Friday, April 12, 2013

Get The Honey Junior!

Jon and I agree on most things. In fact, apart from small handful of sore spots, our marriage is repulsively harmonious. Where's the drama!? The scandal!? The dumping of personal belongings out of second floor windows onto the lawn!? This is SO much more boring than college.  So boring.

College was so tumultuous because of silly boys. There was even a legendary grandpa gynecologist at Student Health Services, who you would go to NOT to have your nether regions examined, but rather to spill your guts and sob your heart out to about all the foul, heartless teenage men children. And then the great doctor would give you a hug and say something to the effect that "Boys are just idiots".  It was so cathartic.  

So when Jon came along and all he did to annoy me was sometimes say: "Ahoy hoy!" and talk about wanting to own a mink tracksuit, it was kind of disorienting. 

One of the few sticking points in our marriage has always been the fact that he is a lover of old movies, and I am not.

While Jon would gladly watch a black & white classic with you and then discuss and analyze it,
I would fall asleep. Three minutes in.  (Once I fell asleep in the movie theater at Jerry Maguire. I eventually woke up to find the guy next to me asleep too. Zzzzzzzzzz.....)

To me, old movies are just slow. So. painfully. SLOW. I'm not saying that they're bad or meritless. FAR from it! I just mean that for me, they're not catchy enough.

Although let's face it, I also don't enjoy  really dislike:  comedies, action, adventures, horror, rom-coms, animation and most things remotely mainstream.  I can only stand documentaries and foreign movies, and an occasional awkward independent film.

Which, without a doubt makes me THE MOST FUN FRIEND IN THE WORLD TO HANG OUT WITH!!!!!!!

I also only read non-fiction. Fiction is too SLOW and for the most part, it's a waste of my time, unless I'm learning something like history or about the way people lived, or skimming every ten pages so that I can turn in a shoddily written paper due tomorrow morning.

I've always kind of resented myself for this intense, narrow range of literary and cinematic tolerance. I feel ashamed for it, but I just can't help myself!

Could something truly explain these rigid preferences.....?

Once, a good friend of mine who has been a special education teacher and then a special ed program administrator and  director ALL OVER THE WORLD, gave me the AQ test when she was home. That's the Autism-Spectrum Quotient Test.  It's  questionnaire that measures autistic traits in adults. She gave it to me out of curiosity, because I've always been a little  kind of a lot quirky.*

To my friend's GREAT amusement ,  I scored a whopping 31,  The highest score of all of her friends! More importantly, as cited by the authors of the AQ Test. :"A score of 32 or more as indicating clinically significant levels of autistic traits." 

Please know that I am not by ANY means trying to make light of autism or turn this spectrum of disorders into a joke in any way. But after wondering for so long why I'm repelled by fiction, have never been able to stand TV sitcoms, and find Disney World more of a punishment than a vacation, (Crowds! Lights! Noise! Public Restrooms!),  at first, the 31 was kind of relief......

"Oh phew! Solved! I must have just been so misunderstood and quirky because I have mild autism."
Ok, explains it all. Great. Move on!  But then I immediately started worrying....... "My God, but am I  high-functioning!? At least let me be high-functioning! What if I'm not high-functioning, but I just THINK I am!?"

Then I started getting upset, and my friend laughed and finally told me that introversion (CHECK!) and Attention Deficit Disorder (CHECK!), can really skew test results.  She doesn't think I have autism. She just thinks I'm a head-strong anti-social lady, who lacks an age-appropriate attention span and has a strong propensity towards asshole-ish elitism when it comes to mainstream cinema and teacher assigned, time-wasting fictional works.

(I have peed THREE times so far, while writing these paragraphs. Coffee. Lots.)

Where was I?

So! The other day, when I FINALLY found an old movie that I actually liked, I couldn't wait to tell the good news to Jon!

The other morning, while I was getting ready for the day, I had the TV on, which is weird because I rarely watch TV. (Remember, I am a completely boring elitist , who shuns all forms of mass-media. Except for Ghost Hunters and the UK Mail online. Which, shut up, is NOT a tabloid. It is news!)

And on the television was an old  old-ish movie called "Fatso".  1980, Dom DeLuise, least PC title I have ever heard.  It goes like this:  a sweet, food-loving man, tries to go on a diet, tries to resist food. Wants to find the confidence to ask out a pretty girl from around the corner, Lydia.**

The scene that was playing when I turned the TV on, was Dom at the weight-loss doctor.  It's the end of his appointment, and an old-school, stern looking nurse is reading him the riot act -  a list of foods that he CAN NOT eat while on this diet.  She says: "Do not eat apple pie, marshmallows, baked beans, muffins. Do not eat bologna, noodles, bread, oatmeal, candy, olives, cannelloni, parfait, cheesecake, pizza.........."

And the tears, they're just running down poor little Dom's face. They zoom in on him, and all you see is the sadness and hear the words: "Do not eat danish, ravioli, doughnuts, ribs, dumplings, salami, eclairs....."

And then the tears, the tears started rolling down MY face. And I'm like, what the hell Lauren? What are you doing, crying at the television on a Tuesday morning?  I don't know what it was, but when the nurse  said: "Do not eat pudding.", I just lost it.  I felt all of Dom's sorrow and hopelessness so deeply. I understood. I really understood.

Look, I'm a lactose-intolerant, gluten-free vegetarian. It doesn't get much more fun than that!

I'm always on some kind of half-hearted diet, petrified of GMO's,  wary of processed soy, and completely freaked out about caramel coloring and food preservatives, and carageenan. The worst part though, even though I don't drink pop or eat fast-food..... is that I want to drink pop and eat fast food.

So anyway, I deeply felt Dom's pain. Because life is short, and food is delicious. And because I have been called "Fatso" MANY times growing up. And, Splat the Wonder Whale...... :(

File:Fatso poster.jpg

After floundering on his restrictive diet , Dom's helpful  intrusive as f*ck sister calls some busybody friend in to talk with Dom about a weight loss support group called:  "CHUBBY CHECKERS."

Ha! Chubby Checkers! 

Chubby Checkers is a dieting group that meets weekly. Each person in the group has their own "chubby checker" or two. This is a sponsor, who you can call day or night, in moments of diet weakness and despair. Your Chubby Checker is always on hand to rush over, and pry that last doughnut from your sad hands, if need be. I should have called mine yesterday. Oh no! Where have all the gluten-free cookies gone? Don't look at ME!

In this scene, Dom has tied metal chains around all of his kitchen cabinets and the fridge, to keep him from snacking during the night. He locked all of the chains together, and gave the key to his brother "Junior," who is Dom's roommate.

After tossing and turning for many starving hours, food after yummy food on his mind, Dom desperately tries to sleep. He turns on the radio for distraction, to quiet his hungry mind. But then, every single commercial on the radio is about food! He has a mental breakdown.

Dom jumps out of bed, grabs his nephew's toy gun, and wakes his brother Junior. "Give me the key! Give me the key!"  A struggle ensues. Two men in their underwear, running and shouting and crying all over the living room in the middle of the night. Dom demanding the key, and Junior withholding. Until, COMPLETELY out of character, gentle Dom, in a food-driven, frantic spell, grabs a kitchen knife!  Fortunately, Junior is able to quickly get Dom to snap out of it, and sobbing, repentant Dom, has Junior make an emergency call to his "Chubby Checkers." 

Thank GOD the Checkers are on their way. Their instructions:  Keep busy, do something, get yourself moving until we get there, and drink some hot water. You're going to be ok!....................................... We'll be there soon.........

Hahahaha!  Have you sucked the jelly, out of a jelly doughnut, and then filled it with chocolate swirl ice cream?  Well, maybe I haven't, but I get this scene!

I was so excited to finally like an old movie, I called Jon immediately, and started searching for clips to show him after work. He loved it, and I think he actually loves me even MORE now. It's like meeting a great girl, and then finding out that she loves beer too! Only, I don't. But at least now I have an old old-ish movie that we can really enjoy together!


Ok, soooo much to blog about, so little time to do it.  I have three more empty but titled potential posts in the queue right now. I have lots to write about! Noah had a week-and-a-half long break, and then this week was full of to-do's and commitments. I am dying for some quiet writing time. How does one find it!?

At any rate, I will be back soon to tell you about the magazine photo shoot that happened in my kitchen two weeks ago, and with a post about the little trip that we took last week entitled:  "The Neurotics Go on Vacation".

In the meantime, I will leave you with the following:

On Monday morning,  Noah was being grumpy and dismissive with me.  Of course, it was probably because he was tired, and didn't want to go back to school after a long, relaxing break. But I, being his mother, had to momentarily take it as, "I must just be SUCH an annoying blob of a parent, who failed in raising him. WHY does he dislike me so?"  And when the door shut, as Noah left for school, it hit me hard........ they grow up so fast. (Sooooooobbbbb) What shall I do!!!??? Snort...sob.......

So I got the genius idea that if I am EVEN MORE nice, EVEN MORE sweet and fun,  then he will genuinely LIKE his mother, and will be happy to see me always. 

I got to work, scouring Pinterest for ideas, and making lists, which for Nutella Popsicles, gummy bear popsicles, toilet paper roll Adventure Time Crafts, HOMEMADE Play-Doh, and...... crocheted Toadstools!

I went to the grocery store and the craft store for my supplies. We were going to have FUN! We were going to be all happy and smiley and hugs and rainbow and puppies. 

And when Noah came home from school that day, I was all: "Woo Hoo, pudding bear, want to make some Nutella Popsicles!!!!??"  ******SMILE**********   And he was like: "Mom, what the hell are you on?"Well, actually, he didn't say that at all, but I did catch him giving me a weird side-ways look.

Noah said: "Thanks Mom, it's ok, I just want to play a little Minecraft".

Oooooooh kay.......  dokay............ because, remember, I am the super nice Mom.

And, it wasn't so bad. Noah played Minecraft for a half hour, and then he actually came up to me and ASKED if we could make Popsicles together. And we sure did! In fact, we made BOTH flavors! It was fun, I was glad. :)

Part of my fun Mom plan was to surprise Noah with a crocheted Toad from Mario Brothers. I imagined myself making it "from my heart", and Noah having a homemade token of my love and admiration for years to come.

It took me three stressful nights. Hours spent squinting at the computer, hunched over, fighting yarn.

It was *supposed* to look more like this:

(Thank you Wolfdreamer for this free pattern!)

Can you spot the difference!?

Neither can I! And neither could Noah.....thankfully. Because last night he cuddled with this little poop shaped creature wearing a hat and vest and now I have carpal tunnel. 

And just so you know, for the first time I steamed artichokes instead of boiling them, and they came out really nice. I think you should try it!

I cut one lemon in half and set it aside.  Then I took each artichoke, cut off the stems, snipped the pokey bits off the top of the outer leaves, and rubbed it with a lemon half, to keep the green leaves from oxidizing. Meanwhile, I began heating about two inches of water with a bay leaf and one peeled clove of garlic. When I was finished trimming my artichokes, I squeezed the remaining lemon juice into the water. I brought everything to a boil, and set my steamer with the artichokes in! You have to make sure the water does not boil over. For the most part, I kept my heat at a low and medium-low setting. After 45 minutes, maybe even less for small artichokes, take a peek and test them for doneness. If the outer leaves feel tender and peel away easily, your artichokes are done!

I served ours with melted butter, which I threw finely chopped garlic into.  We also had a DELICIOUS  Lemon, Caper and White Bean Pasta to go with it.  And, obviously, since it is not burned, that is NOT my photo of Lemon, Caper and White Bean Pasta below.

And while you-know-who did not eat the pasta, low and behold, he DID eat the artichoke! So I'm telling you, this must be a magic way to make artichokes, try it!


*, **  - I kind of have a worried feeling that this post could potentially be a little offensive, or in the least, not exactly P.C.   Please just know that I am not making fun of autism or people's struggles with food. I am the LAST person to ever  want to make fun of these things or to make fun of anyone most people in general. Except for myself. I like making fun of myself. But I'm just writing about my experiences and sharing. That's all. Thanks. 


Marla said...

Absolutely brilliant !

Marla said...

Brilliant, amusing, and not in the least bit offensive. Answered several of my own internal questions about myself!

Lauren said...

Awww, thank you Marla!!!! I'm glad you enjoyed. xoxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxox <3

Marcia said...

Delightfull! Julie just directed me to your blog and I loved your post! And no, I don't think you're being offensive about your score of 31. It's so important for people to appreciate the fact that we are ALL on a spectrum.

It reminds me of the time I was fuming in a McDonald's about a painfully slow, confused cashier. Then a supervisor came over to him and as they spoke it became very clear that the cashier was mentally handicapped and working as part of a sheltered workshop situation. I turned to Tom and said, ohh, now I feel bad. And he said, right, so it's OK to be patient if he's certifiably mentally retarded but not OK if he's "just stupid"? Good point, darling. We are all on spectrums of many kinds and cultivating patience for all our quirks is a good thing.

Lauren said...

Hi Marcia!!!! I'm so glad that you've stopped by. Welcome! :)

I think there is no exact "normal", because if we were all the same, it would be so boring! Don't you think! :)

I'm not sure if I explained enough in this post or not, but actually, my friend said I was not on the autism spectrum, that some of my answers about being social (introversion), and about interests (ADD), give traditionally higher scores.
Although, there are some theories out there that hypothesize that ADD is part of the autism spectrum. I really know little about it. So who knows.

Thanks for your comment Marcia. Hope to see you soon. Have a great weekend!!!