Soccer snack shaming

This Saturday, millions of Americans will sit on a grassy field in camp chairs and watch their young children enthusiastically ignore a soccer ball. American Youth Soccer is where families of all backgrounds get to watch their children get their collective arses handed to them by That Other Team that has a child from a Country That Takes Soccer Seriously.

One of the great traditions in American Youth Soccer is the apres-game snack. Like all things in our society today, the snack we bring makes a statement to all of the other parents about what kinds of parents we are pretending to be.

Choosing an appropriate snack is a highly complex calculation involving nut allergies, ratio of SUVs to Minivans on the team, multiple calls to Miss Cleo, and a soul-searching evaluation of how much you hate that mom who wears the triathlon gear LIKE IT’S HER FRICKIN JOB.

 

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To help you navigate this potential minefield of social stigma Nostrikethat Industries has compiled a handy reference guide. Want to make a statement next Saturday?

Read on.

The Traditionalists

Sliced Oranges, the way God intended. It’s a food and a drink all in one, which is evidence of His Perfect Vision. If He had wanted us to have something different, He would not have given us the miracle of the High School Music Booster Fruit Sale.

The Warehouse Clubbers

Pre-sliced apples in the individually wrapped plastic packages and a 2 boxes of Capri-suns. The apple slices are a nod to healthy snacks, and the capri-suns come 4 boxes to a SKU so you can give two away and still have enough for lunches for a while. Alternately, substitute individually-wrapped mini blueberry muffin packages if you’re feeling saucy.

The Stopped On the Way to the Gamers

Big bag or box full of little potato chip bags and a case of Snapple. Look, they were in adjacent aisles and we left the van running in the bag pick up lane because after the morning we’ve had we’re cashing in some karma, okay?

The Trader Joes

Whatever the heck they’re calling granola bars and juice boxes this week (Trader José’s Montezuma Granola?), served from the Trader Joe’s reusable shopping bag because Trader Joe’s is the most amazing grocery store ever and way better than Whole Paycheck although we have to shop there sometimes because I like to buy quinoa in bulk. Trader Joes.

The Enlightened Followers of Food That Is Twice Half

Organic vegan nut-free flax muffins with fair trade coconut water, served on hemp napkins that were lovingly hand-selected on the family’s last eco-tour vacation to Guatemala. Namaste, y’all.

The Sugar Polizei

Hand-sliced carrots and raisins in a snack bag and mini water bottles. I care deeply about my family’s health, and as a result your children will learn a lesson today about politely saying thank you for the carrots. I hope we win today because no one has ever drowned their sorrows in raisins, either.

I heard it through the grapevine that your momma is laaaaame
I heard it through the grapevine that your momma is laaaaame

The Still Three Days to Paydayers

Pink lemonade in a pitcher and sketchy looking grapes. Look, this game is Saturday and we get paid again next Tuesday and I know what I should get but I had to choose between a haircut and new underwear this month so you get what I have in my pantry and the kids are just going to take marshmallows to school on Monday because we won’t have any grapes left but we have to keep up appearances because God help us if someone discovers we’re one of the 80% of Americans living paycheck to paycheck.

The Pixie Stick Partiers

Varies, but tends towards gatorade bottles and mini tins of pringles, occasionally with leftover Halloween candy thrown in if it’s late in the season. The kid who’s parents bring these is automatically the default game MVP, even as his parents themselves get the Stink Eye from every other parent in the tri-county area. Time may heal all wounds, but 210 grams of sugar at 11 AM turns that frown upside down in time for the 11:30 piano lesson.

AND REMEMBER–

We are so, so judging you. Choose wisely.

 


 

This post is dedicated to my mom friend Roger, who is a total Sugar Police.  Roger I know you’re reading this, love ya babe 😉

 

The Waggle Dance

It seemed like a simple enough homework problem: given a fixed position of flowers and two known positions of the sun, describe the waggle dance a bee would perform. I mean, bees can manage it, I would think us homo facebookus would be able to manage it, too.

two hours later, we were no closer to the solution. We had tried two dimensional drawings. we had tried three dimensional model layouts. We scaled up the problem to include a cast of actors:

  • My Lovely Daughter, performing the role of the Waggling Bee
  • Suckup Dog, performing the role of the flowers because he got some people food for dinner and was both fragrant and immobile
  • Yours truly, performing as the sun, moving across the sky and eventually out of the house in order to set properly
  • Eldest Son, in the role of Omniscient Observer Who Is Cranky And Stressed Out That He Can’t Play Minecraft Because He Has To Do This Stupid Bee Assignment And Everyone In The Class Was Going To Get It Right But Him
  • Mrs. Nostrikethat, representing herself, trying hard not to pee her pants

Even Wikipedia was of no particular help, in large part because the diagram had a Greek letter on it, and I didn’t know what that meant, and because Eldest Son was convinced that whatever I said was stupid.

I’m not making this stuff up, folks.

How My Tomato Plants are a Perfect Metaphor for This Summer

I aspire to be a gardener in the same way I aspire to be handy: first I borrow a bunch of stuff from my neighbors, then they end up taking pity on Mrs. Nostrikethat when it’s been two weeks without load-bearing walls and finally they end up doing most of the work while I am entrusted with operating the Keurig.

Every year, with glasses firmly rose-colored,  I try to take on a simple vegetable garden. Every year I manage tomatoes that could be called “tomatoes” in the same way that a Twinkie could be called “food”.

To make matters worse, I am surrounded by green thumbs. My mother relates to vegetables on an almost instinctual level–although I am sure being married to my dad has given her plenty of practice. My neighbors all have several successful well-established garden plots. My Facebook feed is ripe with Gaea’s Bounty, too:

Oh I have too many tomatoes this year, does anyone want some salsa?”

My peppers just won’t stop growing!”

Gardening is so easy and fun!”

Dutifully I watered and fertilized. My gifted starter plants actually grew and started to flower. I Believed.

I can totally survive the End of Days now. Who needs a grocery store? Man I am amazing.

Then my plants stopped responding to light, water, and nitrogen.

tomato_plants

 

They looked like Thursday night after a week of double shifts working to close.

I tried giving them coffee because that always perks me up and I get my vegetative qualities from my dad so I thought the reverse might be true.

Still they wilted.

It’s as if they said “It’s August, I’m tired of life, let me leave you with a sampling of anatomically ludicrous fruits to taunt you with what might have been.”

“P.S.- you suck.”

Now let me introduce you to my mums. Despite not even the slightest amount of concern from me regarding their well-being they have come back every single year, bigger than ever. They are the ordinary Homedepotus Onsaleacus variety bought 4 or five years ago because we needed some “fall color” or something equally womanly. I think decided to plant them in that little spot because it was a nice day and I was avoiding doing the dishes.

mums

 

We have had by all accounts a pretty fantastic summer. We’re luck enough to have friends. Some of those friends like us enough to invite the travelling Nostrikethat circus to go places with them. Our kids have amazing grandparents, near and far, who shower them with attention. We did swim team. We swam in a lake. We got lost in the woods. My most favorite moments, though, always seemed to just happen.

Sitting in camp chairs on the driveway drinking beer with the neighbors on a Tuesday night.  

Listening to the kids tell jokes at the dinner table. BANANA SANDWICH! HAH!

Sharing a quiet glass of wine with Mrs. Nostrikethat after the kids have exhausted themselves from playing outside all day.

Staying up late with my oldest to play video games.

I’m sure there’s a metaphor in here somewhere.

Or maybe I just need to remember to ask someone to water the plants when we go away for a long weekend.

Nah.