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the latest waddle:

good morning, wordpress - 10:36 a.m. , 2009-07-03

elaborate murder attempt - 2:56 p.m. , 2009-07-01

building a tractor in the basement - 10:42 a.m. , 2009-06-19

ask no questions tell just a few lies - 3:17 p.m. , 2009-06-09

my long lasting flavor really lasts long - 1:10 p.m. , 2009-06-04

2005-05-27 ... 8:52 p.m.


"And more," indeed.


There I was, at a baby shower. Although I do not enjoy these type of events, particularly when the majority of the participants are so blonde and girly and sundress-bedecked and adorable that I feel I should be over in the corner stomping grapes and giving everyone the Evil Eye, the shower was in honor of a good friend of mine (and her fetus), so I sucked it up and went to the Drake for high tea and exclaiming over little pastel outfits. And really, it wasn't that bad. In fact, it was highly amusing! Because of Beef Woman!

Talk at the baby shower naturally drifted toward children and the raising thereof. I have a two-year-old girl, Beef Woman has a two-year old girl. However, in case her highlighted hair and strappy sandals vs. my dishevelment and combat boots didn't clue you in, our approaches to life and parenting could not have been more different. It was as if she had been paid to study my opinions on bedtimes, food, television, Disney Princess crap, education, and discipline, and to then take the exact opposite stand. The contrast was so extreme that I was left feeling not so much judgmental as awestruck at the diversity of parenthood.

The only thing that got to me was her constant return to the topic of beef. Whenever I tuned back in to her conversation, she was mentioning beef. Her daughter is a picky eater, but at least she eats beef. It's difficult to work all day and come home and prepare meals, so she makes a lot of beef on the weekends and freezes it. They went to a wedding and her kid wouldn't eat much of anything except for the beef. The daughter finished all her beef so she got to have ice cream (no word on whether it was beef flavor). Costco often has big sales on beef. Her favorite of the tea sandwiches was the one with roast beef. I began to suspect this woman was a secret buzz marketer for the Beef Board, and I also began to suspect that I would start flinging scones around and screaming like an insane baboon if I had to hear the word "beef" one more time.


Me: So Atlanta. Is it true you're too busy to hate?
Atlanta [cheeks puffed out, big sigh]: Yeah. I really want to get back to hating, but it's just been so crazy around here. They've got me working late every night, the kids always need something...maybe this weekend I can try and get a little hate in. Or at least some ire, or wrath, or umbrage. Something.

Not all that much to report from the Atlanta trip. My work thing coincided with the annual American Psychiatric Association meeting---twenty thousand psychiatrists descending on Atlanta---and since there are fewer flights there from Chicago than you might think, a good chunk of the Midwest-area ones were on my plane. I thought about staging a mid-flight freak-out to see if anyone would help me, but refrained. I took MARTA from the airport to my hotel and the tracks were full of the cutest little mice. Mice! Not rats! Atlanta, your vermin are adorable! And you must have plenty of vermin, of all types, judging from the all the commercials I saw for roach spray while I was dully watching television with Not Quite Tipsy Enough eyes after several beers in the soulless hotel bar. God, I hate hotel bars. Business travel always sounds vaguely fun on the surface (No husband! No kid! Remote control all to myself! Eating crazy food at bizarre hours!), but after a very short while in a hotel I start to think if I see one more beige surface I will die.

Here's a great quote from an Amazon review of an exercise video:

My husband is shocked at the improvement in my behind, he said that if he knew 15 minutes of exercise could make my butt improve so much, he would have bought me the video himself years ago.

That's the thing with butts---they're so unpredictable. I mean, how was that man to know that the butt would improve so much? HOW WAS HE TO KNOW??? So many wasted years, with the unimproved butt. It is to weep.

Anyway, thanks Atlanta, and thanks to Gray and Clair and Cate for showing me around in my spare moments. And thanks to the couple dining alfresco that we passed on our stroll through Little Five Points, who provided me with quality eavesdropping:

Girl: But, see, you picked me. So there must have been something...I mean, there must have been a void that you were trying to fill. And if we're going to work through this, and be together, it would be helpful to know more about this void and what we want from each other. Because there must have been something in you that responded to something in me.
Boy [glumly forking up salad and looking more miserable than any man alive]: Uh-huh.

My only beef (Ding! Beef! Beef beef beef beef beef!) with Atlanta is that it walks so goddamned slow. Even when I deliberately slowed down to my slowest amble, thinking "All right Mimi, you're in the South now, let's practice our laid-back Outkast-ian pimp walk," I was overtaking people left and right or getting stuck behind someone who was barely moving. Seriously, Atlanta, I don't know how you do it. Just for fun once I stayed well behind some guy (non-homeless, with a friend, out for a stroll) and tried to match his pace, and I nearly fell over because he was not walking fast enough for me to sustain locomotion.

Then I flew in to Chicago, got a taxi home with a Nigerian driver who reassuringly screamed "YOU ARE A FUCKING FUCKHEAD!" at other drivers, and unpacked my suitcase until I heard Nora waking up from her nap. Oh my goodness, what a reception. I have never been hugged so hard by such small arms. Then she took my face between her hands, got all up in my grill, and asked, "You went on the airplane, Mommy?" She asked me several times, as if checking to see if I kept my story straight. I'm surprised she didn't demand boarding passes or receipts. She was chatty and adorable and snuggly all evening, up until the moment she threw herself on the floor and wept bitter tears because I would not let her scrub the toilet. I already knew that two-year-olds were insane, but Nora's meltdown over her thwarted janitorial ambitions has now taken top prize as my Favorite Tantrum Ever.

---mimi smartypants can't believe it's not butter.


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