There it was in my mailbox, an innocent looking envelope addressed to me. Yes, I thought it was interesting that there was no return address, but I overlooked that in the excitement that someone had mailed me a letter. My birthday wasn’t so long ago, so maybe it was a birthday card. With money! Except it wasn’t. I’d been mailed a packet of evil.
The envelope did not have a birthday card. No note or letter at all, as a matter of fact. Nothing. Except an American Seed Company packet of cilantro seeds! CILANTRO! In my mailbox! On a scale of one to Hitler, cilantro is off the measurable scale for how much I hate cilantro. I’ve hardly kept that a secret, and yet, someone has mailed me $.99 of unspeakable yuck.
My immediate obvious question was “Who do I call at homeland security to report a terroristic threat?” I see this as being on the same level as the whole anthrax through the US Postal System thing. And how did ISIS get my home address? Or the Taliban?
Then I have to ask why? It’s not as if I’m guilty of a crime by speaking out against the atrocities committed by cilantro. Every single day across the world perfectly good recipes are slaughtered, rendered inedible by cilantro. People starve rather than eat food contaminated by the menace, and I salute their fortitude to stand up against the evil. The struggle is real.
Just because I’m bringing this important issue to the forefront of world consciousness, doesn’t mean that I deserve to be terrorized in my own home. This is still America, the home of the brave and the land of the Free from Cilantro. Join me now in this important crusade!
To the woman parked in the Astro minivan next to me at the YMCA, try to remember what I told you: This is why God invented wine! Poor dear was having one of “those days.” Anyone who’s been in possession of a child for more than six hours knows what “those days” are. She was just sitting in her van when I went into the gym, and she was still sitting there when I came back out. In her van. Windows up. Sitting.
This seemed sort of strange, so I tapped on the window and asked if she was okay, pointing out that you really don’t get the benefits of your workout if you don’t actually get out of the vehicle and go inside. She said she wasn’t there to work out. She was hiding. Okay, that was alarming. But, she reassured me it wasn’t her that was in danger. Her toddler, on the other hand, was pushing his limits. The identified toddler was home with dad. And mom was just hiding in her van in the parking lot.
I use to “hide” in the parking lot of the high school. It was a clever enough disguise; anyone driving up would assume I was there to pick up my child. In fact, I was sitting there reminding myself that one day my child would actually go to high school if we both survived that particularly challenging day. So hang in there minivan mom!
To the YMCA, thank you for putting the sign on the front window in three languages explaining that fire arms and weapons of any kind were not allowed in the gym. This gives me a greater sense of safety for those times when I realize I still have another 15 minutes left on the treadmill and start screaming, “Are you kidding?! Can someone please just shoot me!” that someone won’t actually do that. Despite the level of conviction that goes into the delivery of that statement at the time, I probably don’t really want to be gunned down at the YMCA.
If you think about it, this is probably why minivan mom chose that parking lot. Right there on the window is a reminder that, as much as you think you’d like to kill your kids – and we’ve all thought it (usually more than once) – it’s frowned upon. At least at the Y.
So I had another birthday. It seems they come at me a little faster each year. I’m not complaining, because it’s better than not having them show up at all ever again. My dad is quick to point out that years are like toilet paper: the closer you get to the end, the faster it goes. I think I still have a few more squares left on my roll, but I’ll admit I’m no spring chicken. I’m not even sure I’m a summer chicken anymore, for that matter. Regardless, I am now at an age where there are a few things I just will no longer do.
I will no longer worry about my vanity. I’m not too proud to ask for my senior discount. Over 50? Oh yes, ma’am! Give me that additional 10% off. I was recently at a little community concert and asked for a senior ticket. The woman selling them squinted her eyes, tipped her head back to scrutinize me through her bifocals, and said it was only for those over 50. HA! I whipped out my driver’s license (it has a little piece of scotch tape folded over the end so I can get it out quickly – that’s what you do when you’re over 50) and told her to read it and weep. Or I could read it for her since it wasn’t in big print. Now give me the $3 off, sister!
I will no longer drive a vehicle that can accommodate two kids, their friends, their sports gear, enough groceries for a tribe of indigenous people, and has the option for video screens in the back. Not that I would ever have video screens in my mom-mobile anyway. “Quit crying kiddies and look out the window. That’s called life out there.” I now drive something small and sporty with seat warmers and a sunroof. My youngest son cannot possibly fit in the back seat, and I’m okay with that. He can drive himself in my cast-off, video-free, mom-mobile because every teenager should drive the family car at some point in their life. It builds character. I drove a ’72 Pontiac Bonneville. It was two-tone: light blue and rust. I’m a better person for it.
I will no longer make friends based solely on my children’s activities. I’ve met great friends sitting on bleachers, but at this point, I want more than physical proximity and a shared hatred for team fundraisers. It’s what happens when you hit 50+. So, yeah, Happy Birthday to me!