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10.08.2004

Gold stars: a well-trained mother, plus cheese and chocolate

A gold-star day, in the words of fashion maven Elizabeth!

1. My mother called at 10:30am, wanting to know if I would wear a crocheted poncho, just hypothetically. She is well trained, having survived a trial by fire.

When I was fifteen she really outdid herself at Christmas. Mom usually has exquisite taste, and she fully supported my teenage forays into burgundy hair (which she dyed for me), clunky boots, lots of layers, and 11-cent thrift-shop men’s pants. But that Christmas, she strayed too far into the realm of ultra-trendy grungesque wear, bringing home for me a baggy flannel dress and a rubber belt with bottle-caps on it, among other unmentionables. This was a huge mistake. Dear reader, I very nearly died that morning under the Christmas tree. In an effort to be good-natured—there’s nothing more painful than putting on a brave face when confronted with a horrible gift—I agreed to try on the aforementioned articles. I put on the dress, and then I cried. I wouldn’t come out of my room. Complete and total meltdown: sniveling, hiding, whathaveyou. By the end of the day we'd discovered that my hysteria was actually due to a nasty flu virus, and I spent the following week sleeping on the couch in the den, living on Comtrex, and effortlessly shedding eight pounds. Mom’s presents, however, remained an unmitigated disaster and were confined to the back of my closet, still in their boxes. Even eleven years later, I wince in retelling this.

And so it was established that my mother would refrain from buying clothing for me without my approval. Hence this morning’s call and the poncho question, which was met with a negative, rest assured. But she called back three minutes later, giggly and secretive and unfazed, to ask, “So, would you wear something fur? Something that goes around your neck? Fur? Yes? Chocolate brown?” Well now, affirmative! I love that woman. This calls to mind another snippet from Ted Kooser’s interview in the New York Times Magazine:

Q: Is an unhappy childhood a prerequisite for a career in poetry?

Kooser: I had a wonderfully happy childhood. As the writer William Maxwell said of his mother, ‘She just shone on me like the sun.’”

Oh Mommy Mommy.

2. Friday lunch: a sandwich of Grafton two-year white cheddar and grated carrots on lightly toasted wheaty wheat bread. This is a staple chez moi. The sweetness of the carrots is a perfect foil for the tangy sharpness of the cheddar. Miam miam. Also highly recommended on cinnamon-raisin bread.

3. When baking three dozen chocolate cupcakes for PPNW’s third anniversary party, there’s nothing better than Blackalicious. Please take heed. Scrubbing away at that weird pink mold in the shower? Blackalicious. Feeling bleary-eyed and whiny at 6:30 in the morning? Blackalicious, honey. Plotting your next move? Blackalicious. Gold-star day? I think you see where I’m headed.

8 Comments:

Blogger Mister Underhill said...

I wish I could get home cooking like that....

3:01 PM, October 08, 2004  
Blogger Mark said...

I remember hearing Blackalicious years ago and thinking they were great. Thanks for reminding me! I must get some of their music; which album is best?

Also, fur? Do people still wear that in the States???

3:46 PM, October 08, 2004  
Blogger amylou said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:29 PM, October 08, 2004  
Blogger Molly said...

Mister Underhill, there's no time like the present to start cooking for yourself! Thanks for visiting.

Mark, I highly recommend the album Blazing Arrow. Damn fine. Sunny, upbeat, literate, funky, showy. You will like.

But oh no, I've stepped into a controversy! I'm no raving champion of fur, but I've never understood why it is demonized in a way that simple ole leather goods (usually) aren't. It's all dead, right? And meat for consumption? Dead too. So--hypothetically of course--how is eating a duck, chicken, or X alright when wearing fur is not? [Vegans, please have mercy.] Oh, and for the record, I *am* a champion of free range meat, poultry, and eggs. Yes yes.

4:30 PM, October 08, 2004  
Blogger amylou said...

Wait, it's weird how when you delete a comment it says that. It looks way more dramatic than necessary...

The bottle-cap belt sounds like a veritable nightmare. Did your mom get why it was so bad?

I have to admit though, I'm having a hard time accepting that a crocheted poncho is worse than fur.

4:35 PM, October 08, 2004  
Blogger Mark said...

Sorry Molly, I didn't mean to cause a storm.

I know I'm on dodgy ground being a meat eater and anti-fur, but the way I see it, it is OK to breed animals for meat but not for clothes, leather and suede being the exceptions as they are by-products.

Just typing this however, I realise how silly my position is. Surely the quality of the animal's life is more important than its end use? I don't need to wear fur, but I also don't need to eat meat.

I eat meat (free range, ideally) because I like the taste. I love the feel of fur, but I just can't wear it. I'm so hypocritical!

As an aside, I remember hearing about some animal-rights activists who freed hundreds of mink from a fur-farm in the south of England a few years ago. Great? No. The mink, revelling in their freedom, decimated the local wildlife, including some sensitive ecosystems.

Nothing is straight forward.

12:19 PM, October 09, 2004  
Blogger Molly said...

Mark, thanks for your thoughtful comments. I love you people.

I agree wholeheartedly that the animal's quality of life is what matters most when discussing any of this. When I chose to start eating meat again, I made a commitment to myself to be very, very picky about my sources--i.e. free-range, no hormones, etc. Yes, I could just not eat meat, but I'm here in this world for only a short time and want to experience it as fully as I can--while causing as little harm as possible. And because food is so important to me, I felt as though I were really limiting myself and my knowledge by strictly avoiding all things meat-related.

And yes, I also recognize that a fundamental difference between leather products and fur lies in the fact that animals bred for fur are essentially wasted, not consumed, etc. Pretty ugly and frivolous; there's no way around it. I don't think I'd ever purchase something fur for myself, but if offered, yes, I'll wear it. I'm full of contradictions.

Plus, the thing my mom is scheming about may well be fake! Bottom line, m'dears.

12:49 PM, October 09, 2004  
Blogger Mark said...

I like your philosophy for life...

2:00 PM, October 09, 2004  

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