Friday, September 10, 2004

Success Hasn't Spoiled Me Yet

The only place where money comes before success is in the dictionary.

Lately I've been taking several three mile walks with my Mom around the neighborhood for exercise purposes each week. We usually whip around the course in about 50 minutes and we get a good sweat going. I like them because it's practically the only exercise I get and Mom likes them because she sees her son is exercising. Plus she gets me alone for 50 minutes where I can't excuse myself from conversation or otherwise hang up as if we were on the phone. Naturally, these walks are where Mom asks me the "touchy" questions; the ones I would probably attempt to skirt or avoid in other settings. Outside at 9:30 at night with nobody around us and nothing but quiet houses in our surroundings, I ain't going anywhere. So all the juicy gossip gets discussed on the streets of Woodcrest after dark.

Several weeks ago, Mom asked me why I don't post more about my childhood on my website. I mean, I write about the kids all the time and about current happenings and events in our lives but I never talk about the past. Why don't I write more about my childhood? Now I know Mom and I know how she tries to get information....he wants me to open up about my childhood so that she can read deep into my mind about the job she did bringing me up. Mmm hmmm.....sneaky....but interesting nonetheless. (she'll deny this but that's Mom being cute...which she is). So I said OK! Why not? Maybe it will be good to document things from yesteryear in this "journal" so that my children can read about them someday too. Good idea. I decided that, over the next few weeks, I would spend some time talking about my youth. General stuff, you know, nothing therapeutic or otherwise damaging to myself or my family.

Truth be told - there is nothing I could say that would be damaging to myself or my family. I lived a fruitful, generally happy life as a youth. My mantra was always success is more important to me than money. My Dad told me several times a day...or was it per week?...that I have to make MONEY. You need MONEY. MONEY. MONEY. MONEY. Oh yeah, and did I mention that it's good to have MONEY? I think I pissed him off more than once by firing back that I could care less about money - just give me four walls, a wife, a few smiling kids and I am happy - and THAT is what I call SUCCESS!! No wait...I almost forgot.....FOOD. LOTS OF FOOD....

I've been hungry since I was a fetus. My first memory was wondering when the placenta was going to feed me my next meal. I've always loved eating. It's pleasurable. Growing up in Middletown we would have many meals with the Pasquerellas. Patty used to look at me in amazement and would always comment on how much I was enjoying the food. Mom spent most of her free time telling me how important it was to eat right. We didn't have Twinkies or cupcakes in my house. We had carrots and celery. We didn't eat mac and cheese 3 nights a week - we ate chicken and there was ALWAYS a salad and a veggie. All my friends had Twinkies and Ding Dongs in their lunch and I was packing 4 carrot sticks and cottage cheese and my sandwich was on wheat bread. STILL to this day, mention white bread to my mother and she has to be revived with smelling salts.

Lunch was one thing but the battle that was being waged every day between Mom and Dad was a whole 'nother trip. See, Dad is not exactly skinny. He loves to eat as much as I do. Mom works out 15 hours a week and considers 3 Corn Pops to be a meal. Think Fred and Wilma, OK? So if Dad put too much Russian dressing on his salad, Mom would comment. If Dad ate two forkfulls of Rice-A-Roni too quickly, Mom would comment. If Dad ordered Moo Shoo Pork instead of Moo Shoo Tofu - Mom would comment. Now, when Mom went away....he he....

"Bye Mom! Have a good time with Nora for the weekend! Don't worry - the three of us will be FINE!!"

(car pulls away)

"OK - Who's driving to the grocery store? Got the list? OK - double check - Super Sugar Crisp, Chocolate Pop Tarts, Breyers Butter Pecan Ice Cream and HOLLANDAISE SAUCE for tonight's leftover broccoli. GOT IT!"

"NO - we are not having broccoli tonight!! It's MOO SHOO PORK night!"

So Food was paramount in my life and still is. That's why I am capitalizing it. Looking back, however, I have doubts on whether keeping me away from fattening foods was the best move. Most of you have seen me now. I am not a skinny guy. I am not fat...I'm fluffy. I'm pleasantly plump, I have a "teddy bear" know...BIG BONED....OK OK OK...I am fat...but THAT'S OK because my wife loves me the way I am, right? I've been on the seafood diet for a long know - I see food and I eat it. I really consider myself to be in shape.................MY SHAPE. But I digress.....Keeping me from Twinkies may have created the urge to binge on them once I left the nest. In college, my ideal afternoon was sitting in front of the TV to watch "Dallas" re-runs whilst eating an entire tube of Pringles. YES - those Pringles - the ones my mother would rather have root canal than let me eat. I kept the Pringles brand in existence from 1985 through 1990. It was the "THREE P's" - Pringles, Pop Tarts and Peanut Butter. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner of Champions.

All of my thinner friends ate whatever they wanted. Gary grew up on Corn Dogs down in Margate. Ate ten of 'em a week. He never gained weight after high school. Mark's mom always kept "the good stuff" in her bread cabinet - Yo Yo's and Ho Ho's and Tastycakes and all that crap. Mark never gained an ounce. Me? I ate so much of that crap from 1985 on that I should have been a house. I held my weight well. People guess my weight and tell me I'm 220 pounds. When they hear my REAL weight they always ask the same question, "WHERE DO YOU KEEP IT ALL?" I tell them the truth - I have a 12 inch penis and 4 pound testicles.

Now, as an adult, I think about food all the time. I am not into drinking or drugs. My vice is good food. I told some dinner guests last night, my ideal eating day - if health is not an issue - would be two Egg McMuffins for breakfast, a double Quarter Pounder for lunch and a few Big Mac's for dinner. MMMmmmmm. Yummy! (pause while Mom peels herself off the floor).

So that's some of the reason why I don't force my kids to eat ONLY good foods. If Elijah wants white bread - I'll give it to him. If he wants fruit snacks once in awhile - he gets them. I don't want to keep it away from them so they run to it when I'm not around. Elijah told me the other day, "Dad, when I grow up - that's when I'm going to eat vegetables, K?" When I was 4 years old I was saying things like, "Mom, when I grow up, that's when I'm going to eat Twinkies and Ju Ju B's. K?"

People remember all sorts of things from their childhood. Can you believe that I have a VIVID memory of the moment I graduated from Whopper Jr's to Whoppers? It was a summer night and Mom and Dad let me stay up for Sonny & Cher. Dad had somehow convinced Mom (too much wine?) to eat Burger King and he told me he was going out and getting me a Whopper Jr.

"No Dad. It's time. I've been thinking about this for several weeks. I'm not your little boy anymore. I use deodorant now and change my underwear every day. I am off the training wheels and last night I stole the Suzanne Summers Playboy from your room. I think I'm ready. MAKE MINE A WHOPPER!"

With tears flowing down my parent's faces, my Dad hugged me, "Son! I'm so proud of you!" Then Mom came over, "WHY!! WHY!!!!! WHHHHYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!"

"With cheese," I said emphatically.


1 comment:

Foxxy One said...

You are just too funny dude!