Friday, January 4, 2013

Sorting Chips

I’m certain that my blogging fan club has been missing me something fierce, what with my infrequent posting as of late. But never fear…I am back. Well, maybe. I cannot guarantee that I can maintain the prolific writings I was churning out there for a while but I shall do my best to get back up to an almost daily regimen. I’m certain this will cause great rejoicing and dancing in the streets…I’ll be sure to look for that on the local and national news this evening.

But I digress…see, that’s funny because I was digressing before I even began. Fasten your seatbelts…it’s going to be a bumpy night. Yeah, that’s right – “night” not “ride” – it’s a common mis-quote from Bette Davis in “All About Eve,” apparently. I found this out on the internet, so if I saw it there, it must be true. You can check for yourself here. This blog is nothing if not educational. I think this counts as a homeschool day, don’t you?

Anyway, here’s what I intended to ramble on about…let’s get started, shall we? The other day, Post-Christmas, I stumbled upon some discounted Nestle Chocolate Chips at Meijer. They were discounted, of course, because they were of the Christmas color variety…it included the traditional semi-sweet ones, but also mixed in were the white chocolate ones colored red and green.

So like any good frugal mommy…and I wouldn’t even have to be a mommy in this instance, but I am so there goes my phrase “like any good frugal mommy”, I bought 4 bags. I will add here, that I still paid over a dollar per bag, which is usually a great price for Nestle chips, but THE NEXT DAY, I found the identical product at Target for 68 cents/bag. I did not buy more, however, I did buy some of the dark chocolate and mint combo bags. Four of them as well. Don’t judge.

So anyway, regarding the festive Christmas chips. I have done this before when I have found them discounted after the holidays: I buy them with the intent of utilizing them for two upcoming holidays…can you guess which ones? I’m certain that you did, you braintrust you. That’s right: Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day.

So now you are certainly thinking, “Red and green together don’t work for Valentine’s and St. Patrick’s Day! That’s preposterous!” Well, you might not be thinking, “That’s preposterous!” but you are undoubtedly thinking, “Red and green together don’t work for Valentine’s and St. Patrick’s Day!”

And thinking about them together, you are correct – when combined with one another, they are not the quintessential colors for those two holidays. But separate, they are. Red = Valentine’s Day and Green = St. Patrick’s Day.

I’d like to pause here and say that I realize it looks like I’m just a good mommy who likes to enjoy a themed holiday…when in fact, it is a shameless ploy to have the excuse for making chocolate chip cookies.

I don’t really need an excuse for such things, but I have one here and I’m going to jump on it.

So, later that night, after the PBA had retired for the evening (sounds so civilized when I put it that way, don’t you think? It’s as though there were not whines, complaints, or weeping and gnashing of teeth; “retired for the evening” sounds more like they came to each of us, in turn, dressed in their matching pajamas, robes and slippers, with a book in hand…gave us a kiss and a hug and diligently went to brush their teeth, and then read quietly in bed before going to sleep. I assure you that is NOT AT ALL what happened…), I sat in my big comfy chair, watching whatever it was that Mr. Random had selected for us; I had four bowls in front of me. One bowl had all four bags of the chips dumped in.; the other three were empty.

Fortunately I had over-indulged on the sweets earlier that day otherwise there would not have been nearly as many chips for me to sort. It was not at all a matter of self-control but one of extreme disgust with myself. One might think that even the smell of the chocolate would make me sick. I will assure that it did not.

That particular scent never has made me ill. Not even when coming from those little “chocolate” scented scratch-and-sniff stickers I had as a child. Those stickers were a little weird, weren’t they? Some really did smell like the thing they claimed to smell like.

But others did not.

As I type this, my nose has a funny little tickle inside it as I think about scratch-and-sniff stickers. I remember having many in my sticker album…yes, I had a sticker album. Two of them, in fact. One was regular paper so once the stickers were in there, they were in there – no trading possible. But my other one was a photo album…you know the kind with the sticky sheets and the clear plastic overlay that you could peel back? I would leave my stickers that I wanted to trade on their paper backing and then put them on the adhesive page, covered with plastic. That way my friends (and even non-friends…although I didn’t have too many of those, I’m sure…wildly popular was I!...) could see which stickers I had available to trade.

On occasion I would try to peel off the ones from the regular book, but I made sure the person receiving it was well-aware that they would NOT be sticky on the back. I was an honest sticker dealer if nothing else.

Anyway…the tickle in my nose to which I referred above was regarding a scratch-and-sniff sticker I had that was dill pickle. Yes, that’s funny because until I just now typed it, it didn’t occur to me that tickle and pickle rhyme. Well, I mean I KNEW they rhymed but wasn’t thinking ABOUT the fact that they rhyme until I typed it. 

Anyway, in thinking about it, I can almost still smell that sticker. The sense of smell is a powerful memory trigger, isn’t it? Because it surely takes something powerful to get me off-track…

Anyway…I knew I would be able to resist the allure of the chocolate chips if I sorted them at a time in which I was stuffed. Or if not stuffed, at least not desiring to eat anything else. Some call that "will power"; I call it the "power of the gorge".

So there I sat. In the middle of the living room, my four bowls in front of me on the ottoman. And I’m working my way through sorting the chips by color. I may not be gifted, but I have been to preschool and have some mad sorting skills, let me tell you.

After about 10-15 minutes of sorting, my 9yo wandered out into the living room. Now, let me explain that he’d been put to bed about 30 minutes before and was allegedly asleep. But alas that was clearly not the case.

He walked into the room, looked at me, picked up his iPod charger and plugged in his iPod (which blatantly tipped his hand that he had been playing his iPod instead of trying to go to sleep…otherwise how would he have known that it was in need of a charge?), and asked what we were watching on TV.

Now, it was nothing bad or inappropriate in any way that we were watching, but in an effort to hurry the 9yo along, Mr. Always Random (quick with the remote) paused the show.

9yo: So…what are you watching?

Dad: It doesn’t matter…go to bed.

Glancing back at me and the hot mess I had going on (ok, it wasn’t REALLY a hot mess…I just love that phrase), stumbled back to his room.

I’m not sure if it’s more a statement about me and that sometimes things I do are weird and no one even need ask about it, or if it’s a statement on him that he did not notice his mother sitting in the living room with four bowls, each filled with various colors and amounts of chocolate chips.

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