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Diary Rings

Gift from Hil Part 2 - 2014-12-30
A Gift from Hil - 2014-12-28
There was A LOT of turkey. - 2014-12-04
Can we just jump to January please? - 2014-11-14
A (don't kick the) Bucket List - 2014-10-28

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3:21 p.m. - 2014-03-31
Snack Bar Stories

The anniversary outing was fun. We went to a newly discovered buffet. Lest you think if you've seen one buffet you've seen them all, you are wrong. On a previous date night Mick insisted on taking me to Nathan's. (More on hot dogs later.) Alas the freestanding Nathan's we usually patronize was no more. A victim of poor location and an over-saturation of eateries on Rt 9. I chose to try a buffet I'd had my eye on for a while. Mick was less than thrilled but since we were going to see his choice of movie I had dibs on dinner. Well! Far from the standard fatso bloat-a-torium this buffet rocked! Clean, nicely decorated, the food was well-prepared and of such astonishing variety we were blown away. Acres of steam tables. Made to order sushi. We didn't have any but they even had a raw bar with oysters shucked upon request. Going back for our anniversary dinner was a no-brainer.

Next-door to the amazing buffet is a huge Goodwill store. We'd gone in on the off chance they had a baby monitor. My idea now that FIL is home from the hospital. He's hooked up to a feeding pump and an oxygen machine and needs suctioning for phlegm build-up several times a day. MIL could hardly take a relaxed crap what with having to check on FIL every 30 seconds. I figured a baby monitor might ease things. No dice on the monitor at the Goodwill but I found a nice frame for the drawing Mick had given me. Good deal.

After a leisurely dinner we went up the road to the P-town Galleria. Best Buy had the exact kind of monitor we needed. Video monitoring with night vision, two-way talk, and a range large enough for MIL to go outside and tend her beloved garden while still maintaining constant supervision on FIL. Thrilled? It was the nicest thing I'd done for MIL since taking her son off her hands.

A quick run into Old Navy for essential t-shirts and we were finished with the Galleria. Before going to B&N I suggested we check out a store I'd been curious about. What fun! NUTZ is terrific. Had a fun convo with Kristy, she of the tarot readings. 30 seconds in and her eyes widened and we exchanged the witchy high sign. NUTZ is definitely on our hit list our next trip across the river. I could bankrupt myself just buying stones there, add in all the other goodies (hand-woven scarves, throwing knives, herbs, cool gifts for my non-witchy friends) and it'd be a trouble spot for someone less budget-minded than I am.

At B&N I picked up my first Neil Gaiman. No idea what took me so long except to say there's A LOT of books out there and it takes time to get to all of them. I also bought 'Kitchen Confidential'. I have a love/hate relationship with Tony Bourdain. He's exactly the kind of douche-canoe I'd have barfed up a lung to be with before Mick. Tall, sexy, arrogant, driven, substance abuse problems, a foodie, a good writer and a self-involved prick who isn't anywhere near as discerning and talented as he thinks he is. To make a mild pun- Anthony Bourdain is my recipe for disaster. But now he's married, I'm married, we've both gotten tubby and content so it's safe enough to finally read the book that made him famous. My other purchase was another crush's autobiography. Kevin Smith's 'Tough Shit'. I've fallen headlong into this thing. He writes like I write. Wordy, overly honest, too up our own asses to see whether it makes sense to anyone else. Kevin Smith. I like his movies and admire his gall.

I've said it before. Kevin Smith might have been wrapped in the mantle of indie cool, but at heart he's a romantic. Just a big old fan dork who believes in friendship, true love, and being pleased as punch with simple things like pop music and junk food. Just like me.

To wit:

A few weeks back I was at Sam's waiting for prescriptions to be filled. Decided to treat myself to lunch and was in line at the snack bar. A mother and son were in line ahead of me. The mom was about my age and the son looked to be 20 or so. He had Down's syndrome. He read the menu choices aloud and they conferred over what to have- she choosing pizza and he a hot dog. The mom turned to order and the son looked at me. I nodded and said I was getting a hot dog also, they're my favorite. He bust out a grin, said, "Mine too!" and hugged me. The mom caught it. Her back stiffened and she opened her mouth to, I don't know, chide him? Apologize to me? Over her son's shoulder I gave her a teeny head shake and a smile. Far from being upset or feeling encroached on, that young man's impulsive hug made my day. A mini-celebration of shared happiness. YAY! Hot dogs!

They got their food and left. It was my turn at the counter. So many thoughts. As a mom with a kid who's behavior hasn't always been the norm I had a pretty good idea of what was running through that mom's head. Relief that her son's impulsive act had been met with kindness. Worry about how best to curb this kind of thing and sorrow over having to quash her kid's innocent enthusiasm because touching strangers is problematic. Grief. Wonder. Impatience. Gratitude. Exhaustion. Every parent goes through this to some extent, but the parents of 'different' kids have a longer and harder job of breaking their offspring to societal norms. And we are haunted by the fear our teaching might never take hold. Parents of typical kids have the reasonable expectation their tantrumming toddlers and naturist 4 year olds will grow out of their wild ways. By school age they'll be over the meltdowns and their thing with taking off all their clothes and streaking through the mall. Typical kids learn early and well not to hug strangers. Or bite. Or swear. Or grab things out of others' hands. Not our kids. Our road is long and weary.

So I absolutely 'got' that mom's stiff back and tense face. Yet I also was glad of my lunch buddy's hug and thought it a shame we all couldn't be as straightforward in our joys. Imagine a world where instead of wariness and hostility and one-upsmanship ruling our lives we lived in a place where we could share a hug and say, "YAY! Hot dogs!"

Be cool, wouldn't it? ~LA

Posted before but if never fails to make me smile.

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