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Dairy is my gateway drug

September 8, 2009

I have been so good, but it’s still no excuse for my misstep yesterday.  I was bored, lonely and sweltering in the near 100% humidity.  I was returning movies to the Blockbuster video, I was returning a Jennifer Love Hewitt made for teevee movie, to be exact. I cite this only to give a more accurate picture of the depth of misery I was experiencing yesterday on the strangest of American holidays – Labor Day.

The genesis of Labor Day came about as a celebration of the labor movement, a day of rest for the hard working and long suffering American working man.  By the time I came around Labor Day had long been associated with family activities such as outdoor barbeques and swim parties.  Our family’s holiday observation ran more toward strange television programming, the forbidding of wearing white shoes until Spring and, of course, actual labor. My sister and I spent the morning and portions of the afternoon in front of the television flipping between the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy telethon and the Twilight Zone marathon, listening for sounds from the front yard – the long and drawn out bellow of our father, wielding clippers in the air and yelling for our mother to assist him in evaluating topiary symmetry.  My sister and I were antsy because we knew that once our father had finally finished obsessively manicuring the topiary olive trees he had been working on since the crack of dawn it would be our turn to labor.  In our home, my sister and I had been conditioned to think that Labor Day meant one labored, intensively.  Our job was to pick up the trimmings. This was no simple task as the trimmings had to be swept not only from the path, but also gathered from beneath the trees, each and every leaf, partial leaf, micro leaf speck had to be removed, all while not disturbing the ground cover.  It was about a thousand degrees every Labor Day and I would imagine I was in an episode of the Twilight Zone – that at any moment a tiny Rod Serling would pop out from behind a pod of olive and let me know that this was an alternate reality.  I do believe our Labor Day tasks scrambled my young brain – or poached it, lightly.  The one bright spot was our reward – ice cream.

I haven’t done yard work in years, having shunned such pursuits due to post traumatic stress from Labor Days past, but I still don’t really know what to do with myself on Labor Day.  It’s always a bit too hot to do anything outside, a lot of stuff is closed and the things that aren’t are over run with people.  Still, one is made to feel as though one shouldn’t hole up in the house all weekend long.  Paranoid that I had remained inside for most of the day, I thought a walk would do me good and I had to return some movies anyway so left for Blockbuster at high noon.  I should have known I was in for a showdown – all the signs pointed to it.  I was, after all, returning questionable movie choices, it was hot, it was Labor Day.

I dropped off the movies and sauntered toward the frozen yogurt store – I didn’t need to go there, but I did.  They have fro-yo sweetened with aspartame – it’s practically air.  I purchased the frozen treat.  It would be fine if I had stopped there, but I didn’t.  This morning I put milk in my coffee, and sugar.  I also ate half a beignet.  That’s fried dough sprinkled with powdered sugar.  If it keeps going like this I will be lunching on pork ribs and cake frosting by lunch.

The worst part of it is that I can smell the hot oil in my clothes.  It’s like I am marked – my failure is a scent I wear upon me as a constant reminder and as a warning to others.

Clearly I need a zen moment, maybe I need a little bonsai tree I could cultivate and trim. I think I could get into that.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 8, 2009 9:43 am

    Nice writing style. I look forward to reading more in the future.

  2. September 8, 2009 4:16 pm

    Maybe, you should simply rename your blog to ‘Three Week Vegan’ and get it over with?
    What may save you, before you become a dedicated topiarian, is sea-food. As you know, in French it’s called ‘Fruits de mer’, so it’s 100% safe, even for a vegan.
    No meat, no fish, no dairy, no sugar, no wheat, but a half dozen of oysters, fresh from their shell, with a glass of champagne for the vitamins, and you’ll crave for fro-yo no more. That’d be a real treat, isn’t it, and a lot more posh than a beignet on the sly.

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