Monday, September 29, 2008

Money leads to character weakness

It's a heat wave, so we have ants in the kitchen. Captain Awesome is out of town at some conference in Tampa, and I'm worn out. So I took the kids out to dinner, why not? There's a little Americana place in town I've always wanted to try, a place the Captain thinks looks bland. The owner/chef was praised in some ten-year-old restaurant review for his Osso Buco, and I still want to know what Osso Buco is.

I think it has something to do with ox, I told my kid. No, that's not quite right.

Anyway, it was lovely. Surprisingly lovely. Dinner at home I'm the full-time conversation and anti-poke police. "Listen to her. Let him have his turn. That wasn't necessary. That was mean. Your space goes from the crack in the table to the corner." Instead, unexpectedly--the meal at the restaurant was like eating out with friends you love, who are shorter than usual. Glad to chat about their various areas of interest and expertise, and no need for me to hub or police the conversation. And one of them colors on her paper placemat a little bit, like that mathematician you know.

Considering what I was expecting, I'm not sure why I took them out. The pleasure of the experience certainly blunted the pain when the $100 bill arrived.

And so much easier to kill ants in an unused kitchen when we got home.

Then somehow it snowballed after that. We're out of bread, let's go out to lunch. I don't want to make sloppy joes, let's go get chinese food. I simply stopped cooking.

It was at the Italian place, hundreds of dollars spent unnecessarily later, that I gracelessly announced tomorrrow was Fast Sunday. The only thing on the back of my mind was my abandoned diet.

"What?" said my teenager, "We shouldn't be eating now!"

Oh. whoops.

I couldn't believe how my stomach growled at church, contracting after too much eggplant parmesan and crusty bread.

That's also when I realized I had also missed, had completely spaced-out forgotten, the week-ahead women's session of General Conference.

I've been so proud of the things I've done, to make this family, this quirky family, work on its own resources and strengths. My cooking family meals was one of my prides. I would have said cooking was a choice and a necessity. But seeing how, at the chance, I repeatedly didn't just didn't bother, I'm concerned about what other choices, weak choices, I'll be letting happen now. Now that I have the option.

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