Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The King Mushroom (extended version...)

I pride myself on not being easily offended, but now I have been defamed on the Internet for all to see, and I will not put up with it!  My famous blogger brother Dan of Single Dad Laughing just posted about The King Mushroom, a story that lives in infamy in our sibling history.

The basic story is this:  My mom always added raisins and canned mushrooms to the spaghetti sauce.  Don't knock the raisins till you've tried 'em, people!  Dan is totally fronting that he didn't like that part -- we all gobbled up those little bits of sweetness.  But the mushrooms?  Oh, what we wouldn't do to escape the slippery, rubbery bites of death.  One night we discovered the most enormous canned mushroom in the history of the earth in the spaghetti sauce.  I'm pretty sure it was the size of my hand.  It may have covered the entire plate.

DANIEL is saying that I was the unlucky recipient of the flying-saucer-sized fungus, and that after my attempt to hide it on the floor under the table was discovered, I blamed him then gleefully watched as he was forced to eat it.

Lies, I tell you!

I know this, because I would never, ever have done such a thing.  I was the oldest, and therefore had a responsibility to set an example of perfect integrity and compassion for my younger siblings.  And I was perfect at it -- just ask me...

I'm pretty sure the original recipient of The King Mushroom was our poor little brother Eric, who at seven years old could hardly have been expected to eat a mushroom the size of his head.  He did chuck it on the floor, where it was in fact discovered by our parents.  Dan probably did get the blame, because he was definitely the pickiest eater.  You should have seen him gag pathetically when forced to eat peas.  But Dan, you missed the best part of the story!  When none of us would 'fess up to the crime, my parents decreed that no one would get to leave the table until that mushroom was eaten.  They didn't care who ate it as long as someone did.  So the four of us "big kids" sat at the table, long after our parents had left, eyeing each other and The King Mushroom.  Dan stabbed it with his fork and dropped it onto Eric's plate.  Eric picked it up and threw it at Dan, who picked it up and threw it at me.  Pretty soon we were laughing hysterically as we threw it back and forth at each other.  It may or may not have escalated into throwing other food items -- my memory gets fuzzy at that point.  But it did not go unnoticed by our parents, and the four of us spent some significant time with our noses on the wall that night.

But not all night -- that's a sibling story for another time...

P.S.  I mentioned this story to my mom the other night and she had zero recollection of these events.  I'm very interested to hear if Amy and Eric (our two younger siblings involved in this particular episode) remember this at all, and their versions of the events!

P.P.S.  Raisins in spaghetti sauce are delicious!  Just check out this yummy recipe for Sicilian spaghetti sauce:

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

On a lighter note... (Why does everything turn to tears?!)

Yesterday's post was a pretty heavy one in which a lot of crying happened.  One of my friends, as we were discussing it on FaceBook, said that she always ends up in tears, too, and wondered why that is.  Why is that our outlet?  Would it be healthier to scream into a pillow?!

Everything seems to turn to tears for me -- happy, sad, weddings, funerals, babies, public speaking, my son's pre-kindergarten evaluation.  Seriously, I stood out in the hallway with tears streaming down my face watching him count with his new teacher.  Me when I'm pregnant?  Crazy town.  I sobbed for about an hour when detective Bobby Simone on NYPD Blue died.  I cried for four hours when my dear sweet sister gave me a hideous haircut (that was my poor husband Dan's first introduction to crazy Tomi).  On the flipside, my family's favorite sport was to see who could get me laughing, because it would inevitably lead to me crying uncontrollably.  Yeah, glad I could entertain you guys...

You may have already seen this -- it's all over FB and the morning TV shows -- but Kristen Bell was on Ellen yesterday talking about her emotional meltdown over getting to interact with a sloth for her birthday (the fulfillment of a lifelong dream).  It's pretty darn hilarious:

Ah, another member of the crying club.  I love how she described her crying zone as anything outside 3-7 on the emotional scale.  I'm with you, Kristen.  (Except when I'm pregnant, which I would say is anything outside the 4-5 range.)

Crying is not a negative thing -- I think it's just one way to release emotional stress.  Dan (my husband) prefers to "criticize invisible liberals" while "yelling at the windshield like a moron" on his drive home.  That's his outlet.  Yelling always makes me feel worse instead of better, so that wouldn't work for me.  Some people have physical outlets (Dan also likes to lift a lot of weight at the gym when he's frustrated).  Some people have a hobby that lets them escape.  For me, that's arts and crafts and DIY projects.  Hmm, I haven't made a lot of time for that lately -- maybe that's a contributing factor to my recent trip into yuckville.

At any rate, I think we should give ourselves a break if we're criers.  It just means our hearts are full to overflowing, right?  Overflowing right out of our eyeballs.

I also really love these two graphics I found via Pinterest.

(via fourthescape)

cry because you have been strong for too long

(A very kind commenter named Gretchen also left that last thought in the comments yesterday.  Thank you!)