One of the required courses for the degree I'm currently working on is Career Counseling. Only one of us in the class actually wants to specialize in that area, but we must all suffer the course. I'm not really, really complaining, because I understand the value in being better able to help a client who's been laid off or who is unhappy or unfulfilled in their current job. It's just that in the summer, we're cramming 16 weeks of learnin' into 8, and there are a shitton of theories in this particular area. There are theories for everything in life, of course--why babies look like their fathers, why dogs roll in crap...They give scientists something to do while the rest of us are watching Jersey Shore.

Last week, we were discussing Super's Life Span, Life Space Theory of career development, wherein he explains that during the exploratory--or fantasy--stage, which happens during childhood and which some people never advance past, our career goals center on such things as cowboy, rock star, astronaut, pilot. About those who don't grow out of this phase, our book says, "Often, the understanding of themselves or of the world of work needed to make more effective choices is either missing or disregarded." Hence, I guess, we have John Wayne, Mick Jagger, Buzz Aldrin (astronaut AND ballroom dancer--hello), and Frank Abagnale Jr.

Between the ages of 9 and 12, I used to stand in front of the bathroom mirror with a towel, preferably solid white, over my head, covering my hair, towel and hair tucked behind my ears, and imagine I was a nun or--even better--a saint. Ever since watching Song of Bernadette, I'd felt the calling. I believe I could have risen to the ranks of incorruptible, too, if it hadn't been for puberty, when I switched to poet.

Bogus theory.



About three months ago, Biggy agreed to take over the cooking and food shopping responsibilities. Before you get all 'Wow--what a great guy' about it, you should know that he never liked my buying the groceries, feeling that it was unnecessary to have both Raisin Bran AND shredded wheat in the house and that the cheaper canned fruit is just as good as fresh.

As I tried to stick to the same budget I'd had since Ginger left the Spice Girls, the complaints piled up against Tuna Helper and weekly Gorditas. Everyone wanted more variety, meal-wise, but if I purchased more than one kind of salad dressing, I was being excessive. And if I even THOUGHT about, say, a can of artichoke hearts, I was Zsa Zsa Gabor. Add my husband's list of random rules: cheese should be yellow...and the fact that I'd be sitting in class after a full day of work, thinking, What can I fix for dinner? Well, I was more than happy to relinquish those duties. I handed in my Amex (groceries quickly add up to frequent flier miles)and let the chips fall.

Only, now there are no chips. You want a sandwich? You get a sandwich--a couple of slices of Publix brand turkey and a 'cheese single' on white bread, no lettuce or tomato, no sides. Rather than Hamburger Helper, it's simply hamburgers, three times a week, on two-week old buns ("Just pinch off the mold"). Rather than Gorditas, Biggy fixes his own tacos concoction, blindly pulling several bottles of spices out of the pantry to season the meat. I've seen him use Allspice, Greek seasoning, and seafood rub. No need for the Old El Paso dinner kit; those things cost $2 on sale!

This morning, I had oatmeal for breakfast, which was my only option, and when lunchtime rolled around, all I could find was a three-year-old pack of Cup-O-Soup. The dogs are also out of food, since I fed the last few kibbles to the turtle, who is also OUT OF FOOD. I'd have settled for a flour-tortilla-and-cheese-product quesadilla, but I ate the last tortilla Wednesday night, and he doesn't shop till Sunday.

So, famished, I crawled upstairs to find my husband:

TR: Can I go to the store and get some food?

Biggy: There's food. I just had a turkey sandwich.

TR: C'mon. You only left one slice, and it's not even real meat.

Biggy: We'll go to the store together. After the soccer game.

TR: I'm starving. Give me the freaking credit card! I need to get some tortillas, or maybe a piece of fried chicken. I had cereal for dinner last night!

Biggy: OK, fine. But only if you'll take the scooter. You can't carry much on the scooter.


Mamoo's Magical Garden 2010

or How My Mother Got Poison Ivy; or Why All the Garden Stores Are Out of Statuary; or Yes, Every Woman Over 60 has a Doxie in the Yard

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