01:01:39 pm on
Wednesday 24 Jul 2024

Jennifer Flaten

Squinting, I attempt to make out the letters on the name tag. Nope, there is no way I can read it from this far away.

Far is a relative term, I am about three feet from my quarry. Without the assistance of a 100-x zoom or getting way closer than good manners dictates, I will remain clueless as to their identity. Should I ask, "Who are you?"

This was a not so subtle reminder that I'm older, if I needed another reminder. I have children, after all. They delight in reminding me of my "geezerness" every day.

Not that they do it on purpose, no, it is simply the fact that kids can spend an entire afternoon playing on the floor without requiring a chiropractor visit afterward and they hula-hoop.

Okay, the hula hooping isn't necessarily a sign of youth. I just find it annoying that my kids can hula-hoop and I can't.

No, this particular reminder of my advancing age is courtesy of my high school reunion.

I could tell you which one...but that would make me feel older still. You certainly don't want that, otherwise the rest of this column will be one long trip down memory lane complete with many references to young whippersnappers not appreciating how far I walked to school every day.

I know this won't surprise you, but I am not usually the reunion type. So why did I go to this one? Because this one caught me at a weak moment, that moment being summer vacation.

During summer vacation, a mere trip to the grocery store, one that is child free mind you,

is the equivalent of a five day Mediterranean cruise-especially if you sample a few Greek olives from the olive bar...not that I do that, no that was just a suggestion.

After a particularly long, hot summer day I am sure I would agree be Satan's social secretary if meant getting out of the house for a while (but only if it came with benefits and I could be home by five).

Anyway, after convincing the children that I was most certainly not going to have fun without them, that it would be terribly boring, and that they should not, under any circumstances, bathe the cat again, I escaped from the house.

Yes, it was necessary to tell a fib about my evening out. Why was it necessary to fib? Well, I'll let you in on a little secret; children don't like to know you are having fun without them.

If they think you are doing something fun without them, inevitably while you are gone they will do something to show you how fun they are-and it usually involves something you treasure like a lamp or the dog.

Therefore, in the interest sparing the dog and myself a huge mess to clean up when I got home I lied.

Laugh if you will, but it worked. I had a great evening out. When I got home, all my lamps were still intact and the dog was not wearing a tutu. Oops, I promised him I would never speak of that day again.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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