"Who has a question?" I asked in the kitchen full of family.
"I got one!" my brother said.
"What?" I looked up at him doubtfully.
"What's the best age?" he asked.
"Hm," I said.
"That's not bad," said V.
"It's good. Listen, is it the two year old whose biggest concern is having an awesome time in the snow?" He pointed out the window where the little ones rolled around outside. "Or is it the 40 year old who has a job to keep, mouths to feed and a mortgage to pay but can at least make all their own decisions?"
"I can work with that," I replied.
"See, that wasn't hard. You need questions? You can call me everyday," he said.
Over breakfast, I challenged the family to come up with "would you rather" questions. This is where we shook out:
1. If you were caught stealing in a foreign country where you had these two options for punishments, would you rather have your hand cut off or spend three years in that country's prison?
2. Would you rather have a tropical vacation napping on gorgeous white sand beaches or an African safari adventure?
3. After leaving the grocery store, and arriving at home, you discover a snack treat you didn't pay for in your bags. Would you rather keep the treat or return to the store to pay for it?
4. You're on a first date with someone you're crazy about. You clog the toilet and cannot find a plunger in the bathroom. Would you rather ask your date for a plunger or simply suggest you go out to dinner immediately?
5. Would you rather bacon or sausage with your eggs?
How would you answer these questions? And what do these questions say about my family?
"Yes." E's eyes lit up. "It's pretty amazing too, because I'm a testicular cancer survivor."
"Wow. That is pretty amazing," I said. "Like one in a million."
"Exactly," he pointed at me. "And you know what? It happened naturally. You see, I had frozen sperm before my cancer treatment. But it was very expensive for them to store it. So I decided to have a talk with God. I said, 'God, I trust you. If I'm meant to be a father, you will make me a father.' Then I tossed the frozen sperm in the toilet and flushed."
Jimmy Kimmel challenged parents to give their kids a Christmas present they wouldn't like and record their reactions. Although some of these kids seem like they may need to spend some time with Nanny 911, other reactions are pretty cute.
The Christmas cards are rolling in. Cute pictures of my friends, their kids and their families. Beach scenes, shots from Disneyland and other family vacations.
I like getting Christmas cards. I like that people take time to have them made or write them out and actually stamp them and drop them in the mail. I like getting something other bills in the mailbox. I like that Christmas cards are a tradition technology has yet to squash.
I'm cleaning out my closet. I pulled out a pair of platform strappy sandals that I wore once. In the store, where they were half off, I thought they cute and that I could handle the height. And I was sure I would never find other shoes at such a good price.
But when I wore them out, I found myself teetering.
I just received a package of earplugs in the mail. I can no longer find this particular brand in stores. But they fit perfectly and they block out just enough noise and they don't hurt my ears like other brands. So I went online and hunted them down.
What item are you willing to do some serious searching for?
I grew up in an illdyllic little historic town called Basking Ridge. Named
for the deer that basked in the sunlight on the ridge. And every Christmas Eve
for most of my life, my family and I enjoyed a tradition of crowding around the
lit Christmas tree in the center of town with hundreds of other Basking Ridge
natives and singing Christmas Carols.
Unlike the other idyllic families,
before we joined the other carolers, we scoured the attic and delved into
closets to find the ugliest hats we could. Lopsided cowboy hats, hideous, wide-brimmed,
80's fashion statement gone awry hats, orange hunting caps complete with ear
flaps - whatever we could find. Then we'd head down to the event, a little
noggy, and sing very loudly.
Our favorite song was "We Three Kings,"
thanks to Ruthie. One year, after a wee bit of wine, she approached the upswing
of "ohOHHH star of wonder, star of night" with such gusto that we mad-hatted
hooligans could only join her in uproar. Which in turn, caused the sober town
natives to turn around and glare at us.
My awesome sister in law sent me this article asking which Muppet is most like you. I am a bit of a Muppet FANatic. I remember watching the Muppet Show in my jammies as a little kid and getting super excited when the theme song began.
As an adult, I'm still a fan. And I really want to go see the Muppet Movie!
Anyway, which Muppet are you most like?
Kermit: The Everyman, and the glue that always holds the rest of the gang together. Slightly high strung (and given to moments of frustration), but generally warm and gracious, with a tender, sentimental side. Probably happiest in quiet moments, playing banjo on his lily pad.
Miss Piggy: The Diva, both feared and adored for her independence, confidence, chutzpah and occasional temper tantrums. She is all about the fine things in life - Chanel outfits, fine dining (no dieting for this pig) and, of course, Kermit. Just be careful: this pig will high-kick you if you betray her in any way.
Fozzie Bear: An extrovert and avowed attention-seeker, he is the life of every party. Probably happiest onstage, where he can regale an adoring crowd with his string of "Wocka wockas" and cornball jokes.
Rowlf the dog: A talented musician and quick with the pun, Rowlf might be considered the old-fashioned gentleman of the Muppets. Usually found tickling the ivories or cutting up audiences with his side-splitting puns. Loyal friend to Kermit and esteemed ballroom dancer. Happiest flopping his ears while sitting at the piano.
Gonzo: The Artist (or misfit, depending on how you look at him), Gonzo takes pride in the fact he is different - a skill he learned early while growing up with buggy eyes, blue fur and a long nose. Is not afraid to try strange new things like eating rubber tires, all for the sake of his performance art.
Statler and Waldorf: The Critics. Described by some as curmudgeons, they beg to differ. They only heckle and grouse because they know best, and have more refined tastes than the other philistines in the room. Their gruff outlook hides a sentimental yearning for simpler times past.
Scooter: Highly efficient and a people pleaser, Scooter is happier behind the scenes than hogging the spotlight. Not afraid to use some family connections to get ahead in the theatre world, he derives the greatest satisfaction from his career.
Animal:A walking Id, Animal is not afraid to give into his baser temptations and impulses, often living purely on instinct. Happiest when banging away on the drums and letting his freak flag fly.
I think there are pieces of all of them in me, but if I had to choose one, I'd say I'm most like Kermit. I pride myself on keeping the gang together. Yes, I can be high strung and all those other characteristics. But I'm completely content when I'm hermitting up too.
I'm reading a book called Change the Way You See Everything. It focuses on Asset-Based Thinking versus Deficit-Based Thinking, which is exactly what it sounds like. Focusing on your attributes, skills and accomplishments versus focusing on what you don't have or what you're not getting.
Sounds like positive thinking, but what's different about it is that it's active. It's not just about thinking positively. It's about focusing on what positive actions you can take to improve your quality of life.
The book quotes a Mayo Clinic study which reported that people who expect misfortune and see the negative side of life (the Deficit-Based Thinkers), don't live as long as Asset-Based Thinkers. In addition, the Asset-Based Thinkers had fewer problems at work and in other daily activities, less pain and fewer emotional problems and increased energy.
As I read this, I thought about my question for today and how I could relate my reading to this blog.
"They already know this," I thought. Meaning that the blogging community, for the most part (at least the bloggers who visit QOTD), are constantly focusing on what they have - not on what they don't have.
You post about gratitude, accomplishments, goals, family, love, things you're looking forward to and lessons you've learned. You cheer other bloggers on. And you rarely complain.
Saturday night, I met a girl who just moved to LA two weeks ago from Idaho. She oozed excitement about LA, the weather, new opportunities and new friends.
Who was the last truly joyful person you encountered?
This question is brought to us by the fabulous Rosy Prose.
Rosy Prose was babysitting her grandson and they went to pick up a pizza at Bertucci's. They had a Toys for Tots box out with some donated toys in it. So her grandson was thinking maybe they were there for him to select from!
She explained that they were for kids whose parents couldn't afford to buy them toys and he said, "But Santa Claus doesn't charge for toys. He brings those free. So why do they need these?"
Rosy Prose, of course, had no answer to this question.
So, here's the Question of the Day - what has a child asked you that you had no answer for?
This morning, this was posted on my FB wall by my friend E:
"Dear Suzzie Q - You know I never talk about dreams and crap like that, but felt the need to tell you about the most awesome one I had last night:
I was watching TV (awesome so far, right?) and was watching my favorite TV Show... only problem was it doesn't exist. It was a show about you... in a mormon family... only the twist was that instead of you being one of five wives... YOU had five husbands... all beefy fitness models. You were like the queen bee, keeping your soldiers in line with awesome food and nookie galore. Best show ever!"
Heh heh heh.
E's got some solid ideas there. Do you realize how much stuff could get done with five husbands? Leaky toilet? No such thing. Unmowed lawn? Pshaw! No one to play Scrabble with? An impossibility. Money woes? With six incomes? I think not. Lack of cuddling or affection or love? Never.
I think I could get used to that.
What do you think life would be like if you had five spouses?