The Stuffed Upper Crust

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I've noticed more and more that people are being drawn to health foods when it comes to sharing snacks or meals with others. We're all getting a little scared of going to parties where there is way too much to eat. They write about it in magazines all the time--how to not sabotage your diet in one fell swoop of the buffet table.

Snacks at work in a health-conscious department and even work-provided lunches are taking on a health spin. Make a calorie-light cupcake and watch them disappear. Bring in a calorie-dense cake and frown as you take most of it back home again. At church, at birthday celebrations, more and more people are leaning toward healthful fare. And everyone mumbles about donuts--so enticing no one can resist yet oh-so-naughty for the waist. And I almost feel guilty serving that sort of thing myself. As if I'm a devil's advocate of sorts. Here, engorge yourself, until you're uncomfortably stuffed and guilt-ridden. How hospitable is that?

We recently invited some friends over for dinner. Something people generally jump at the chance to enjoy, right? Well, they weren't sure if they could make it because they're trying to lose weight. Well, it's a good thing I have a few healthy recipes under my belt and am sort of a health buff myself. Sort of. So, I can make them feel at home in my home and in their own skin. I know, it's a gift.

As a side, would it be weird to host Thanksgiving this year and make it a health food affair with pre-portioned plates? I'm also fantasizing about that energized feeling after finishing a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning, starting my day off on the right (and left) foot. But what's with the parting gift--a fresh pumpkin pie? Shouldn't we slim that down to a sugar-free, low-fat pie of some kind? We all know we'll ruin our efforts later in the day, but why help us take an unhealthful turn right away?

Wabi What-y?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Turns out my love of imperfect things dates back to ancient Japanese tradition. Who knew? You see, I had this doll when I was in third grade. I remember how all of our backpacks were lined up on pegs outside the third grade classroom. With the scarcity of homework back in those wee days, my backpack often held other schoolgirl treasures. For awhile, I carried this plastic doll with me everywhere. I was so worried that one of my arch nemeses would weasel their peanut-butter fingers into my bag and out me and my closet doll fetish.

You see, I found this plastic doll in the little attic offshoot of my bedroom. She was a bit bedraggled. Her hair not as luscious as Barbie's. Her moving eyes were a little creepy and she sort of had that musty antique doll style to her. But those little worn patches on her skin and the permanent dirt on her knees endeared me to her even more. She and I together made a complete package of misfits. A little off-kilter, a little sloppy, a little defective in manner, if only to the naked eye. She belonged with me.

Turns out there's this ancient philosophy called Wabi Sabi that celebrates the imperfections, the worn-out places, the dirt in the cracks. This Whole Living article turned me on to the whole idea and it completely clicked with me. It makes sense that I was repelled by perfection. Nothing bothered me more in school than copy-cats who strove to be closer to the cool girl's idea of perfect. The pretentious, the trite, the mainstream--all of these things bothered me to no end. And for good reason. Perfection is delusional and denotes a lack of character. Striving for perfection is a fruitless endeavor, while celebrating flaws encourages us to take pure delight in our own and others' idiosyncrasies.

Now I have an excuse to not get rid of my little teapot with the crack through the lid. Oh happy day! XOXOXO Baby Doll.

Sentimentality is Never Stationary

Monday, October 18, 2010

I bought me some stationery yesterday with that bonus check I was talking about.

I just love the sentimental glamor of having a stash of expressive stationery on-hand on which to pen personalized "correspondence" like someone out of a Jane Austen novel. I'm a sucker for handwritten notes that actually come in the mail. A tactile demonstration that someone was thinking enough about you to break out the pen, ink, and stamp. Something that can be returned to with reminiscent pleasure.

Now, I'm trying to think of who the first lucky recipient will be. I know of a few folks who would raise their eyebrows at the old pen-and-ink way to communicate. I know of a few more to whom I talk quite frequently online and to whom it makes no sense to drop a letter in the mail.

But at least I have the pretty, graphic, delicate stationery to start with.

Past Tense

Friday, October 15, 2010

I went through a phase in my life where I couldn't quite understand how the world could be a whole different place when my parents were young. I wanted badly to travel back in time and watch how they interacted with their high school friends and hear their groovy child voices. I'd watch Brady Bunch reruns and wonder if my mom wore her hair like Marsha or Jan or if her feet walked on mustard-colored shag carpeting. I envisioned my dad living in a wood-paneled Main Street apartment, listening to Journey, surrounded by latch-hook wall decor and macrame pot holders, and getting around by hitchhiking.

Nowadays, I'm so far behind on technology, I might as well be frolicking with the Partridge family. As a copywriter, I sometimes have to write product descriptions for technological gadgets that leave me feeling a little uneasy. Have I used some ancient terminology? Do I even know what all those abbreviations stand for? My husband and I just bought the original Mario and Pacman games, do I look like I know anything about Bluetooth technology?

But I'm learning. I find updating my personal hard drive an asset to society. There are so many advantages to being instantly connected and accomplishing tasks much more quickly. Sometimes, when I sneak peeks of other peoples' flat screens in their open lit windows, I think we should get one as much as my deep-seated nostalgic sentiments want to balk in opposition. I don't want to grow up to be old and afraid. I want to be energized by advances, not intimidated by them.

I, however, solemnly swear that I will never relinquish my love for Three's Company, paisley patterns, shirt dresses and gaudy hair flowers.

On another subject, here is a list of some of my favorite things today:

Licking the yogurt off the cover.
The Contemporary Folk station on Pandora.
Bonus checks that allow you to spend on girly pleasures like shoes and face cream where the family budget doesn't comply.
Reading A Streetcar Named Desire in the sun on my lunch break.