I remember Sesame Street and learning numbers and words and feeling like furry monsters were friendly and loving and being messy was OK. I remember wanting a large plastic pony on which I could sit and pretend, and screamed when it appeared on Christmas morning, hidden under a Batik blanket. I remember squeezing in between my sleepy parents and their tray of coffee and steamed milk on Saturday mornings and re-telling dreams I had had the night prior to which they patiently listened. I remember my dad as my “fairy godmother” who drifted into my room once a week , his head and body draped in a white silky comforter, his feminized high pitched voice asking me what I wanted. I remember chicken and soy sauced-peppers and onions over rice as my favorite meal, gobbling it down so I could have seconds. I remember dancing into the kitchen begging my mom to feed me spaghetti noodles from her hands like a bird feeding worms to its babies. I remember putting paper outfits on paper dolls, watching them transform from girl with bloomers and camisole to princess, to tennis player, to Joan of Arc. I remember coloring in figures from my Women in History Coloring Book and thinking that Amelia Earhart wasn’t as pretty as I wanted her to be. I remember playing monopoly with my brother for hours on one Christmas eve, hoping that the Top Hat might speed the night along. I remember treasure hunts with obscure clues on my birthday, and discovering a vat of gifts in the laundry basket, the dryer, the bath tub, under the bed. -- Oh! The thrill of youth. The wonder, the fun, the lack of responsibility, the simplicity of a dandelion.
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Simply saying the word “sandwich” conjures up all kinds of images that make me feel soothed and bored at the same time. Sandwiches are home. Sandwiches are America. Sandwiches are compact mini-meals that come in their own living to-go container. They’re easy, look compelling, smell inviting and feel gnawingly familiar. Two grainy blocks of baked flour lie missionary style embracing one another as tufts of turkey and tips of lettuce leaves peek out. A touch of tomato dampens the doughy mound. That acrid but soothing smell of yeast and mustard causes the salivary amylase to flow and the lips to part in anticipation.
This notice is to announce that gum has been officially banned in the household. Why? Well. First off, you look terrible when you chew it – like a cow, like a street worker, like someone who is de-classe and has no manners.
Secondly, it gives off a terrible odor of artificial junk. Double Mint Gum is the exception here, but we’ll address the problems with that momentarily. Bubble Yum, Double Bubble and Bazooka are never even to be mentioned to me. Their sickly sweet, fake scent is enough to make me tear my dissertation out of the typewriter and gather that steaming saliva ridden ball of crap out of your mouth and throw it all in the garbage. You don’t want to do that do you? Did you hear me? I am writing my dissertation on a typewriter. That means it isn’t saved and I’d have to write it all over again. It’s 1978 and no one has computers, not even you, so the fact that I am lording my typewriting angst over you may not really have an impact, because you will actually be writing several papers on this same typewriter in a few years with no clue that a computer is even possible or that "backspace" is a word, that has nothing to do with the Starship Enterprise commanding space to stay back.