So one day during my first year teaching, an acquaintance brought me a business card of an eligible bachelor named Kevin whom she had met over the weekend. I was in the middle of my most prolific dating streak ever—three guys whose names all started with J—but this new guy’s name started with a K. As none of the Js were panning out I figured it was time to move on with the alphabet. I took the business card.
A couple weeks later I called Kevin up. His voice was very deep, and that scared me. (Most of my previous boyfriends had been soccer players, and for some reason soccer players just don’t have deep voices.) During our first conversation Kevin mentioned that he loved the WWF and I asked, “Isn’t that the fake wrestling?” With all the intensity of a kid defending Santa Claus, he said, “It’s not fake! It’s REAL!” My college education started yelling, “ABORT! ABORT!” but my fascination with personality disorders and large-scale disasters kept me on the line.
Then Kevin said, “I’m not so good at this dating thing. How’s it supposed to work?” With all the patience of someone who worked with 30 ten-year-olds every day, I answered, “First you ask me to coffee because then we’re only committed to an hour with each other, and either of us can make an excuse to leave at any point. All that will have been lost is the $1.90 for my Americano. If you like me you wait two to three days to call me as to not appear desperate, and then you can ask me to dinner. If I like you back I might say yes. But I might not.”
I then asked Kevin what he would wear so I could recognize him. He said, “I know! I have this shirt that is so ugly no one in his right mind would wear it. How ‘bout I wear that and you’ll know who I am the minute you walk through the door?!”
Yeah…how ‘bout not.
But as I didn’t know any Kurts or Kareems or Karls, I resigned myself to meeting Kevin at the coffee house “JJJ”. Because along with personality disorders and large-scale disasters, I also love irony.
I’ve been blogging for a little over a year now and have pretty much told you everything you know about me, so welcome to a series I call “Kevin: Before MrsMouthy,” or “Kevin: B.M.” for short.
So back in high school Kevin ran for class president with the campaign slogan “His Ears Are Straight.” His main opponent’s ears were, apparently, not straight. While the other candidates made promises for improved cafeteria food and longer passing periods between classes, the only campaign promise Kevin made was to grow his hair out for a year. By campaign speech time, he had already grown a bit of what would turn out to the the nappiest white guy fro’ ever in the history of white guys with fro’s.
At some point during the campaign Kevin was made to remove the “His Ears Are Straight” signs, and also the “Kevin: He’s Not Just Another Pretty Face” ones.
That brings us to the night before the election, when Kevin’s friends who worked at Mrs. Field’s Cookies “accidentally” baked a couple hundred extra cookies. Being highly sensitive about not wasting food, they brought the cookies to school the next day and passed them out in front of the election boxes. I believe they also mentioned Kevin’s mafia connection to everyone who took a cookie.
I am sorry to report that Kevin won the election. I totally would have voted for the guy with the crooked ears over the white guy with a fro.
I should mention now that the same year, back in my own hometown, I lost an election to a guy who jumped into a swimming pool of blue jell-o for his campaign speech.
I hated that guy.
WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Perfectly aged potato gnocchi with meat sauce
Perfectly aged glazed carrots
Perfectly aged salad
When I picked Vincenzo up from preschool last week I made a big deal of his painting that was hanging up, as he has a huge aversion to art and couldn’t draw a smiley face if his turtle shell depended on it. Then his teacher came up from behind and said, “You must be used to these beautiful paintings. Vincenzo is so artistic!”
Dude, are there two Vincenzo’s in his class or something? You’ve seen my son’s art at its finest:
I don’t know…maybe his teacher is right. After all, he made this Frankenstein all by himself. (That’s his “weapon” scaling up the left side of the page.)
And this cat (also shown here with its weapon)
A spyglass, unarmed but for an unfortunate deer and a hungry-looking T-Rex
An “X-Wing Fighter.” (Awww, look! I think it’s in love.)
Anyway, if I tell you Vincenzo is left-handed will you say, “Ohhhhhhh,” in a way that makes it sound like that explains a lot? Because otherwise he seems way too much like the deranged neighbor kid from Toy Story…
WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Potato gnocchi with meat sauce
Salad with pear and goat cheese
1 minute later…
WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Chicken with cranberry pecan stuffing
Baked yams with orange and pecans
Apple Crisp with ice cream
The other night at dinner I asked Kevin how he would describe himself if he could use only three words. He said:
I told him that was only one word but he said it was all he needed. Then even though no one asked him, Vincenzo piped in with his own answer:
3. Metal detector
They all turned to me for my answer. I said:
My family obviously had not taken the question seriously (I admit, I got dragged down with them), so the next night I tried again:
If you could grant one wish for each person at this table, what would it be?
Vincenzo wished for “Blaa blabst hoo hoo shoo noo.” Kevin wished that I would stop asking these kinds of questions at the dinner table. I wished my husband would grow out of puberty by the time we finished our spaghetti.
I guess we’ll just go back to throwing cactus balls at each other during dinner. They might be more prickly, but at least they’re less surly.
WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE: (Yes, I am finally cooking again!)
Roasted root vegetables
Yesterday was ROTTEN thanks to an incident involving a guy in a motorcycle with his dog in a saddle-bag/side car thing, a school bus with yellow flashing lights, and me in my car with two screaming kids. It was a confusing scene that’s too complicated to explain (and besides you would just laugh at me), but I’m pretty sure the cops are going to know who I am the next time I get pulled over. I was left with the compelling urge to get out of my car and tell everyone, “I’M A GOOD PERSON! I REALLY AM!” Where is Sally Field when you need her?
Anyway. I thought I’d cheer myself up with some of Vincenzo’s toys. Here we have a frog and turtle doing *something* in a glass of water.
And here’s how the frog feels about it.
Before you get yourself worked up into an inapproriate tizzy, you should know that, according to Vincenzo, the frog and turtle are simply pretending to be taped to each other. But I think Vincenzo’s still a little too young for the “pretending to be taped together” speech, so let’s move on.
Let’s all give a big HUZZAH to Jared’s [apparently middle-eastern] cousin!
“Thanks to Subway I can throw away my fat pants!”
Vincenzo has named this toy “baby,” for obvious reasons.
Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer my babies without mustaches.
Th-th-th-that’s all folks!
Vincenzo got this gift from his from his friend Madison:
Her mom explained that she had not just cleaned out her junk drawer and thrown some wrapping paper on it; the gift is a “Fun Times Box” that Vincenzo can use when I’m on the phone or nursing Rocco or painting murals on my ceiling or whatever. Vincenzo was excited about the box, so I asked him what he thought he might make with all the supplies inside. He told me he was going to make a big sign that says “I WANT YOUR ATTENTION.”
But as the saying goes, it takes one to know one. Madison, I present to you: your next birthday present from Vincenzo.
It’s a work in progress.