Pants, Pride and Peanutbutter

I am eating edible playdough.  Twice I’ve seen Kate mix up equal parts of milk powder, honey and peanutbutter on Jon and Kate Plus Eight.  I’ve watched jealously while the kids nibble on it as they create, and imagined what the mixed flavors taste like.  Today I saw fresh-ground peanutbutter with honey at my Village Market, and purchased a bag of soy “milk” powder so I could have some fun, too.  This was kind of experimental.  You can’t tell how much honey they put in the honey butter; I had to add extra.  And it was kind of bland so I put in some cinnamon, too.  Now I’m sitting here with a bowel of a perfectly healthy snack, dipping into it with a spoon as I discuss the important things of the universe with you.  (No, of course I’m not using my fingers!  I made this to eat, not play with.  How old do you think I am?)  Oh no, you want the truth?!  Okay, I did mold it around a little bit-just an empirical test to make sure it actuallly works.  I didn’t make the whole tub of honey peanutbutter into playdough.  This should be an occasional experience, like green eggs and ham.  (Yes, I have.  My mommy made them when I was a little girl.) 


I was awakened at 6:14 a.m. by these words, “Mom, I can’t do this stochiometric problem.”  I am proud of my response.  It only took about 30 seconds for me to remember that stochiometrics meant chemistry, and that my daughter had an 8 a.m. test.  I turned on a light and booted up my laptop so I could look at problems with her, and we figured them out together.  The one she couldn’t do was because the teacher had made a mistake, by the way.  I stayed awake after that, watching the news and piddling around on the computer.  I made breakfast (um, two slices of focacia bread spread with peanutbutter and a cup of French Saigon Dark) and took my meds, but I was moving like I didn’t have a 10:30 appointment.  I was so engrossed in AlterNet articles that I really did some last minute preparation.  Plus, I had to dance with Ellen before I could leave the house. 


I knew my daughter was in her classroom in time when I got the text message:  “Girl n shorts w uggs n my chem.  Ridic.”  My daughter is a fashion purist.  While she doesn’t do makeup and high heels most days, she believes in being pulled together.  That’s why her next message is so funny.  I received a call from her after class, on the bus.  She told me she was wearing sweat pants.  More than that, the bus had been leaving her, so she had to run after the bus and wave her arms and jump up and down, calling attention to herself when she was dressed in – gasp! – sweat pants.  In my daughter’s existence, this is such a deviation from the norm that I had to call up her dad and discuss what stranger might be inhabiting our daughter’s body. 


After my doctor’s visit I was headed over to see the little old people (my parents).  On the way, I came very close to an early voting site, and I decided to pull in and see if it looked tolerable.  The parking lot was full, but people weren’t spilling out the door, so I decided to chance it.  I forgot how large a community rec center is.  Once inside I saw a line reaching stretching down the hall and through the lobby.  When I stepped through the lobby door to get to the end of it, I could see that it wrapped all the way around two basketball courts.  Oh well.  By then, I was in.  I had just  smiled at the woman in front of me when a man walked up and asked if he could stand by his wife.  I told him “No”, playfully, and he said “Well, can I stand by you, then?”  We had a lovely conversation for the next 40 minutes.  The couple had just been in Chattanooga a few months, having moved from Lewisburg, Tennessee, pop. 12,000.  We had a lot in common, grown up children, stints of living in Europe, a father (hers) with lupus, our general view about being neighborly and not being mean about political differences.  Of course, it only took me one minute in line to pull out my knitting, and they asked questions and commented as I finished the brim of my original brim cap.  I was in the voting room making my marks on the ballot before I knew it.  Forty minutes of standing, with sore feet and burning back, no pain medicine, and the best conversation in the world. 


The mood in the line was generally upbeat.  People kept commenting on how many folks were voting early, and speculating about whether there would be anyone left for the polls next week.  No one was complaining about the line.  People even helped the older folk get to chairs, and weren’t particularly possessive about their place in line if someone needed it more.  I was elated when I left.  I’m sure my smile was all over my face, and there was even a little bounce in my step.  I’ve waited for this day all my life.  I’ve been pretty cynical about whether I’d live to see it.  Today I voted for a Black man for President of the United States.  I voted for him not because of his color, but because he is good, and qualified, and committed, and has good ideas, and good people around him.  I am more proud of us than of him.  Proud that, as a country, we let him get to this point- supported him, promoted his candidacy, worked together, acted like decent human beings.  Paint that on a sign! 

Peace, people.  Peace.


2 Responses

  1. I am Proud of us as well! Big stuff, hopefully big change.

  2. i went to north gate and i literally could not see the end of the line stretching off toward belk. crazy! i, however, did not have my knitting and really had to potty so i will go on tuesday with my knitting and having voided my bladder and stand in line and vote! i’m so excited and reading your thoughts on the experience has just made me more giddy. we need to set up something for election night results watching.

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