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 😉

 

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6 reasons I love lying

There is a news article making the rounds about a dad in a tiny rural town in Virginia that promised his daughter she could be a princess and then stakes his personal integrity on this one promise, because Daddy isn’t a liar. Of all the countless promises we make, this one would be the one he took seriously. #Iamtotallyjudgingyourightnow

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Sorry honey, I’d love to help out with the carpool but I have to go claim this uncontested patch of desert, because Daddy promised. Be back in a month, ciao!” 

On the other hand…

I lied, there is no other hand.

SEE! It’s easy, just lie to the kid and call it a day. I thought of six good reasons this dad missed a perfect opportunity to lie to his daughter.

1) Lying is harmonious

Face it people, lying is the foundation of civilization. Can you imagine the chaos if we all went around saying what we actually thought of each other all the time? We would never have advanced out of the “Hit-Gruug-with-club-and-steal-his-mate” phase. We lie all the time, even more so if we like the person and we want to not hurt their feelings.

2) Lying is fun

Southerners have raised this kind of trolling to an artform… you really have never been good and properly lied to unless a Proper Southern Lady has told you your outfit looked “daring” or your tie was “fun”. Then there is my friend who convinced her kids that school was re-opened over a holiday break. Like a great crossword clue, a well-crafted lie is an intellectual challenge from the lie-er to the lie-ee: catch me if you can!

3) Lying makes you nicer and more likable

In order for you to lie to someone to protect their feelings, you have to understand what their feelings might be. That’s empathy, people, and according to US News it’s the number one trait that is going to keep your kids from moving back in with you after they graduate college. Remember that friend you used to have that liked to say “I prefer to be brutally honest all the time”? Chances are he preferred the “brutal” part, which is why he is no longer your friend.

4) Lying makes you smarter

Remember when you were a kid and you were trying to decide just how much to tell your parents? No supercomputer can perform the calculations a six year old can in the instant between their parents asking “What happened?” and “I didn’t do it!” A host of variables go into the calculation, like “how bad does it look” and “what is the likely punishment?” and “how close is the nearest exit?”

5) Lying makes the truth more powerful

In the adult world, we pretty much expect everyone is not being completely honest with us. Just because my barista says “I hope you enjoy it” does not mean she really has any emotional investment in my cappuccino appreciation. She’s lying, I know she’s lying, nothing else needs to be said. We expect to be lied to so much that when someone actually speaks the truth it’s more out of place than a music video on MTV.

Confession time: I lie to my kids constantly. Sometimes they call me on it. So far they have deduced:

  • Babies do not come from Home Depot
  • That smell did not come from the dog, but in fact from Daddy
  • We are not going somewhere fun, unless by fun you mean the garden section at Home Depot

In fact we frequently play a game called “Is Daddy Being Sarcastic?” in which I try to pass off the most bald-faced lie imaginable and see if they catch me.

At least, I’m playing the game.