Let’s Eat the Damn Brie

by Vicky Samori, Blogger for a Day

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I have been on a diet for as long as I can remember. I come from a household where image was everything and the media didn’t do anything to convince me that my body was okay just the way it was. When Sports Illustrated started to feature models with impossibly perfect bodies on their cover, both men and women would swoon, and I knew what I had to do. I began consistently passing on the cheese-drenched nachos, salty french fries and chocolate cake with creamy frosting in order to strut around in my tiny floral bandeau bikini without feeling utterly humiliated.

It didn’t occur to me until decades later that I live in the northeast. I mean, I knew I lived in the northeast, but I never did the math. Out of 12 months, there are really only two in which you can strut without freezing your ass off. And, if you factor in rainy days, sick days, and other non-bikini wearing events that occur in summer, there is really only a single month. So I spent 12 months a year for 40 years–that’s roughly 15,000 days, or 50 percent of my life–depriving myself of all that tastes good in order to look great in a bathing suit for a total of 30 sun-filled Bain de Soleil days.

Looking back, I can admit that I was flawed but it wasn’t my waistline or backside that was the problem. It was my youth. With maturity comes an ability to see the truth, and the truth is that stick figures are for cartoons, not for humans who need to eat and drink in order to survive and, I will argue, be happy. It’s true that there are a few anomalous mommies out there with amazing bodies who can eat whatever they want and not gain weight, but I choose to ignore you…sorry.

Impossible as it seems, I am approaching the big 5-0. Instead of feeling old, I feel liberated. I am done counting calories as if my life depended on it and will no longer look in the mirror with self-loathing. I am embracing the new me. This version has a little more junk in her trunk, but she also fills out a t-shirt nicely. It is in that spirit that I raise my Nutella-filled spoon to all my fellow middle-aged women and say, “F**k it, life is short….let’s eat the damn brie!!”

This summer, I’ll be ditching the tiny bandeau for a body shaping tankini but you can be sure I’ll still be strutting. And I won’t feel utterly humiliated–I’ll be feeling pretty darn good about myself. Cheers!

About Vicky Samori: Vicky is a stay-at-home mother of two (four if you count her husband and dog). She devotes all her time trying not to screw up her children but does find time to read, torture herself with hot yoga, and continue to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up. 

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Spring is for Sports, so Let’s Eat

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Everyone is dying for spring, but I am in no rush, mostly because of my allergies. Who am I kidding? It’s because of the sports. This spring I am going to lose my mind shuttling three kids between five sports. I enjoy watching my kids play sports, but if I’m being honest, I don’t enjoy it that much. Certainly not as much as my husband.

Growing up, my husband played football, basketball, and baseball and he excelled at each one. So naturally, watching his kids play sports brings back a lot of wonderful memories.

For me, though, there’s not much to which I can relate. In my youth, I played competitive piano and my exposure to sports was extremely limited. Aside from the 1986 World Series and the OJ Simpson murder trial, my family didn’t really even watch sports on TV.

Today, all kids seem to do is play sports (and Minecraft), and I’ve had a really hard time pretending I know what’s going on. It’s not that I don’t try, I do, but eventually I zone out, irritated by all the noise, especially the piercing whistles. I start thinking about all kinds of things I know no one else on the sidelines is thinking given that there is an actual game going on.

You would think that I would just sit there and politely keep my non-sports thoughts to myself, but I don’t. Instead, I share them. I start blabbing about whatever pops into my head. Most of the time, these thoughts are about food. Here is the transcript of an actual conversation I had with my husband at my son’s basketball game a few weekends ago:

Husband: “Oh my God, how did that not go in?”

Me: “Oooooo! So close!”

Husband: “He’s gotta make those.”

Me: “So I know we said sushi for dinner, but Greg wants spaghetti and meatballs.”

Husband (shouting): “WHO’S GOT 15?”

Me: “Actually, I bet I could get Greg to eat a meatball sub from Subway.”

Husband: “STAY SQUARE!! SQUARE UP!!”

Me: “No, I can’t do that. Subway is junk.”

Husband: “Great job boys!”

Me: “Good job guys!!

Husband: “Whatever you want for dinner, I don’t care. GREG, GET BACK ON D!”

Me: “Alright, well, let me see what he says after the game. I really don’t want to cook tonight. I’m so tired. What time is this over?”

Husband: “HELP HIM OUT, HELP HIM OUT!!!”

Me: “My skin is so dry, I can’t deal. Don’t forget I’m going to that party tonight.”

Husband: “GREAT PASS! What party?”

Me: “The Oscar party, after dinner.”

Husband: “Oh. So don’t cook then. Just do Subway. THREE SECONDS!”

Me: “I don’t want Subway.”

Husband: “That’s right, you said sushi. WATCH IT, HE’S REACHING IN!”

Me: *yawn*

Sometimes, I will be at a game without my husband and my boredom will compel me to start chatting up another Mom, even though she is giving no indication that she is open to chatting. I’ll ask her if she has tried the new restaurant in town and she will answer me but two seconds later she will break eye contact to scream positive encouragements at her child across the field, making me feel like a boob for ever venturing into non-sports territory in the first place. Even my closest friend once gave me “The Heisman” after I offered to share the details of my most recent meal with her so that she could enthusiastically remind her daughter to be “softball ready” in the outfield over and over again.

When my last and youngest starts playing tackle football in a few years, I am hopeful things will be different. If I had to choose one sport to tolerate for the rest of my life, it would have to be football. I’m sure this has something to do with the glorious food of football (e.g., chili, wings, nachos…what’s not to love?) but over the years I have come to understand it much more than any other sport and therefore should be able to pay better attention. Except if it’s cold. Then the only thing I will be able to think about will be those things that keep me warm in winter, like pot roast, sausage lentil soup, and beef stew. Oh well. Maybe I’ll just help at the snack stand.

I need a break, fast

The other night after I went to floor, I experienced mild panic knowing that come morning, I was going to be bombarded by three hungry children without any means to feed them since we had just spent two consecutive days snowed in, eating everything we could get our hands on. There was seriously nothing left, except maybe for some white rice, ketchup, and leftover broccoli.

As I feared, I woke to one child standing over me demanding that I get up and make breakfast. Thankfully, I was able to find some frozen pastries for him hidden deep within the freezer. Another child refused to suffer a sub-par breakfast and instructed me to immediately go to the store for organic strawberry toaster pops. Still another child wanted me to go to the store for chocolate hazelnut spread imported from Italy.

I wanted to tell these extremely demanding children that they should not expect me to cater to their every whim and that white rice, ketchup and leftover broccoli does not only make an appropriate but surprisingly delicious breakfast for many children all over the world. But, I didn’t. I went to the store, even though I hadn’t brushed my teeth and my boobs weren’t being supported in any real way. I was, however, wearing yoga pants and not pajama pants, so as far as I was concerned, I was winning.

Halfway to the store, I realized I wasn’t winning but losing because I would actually have to visit two stores, since Stop and Shop doesn’t carry strawberry toaster pops and Whole Foods doesn’t carry Nutella. Would other Moms do this? Probably not. Other Moms would never find themselves at two grocery stores at 8am on a Friday in a bra meant for sleeping because they are better able to manage their inventory and would never run out of everything in two days. Still other Moms would have had their children up and dressed early so that they could all enjoy a lovely breakfast out, smiling and laughing together at the local diner. I aspire to be one of those mothers, but I’m afraid I will never get there.

Anyway, I returned home and prepared everyone’s special breakfasts by request. They were kind and appreciative, until I revealed I would be packing them white rice, ketchup, and leftover broccoli for lunch–then they got all demanding again. Can you imagine? With that, I announced that I needed a break (fast), and I locked myself in the bathroom, but not until I grabbed a pen and paper to make a proper grocery list once and for all.

 

Lessons from the Floor

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For the last several days, I have been sleeping on the floor of my kid’s bedroom. I know it sounds crazy, but I have a good reason.

My bedroom is upstairs, and the kids’ bedrooms are downstairs, which means that if a kid is sick or otherwise needs me during the night, I have to haul my 43-year-old body all the way down the staircase and back again–sometimes, multiple times in the same night. As you can imagine, this is not fun.

It is far better for me to find a place to sleep downstairs when someone is sick or otherwise needs me. However, it can’t be the couch in the living room because it is made of hard, slippery leather. It can’t be the loveseat because it isn’t big enough. It can’t be a trundle or similar bed because we don’t have the floor space, and it can’t be an air mattress because it is way too buoyant and I’m afraid of vertigo.

I should also mention that Cosmo, our one-year-old Shih Tzu puppy, will not even entertain a scenario that does not include him sleeping as close to me as possible, so whatever solution I come up with has to consider his needs as well.

Ultimately, I decided to purchase a cheap crib mattress on clearance at Babies R Us and combine it with an old toddler-size foam couch emblazoned with Dora the Explorer logos that I store under the basement stairs for such an occasion. This set-up is admittedly pretty awful, but at least it’s something.

Here is what I have learned from sleeping in this manner over the last several days:

  1. It is difficult to sleep on a shitty crib mattress/toddler-size Dora couch combo on the floor with a dog, but not impossible.
  2. I get really snippy when I am tired. And I am sorry.
  3. My skin breaks out when I don’t get enough sleep. See rosacea, or lupus.
  4. I am a selfish brat for complaining about sleeping on the floor temporarily, since there are millions of people around the world who happily sleep on the floor every single night. See Shanty Town.
  5. Dogs don’t care if there isn’t enough room for them in your “bed,” they will still find a spot.
  6. Husbands don’t care if you’ve been sleeping on the floor for several days; they still expect clean undershirts, hot meals, and other things. See 50 Shades of Are You Kidding Me?
  7. It’s funny to say “I’m going to floor” at the end of a long day.
  8. Since heat rises, it’s f**king cold on the floor.
  9. Despite my shitty crib mattress/toddler-size Dora couch combo, it’s still hard on the floor.
  10. Only J-Lo can dance the night away, live her life and stay young on the floor.