“Your baby is so, so, so….. what a nice outfit!”

Departing from my usual Senior Day tradition, I went to the grocery this morning. Next to the frozen peas I saw the ugliest baby I have ever seen in my entire life. I mean, the sweet child required a double take to make sure that he was, in fact, a baby human. Bafflingly, the woman pushing him in the buggy was, without a doubt, the most beautiful woman I have ever seen… in this part of the country.

Before you mothers or other sensitive souls jump all over my case for this, let’s get something straight.

I’m sure the baby has a wonderful personality.

I kid, I kid. Nowhere in that little anecdote did I say that I was a peach, especially not this morning. I was wearing my early-morning grocery uniform of yoga pants and a long-sleeved tee. Normal enough, you might say, but it wasn’t until I looked in my rearview while backing out of my parking space to come home that I noticed that I had toothpaste foam dried to the side of my cheek.

And all over the front of my shirt.

It’s fine. I have no room to judge.

Though this child looked frighteningly like, well, the baby from Dinosaurs, I am certain beyond the pale that this baby will grow up to be a studmuffin of the highest order, complete with a full head of hair and all of his natural teeth, both well into adulthood.

My mama read The Ugly Duckling to me. I know how this works.

There does seem to be a pattern, however. I was an adorable baby. I can say it. It’s science. But then I went through what averaged out to be a 16 year-long awkward phase wherein I vacillated between looking like a tiny, tiny Rosie O’Donnell or the goth version of a character from Fraggle Rock. I came out of it, I suppose, but Carter didn’t know what I looked like throughout my childhood until we were married.

Hook ’em. Reel ’em in. Throw ’em in the live well from which there is no escape. Then show them the pictures of you looking like, well, like this:

Yea, call me the Dowager Lady Shawn Hunter, Teen Heartthrob. As a matter of fact, put that on my business cards. (“But I’m a girl! I’m a girl! So what if I have a bowl cut and like plaid! I need love, too!”)

I’m over it. I promise. Well, I’m trying to be. The T-Boz haircut, on the other hand? *shudder*

We take for granted, however, that all babies will be adorable, simply because they are babies. You can blame the kittens and puppies of the world for screwing them over like this. No, really – they’ve screwed up the curve.

The ugly baby is a real thing. Even in the celebrity biodome, ugly babies can be found. This story about Emily Blunt (wife of “Jim, from The Office,” as my husband knows him) made me laugh out loud at the same time it made me thankful that I speak Southern.

“I remember when we were in the recovery room … and this nurse came in – her name was Mabel, another great old lady name. She had this fantastic, crazy weave and she said, ‘Damn, your baby is so cute!’ And I went, ‘Oh, thank you,” Blunt, 31, recalls.

“She went, ‘Damn, she’s awesome, she’s so cute.’ And I went, ‘Mabel, I think you say that to everyone,’ and she went, ‘No, I don’t … when I know a baby’s ugly, I say, “You had a baby!”‘ I was like, ‘Those poor parents must know.’” [People Magazine]

“You had a baby!”

That right there, friends, is why I’m so glad to be fluent in Southern. For instance, if I have an ugly baby and someone says, “How precious!,” I’m gonna slap them right in the mouth, blaming the hormones all the way.

The same holds true for the following: “What an adorable little outfit!”,  “Have you figured out who it looks more like?”, “What a face!”, and, of course, “You had a baby!”

Slaps. Slaps for all of them.

I may or may not have gone home and immediately told my mother that I saw the ugliest baby in the world at the store. I also may or may not have told my husband, sister, and best friend about it, too. But I did save a bird’s nest and promised God I’d do more volunteering. Because Karma. (I’m honest, not stupid.)

But I would never, ever, ever breathe a word about it to that sweet mama. Tact matters, my friends. I am a lady, after all.

Though I am not, it seems, enough of a lady to refrain from writing about this on this blog. In case you or the Karma Police come after me, however, let me remind you that I predicted that this child’s ugly babyhood is just a phase and that he will grow up to be a modern Robert Redford while I, for my sins, will likely grow a fantastic mustache.

My mama read the Ugly Duckling to me. I know how it ended:

And then, the ugly duckling grew into a beautiful, majestic swan. She moved to Quebec with a handsome Canadian Goose and, together, they ruled the city’s largest pond with grace and fairness all their days.

As for the ducks who taunted the ugly ducking, they grew embarrassing amounts of lady facial hair and, despite their best efforts to make lemons into lemonade, were denied entry into the county fair’s fantastic mustache competition.

And that, sweet children, is why you should never bully.

Enchiladas and Beyond! 1 Recipe = 5 Dinners.

Chicken-enchiladas-2.jpgEnchilada-cover.jpg

I don’t know about you, but I’m a real sucker for a BOGO. For those of you who didn’t grow up shopping sales, that stands for Buy One Get One. Even better is the Buy One Get Two deal, but BOGT just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

This is true of shoes, certainly, but is especially true when it comes to weeknight dinners.

I’m self-employed and don’t have any children so I’m not going to play “Who’s More Tired At The End of the Day?” with you. I’ll probably lose. Even though labradoodle wrangling and writing are exhausting tasks. No. Really.

Even still, I can appreciate the merits of a BOGO dinner.

Hang on to those pants, kittens, because I’m giving you a Buy One Get Five dinner here.

The game plan is simple – make an enormous slowcooker full of enchilada filling (I’ll show you how) and then repurpose it. If Sunday’s are light for you, do it then and then sit back and relax about dinner for the rest of the week. I’ll show you how to do that, too.

homemade-taco-seasoning-1.jpg

Before we do anything, I’m going to let you in on a little secret in my kitchen arsenal: homemade taco seasoning. It’s not just taco seasoning, however, my friends. I use this to make fajitas, tacos, this fabulous series of dinners, dips, and more. Plus, it’s cheaper and less terrifying than store-bought taco seasoning. Pictured is a 16 ounce mason jar, though if I know I’ll be using it a lot, I’ll double or triple the batch. It’s easy! Check the printable out at the bottom of the post, but if you’re impatient, the recipe is:

8 TBSP chili powder

4 TBSP cumin

8 tsp corn starch

8 tsp salt

6 tsp paprika

4 tsp dried cilantro

4 tsp cayenne

2 TBSP garlic

1 TBSP Brown sugar

Now, make like Charles Barkley with that mason jar!

Yes. Shake it until fully combined. Label it. Set it aside. Put it in your chicken salad. I’m not your boss.

Now, for that catch-all filling.

Drain and rinse 2 cans of black beans, 1 can of pinto beans, and 2 cans of corn. All low sodium if you can get them. If not, don’t sweat it.

Chicken-Enchiladas-1

While those are draining, get your slow cooker all set up. This means spraying the crock with nonstick spray. Then, add about 2 pounds of chicken. I used frozen chicken tenderloins because they were on sale. White meat is better, but where you get it is up to you, provided it’s skinless. I use frozen chicken because, generally, it’s cheaper and it’s what truly makes this such a set-it-and-forget-it sort of thing.

Chicken-enchiladas-2.jpgNext, add 5 tablespoons of our taco seasoning.

Chicken-enchiladas-3

Add the corn and beans.

chicken-enchiladas-4

Then add six cups of your favorite salsa. I really like Jack’s Medium (and, no, I’m not paid to say that). We buy it at Costco in the giant tub. The gigante size at Costco costs $4.99, just a little more than a tiny container at the regular grocery. Buying in bulk? Winning.

chicken-enchiladas-5.jpg

Toss gently so that everything is well-incorporated.

chicken-enchiladas-6.jpg

Standard rules of slow-cooking apply: cook on low for 8 ish hours or on high for 4-6. This is a really forgiving sort of recipe, however, so don’t sweat this too much. When it’s done, take the chicken out and chop or shred it. Put the chicken back into the mix.

chicken-enchiladas-7.jpg

Try not to pull a “Me” and eat it right out of the slow cooker with a spoon.

You’ll burn your mouth.

So you’ve got 38 gallons of this beautiful, delicious filling. What next?

I’ll tell you what’s next, kittens. Enchiladas.

Take a baking dish and spray it with cooking spray. Preheat your oven to 350 or so. Take your favorite tortillas, corn or flour, and get them ready. I use corn because of the ol’ gluten allergy but, as I’ve said a billion times, I’m not your boss. If you use corn tortillas, make sure you warm them so they’re soft and pliable. If not, they’ll crack.

Just roll some of the filling inside of a tortilla and place it, seam side down, in the baking dish. Then, cover those bad boys with the cheese of your choice.

chicken-enchiladas-8.jpg

Bake for 20 minutes or so, or until the cheese looks like this:

chicken-enchiladas-9.jpg

Serve them with salsa, sour cream, hot sauce, avocado, or whatever else floats your boat. They are delicious and (BONUS!) they reheat really, really well if you have leftovers.

chicken-enchiladas-10.jpg

Unless you’re feeding a football team,  you’ll have leftover filling. What to do? What to do?

You can put it on top of lettuce or lettuce mix with other fixings and make a taco salad.

Taco-Salad-1.jpg

Or, for a protein punch, do the same thing with quinoa. I used to take this version of a burrito bowl for lunch all the time.

Enchilada-Quinoa-Bowl-1.jpg

Those are easy-peasy. The next three recipes are a little more involved but, in the grand scheme, will still make your weeknight dinner prep an absolute breeze. Let’s start with these Tex-Mex Pizzas.

Take a corn tortilla, spread a thin layer of refried beans over top. Sprinkle cheese. Put the second corn tortilla on top. Top this second tortilla with the enchilada filling and, subsequently, cheese.

Mexican-Pizza-1.jpg

Bake them in a 350 degree oven until the cheese is melted and browns slightly.

Mexican-pizza-2.jpg

Top with your favorite fixings and enjoy. It’s easy to make a bunch of these, as with the enchiladas, and they come together in a snap. If you have an assembly line, it’s even faster. This is a great opportunity to get your kids in the kitchen. No knives or other sharp things involved.

Mexican-pizza-3.jpg

Tex-Mex pizzas are delicious, but my favorite thing to do with this filling is put it over chips – two ways!

If you don’t want to make your own chips, just use your favorite brand of store-bought chips. If you are making your own, spray cut tortillas with cooking spray and bake in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes. Flip, spray the other side, and cook for another 7-10 minutes or until the chips are crunchy.

Turn your oven from bake to broil. Move the chips into a pile and top with the filling. Sprinkle cheese over the whole mess. Broil until the cheese is melted and browned.

Chilaquiles-1.jpg

If you stop here, you’ve got yourself some kickass nachos. These are great for dinner, a snack, or your next major sporting event.

Chilaquiles-2.jpg

If you don’t want to stop there, however, and are in the mood for something a little more decadent, let’s keep moving.

I have a bit of an addiction. If I see chilaquiles on a menu, so help me, I will order them. Sometimes they’re amazing. Sometimes they’re just kind of meh. It’s the amazing ones that keep me coming back, though.

I realized that those nachos make the perfect base for chilaquiles – the amazing kind. All you have to do is put a poached or fried egg on top. Thusly:

Chilaquiles-3.jpg

I like my chilaquiles with a lot of hot sauce and some sour cream. The sky is the limit, however!

Chilaquiles-4.jpg

You can use this filling as a dip as well. Either pour it in a baking dish and top it with cheese or make a layered cold dip with it. It’s so unbelievably versatile. In addition, it freezes well. If you’re not ready to use those leftovers, freeze them and defrost them in the fridge overnight when you are ready to eat them.

I’ve gotten untold mileage out of this recipe and I hope you will too! Here are the printable for the taco seasoning:

Homemade Taco Seasoning
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Homemade taco seasoning is cheaper and healthier than store-bought. This recipe gives you the flexibility to use the seasoning in everything from dip to tacos to fajitas and beyond!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 8 TBSP chili powder
  • 4 TBSP cumin
  • 8 tsp corn starch
  • 8 tsp salt
  • 6 tsp paprika
  • 4 tsp dried cilantro
  • 4 tsp cayenne
  • 2 TBSP garlic
  • 1 TBSP Brown sugar
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in an airtight container and shake well.

How would you use this filling? I’d love to know!

Mint Julep Recipes, Just in Time For Derby

Mint-Julep-Recipe-1.jpg

Like most Kentucky girls, I have opinions about bourbon. Strong, numerous opinions.

Out of the many, however, one stands out as being most important. There is a difference between drinking bourbon and sipping bourbon. Your sipping bourbons live on the tippy-top shelf of the bar/cabinet/world. You have two options when it comes to sippin’ bourbon – neat or on the rocks. Don’t argue with me.

Drinking bourbon, on the other hand, gives you some more flexibility. This is not to say that drinking bourbon isn’t good quality (it is), but that, rather, you won’t be defiling a delicious gift from God if you choose to make a cocktail with it. There is, of course, also something we call “swill,” but we won’t even be acknowledging that here.

Allow me to elaborate. Old Forrester or Maker’s Mark are good, solid, delicious drinking bourbons. A 20 year old Pappy Van Winkle is a good, solid, delicious sipping bourbon. This is an important distinction this time of year. Why?

Because you don’t make a julep with 20 year old Pappy. You just don’t.

If you ever see someone do that or order a (shudder) mixed drink of any kind with a 20 year old Pappy or 17 year old Eagle Rare, I want you to do me a favor and slap them. Hard. And maybe scream “Snap out of it!”

And while you’re at it, channel Olympia Dukakis:

Because, letsbehonest, if you’re pouring sugar water into a fine bourbon like that, your life is, most certainly, going down the toilet.

Where it will join your taste.

I kid. I kid.

About the last part. Not the slapping or the sacrilege bit. So help me, don’t try it.

This post isn’t about my rage, however. This post is in celebration of Kentucky Christmas, i.e. the Kentucky Derby. It is, therefore, about Mint Juleps.

Because I love you, I did a bit of day-drinking yesterday to test these recipes for you. Sipping recipe after recipe after recipe until I got them just right. If that doesn’t show how much I care, well, I don’t know what will. I started the tests as a fresh-faced, optimistic thing and, in the end, looked like this:

Rigby7.jpg

Oh, well. C’est la vie, right?

Before we touch the hooch, however, we need to do some prep. Namely, we need to make our mint simple syrup.

Mint-Simple-Syrup-Recipe-2

You’ll need to do this the night before your soiree or, at the very least, the night before you plan to do the julep drinking. Do NOT – I repeat, DO NOT – buy the pre-made julep mixes. They’re okay, I guess, but so not the same. If making your own simple syrup was difficult, I wouldn’t require it of you. But it’s not, so I am. Do it. You’ll thank me.

Just take equal parts water and sugar and put them in a saucepan. I made a lot, so 2 cups of each.

Simple-Syrup-Recipe-1

Put the pot on the stove and heat until the sugar is melted/dissolved and the liquid looks clear. We’re not making caramel or candy here, so you don’t need to cook the sugar. Once it’s completely dissolved, pull it off the stove and let it cool. This is simple syrup.

Simple-Syrup-4.jpg

You can use this to sweeten literally everything. For those of you worried about the glycemic index in any capacity, I also made a simple syrup with coconut sugar. While it’s completely dark in color and has an almost molasses-y sort of flavor, it was delicious and works well too. We’re not done yet, though.

Once the syrup is cool, transfer it to an airtight container and add a bunch of fresh mint leaves. Make sure you take the stems off.

Mint-Simple-syrup-Recipe-1

Put the lid on and let it sit in the fridge overnight. This will infuse the syrup with amazing minty flavor. I usually let it stay in for closer to 24 hours. After all, this part isn’t exactly labor intensive. After that, just strain the mint leaves out and store the syrup in an airtight container until you’re ready to make juleps.

Fun fact: This also makes amazing mint lemonade. Squeeze a lemon into a glass, add some mint simple syrup, add ice, and fill the glass to the top with water. Stir and enjoy. 

Are you ready to make some juleps? I’ve got options for you. Options are always good. Options are especially good when you’re having a party. Which you should be. Not everyone likes a straight-up julep. Don’t worry – I’ve got you covered. I’ll hold your hand and we’ll get through this together. Are you ready?

Mint-julep-recipe-2.jpg

Traditionally, mint juleps are served in julep cups. These are silver and super spendy. I am not in possession of any julep cups. Besides, it’s hard to photograph through them – solid, metal surface and all. So we’re serving in a variety of hodge-podge glassware from my kitchen. I’m a purist in all ways other than servingware, I assure you. And if anyone wants to mail me some julep cups, let me know. I’m not above receiving gifts.

Some people use crushed ice. Some people don’t. I’m a big fan of the giant ice cube. Take your glass or cup and fill with your preferred sort of ice. Now, we can have fun. The mix is:

3 oz. good, Kentucky bourbon

1 oz mint simple syrup

sprig of mint

It really is as simple as that. It’s boozy, I’m warning you, but it’s Derby. Derby requires boozy. If you like it sweeter, add more syrup. If you like it less, well, add less. I’m not here to tell you how to drink.

Oh. Right.

This is the base of the rest of the fun we’ll be having today. If you want all the booze, but are looking for something a little lighter, you’ll love this next one. I call it a Mint Julep Spritzer.

Mint-Julep-Spritzer-Recipe

Fill a taller glass with ice. Add your 3 ounces of bourbon, 1 ounce of syrup, and mint leaves. Then, fill it to the top with soda water. I’d say put a straw in it, but that could get dangerous. This is one smooth beverage, my friends, and it drinks quickly.

For something a little more exotic for your Derby party, try my Blackberry Mint Julep.

Blackberry-Mint-Julep-Recipe-1

Take five or six washed blackberries and muddle them in the bottom of a glass. In laymen’s terms, jut squish them around. Put your ice cubes on top and then pour your standard julep over top. As a refresher, that’s:

3 oz. good, Kentucky bourbon

1 oz mint simple syrup

sprig of mint

5-7 blackberries

If blackberries aren’t your thing, you could try my Lemon Mint Julep.

Lemon-Mint-Julep-Recipe

Put your ice in a glass. Squeeze half a lemon into it. Then proceed as usual.

3 oz. good, Kentucky bourbon

1 oz mint simple syrup

sprig of mint

In case you haven’t caught it by now, juleps are a crazy easy drink to make and modify.

If you’re not into the bourbon part of the julep, definitely follow my earlier suggestion and make a mint lemonade. It’s sweet, refreshing, and sure to please even your pickiest teetotaling guests. 🙂

We’re not done, folks. Before Derby Day, we have The Kentucky Oaks. Oaks is basically the same shindig, but with a lot more pink. At the track (and licensed vendors), you can purchase a drink called The Lily. It’s a Grey Goose thing. Depending on which stand at the track serves you, they range from being really sweet to really, really, ridiculously sweet.

I’ve come up with my own variation. It’s based on the same basic principles, but with a twist. Since I can’t call it The Lily (and it’s not really a Lily anyway), I call it The Lola.

The-Lola-2.jpg.jpg

2 oz your favorite vodka

2 oz good quality or homemade sweet and sour mix

3 oz cranberry juice

splash of Triple Sec

orange twist

blackberries

Pour all liquid ingredients and orange peel into a shaker with ice. Shake well. Strain into a glass. At the Oaks, these are served in commemorative glasses, but you could use a stemless wine glass or a martini glass just as easily. Drop the orange twist from the shaker into the drink along with a blackberry or two.

You should know that the sweetness of this drink depends largely on the juice you use. If you use 100% cranberry, this drink will be more tart. To sweeten it, add a little powdered sugar to the shaker. Or, you could use a cranberry juice cocktail, which would make it much sweeter on its own. The 100% cranberry juice is what gives it that really gorgeous color, however, and I like it. Just add the powdered sugar or some simple syrup or, if you’re “watching it,” stevia.

Mint-Julep-Recipe.jpg

I hope you’ll try one (or all) of these. I know that the Kentucky Derby is hardly a big deal at all to anyone but horse folks and Kentuckians, but I hope that, at the very least, you’ll try one of these drinks on for size. They’re incredibly refreshing and not just suitable for the first Saturday in May. In fact, I make Lolas for my mom all year long.

Does anyone have a favorite Derby tradition? I’d love to hear it!

‘Til next time, y’all! xoxo

The toilet paper aisle on Senior Day is a metaphor for life. I think.

I’ve recently found myself with more time on my hands. Naturally, I’ve been spending a lot that time at the grocery store.

Is this only a phenomenon for me and my family? Whenever I’m working 1.5 jobs and not sleeping, I go into food-based organizational hyperdrive. I plot meal plans, make a grocery list for the whole week (two if I’m feeling super awesome), and shop with the precision and drive of THE Ohio State University’s marching band at halftime. With all the pomp and “Smoke on the Water,” too, kittens.

I’m not in hyperdrive anymore, however, which means that I’ve been to the grocery store nearly every day for the last week, each time with the precision and drive of my beagle when one of her legs has fallen asleep during a nap.

Do I need anything? Hardly, though I always manage to leave with a single beet or yet another set of nail clippers.

It’s happening.

Slowly, but surely, I’m becoming my grandfather.

Because, somedays, I just “want to see what the leeks look like.”

And I do.

My new favorite day to check on the status of the Belgian Endive and rotisserie chicken selection (which included all flavor options but BBQ last time – get it together, Kroger) is Senior Day.

Once upon a time, I hated Senior Day. So great was my loathing that, if I needed food on a day that just happened to be Senior Day, I would go to Target and risk emptying my bank account on a cart full of items ranging from yoga pants to new Swiffers to umbrellas, just because they were on endcaps.

And God forbid I fall ill and need to pick up a prescription on Senior Day. I would do it, but I would think really pissy thoughts as I waited in line behind a woman picking up 43 prescriptions, all of which are absolutely necessary for the preservation of her life.

What can I say? I was an asshole. Actually, no. I was still classified as a “youth.”

Youths are assholes.

If that wasn’t enough for you:

Ah, Schmidty. I’d marry you if you didn’t say words like “hair chut-en-y.” And you were a real person.

…..and I weren’t already married.

My days of pissing people off because I’m young and inconsiderate are done, however, and to that, I say “Good riddance.” Senior Day is now, frankly, one of the highlights of my week. Because wisdom. Though, the automatic 15% discount doesn’t hurt. I may not get to partake in the free day-old danish and pastries, but I do get to absorb some savvy and experience through osmosis. (I think I remember this being a thing from 7th grade science. Science nerds, don’t judge. I’m just a regular nerd with an addiction to fine paper goods and cartoons.)

If I weren’t spending my Wednesdays around troops of gaggling octogenarians, I never would have been privy to the moment where I received ultimate wisdom and understanding.

My Senior Day grocery trip began with the best intentions to peruse the imported cheeses for a Manager’s Special gouda and then self-loathe for a while in the chip aisle. Because P90X3.

The tell-tale signs of Senior Day were present. The parking lot was full of Lincolns, Buicks, and Cadillacs. The tiny carts were all gone.

The produce section, however, was deserted.

The imported cheese aisle was deserted.

I met only one person in the chip aisle – another woman in yoga pants looking incredibly peckish and annoyed, cradling a bag of Ruffles in her hands and muttering under her breath what sounded like “F*ck you, lovehandles. F*ck you.”

This is remarkably similar to what I say when in that position, only replace the “lovehandles” with “Tony Horton” or, if I’ve been working out with my husband that day, his name. He’s an extroverted exerciser and wants to pump everyone up to his level. I, on the other hand, am an introverted exerciser who just wants to do the workout and plot the demise of the instructor and his/her instructor all the while. Though, that’s a story for another day.

Where were the seniors? How would I know whether the milk was priced properly without their commentary? How would I spot a good Manager’s Special without seeing a flock of people rifling madly through the tilapia bin? I began to panic that I was wrong for thinking the kids from my high school were full of shit for believing in that “Left Behind” nonsense and instinctively grabbed for a jumbo bag of garlic croutons. Because, in the apocalypse, I definitely don’t want to be without a bag of food that will cause me terrible agony.

You can imagine my relief to discover that those kids from my high school were, in fact, full of shit when I found every senior in the store in the toilet paper aisle. Given the number of pocket calculators present, it seems that I’ve been buying toilet paper all wrong. Calculating not just the price per sheet, but the price per ply, these savvy seniors were not going to be swindled by the bath tissue oligarchy. 

A man leaned over to me and said, “Don’t pay attention to the penny pinchers. Trust me. If you want to be good to your downstairs business, this is the stuff to use. It’s got ripples. They’re great at grabbing things. You can’t take too good of care of that downstairs business, gal.”

It was, at once, the creepiest and most considerate thing any man has ever said to me.

You might think it odd that the most important, potentially life-altering decision of Senior Day rests in the toilet paper aisle. Considering how my colon’s reliability and, let’s be honest, loyalty have dwindled over the past few years, however, I don’t find it so crazy. If I make it to 80, you bet your downstairs business I’ll be really interested in how “grabby” my tissue is. I imagine I’m not alone.

Of course, if that recently published NASA study is correct, it won’t matter since we’ll all be taking care of our downstairs business with leaves or shreds of our former civilization.

Or we’ll all be dead of measles. #You’reAnIdiotKristinCavallari

There’s a metaphor in there somewhere. Granted, it’s probably more of an analogy – a really shitty one (no pun intended) like when high school comp students write things like “She was as unhappy as when someone puts your cake out in the rain, and all the sweet green icing flows down and then you lose the recipe, and on top of that you can’t sing worth a damn.” [source]

It’s there nonetheless, however. I’ll try to parce it out today while I’m following my fearless, senior leaders to the best bargains on foods and goods that I most assuredly don’t need. 

Pay no attention to that sobbing woman in the corner.

Credit: Hyperbole and a Half

Apparently, I’m a crier now.

Once upon a time, I approached life with the measured rationality of a German or, as Tiny Fey so aptly puts, the torpor of a possum. Certainly, I cried when life threw giant curveballs my way – death, loss, extreme duress. Naturally.

I didn’t, however, get weepy at such silly things as thank-you cards, butterflies, or not being able to tie my running shoes tightly enough. But now? Now, I am a crier, my friends, and I f*cking hate it.

It wasn’t a gradual thing either. One day, possum status. The next, I was at dinner relaying information about gluten free flours and just started crying.

Apparently garbanzo bean flour kicks me in the feelings. Hard.

It’s getting bad – like, Kim Kardashian Crying Meme bad. Last week, when pulling out of our driveway, I commented on the fact that, due to the ice storm, the neighborhood had to cut down half of the trees in front of our house. “Oh no, Jo!” I exclaimed, “Your one beauty!”

All of us in possession of ovaries know that quote is from Little Women. Carter, fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your persuasion, does not possess ovaries and, therefore, did not know the quote’s origin. Thus, I relayed the entire plot of Little Women to him. Because of course.

I say that I relayed the entire plot, but that’s hardly true. I got to the part where Beth died and recited the whole “Now I’m the one going ahead” soliloquy, which I know by heart, and just lost it.

Sidebar: For those of you shrieking and pulling your hair because I didn’t shout “Spoiler Alert” before spilling the beans that Beth kicks the bucket, the book is more than 100 years old. You’ve had time. Don’t try to tell me you haven’t. And if you shrieking maniacs are women who have gotten this far in life without reading Little Women, well, I don’t even know if I can look at you anymore. ….through this screen. *sigh*

Don’t even get me started on the Budweiser commercial with the puppy and the clydesdale who are best friends. I saw it on tv the other day and sobbed inconsolably for 15 minutes. And while, yes, I know I’m prone to exaggeration, let me assure you that I mean that I cried for a very literal 15 minutes.

In fact, here is my crying log. I created it because, for the last 15 years of my life, my eyes didn’t leak very often. The startling regularity of this event of late has made me curious and, like any amateur scientist, curiosity means the rigorous collection of data. Or at least that’s what I think I remember from high school chemistry. Here is my log, complete with the cause of the crying and then, in column B, how long I wept without hope of consolation while clutching my beagle and making my really ugly sobbing face.

Screen shot 2014-02-20 at 9.11.30 PM
I can’t even talk about this whole Olympic thing. I was at home when Meryl Davis and Charlie White won the gold in ice dancing and started sobbing because she looks just like a Disney princess and he looks like the male human version of Lola and, somehow, the combination of those two facts turns me into a crumpled heap of Slanket-wearing hysteria.

Before any of you scream “pregnant!,” allow me to assure you that I know, for a fact, that I am not. How do I know? I am a compulsive taker of pregnancy tests. It’s pretty much my superpower, though that is a topic deserving of its own post. Someday, my loves. Someday I will give you the full view into my crazed, neurotic mind.

We’ll chalk it up to hormones or something like it. Isn’t the root of all evil hormonal in nature?

Of course it is.

As it’s finally Friday, however, I’ll try to keep my weeping to a minimum and exclusively relegated to things cute, fuzzy, and non-literary.

Any big weekend plans, kittens? I’d love to hear about them. Also, ladies over 28, did you notice a gigantic emotional shift in your late 20’s? Enlighten me.

No, really. I want answers.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to have a glass of chocolate almond milk.

Given recent events, I’ll probably cry because it’s not ice cream. C’est la vie, AmIRight?