By the end of today’s post, I hope to weave together three disparate thoughts about my life and my past:
- My Mother told me that my Uncle Jim, the millionaire, began each day with a glass of tomato juice and some cookies.
- When my Mother ate lunch, she used a dish towel as a napkin.
- Yesterday my internist confirmed that I had gained weight over the last 15 months. No shit Sherlock. She also ordered a cholesterol test. To prepare for the result, I preemptively ate a donut, a cookie, two chocolate-covered pretzels (dyed purple in honor of Prince–how could I refuse? Home town hero and all (let’s set aside the opiate addiction)), then made a special stop for a bag of Wavy Lays potato chips.
Last things first. I am not that big a salty snack gal but yet today I rationalized a special stop at the gas station to get a bag of Wavy Lays. Not the lunch-bag size — laughably because it seemed too large — but the “family size.” By the time I dug out the $4.59 for the family size, I had rationalized that I was really buying said Lays for “the family” — which would be me and my husband.
They were sooooo tempting that I dug into them on the way home. In fact, by the time I pulled into the driveway, I was nearly sick of them. But I haven’t yet admitted the worst part…
I justified the purchase because I had to stop at the gas station to buy gas so why not throw in a bag of Wavy Lays for good measure? Alas, when I exited the store and returned to the pump, I noted that, in my haste, I had not properly prompted the pump, thus had no gas, but a sad gas nozzle hanging out of my vehicle awaiting instruction. Because I was certain others would stare if I started the dispensation of gas after I had lolly-gagged in the store choosing my chips, I elected to give the impression that I had filled up and had incidentally purchased the Wavy Lays. (Did anyone notice the $00.000 on the pump? I think not. Surely not.) I drove off, still at half-tank, steering and ripping into my Wavy Lays with admirable coordination.
Good thing, because but a few hours later, I got the email from the internist–your cholesterol would make a blind man blush (or something to that effect). Shit.
With this awful news, I trudged into the kitchen to pour myself a glass of white wine and snack on last night’s doggy bag (a delightfully indulgent truffle-cream-sauced pasta). I think about the need for a napkin but think, Fuck No! I AM GOING TO USE A GOD-DAMN DISH TOWEL. Praise be God and my Mother.
Which brings me to Uncle Jim–the one who began in Cannelton, Indiana (perpetual victim of Ohio River floods)–who became a — (drum roll please) — MILLIONAIRE.
[Aside: Who wants to be a millionaire? Not me, I just want to be the heir of one. Alas, Uncle Jim’s widow died at age 106, 6 years ago and I’ve still not heard from her lawyers …]
But let us return to UJ (Uncle Jim), whom I never remember meeting because he was cold, hard dead before I started kindergarten but who was, nonetheless, held up as the family member who preserved, made good. A millionaire, a philanthropist. Great sense of humor. And best of all — HAD TOMATO JUICE AND COOKIES FOR BREAKFAST!!
Which brings me to the obvious question… Am I — donut plus chocolate-covered, dyed-purple-to-honor Prince pretzels, plus Wavy Lays — really just a modern day millionaire in the making?