Wednesday, March 28, 2012


I'm not saying it started with the mashed potatoes, but it certainly didn't end there.

I live in a "New South" community - carefully planned and executed as to mimic the "Old South" neighborhoods, where homes are close together, and we're all linked by greenways and sidewalks. Where people are encouraged to linger on a neighbor's porch, or start an impromptu game of kickball in the common area. Where the alleys that run behind our homes become the gathering place of children, and beers are shared over barbeques all summer long.

In reality, people let their dogs shit all over the greenways, so impromptu games of kickball often become impromptu games of wipe-dog-shit-off-your-shoes, and the alley as a gathering place has become a warzone thanks to the woman we'll call Gladys.

She's a staunch supporter of the Homeowner's Association which, in theory, isn't a bad thing. HOAs can be a force of good, making sure Cletus doesn't keep his '76 Dodge Dart on blocks in the front yard or have rockin' house parties when all the decent folks are trying to sleep. But Gladys really takes it to a new level. One that includes reporting children's shoes on porches for more than a day, or improperly contained trash receptacles, or a dozen other 'infractions'.

She's a real a-hole.

As a result, she's not super popular with either the neighbors or the HOA. We've lived in relative peace for over eight years, but in the past year Gladys has really ramped things up.

"What do you mean, she threw leftovers on the sidewalk?" The Husband is talking to the woman who lives behind us and right next door to Gladys.

"I mean, there was a big pile of food on the sidewalk in front of my house. Who else would have done it?"

"Well, what kind of food?" (This may seem like a silly question but, really, you'd want to know, right?)

"Well, there were mashed potatoes."

When The Husband relayed the story to me later, it was this point that really struck me. "Mashed potatoes!" I kept saying. "That is fucking ridiculous!" Because other starches - macaroni, some pilaf, even a sweet potato - seems so much more logical. "Why the mashed potatoes?" I couldn't help but wonder if, somehow, the mashed potatoes held the key.

It went from bad to worse when Gladys decided to stick her tongue out at another neighbor's 8 year old daughter.

1. Who does that?
2. What adult does that?

The mother, a very sweet nurse-in-training who also happens to look like Jessica Rabbit and has a wide streak of the badass, marched down to Gladys' house and told her, "You stick your tongue out at my kid again and I'm going to rip it out of your fucking throat."

Who says nothing good happens in the suburbs?

Gladys has had the nurse-neighbor arrested (twice), stolen (allegedly) the shutters off another neighbors house, screamed and cursed multitudes of children, not to mention the mashed potato incident. And this month, she won the Yard of the Month. I can only assume it's because of her superior composting skills.

Despite Gladys, maybe even a little because of her, there is always something to talk about over beers and barbeques, watching our kids ride the alley, carefully steering clear of her property. I see her outside sometimes, working in the yard, casting furtive glances our way. I raise my bottle and tip it her way, and offer a hesitant smile.

She looks at me for a moment and then, in reply, sticks out her tongue.

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Letter to My White Son

Dear Son,

By sheer luck of circumstance, you were born a white male, in a prosperous country, to a loving family, in a comfortable home. Fate had you land in a well feathered nest. You are a lucky boy.

Don't ever forget it.

No one will judge you based solely on the color of your skin.
No one will feel they have the right to harrass you because of how much skin you're showing.
No one will look at you and see a threat, or cross the street or lock their doors, or as an opportunity to assert themselves against you.

You, my son, are safe to wear hoodies.

Your father will never have to sit you down and explain an unwritten Code of Behavior. He will never have to tell you to act with deference, to be aware that there are people who are scared of you, to not take it personally when you are singled out, stereotyped and treated as if you are less than.

But what he will sit you down to explain, and what we will try to teach you every day, is that while prejudice and injustice exist in even the best places, we each have a moral responsibility to open our hearts to everyone. That a position of priviledge should be used as a lever to pull others up with us, not push them down. That words ring hollow when they're not supported by our actions.

It is too difficult to even imagine what the parents of Trayvon Martin are feeling. It is incomprehensible, the number of conversations being held by the parents of brown skinned boys across kitchen tables. I can't explain to you why, because I don't know. I don't know why hate is perpetuated from generation to generation, why ignorance survives.

I pray every day that you and your sisters live with open hearts and open minds. There are experiences you will never understand, because you do not live that reality. Learn to love, and learn to listen. There is so much we don't know.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Number Thirty-Five

When I wrote the List of Thirty-Nine, the idea for Number Thirty-Five was just a tiny seed.

Plan a huge benefit gala for charity. Sounds simple enough.

I was a meeting and event planner for fifteen years before ditching the career in favor of the glamour and glory of stay at home mom-ness. So I kind of assumed that putting together a benefit for our local Dress For Success affiliate would be easy. Just get some folks to donate some cool stuff for a silent auction, sell a couple hundred tickets, and find a fancy dress. No big deal.

I talked to my friends over at Triad Moms on Main and they agreed to help organize, promote and sponsor the event. I don't think any of us had any idea exactly how much work it was going to be. We employed the help of Kristen from Four Hens and a Rooster, and a crack team of volunteers and spent the next six months busting our asses.

Last night, the four of us, all the volunteers and 250 of our friends came together at the amazing Millennium Center and partied. Hard.
We had over 100 silent auction items, generously donated by individuals and local businesses, and executed with perfection by the Charity Chicks.
The Millennium Center is a stunning building, full of architectural detail and with an amazing history.

Let me just say friends, until you watch a 40 year old drunk ass neurosurgeon do Da Butt, you have not lived. I used my drink tickets, The Husband's drink tickets, and a significant amount of cash. At some point, I remember having a conversation with a couple of friends about hemorrhoids and thinking, why the fuck am I talking about hemmies? It was great.
DJ Miss Eaves started the party.
And The Ardmores shut it down. Late.

At one point, while my husband and I danced, I just about cried from happiness. Happy that it was done, happy that it was successful, happy that so many people came out to support an organization that's making a real difference in the lives of women in our community.

What a handsome guy I have.

I am truly thankful to everyone that supported the event, especially Kristen, and Katie and Rachel from Triad Moms on Main.
Katie, Rachel, Me & Kristen

I am marking this one off the list, in style.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


My maternal grandmother Nadine was four feet eleven inches of barely contained fury, wrapped in the latest fashions from Filene's department store. She was as round as she was tall, and often commented with a mixture of disgust and disbelief, "You can't find pants to fit a duck." Dressing her was my mother's duty as a child and when I was old enough, and we were visiting, the responsibility became mine.

She rose every morning before dawn. Some days, it was to travel into the city for dialysis, to combat the lupus that so affected her body, and later her mind. Sometimes I would go with her, waiting patiently in the hall while they poked and placed needles, discretely covering them with blankets before letting me in the room. I'd crawl up on her big expanse of belly, smell her smell - equal parts Icy Hot and Chantilly - and fall asleep to the soft clicks of the dialysis machine.

Other mornings she would be up with the birds; their chirps and whirrs filling the small greenhouse off the kitchen of the rambling house on the corner of Central Avenue. We would wait patiently in the greenhouse, swinging on her favorite glider, while my Grandfather prepared breakfast. Coffee, heavy on the milk and sugar, toast, light on the toastiness, bent under the weight of a thick slab of cream cheese.

My grandparents were old when I was born, and I have no memories of my grandfather as anything but frail. Grandma Nadine, 20 years his younger, was robust in comparison. "Herb!" she would cry out and he would shuffle in the room, small and bent. She would rattle off her ridiculous demands and he'd nod his assent before turning and muttering under his breath, "Bitch, bitch, bitch..."

Nadine was not an especially kind person, from what I'm told. She was raised in a poor home in a poor town in Missouri, and married my grandfather to escape poor Missouri for exotic Oklahoma. She worked hard, and made sure he did too, to provide their daughters with fine clothes and cars and vacations, and the appearance of generations of wealth they'd never possessed. She was notoriously eccentric, fiercely protective and oddly charming.

My mother was the middle child, and lived up to the reputation of the station. Nadine's favorite refrain for her teenaged daughter was that she was 'wild as a buck, and wouldn't ever amount to anything'.


And so when that wild middle child got married young and had a baby girl, I wonder if Nadine was surprised at how that baby filled up her heart? She always preferred girls, and there would be no more granddaughters, and so that baby became the best baby, her favorite baby. And she had no problems letting anyone know.

Let me tell you, it is good to be the favorite.

I cannot recall ever witnessing her legendary temper, or being the victim of a cross word. I would sit and watch her shave her chin with an electric razor, or help her hook her 18 hook bra, or rub Icy Hot on her back, or sit and sip sweet coffee and listen to the birds, and was as completely devoted to her as she was to me.

I would lie in her big bed at night - my grandpa forced to the couch - and she would scratch my back. "Don't laugh, or I'll stop," she'd say, scratching so lightly I couldn't hardly tell if I wanted her to stop or not. But of course, I didn't, so I'd bite the pillow to keep from laughing, until I fell asleep with her heavy warmth next to me, a smile on my face.

She died when I was 8. It was shocking and heartbreaking and terrible. I slept in her house the night of the funeral, alone in a bed under a large framed and artistically lit picture of my five year old self. Earlier that day, I had kissed her lips and seriously considered climbing up in the coffin with her, just to hold her once more. It is a disturbing thought today, but seemed so natural at the time.

The absence of a person in the physical sense makes them no less part of our lives. After I had Katie, and I lay there in the dark hospital room watching her sleep, I could hear Nadine - "A girl," she would say, "Well done."

Monday, March 19, 2012

Body & Mind

There are few things in the world, maybe nothing in the world save getting shitass drunk, that makes me forget my woes and worries like hard, physical labor. It's one of the best things about running, I think. Running is never easy. It is invigorating, exhilirating, even sometimes highly emotional, but it is never easy. Just when it starts to be easy, there is another hill, or hip that wants to be babied, or a voice in my head yelling at me because I'm so slow, slow, slow. But that's all that's talking that goes on. The mental bullshittery is suddenly, blissfully, quiet.

I was in the yard today, working fast on borrowed time as Henry napped and Katie was at school and Julia played. It was mindless and repetitive and a little hot. I was still wearing the clothes from my run this morning, and stunk that satisfying stink of exercise and hard work. I knew that I had a hot shower in my near future and a sore back to come later, but it felt so good. I felt so strong and happy, and forgot for awhile all the things that are fighting for space in my head.

I have taken such gross advantage of my good health for most of my life and it is only now, when things are starting to move slower, that I've started to appreciate it.

I am trying hard to work my way out of a mental fog. In less than a week, a major stress will be over, and I'll be able to refocus my time and energies on the things I love - my family, my friends, writing, reading, and a poor, neglected home. It should make for a fantastic blog post, and will mark an item off my list of Thirty-Nine. At the moment, I am mentally tired, but physically exhausted. And that makes it a good day.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Kindergarten Registration

I sat in the elementary school cafeteria last night, surrounded by parents in various states of anxiety. Even those who had been through this process before were a little nervous. It's a big thing, no matter how many times you've done it before, no matter how excited you may be about pushing another kid through those big doors with a smile and kiss, the event won't be ignored for the milestone that it is.

Last night, I registered Julia for kindergarten.

When Katie started kindergarten, I was unable to face the first day alone. The Husband went with us, and the poor teacher had to practically push my weepy, snotty mess of a self out the door. Katie, on the other hand, turned to us as soon as we walked her past the threshold and said "You can go now!" I held my belly full of baby Julia and cried, because I knew that things would never be the same. I spent the majority of the day at the mall with my friend M-, unable to sit in an empty house all day.

It was equal parts traumatic and pathetic.

Julia is so very different than Katie was - she is more intense, and energetic, and restless. She needs more, and often more than I can give her in a day. I know that full time school will challenge her and fulfill her immense social needs. Last night I was practically high fiving the kindy teachers and wishing luck to whomever draws the Julia straw.

I laughed and joked and made sympathy clucks to the poor parents around me, so scared to let their babies go. Cut the cord! I cried with glee, then went home and to bed, where I buried my head in the pillow and lamented the loss of my baby girl.

Is it ever easy? Is it ever easy to pin a note to their chest and send them out into the big bad world, without you? Probably not. Will I mark every milestone with public fist bumps and private sobbing? Probably so.

She's ready, she always will be. I'm not, I never will be.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

75 Books Everyone Should Read

Awhile back, I asked friends on my personal Facebook page, and on the SFC page - what are five books everyone should read? Not necessarily your favorite books, or the best books, but books that everyone would be better having read them.

The answers were so diverse, and surprising, and intriguing, that I knew I had to share them here. I was a little surprised at the popularity of some of the answers (Harry Potter was a top pick for many people) and how many of the books I'd never even heard of.

Here's the list, inclusive of my five picks. Interestingly, no one else chose the books I did. I'll let you try to figure out which ones are mine (and I've put them all together, to make it easier). A few people took liberties, like including a series or a play, but My rules tend to be loose, so I included them. I hate some of these, I love some of these, and some of these are now added to my ever increasing 'to read' list.

Which books would you include? Which ones would you take off?

75 Books Everyone Should Read (in no particular order)

1. Five People You Meet in Heaven
2. The Help
3. Tess of the D'Urbevilles
4. Jane Eyre
5. Twilight series
6. The Hunger Games
7. A Wrinkle in Time
8. Hamlet
9. Romeo & Juliet
10. Harry Potter series
11. Lord of the Rings trilogy
12. To Kill A Mockingbird
13. One Hundred Years of Solitude
14. The Cider House Rules
15. Native Son
16. Plainsong
17. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
18. Blood Meridian
19. (Anything by) Flannery O'Conner
20. Stargirl
21. Song of Solomon
22. The Book Thief
23. 1984
24. Things Fall Apart
25. Lord of the Flies
26. Chronicles of Narnia
27. It
28. The Holy Bible
29. The Name of the Wind
30. The Kite Runner
31. The Red Tent
32. The Book of Negroes
33. Pride & Prejudice
34. The Good Earth
35. Cry, the Beloved Country
36. The Poisonwood Bible
37. In the Time of Butterflies
38. Midwife of Venice
39. The Room
40. Jesus' Son
41. Light in August
42. Mere Christianity
43. The Sun Also Rises
44. The Shack
45. On the Road
46. Catcher in the Rye
47. Living Buddha, Living Christ
48. The Pearl
49. The Stand
50. East of Eden
51. The Odyssey
52. Persuasion
53. Roots
54. Love is a Dog From Hell
55. Siddhartha
56. The Old Man & the Sea
57. The Road
58. The Alchemist
59. (A Field Guide to Your Local Flora)
60. Kristin Lavransdatter
61. Great Expectations
62. Run With the Horseman, The Whisper of the River, When All the World Was Young (Ferrol Sams trilogy)
63. Empire Falls
64. Middlesex
65. The Time Traveler's Wife
66. The Shipping News
67. The World According to Garp
68. Slaughterhouse Five
69. A Prayer For Owen Meany
70. The Sound and the Fury
71. The Scarlet Letter
72. Brideshead Revisited
73. Atonement
74. Of Human Bondage
75. Heart of Darkness

Sunday, March 11, 2012

TV Tales

When I was a kid, my parents weren't terribly concerned about things like 'cultural enrichment' and 'making memories'. But despite their best efforts at being the prototypical 70s/80s parents, they did introduce us to things that heightened our awareness, and created long lasting, treasured memories.

I was, for instance, the only kid ever to go to fifth grade with chicken liver paté in my lunchbox.

I am not the only child of that era who has many memories of family bonding over a TV dinner, eating by the warm glow of the television. Television was our main source of entertainment on a daily basis. A favorite program wasn't constantly available, it was an event. Unless, of course, your mom could remember or your dad could figure out how to set the VCR (or Beta, if you rocked that), and how often did that happen? Next to never.

So primetime was exactly that - primetime. With the exception of Dallas (which was TV crack for my parents), we watched television as a family.

Greatest American Hero
Real People
That's Incredible
Magnum, P.I.
Ripley's Believe It or Not!
The Love Boat
Fantasy Island
The A-Team

And many more.

And for one, glorious season - 22 magical episodes - Tales of the Gold Monkey. it was like Indiana Jones meets Casablanca meets Hogan's Heroes. it had everything you could want in a show - romance, intrigue, humor, a dashing main character, bad guys, a one-eyed dog, and Roddy MacDowall as a bartender named Bon Chance Louis. Bon Chance Louis! Quite possibly the best character name ever.

Jake Cutter was a pilot, flying in and out of Boragora, and fighting evil and bagging babes and tossing them back in the local watering hole. There were episodes involving nuns and natives and the Japanese and malaria. It seemed, at least to 10 year old me, to be extremely well written, very exciting, and worthy of accolades and awards. The rest of my family seemed to agree.

Unfortunately, the television executives did not, and Tales if the Gold Monkey was cancelled. It was crushing news.

Today, as I watched my kids flip through eleven billion channels to find exactly what they were looking for, and then go to On Demand or Netflix or DVR or Hulu or Roku when they didn't, I though about how TV isn't special anymore. It's just there, a big box, too full. It made me miss sitting around with my parents, getting crazy excited about a television show, and waiting all week for the next episode.

What shows did you watch as a child? Were they family events?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Big Steve

We called him Big Steve, despite the fact that he really wasn't that big. It might have been more appropriate to call him Medium Sized Steve, or Average Height Steve. But it wasn't his stature that inspired the nickname, it was his room filling presence. And he didn't just fill a room, he squeezed the air right out of it, until you felt yourself pressing your body up against the wall, becoming very small, so that you might slip out of the room entirely, hopefully without him noticing.

Big Steve had one volume, and that was TOP NOTCH. He was what my grandma used to call 'robust'. He bumbled around the office bloviating wildly, ignoring the simple manners most of us employ when discussing more delicate subjects.

"LESBIAN? SHE'S A LESBIAN?" he shouted in the breakroom, flaky croissant clinging to his lip. "SHE DOESN'T EVEN HAVE AN ACCENT!"

He was forever confusing words, and no one had the heart to correct him. "LAY THOSE PAPERS ON THE VERANDA BEHIND MY DESK!" He said that one for years, until our boss finally moved him to an office with a small balcony instead of a credenza.

Big Steve was a back slapper, a hand pumper, and a chronic high fiver. I'd sit in meetings with him where he'd raise a hand to a CEO and yell "YOU KNOW WHAT I'M SAYIN'?" then sit there grinning like a fool, waiting for an affirmation that wasn't coming. It was a little heartbreaking, really. I'd reach over and slap his hand enthusiastically and he'd yell, "THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!" It became very predictable - if the client gave Big Steve the high five, it was a done deal. No high five, we were walking out of there empty handed.

I only saw Big Steve's enthusiasm waiver once. His 94 year old mother lived in town, only a few blocks from our office. Steve had a family of his own - an ever patient wife, a truly darling boy - but he remained devoted to his mother. Every day, he would take his lunch hour to walk to her house and deliver a sandwich from the cafe next door. Every day, he would leave at exactly twelve o'clock and be back at exactly one o'clock, and this routine never varied throughout the week. Until one Tuesday.

Our boss stuck his head into my office at 1:15. "Where's Big Steve?" Where's Big Steve? Could he possibly be late? 1:30, 1:45, 2:00. We were worried. We called his house, we called his mother's house - no answer at either residence. Finally, a little after 4, Big Steve came walking through the door.

He looked like hell. His clothes were wrinkled and his hands were shaky, and his hair stood up all over his head, like he'd been running his hands through it for the past four hours. Which, in fact, he had, and he did it now.

"Mama's dead." It was the smallest voice to ever come out of the Big Man.

He stayed that way for weeks, barely speaking. "It's like a goddamn mortuary," said the boss. We walked around on tiptoe, afraid to break this new silence. Nearly a month after his mama's passing, Big Steve and I went out to negotiate a new contract with a client. We had been on rocky ground with them, but they loved Big Steve. I was hoping he could pull out the old Big Steve - maybe open with a joke about lesbians, talk about his prostrate infection, tell the story about the time when he went big game hunting and took a poisoned dart to the buttocks (true).

I might as well have gone alone. I sunk us, and as we packed up to leave it was clear to everyone that we wouldn't be invited back. I had nothing to lose, so in parting I told the dirtiest joke I knew. As the CFO stared at me open mouthed, I raised my hand and yelled at Big Steve level volume, "YOU KNOW WHAT I'M SAYIN'?" My hand hung in the air nearly forever, and I said a quick, silent prayer. Then Big Steve reached across the table, slapped my hand, and said in reply- "THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!"

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Road Rash

I am not exactly what you would call 'athletic'. I am more what you would call 'laughably inept at most sports requiring any kind of skill or coordination'. So you can imagine my surprise when I started running a few years ago that not only do I really enjoy it, but I also appear to have an affinity for it. After all, how hard is it to do something that most people learn to do before they're two? As a sport, you just do it for a longer period of time, and with less joy.

With the exception of stupid plantar fasciitis, I have so far escaped injury. I did get whipped in the face once with a tree branch, and I've stepped in poop, and I've almost peed my pants and one time I came really close to vomiting, but I've never really hurt myself. Until yesterday.

I was having a really good run. It was my favorite kind of running weather, 50 degrees and overcast, no wind. Only about a mile in, and my legs were starting to loosen up. It takes that long for me to go from 'fuck my legs are made of lead' to 'I am Zola Budd wheeeee!'. There is a short leg of my regular route, where I come out of our neighborhood, down the busy main street, past the grocery store, through a business park, and back down to the neighborhood again. It is one of my least favorite parts of a short run, but includes a great uphill and a nice, steady downhill.

I'm running down the main road at a good clip, when all of a sudden my asshole left ankle decides to roll. I totally collapsed, like a gazelle caught in mid leap by a hunter's bow. Okay, maybe more like a water buffalo tripping over a stump, but whatever. You get the idea.

Bitch went down.

I shredded my right calf, seriously abrased my left knee, and hurt my poor widdle hands. I cried. I said lots of bad words. I jumped up and down and sprayed blood all over the road. I wish I had pulled a Nancy Kerrigan and rolled around in the road screaming WHHHHYYYYY? But I was hugely embarrassed and I didn't think of it. No one stopped, which is both horrifying (I can only assume that all the people driving by were yankees) and relieving (maybe they were transients and there's no chance they'll recognize me when we meet in the grocery store).

Because I am really very tough, I ran home. I thought, If marathoners can finish a race with poopypants, by God I can run home with a skinned knee! And I did feel a little badass, running and bleeding. of course, I wasn't bleeding badly, and it was only like a quarter of a mile to the house but, still. A little badass.

The Husband was napping with the baby when I got home, so I did what any good attention whore would do in the digital age. I posted it on Facebook.

Isn't that horrifying? Aren't your horrified?

It's really just a glorified scrape, but it looks terrible and I figure I can limp around for a few days and get some sympathy. I don't think I can cook dinner tonight, my leg really hurts. I don't think I can do the laundry, my leg really hurts. 

I take the breaks where I can find them, friends. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Things I Thought I Knew, But I Didn't

Tangled Lou's post about the mayonnaise salad prompted me to question her - was it mayonnaise, or was it Miracle Whip?*

In my house growing up, mayonnaise was Miracle Whip, I had no idea that there was a difference and did not knowingly taste real mayonnaise until I moved in with the Husband.

"What is this?" he said, wrinkling his nose and holding the jar of Miracle Whip with two fingers, like it harbored some disease, like White Trashitis.

"It's mayonnaise?" I replied. I knew he was from California, but they eat mayo on the west coast, right?

"No," he said, "It most certainly is not."

It was a Thing I Thought I Knew, But Didn't. Miracle Whip is not Mayonnaise.

Also, you do not pronounce Pontius Pilate like the exercise. It is not Pontius Pilates.

Growing up in a family that did not regularly, or irregularly for that matter, attend religious services, going through a nine month course to become a Catholic was a little like throwing the country mouse into the city. Except with more Jesus, and incense. I came by my ignorance honestly. When we had Katie baptized, my Dad casually popped a butterscotch into his mouth as he entered the church. He tossed the wrapper into one of the convenient ashtrays they had at the entrance. The ashtray containing holy water.

I have a friend that grew up with a family saying - Keeping up with the Schrontzes. Little did she know that her parents had replaced "Joneses" with "Schrontzes", based on actual neighbors of theirs. One day, she and I were talking and she casually threw out the phrase and I said, "Who the fuck are the Shrontzes?" She had no idea that everyone else referenced the Joneses.

More often than I would like to admit, I am enlightened in small ways, to Things I Thought I Knew, But I Didn't. Instead of making me feel stupid, it's like a little surprise. Oh, hello! You learn something new every day!

I hope I never stop learning how dumb I am. It's all part of the quest to keep up with the Schrontzes.

*In her story, it was mayonnaise. I was a little disappointed.