Yesterday was such a stressful day. I had to be at the OB/GYN’s office at 8:45 for my yearly checkup. As usual, they overbook in these offices and quite often after you’ve read every magazine including the June 1982 copy of Field and Stream, if a baby decides to make his or her appearance you will be rescheduled and doomed to wait again. I’m an old hand at this, book in my purse I signed in and took the only available seat between two young expectant mothers. Looking at the way they were dressed, it struck me how much maternity fashions have morphed since I was pregnant, and most certainly since my mother was carrying me. Back in her day, pants were certainly not the accepted norm and the dresses looked like one large drape hung over a watermelon or you were stuck with a smock with a skirt. Perhpas this was due to the fact that discussing how women found themselves in that condition back then was more taboo than today. Maybe they felt if they understated the mother-to-be’s clothing it would be less blatant an admission of to act commited to find herself that way. I’m just saying. In that era the designers included large bows or neckline effects as if to distract the observer’s eyes from the fifty pounds of baby, double bacon cheeseburgers, and midnight peanut brittle and dill pickle binges lingering below.
When I was expecting, designers had made forward progress. Pants were included, and shorts. We could select a bathing suit that didn’t look as though we were auditioning for a position at Barnum and Bailey’s. Some of of the dresses, skirts, and patterns were headed in a more updated direction with even a hint of style.
The girls bookending me yesterday were from a whole new generation. One had a half shirt on that said “I’m with stupid”. I’m not lying here. Now, considering her condition and no wedding ring in sight, perhaps the poor guy squirming in the chair next to her should have switched shirts with her. A bare baby bulge which occasionally moved on its own volition, peeked out from underneath. This look was completed by a pair of jogging shorts that sat below the swell, accessorized with glittered flip-flops, and a tattoo around her ankle expounding “Do You Think I’m Sexy?”. Okay. The girl on the opposite side was wearing a spandex top so tight it resembled fondant stretched across a birthday cake, with the predominant feature being a popped out belly button that looked as if it was indicating the turkey was done. Both girls were madly clicking away on their devices, their decorated fingertips never missing a beat. My generation carried baskets of knitting and baby books to pass the time in the waiting room, but maybe this is more entertaining. Sigh. To top this off, if I’d seen either of these girls on the street I would have assumed they were still in grade school so I sat there quietly wearing my years and wished they’d call my name.
Sitting beside the girl in the half shirt as I’ve said was the baby daddy, or I would assume he was. A person hanging off the side of a fifty foot cliff by one fingernail would have looked more comfortable than this kid. He couldn’t have found himself more surrounded by feminine energy then if he was in a bridal store dressing room. It seemed the mommy-to-be had his phone so he was reduced to reading the latest issue of Parenthood and removing and replacing his ball cap every four seconds to the point that sweat had formed under his lower lip. His discomfort was reminiscent of those men you see in department stores sitting in chairs provided for them outside of fitting rooms. The ones with that look in their eyes like they were begging you to put a bullet in their temple, halfway camouflaged with shopping bags and holding tightly to their wife’s purse. It was cute, really. I gave birth to my daughter when I was just about twenty, so probably wasn’t much slicker or worldwise than this group. The reality doesn’t sink in until that first sleepless night pacing with a cholically baby, or the expense of clothes, formula, bottles, blankets, childcare, equipment, etc. associated with bringing a child into the world. It’s probably a good thing expectant parents don’t grasp this early on or our population might have dwindled to a mere trickle long ago.
At last I was called in, handed my gown, weighed, stripped down to my smile, and placed on the observation table. In my case, most of the organs necessary to complete this examination are residing in a lab cruet somewhere in the L.A. area, so it was quick and painless and behind me for yet another year.
After my appointment, I decided to reward myself with a latte and then run a list of errands before turning the car towards home. Unloading the groceries, I put them in their proper places and sat down to relax and check my emails. While logging in I glanced at my left hand and in a state of total panic realized that my engagement ring was no longer on my ring finger. OMG. My other half had this ring made for me from his design and it included a center diamond that had belonged to his mother. Frantically I began searching the house, the car, the driveway. Nothing. My other half questioned why I was looking like I’d just smelled a bad jar of Kim Chee, and I had to confess I had lost my ring. This did not go well.
Taking a chance, I retraced my steps via the phone with no luck. Finally, I called my last stop which is a small grocery store around the corner. I inquired if they’d found a ring and miracle of miracles they had! I was connected with the manager who asked me to describe it, which I did. He seemed unconvinced as apparently I didn’t have the exact diamond count right. My ring had not been the subject of my thesis, it simply resided on my finger. Is it just me or how many lost engagement rings does a small market accrue on a daily basis?? Are brides sloughing rings off their fingers hourly like old skin? After determining that I was, in fact, the owner we picked it up and life once again settled down to a dull roar.
Corn Cakes Ole with Sweatin’ Hot Salsa
Sweatin’ Hot Salsa
5 serrano chillies for hot (3 for med. heat)
1 white onion (large), diced
Juice of 2 limes
Grated zest of 2 limes
8 ripe Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1/4 tsp. Caster (baker’s) sugar
salt and pepper to taste
Dry fry the chillies in a skillet until skins blister. Remove with tongs and place in a resealable plastic bag. Seal bag and let sit for 20 mins. Wearing gloves peel, seed, and chop the chillies. Set aside.
Chop onion. Put in large mixing bowl adding lime zest and juice. Set aside.
Pour boiling water to cover over tomatoes. Leave for 3 mins. Plunge into ice water. Drain. Remove skins. Dice and add to bowl with onions. Add cilantro, chillies and sugar. Mix well until all ingredients are well coated with lime juice. Refrigerate for 1-2 hrs. for flavors to marry. Serve chilled.
Corn Cakes Ole
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 3-oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 cup milk (don’t use non-fat)
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 cups fresh corn kernels, cooked
1/2 cup salsa, drained
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
In a large mixing bowl beat together cream cheese and eggs. Add milk and butter to mixture. Add dry ingredients and stir until just moistened. Fold in corn, salsa, and green onions.
Pour in 1/4 cup increments onto greased hot skillet. Turn when bubbles for on top and golden brown.
Serve with sliced avocados, remaining salsa, and sour cream. I use these as a side for my fish tacos. Yum.