I don’t use paper plates.
I, horror of all horrors, eat whole wheat bread.
For these reasons I am perpetually “weird” in the eyes my family.
“Do you have war-tuh?” Nanny called to ask me this morning.
“Ma, did you seriously just call to ask me if I have water at my house?”
“Well, you know, I just never see you have bottles of war-tuh there.”
“Because you don’t need to drink ‘bottled water,’ Ma, you can drink it from the tap. In fact, every time you need a sip of you water you shouldn’t be opening up a bottle, that’s such a waste!”
“Well, what are the kids going to drink?”
The kids she’s worrying about dehydrating are my cousin’s coming in from the City this afternoon. They are not kids, but teenagers. They take the subway by themselves. “You know them,” she added. While I do know them, I know what she really meant by this, a dig on their living in “the City,” a place deemed “fancy” and another former qualifier of “weird,” and not on themselves.
“Ma, I have plenty of things for the kids to drink. No one will go thirsty here. I have water. I have seltzer. I have Coke. I have diet Coke. I have Sprite. I have milk. I have apple juice. I have strawberry juice. I have…”
“Awl right, awl right, I was just sayin’, if we go to the pool do you have something for the kids to take to drink. That’s awl.”
“If we’re going to the pool, Ma, we’re going to be swimming. We’ll be in the water. You go in. You get out. We don’t need to bring things to drink. Who’s sitting around drinking?”
Now I’d gone and done it. I’d implied going somewhere without any sort of refreshment, not even the naturally occurring element of H2O. I sensed panic through the phone. For the sake of not wanting to get into it, and the ever looming deadline of getting out the door in time for camp fast approaching, I surrendered.
“Ma, I have cases of bottled water in the basement. While I personally don’t use them, I will bring them. Everyone can have their own bottle of water, okay? In fact if we need more, there’s a concession stand, we can buy some there.”
“Oh. Awl right.” The idea of a concession stand made her happy, because I’m sure she was thinking there’s no way I’d have enough food, too, or if I do it will be, horrors, healthy. Sure enough, the conversation turned to food. “What do you want me to bring for lunch? You want egg salad? I’m bringing tuna…”
No one can drive you crazy like a mother, babies.
Probably no one can embarrass you more either, as already you shout–yes, shout–when I bounce up to join your dance parties–“No, Mommy, NOOO! You no dance!”–but, I can say wholeheartedly no one will love you more. And, you will always be kids in our eyes.