E. wrote up her thoughtful answers to a batch of questions from Esereth. Nobody asked me, but some of the questions resonated, so I'll tackle a few, too.
The last conversation you had with your mother
My mom called today to tell me about some things she left here last weekend, when she babysat. While my mom was home with Ben last Saturday, he was running a bit of a fever and puked. And she didn't call us! She waited for us to check in with her after the movie (Blades of Glory, which we giggled through). Fortunately, Ben is a champion puker who seldom makes a mess of it—he left the living room to barf tidily into the toilet. And he wasn't too sick, so we stayed at the saucy little wings joint in Evanston and strove to finish our beers while Mr. Tangerine enjoyed some BBQ wings and I picked at a bad chicken sandwich.
Anyway, today's conversation with my mother: She left some chocolate "gold coins," the kind that are popular for Hanukkah and Christmas (at least we always got them in our Christmas stockings—were the chocolate coins strictly intended as Hanukkah gelt, or are they ecumenical?). They're months and months old, and thus stale. She thought we could include them in Ben's Easter basket, but not for eating—just for playing with. "So you hold the gold coins in your warm hands until brown stuff drips out of them?" I inquired. Mr. Tangerine and I had the same reaction: if we find the coins in the house, we're chucking 'em.
The last conversation you had with your father
He died in 2001, and I think our last conversation was when I took pre-walking 14-month-old Ben with me to visit my dad in the hospital. He'd gone into the hospital mainly to stop drinking, post-"suicidal gesture" means of seeking help. His overall health was bad enough that it took the docs days to consider him stable enough to transfer from a medical floor to a psych unit. He was happy and hopeful, and we were all finally hopeful about his prospects for the first time in many years. Guardedly hopeful, though, because what are the odds that a 61-year-old who's been an alcoholic for his entire adult life and is often depressed is going to be able to stay sober? So naturally, the fates intervened, and he died in his sleep in the psych unit, his heart having conceded the battle.
All I remember about that last conversation was that Ben was on my dad's hospital bed, and they played a little game, growling in response to one another's growls, both enjoying it immensely.
Do you regret the person or manner in which you lost your virginity?
Nah. I was in love (why is there no HTML tag for "dramatic font"?). And then the next guy was the one I married, and if I hadn't had another partner first, I'd probably be wondering what else was out there. Works all right to have an "eh" first lover followed by a keeper who's better.
The thing your parents never found out about.
Honestly? I can't think of anything.
How much do you spend a month on groceries?
Maybe $300. (Plus plenty of takeout. Do you call it takeout if you have it delivered, though?) We've been skewing more in the direction of better food—organic, free of additives, antibiotic-free, etc.
The last lie you told.
That the damned Easter bunny is coming. And before that, the tooth fairy. (Awesome story: When his first wiggly baby tooth was dangling by a thread of connective tissue, I asked Ben how much money he thought the tooth fairy generally left. "A quarter," he replied. We spend plenty on stuff for the boy, but I was still delighted to be able to get away with a measly quarter. None of that schlepping around to banks in search of silver dollars here!) These are allowable lies.
How often are your comments on other blogs made out of obligation?
Rarely ever. If I feel like contributing, communicating, or otherwise yammering away, I do so. If I don't, I move on. And if I never feel like commenting, it's probably not a blog I'll keep reading. I like the social intercourse aspect of blogging.