get your own milk. No, PTA mom, I will not bake 100 cupcakes and stuff envelopes for you. No, mom, I’m not getting my kid a haircut. No, dad, I don’t feel like picking up the phone. No, children, I’m not making each of you a different dinner. Yes! That felt good. I mean, No! That felt good. Also, as much as it pains me, I must include, No, self, you don’t need that second bowl of ice cream, which means you certainly don’t need the third.

To be in complete ying/yang balance, number two is – Just say Yes. As in, Yes, I’d like a massage. Yes, I’d like another scoop. (Oh wait, conflict with number one here. I know! I’ll just fit that extra scoop in my first bowl. Problem solved.) Yes, I am going out with the girls tonight. And yes, husband, you are going to love me up. Yes, Yes and more yes please.

Three – Eat some Shutthefuckupcakes… I stole this from Momaical. She recommended giving them out to a number of ‘challenging’ people around the holidays, but I’m going to eat them myself; because frankly, sometimes I just don’t know when to STFU. I tell myself, don’t do it. Hold it in, but off I go. My tongue has a mind of its own. There are also times, when I just want my brain to STFU, so I might try them for that as well. Let me know if you need the recipe.

STFUcakes wouldn’t be the same (or as necessary) without…wine! Resolution number 4 – Drink more. Yes, I need to just sit back, relax, unwind and enjoy a glass of wine. Or two. I’m doing it right now, and I’m thinking, Yeth! This is the beth post I wrotein thoooooooo looooong! I love dis one. I love you too. I’m feeling all teary. I need a moment.

Number five – Do more things for other people. It almost seems impossible because all I do is things for other people, like schlepping, laundry and errands, volunteering at the schools, cooking and catering; but I’m taking about things I don’t resent, uh, I mean, things that aren’t in my normal day to day. Like, bringing a cup of coffee to the Verizon man outside, or buying flowers for the checkout girl, or visiting an older person in the neighborhood. It’s not really for them, it’s for me. Every time, I remember to do that kind of stuff, it makes me happier than the person I’ve done it for. Especially when I bring someone those STFUcakes, and they really could use them. Nothing like helping out those in need.

That’s my list, and I’m sticking to it. Well, hopefully. I’m taking it one day at a time. They’re resolutions, not promises. No pressure here.

Happy almost New Year Everyone! May it be full of sweetness and love.

Drink up. It's a resolution!

Drink up. It’s a resolution! 🙂

I don’t want to cry. I can’t stop crying.

I didn’t cry this morning watching the bus pull away with my children. I began to well up, but I didn’t cry. I sucked it in and didn’t let myself. I kept it together, like I know I should and feel I have to, because falling to pieces every time you catch a glimpse of the news, or a school bus, or your children, is not healthy or helping.

I want to move on.

I want to hide it away in the back of my head behind so much banal mental clutter, like picking up milk or sewing a button on my husband’s coat, that I can barely find it.

I want to write about the class pictures that I just got in the mail. My 10 year old’s is amusingly bad in an almost clichéd way. I grimaced when I saw it and immediately filled out the form for a retake. When he came home a few days later, and I asked him how it went, he just shrugged. “Oh, I forgot to do it.” I looked in his back pack. Of course, there was the form crumpled on the bottom of his bag. He didn’t care, but some day, I thought with a laugh, he’d somehow blame me for his too long hair and braces, or I could use it for blackmail.

My seven year-old son’s class picture is gorgeous. His huge, green eyes are wide with hope and eagerness. He looks full of discovery and innocence and a touch of elfin mischief. He looks so young, so fresh, just growing out of baby and into boy. He looks perfect.

I want to go back to simple stuff. Normal stuff.

But that seems not only unthinkable, but callous and horrible. How can I move on, when there are people who will never move on, who will never have comfort? For them, life will never be simple or normal again. There are no retakes. Their class pictures are the last ones they’ll ever have. All of those children are forever captured at that moment of sweetness, youth and possibility.

This afternoon, the bus pulled up and my kids came bounding out.

I want to move on because I can.

I want to cry all the time, because they can’t.

Life is beautiful… if you stay in your bubble

For years, a decade maybe, my father has been hawking us to purchase a generator. He’s not a well man, emotionally, physically, financially; but the one thing he does have is a healthy dose of paranoia. I’ve been on the receiving end of countless battery packs, fire extinguishers, flares, safety kits, survival books (Want to know what to if a bear attacks?), walkie-talkies, flash lights, crank radios and all sort of protective paraphernalia. A few years ago, when moving him from one apartment to another, I found gas masks, a shotgun* and an actual oxygen machine. He had no idea how to use any it, but he just had to have it.

I don’t mind most of the stuff. I mean, who can argue band aids or batteries. I am just overly sensitive, and at the same time, desensitized to his obsessive paranoia. Hurricanes are coming. Terrorist attacks are coming. Okay. I believe as my grandmother did, “What will be, will be.” We were displaced for 10 days during Sandy.  I’ll admit, I eyed the house across the street with the humming generator, but we were all fine – a little cold and inconvenienced, but fine. Actually, I thought the whole thing was a good bonding experience.

My father chides me for my complacency. For the bubble I choose to inflate around myself and my family. In his mind, devastation is right around the corner. This week he was right. Devastation. So close, I feel it tighten my chest, and start to swell into a mass of overwhelming emotion every time I give the thought a second to grow.

So I’ve made a conscious effort to not watch the news or read the papers. I don’t know if this is wrong, but when a headline passes my eye or, like this morning, when I caught a snippet on the radio while driving to the gym, I just lose it. I can’t even think about it. I really can’t.

There are now big, gaping holes in my bubble, and it threatens to collapse and suffocate me. I have always been keenly aware of the fragility of life. There are already so many things to worry about when we put our children and ourselves out into the world. This is just too much, because really, there is no protection from random acts of insanity. There are measures, there are steps, there is protocol. It all helps, and provides some sense of safety. Really though, we are all so vulnerable and exposed, and that is beyond frightening. All I can do is frantically patch the holes with hope and denial, hug my family tight, and pray that I never hear a pop.

A generator can’t offer my family any real protection, so I just don’t have the energy to care.


*After a huge battle with my father, the shotgun, along with a bunch of other stuff, was properly disposed of, but that’s another story.

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A Lost Child, a Crazy Mom and a Shot in the Heart*

Our appointment for flu shots at the Pediatrician had gone exactly as expected. I wound up restraining my howling two year-old, while grasping hands with my screaming five year-old and practically having to sit on my hysterical, flailing 7 year-old. As they each made breaks for the door, I just had to laugh at the hilarity of it all. I mean, this is what I do in a day – sit on my children as they beg for mercy.

Once the shot had successfully been administered and my middle son, Michael, finished his after-shock screams of indignation, I appeased their wounded egos and arms with a promised trip to the candy store. Amazing – the children who just moments ago, lay sprawled in misery, now jumped up and down with glee. “I guess you guys are feeling better now?” I joked.

“It didn’t even hurt.” Tyler, my oldest postured.

“Yeah. Didn’t hurt.” Julius, my youngest chorused, quickly forgetting that snot still dripped from his nose.

Michael had his arms crossed and still wasn’t talking.

“You guys are so brave.” They all looked up at me thrilled. Even Michael cracked a small smile. Honestly? Did they not remember the screaming hysteria? The horrified nurse? The arm wrestling? Is that all it took with boys? A thinly veiled compliment? A stroke of the ego? The answer was smiling up at me, times three.

We left the pediatrician’s office, but before we headed out for the sweet reward, I stopped at the office of another doctor located across the hall. I opened his office door and popped my head in to ask the receptionist a quick question while my boys ran up and down the short corridor. The conversation lasted maybe one minute. This was it, “Hi there. I needed a flu shot and was considering a new primary care doctor. Do you take United Health Care and are you accepting new patients? Great. I’ll call for an appointment.”

I popped my head back out and saw my two older children racing back and forth. The narrow, short hallway strip was about 25 feet long, end to end, with about three offices on each side and book-ended by a set of heavy double doors. In the front, the doors led to the street, and the back, to the parking lot. I looked left, then right. I quickly walked to the further end of the hallway, then to the other.

Small gurgles of panic began bubbling in my chest. “Uh, guys! Where’s Julius?” They looked at each other and shrugged. My heart thumped a little faster. Now I ran from one corner of the hall to the other. “Julius?” I called out, opening each of the few office doors, looking around, noting only baffled looking receptionists and people sitting and waiting. I ran back up and down the hallway helplessly.

“Julius?” I called, my voice rising an octave. “Jullius!” I could hear Michael and Tyler giggling in some distant world. I was on the verge of freaking out, but refused to give in to it. One of the receptionists from my pediatrician’s office came out and immediately noted my distress. I looked from one set of double doors to the other. “Stay here!” I ordered the boys and bolted for the front door.

The doors were heavy. Really heavy.  I was right there. They were right behind me. How? I hit the street and looked around. Nothing but a busy street. A really freaking busy street. Time slowed. I sharply felt the cool air sting my cheeks. I was biting my top lip, looking left to right, completely lost. Oh my God! Oh my God! Is this the moment? Is this where I lose my two year-old and never see him again? Is this really happening? Nothing around but cars and street. I was there, but it was like being paralyzed in the matrix. I raced from one end of the street to the other calling his name. I didn’t know what to do.

A woman across the street, adjacent from me, called out. “Are you looking for a little boy?”    
“Yes!” I shrieked. “YES!” It didn’t sound like my voice.

“I saw him walk that way.” She pointed toward the other corner.

What?? My brain screamed. You saw a two year-old walking alone down a street and you walked in the other direction??? But I had no time or any right to point fingers. I raced to the corner, stopped and looked up and down. Nothing. “Julius…” My voice was broken. I could barely call his name. As I was about to race down that block, the receptionist from my pediatrician came through the double doors with Julius in her arms.

“Oh my God!” I broke down in a million pieces as she handed me my baby, clutching him to me in a suffocating embrace. My hands were shaking. My body was shaking.  I sat down on the cement street rocking and crying into his curls.

“He was out back, playing in the parking lot. He’s fine.” She said, with just a hint of judgment that I didn’t begrudge her. I collected myself and my other boys from the office.

Finally, I had them all secured in the car, but I couldn’t move.
“Uh mom,” Tyler giggled, “you need to drive.”

“To the candy store!” Michael shouted happily.

“Yay!” Julius chimed.

It was nothing to them. Five minutes of their mother running crazy.

But I was stuck, my hands gripping the wheel tightly. When I think about what could’ve happened… I couldn’t even. I took a deep breath to calm myself. They may have taken a needle today, but I had a dose of reality. And no amount of candy could fix it.

*This was three years ago, going for flu shots again recently brought me back to my own shot in the heart. Yep. Still hurts.

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You’ll Always be My Baby

Today is Julius’ birthday. He is five. NOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Sorry, I had a moment there, but how is it possible that my youngest is five today? How is possible that my oldest is 10? And then there’s that 7 year-old in the middle. How did this all happen? Well, of course, I know how, but it was just a breath ago, that they were all little monkeys, hanging round my neck. Small bundles of baby mush snuggled in my arms. Big open mouth kisses on the cheek. Spit up everywhere. Cheerios everywhere. Words that were ‘almost’ words, that only I could understand.

And now my baby is five. Next year, we, uh, I mean he, starts Kindergarten. I can’t even pretend he’s a baby any more. Okay, I can and I do, but there’s no denying that my junk-food stealing, boobie-snatching rascal is growing up.

Growing up. Sigh. I just got him, and that was no easy feat. No one could ever accuse me of being a fertility goddess. I needed some help with Tyler. I needed more help with Michael. Julius, it seemed, would take a village.

So today, I want to thank that village for helping to bring my happiness to life…

  1. My mother, for just saying “Okay, if that’s what you want to do. I’ll be there to help,” when I told her my intentions to drag my other two children to a fertility doctor with me, for almost daily monitoring and shots.
  2. The other patients at the clinic, most of whom didn’t have one baby, let alone two, and had to sit there in the waiting room with me and my children.
  3. I guess I have to thank the fertility doctor, because I got my baby and that’s all that matters, but honestly, he was kind of an ass. The staff, on the other hand, was stellar.
  4. My faboo friend Heidi who came over and took the drugs from my shaky hands and expertly mixed them, and for leaving her night out at 11pm, to come and give me the big shot, the one my husband was so afraid to give me that he considered asking our contractor, who happened to be there at the time.
  5. My squeamish husband, who at first, had some reservations about having a third child – he was afraid it might be a girl! – but ultimately supported and stood by me through it all. Once convinced, he was all in. With baby Julius, as he is with our older boys, there couldn’t be a better dad. Okay, he could do better with bedtime, but besides that.
  6. My boys, not even two and four at the time, I schlepped them around, and they didn’t seem to mind if I was a hormonal, cranky mess. Probably wasn’t so different from my normal cranky, sleep-deprived mess.

After the shots, the drugs, the pregnancy, and a delivery, in which, I literally thought I might die, there is finally Julius. Ah Julius. Wild. Gorgeous. Funny. Mischievous. Loving. So big, such a baby. Now, here’s where I want to be poignant. I want to write words that capture the essence of my beautiful boy, but I’m staring at the screen, thinking of my little Tasmanian devil with tears streaming. I wanted him so bad. I felt the need in every aching bone in my body. So I thank my friends, family, random strangers, lady luck and both divine and scientific intervention for the gift that is him. He is wonder and magic. His happy face fills a room with energy, love and sparkling life. He completes our family. I could never capture his beauty. I can barely catch him to take a bath.

Two days old. Can he be any cuter?

Happy birthday my baby love, may you live happy and healthy till 110 and never leave me. Poo Poo Poo.

(Okay, I was kidding about that last part. You can leave when you’re 100, just like your brothers 😉 )

Always mommy's baby

Oh yeah.

The Shape of Cindy

I glanced at the magazines as I typically do while standing in line at the supermarket. I always think it’s so nice that they put them there to help me pass the time while I wait (wink, wink). Usually I flip through US Weekly or People. Sometimes, she admits with coy, embarrassment, I grab a copy of STAR. Come on, when they have the “Stars without Makeup” or “Best and Worst Bodies”? Really, you can pretend to be above it, but I know you’re sneaking a peak.

Anyway, as my life slowly drained away waiting for the woman in front of me to finish her super interesting negotiation to the bored cashier on why she had an expired coupon, the cover of SHAPE magazine caught my attention. It was Cindy. Cindy Crawford.

For you annoying, young people who were too busy learning to go poo-poo on the potty to appreciate her heyday, Cindy, ruled the modeling world in the 90’s. During my most impressionable years, she was gorgeous but in a believable way. She was tall, but not impossibly tall. Thin, but not heroin anorexic like some of the grunge models of that day. Young, but (hee hee) a little older than me. She was with me through the big hair and the straight hair. We had babies at around the same time, and I exercised to her post baby work-out tape with all three of my kids. She was the friend I didn’t actually have.

So when I saw the cover, I experienced of moment of honest happiness to see her. My supermodel was back. Yay! I grabbed the magazine for a closer look, and my smile faded.


Now don’t get me wrong. Cindy looks great. She’s maintained her figure and her hair cascades down the page. But – yes, there’s a but – no amount of air brushing can mistake the obvious. Cindy is old. She looks great…wait for it… for her age. Ow. That last part hurts ‘older’ women everywhere, because if Cindy looks like a woman in her forties, well, I certainly must as well. Damn.

In three seconds of sighting the cover, I did a complete 180. I was no longer happy to see my old friend. She  no longer reminded me of my youth, she reminded me that I was old. I doubt this was the effect marketing executives had hoped for. I knew Cindy was there to appeal to women like me. Women who grew up with her, who else would appreciate this blast from the past? I get it, but guess what, I don’t want to.

Getting old is weird. You almost can’t believe it’s happening to you. It’s an outer-body experience that’s happening to your body. I spend time studying myself, and can see the subtle changes occurring. They’re not terrible, but they’re there. But I don’t need a mirror to know that I’m past my prime.

For one, I just need to look at these magazines.  I don’t know a full 70% of the people they showcase. Who the hey are Chris Hemsworth, Miranda Cosgrove, Gemma Arterton, Wiz Khalifa?

Two. People now address me as ‘so & so’s’ mom. If one of my ‘so & so’s’ is with me, say, in a store, sometimes they get some free stuff just for being cute. Hey! I used to get free stuff too!

Three. I drive a mini-van.

I don’t think I need to go on.

Now I’m not saying getting old is bad. It’s a good thing. Great, if you consider the alternative. And honestly, I’m so much more comfortable with myself than I was in my 20’s. It’s just strange. A minute (okay 20 years) ago, I was fresh and new, with the world open and wanting me. Now, I’m – eeeek!!! – a middle-aged suburban mom?? OMG.

Somewhere in those 20 years, almost all of my goals changed, or very slowly subsided into the background. I don’t want to blame the children, but what-the-hey, it’s their fault. With their blessed arrival, my entire focus shifted from me to them. It’s exactly how I want it, just don’t remind me what I used to want.

I was happy before I saw Cindy on the cover. I didn’t think about any of this. Sigh. I really wish I wouldn’t have seen my old friend today.

She really does look great...for her age. Ouch. Still hurts.

She really does look great…for her age. Ouch. Still hurts.

Stop trying to touch my boobs and I’ll give you a cookie

My four year-old son has this weird little obsession… with my boobs. No, I’m not like that New Yorker Magazine mom. The only thing my boobs do these days is hang, and I mean hang, around. But for Julius, it’s one of his many infatuations, right up there with gummy bears and Pokemon cards.

All my boys are full of mommy love, which I unabashedly encourage and soak up, but Julius shows his love a bit more ‘tangibly’ than the others.

Every night after the bed time books and tickle-back is completed, there’s another ritual of events that must transpire before I can leave his room.

“Kiss, mommy,” he demands, pursing his little, chunk lips for me to kiss.

“Hug, mommy,” is the next request, and he wraps his little arms around me, squeezing tight.  I love it, but I know what’s coming. He’s been doing it for well over a year now and I brace myself.

Somewhere in the middle of his innocent little hug, there’s a boob grab. He does it quick, knowing exactly what he’s doing. When I gently reprimand, he looks at me with those big brown eyes and says, “I can’t help it mommy. I just love your boobies!”

What to do. What to do.

I’ve tried to distract him from his infatuation. At two and three, it was still cute and could be waved away as toddler silliness; but once Julius crept over the four year mark and his hugs began to have a groping feel to them, I’ve tried, unsuccessfully, to get him to stop.

So far, these are the techniques I’ve employed.

Threatening – I say, almost daily. “Julius, if you try to touch my boobs, I’m not going to snuggle in bed with you anymore.” The little rat always promises. Do not trust a rat.

Negotiation – “If you can go a week without trying to touch my boobs, I’ll take you to the toy store.” Apparently, Julius does not need more toys, or chocolate or extra Wii time. He’s got plenty, thank you.

Transference – Every time Julius goes for the boobs, I place his hands around my waist. He kind of likes it and will squeeze happily for a bit, saying, “Oh, it’s squishy, like your boobies.” Thanks kid.

Reason – We had the discussion about private parts. How he has his and I have mine. Julius’s response? “You can touch mine, if I can touch yours.” Sheesh. I’m in trouble with this one.

Although, his fascination to touch my boobs is annoying and will soon border on really inappropriate, right now, it still makes me smile. I know he’s almost five, but as my youngest, he still seems like such a baby; and even though my seven and ten year-old are very loving, I can see the day in the not too far future, where I am no longer the center of their affections. There will be girlfriends, then wives, (poo poo) and I feel the pain of that already, years into the future. I can only hope that they’ll still want to give their mom a squeeze, although a hug will do just fine.

Just last night, Julius, the teenager in a five year-old body, gloated, “Mommy, I know how to touch boobs.  You go in for a kiss, and then you get ’em!” He smiled mischievously, like a boy who knows a big secret. And I guess he does.

Really, nothing to write home about here.

Really, nothing to write home about here.


The Real Reason Why you Flip the Bird and Buffalo have Wings

We sat at T.G.I. Fridays and waited for Jessica, our usual waitress, to arrive. Howard and I were negotiating the next morning’s activities while the boys were playing tic-tac-toe on their place mats, when a strange man’s voice interrupted us.

“Hello, Kimosabees. I am Blue, your waiter. Can I take your orders?”

We all looked up and saw a small, long-haired man of obvious Native American descent, with a smile that ran up to the wrinkles of his eyes. For a moment, we stared speechless, but then I quickly collected myself.

Jessica knew our order by heart, but I relayed it to him – buffalo wings and onion soups for me and my husband and chicken fingers for the boys.

He nodded. “Interesting selection.”

“It’s not interesting,” Michael, my seven-year old exclaimed. “We get it every week.”

“Oh it’s very interesting,” the man said mysteriously. “You obviously don’t know how one harvests buffalo wings and chicken fingers.”

He had our full attention now.

“Tell us how,” my boys demanded, and unbelievably the man pulled out a peace pipe and pulled up a chair.

“Uh, are you allowed to do that?” Howard asked, but Blue’s eyes were glazed over and he began.

 “A long time ago on a day as bright as a newborn sun, my great, great grandfather Blue Cheese was out hunting Buffalo.”

Julius, my four year-old, giggled, “Blue Cheese is a funny name!”

“Yes, young one, it is. It was our family’s responsibility to make cheese for our tribe. My grandfather did not like this. He wanted to be a buffalo hunter and was sad, so they called him Blue Cheese. Blue was an extremely skilled hunter and delighted in his own talent. One day, Blue had bagged many a buffalo and was shaming the tribe’s true hunters with his prowess. A fairy spirit saw his boastful pride and frowned upon Blue. She decided that from then on, every time Blue hunted Buffalo it would sprout wings and fly away. Blue spent the rest of his life frustrated, making cheese and never able to catch buffalo again.”  buffalo-wings (1)

Our mouths hung open and then Blue’s very great grandson passed us the pipe. I took a long toke and passed it to Howard.

Blue nodded sagely. “Legend has it, that all those buffalo flew straight to a secret ranch, so deep in the south they never even heard of country music. There, a woman named Magic Mama, like her Mama before her, breeds the buffalo and harvests their wings.

“How?” Tyler, my kid who needs to know everything, asked.

“Actually, wing removal is a relatively simple, technical process involving five steps.

First, Mama takes the buffalo before the sun wakes, when they are most docile.

Second, she relaxes the buffalo, so they feel nothing but the clouds passing by.

“How?” Tyler asked again, intrigued.

“She has her ways,” Blue answered and blew a huge puff of smoke in our faces. Oh.

Third, Magic Mama uses atomic clippers to delicately snip off their wings.

Fourth, she lays the wings on an ancient stone for two moons, where they relax and shrink.

Lastly, she secretly sells them to restaurants nationwide. The money goes to help Native Americans build casinos all over the country.

“Wow.” I said in amazement.

“Now do chicken fingers!!” My boys chanted.

With a satisfied smile, Blue took another deep drag and began again.“You already know part of the story, but it has been confused with other legends, so you don’t know the full story. Many moons ago, a nest of baby chicks were hatched with extremely long, fleshy feet. It was a strange deformity that the tribe had never seen, and they were feared as a bad omen. The chiefs and elders met and decided that they could not kill the little chicks for fear of angering whatever spirits had created them. Instead, they sent them far away, leaving them to fend for themselves.”

images“Did they survive?” Michael asked, wide-eyed.

“Yes, they grew to full chickens, thick footed and harboring a dark anger against the tribe. One day, when the chickens were crossing the road – no need to know why, that’s another story – they were almost run down by the very tribe who had banished them. In a moment of heated passion, the chickens raised their abnormal claws in angry protest. When the Indians came home they told of the chickens crossing the road and raising their strange ‘fingers’ at them, thus giving rise to many common expressions such as, giving the finger and flipping the bird.  170px-The_gesture02

These chickens continued their pilgrimage, ultimately finding solace at the same place as the winged buffalo, Magic Mama’s ranch. There, Mama has bred them and uses ancient techniques to remove the aberration.

First, she keeps the chickens cooped up for days, amassing their energy.
Second, she releases the chickens on a full moon.

Third, she watches while the chickens run round wild, like they’ve lost their heads.

Fourth, she waits until the chickens exhaust themselves and fall over in a deep sleep.

Finally, Magic Mama uses her special clippers to delicately remove the excess flesh, selling the sought after “fingers” to places such as this.

Before I could say wow, or ask for another hit of the peace pipe, Jessica appeared with our order.

In the momentary distraction, Blue vanished.

“Where’s Blue?” Michael asked.

“Who?” Jessica looked perplexed.

“The Indian!” Tyler explained.

Jessica clearly had no idea who we were talking about.

“Weird,” Howard said and we all stared down at the chicken fingers and buffalo wings uncertainly.

“Should we… eat?” I asked, but the boys had already begun.

“Mmm… Magic Mama makes some mean wings!” Howard said.  buff

“It’s good knowing no buffalo or chickens were actually harmed making our food,” I said, digging in.

“How’s your dinner, boys?”

Three greasy faces smiled. Tyler summed it up. “Taste likes chicken.”

And there you have it.

chicken fingers - app