The first rule of humor is to cook up something new and then resist the urge to serve it again anytime soon. Re-heating a gag is dishing up tired leftovers for supper, when in fact that Oatmeal Tofu Pilaf wasn’t very good the first time around.
But I’ve always resented rules. I make a show of obedience and then secretly and systematically subvert them. Sometimes, I even go to bed without flossing my teeth. Clearly, I’m a dangerous woman — someone who makes a holier-than-thou Oatmeal Tofu Pilaf knowing that there’s a bag of deep-fried pork rinds hidden in the pantry with beer in the fridge to wash them down.
So rules be damned. We’re about to lick some stale frosting off Cake Mountain.
I trudge home from work one night last week to find a big Amazon box on the porch. Ha! I crow. Husband has spring fever, is secretly ordering expensive garden whatnots again, and didn’t get this one hidden away in the garage before I got home (Husband, too, is dangerous).
Then I imagine that I might get to see either Son #1 or #2. They have packages delivered to us rather than to their sketchy apartment and, while they claim they can’t afford toilet paper, a lot of large speed-shipped parcels somehow appear here addressed to them (they’re probably ordering toilet paper online — young people do things differently than we did, back in the day).
It’s somehow been almost a year since Son #1 moved out across town. Son #2 joined him last fall, after Girlfriend of Son #1 waltzed off to school and ditched their lease (at least she didn’t ditch Son #1). We don’t hear from Sons #1 or #2 very often, which proves that they were raised really well and, thanks to us, can handle life as independent young adults.
It may also mean that they’re thrilled to death to have finally gotten the hell away from us.
But the package has my name on it! My long dreary day fades away, and I feel like a little kid at Christmas. I pry open the box and there it sits, in all its gaudy glory: my very own Play-Doh Sweet Shoppe Cake Mountain Play Set — all twenty-five shrink-wrapped plastic pieces of it, including (be still, my heart) the Special Frosting Extruder-cum-Sex Toy I admitted to lusting after in my heart in my last post.
Ask and ye shall receive! The universe is indeed ours to mold like Play-Doh with the power of our intentions!
I’m even on trend with this topic, which is pretty exciting (and as rare as getting a surprise package). Here I am, living the current cutting-edge self-help dream, using the force of my will to bend the laws of physics to accommodate me. I have only to imagine something and, Pow! it will spring into being
— much like Sons #1 and #2 did (although, as I recall, a red merry widow and a pricey Cabernet swilled from the bottle had something to do with the first. The second involved Apple Nukes on a cold winter night – equal parts Berentzen Apfelkorn and brandy, warmed in a snifter with a stick of cinnamon).
Be careful what you ask for.
They call it the theory of abundance, but it’s just glorified greed: “Me Want, Me Want, Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” (I heard this shaming refrain many times as a child after making unreasonable demands).
Here’s the thing: this feel-good self-empowered get-rich-quick plan is just another way to blame the victim. If I have the power to attract power and glory and riches, then my sorry lack of those trappings denotes failure and weakness. I’m a loser.
I can’t lose 20 pounds, much less make the universe obey me. I’m a woman with a bag of deep-fried pork rinds in the pantry, for crissakes. And I put them there myself — with intention, but also with a trip to the grocery store and the outlay of $3.49 plus tax (here in Colorado we’re all so into health and fitness that we tax naughty foodstuffs. Oatmeal Tofu Pilaf, unsurprisingly, is not taxed).
You probably heard me laugh when I held Cake Mountain aloft that night. Perhaps, at my bidding, at that moment, the universe shook a bit of salty cheer upon you. But I suspect the universe expects me to do that myself – why should it even notice me? I wouldn’t want that sort of overwhelming attention, anyway (I just want yours).
So here is a Valentine for you from Missy and her new pink Play-Doh plaything. Husband walked into the bedroom as I was setting up this photo shoot, got all embarrassed, and backed out blushing – so I knew I was on the right track.
What, though, am I to do with my Sweet Shoppe Cake Mountain Play Set now that I’ve defiled and cheapened it, all for a few laughs? Can I pass this soiled dove on to the innocent young daughters of some Faithful Reader? Might you be willing to give her a second chance?
Thank you, thank you, Auntie in New Hampshire, for sending more mirth than I can handle!