Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Sunday, September 26, 2010


No, this blog entry is not about dried botanicals used to create a pleasant aroma in one's home - although, come to think of it, that reminds me of a story. Which I'll save for the end of this post.

I'm titling this "Potpourri" because it's a compilation of a week's worth of unrelated snippets of life with the McGlincheys.

Sunday: Mid-afternoon, we piled into the car and headed over to the Dallas Arboretum to snap pumpkin patch pics. During our tour of the beatiful gardens, I became aware of the fact that my husband considers me his own personal arboretum docent.

Him: "What's that cool-looking purple stuff?"
Me: "Torenia."
Him: "And that over there, with all of the puffy red things?"
Me: "Turk's cap."
Him (proudly): "And the yellow coleus?"
Me (ruthlessly bursting his bubble): "Croton. And it's not a type of coleus."
Him (disappointed): "Well, what is it, then?"
Me: "Croton. Just croton."
Him (now getting a bit testy): "How can you tell the difference?"
Me (losing my patience): "Coleus has scalloped leaves and a velvety texture. Croton has sharp-edged leaves and a glossy texture."
Him: "Okay, then what's that tree behind the croton?"

Honestly, I don't mind that much. It's sweet that he expects me to know the names. And it's kind of cool that, most of the time, I do. My mom and mom-in-law clearly have taught me well.

The kids didn't care what the plants were called. They were too busy (in no particular order):
  • Marveling at the fact that "pumpkins float, Mom!" (No, they didn't chunk pumpkins in a fountain. They were already there. I assumed that an Arboretum employee did the chunking, given that there was a fair quanity of them in the water, but now that I think about it, I suppose that it could have been the handiwork of some kids . . . just not my kids, thank you very much, and that's the important point.)
  • Picking out their favorite fish in the koi pond. ("I like the orange and black one. No, not that one, Mom - the one next to the yellow one. Oops, now he's over there by the white and black one. Oh, he's over there now. WHY WON'T HE STAY STILL?" Um, because he's a fish?)
  • Begging for coins to throw in the koi pond . . . because to five year-old ears, "koi fish" sounded like "coin fish," so naturally you would want to throw coins at them. Both parents and big brother quickly set him straight. Rest assured, no koi fish were harmed in the making of this blog post.
  • Hollering at a bunny rabbit to come out of the bushes . . . and wondering why he seemed to be hiding from them. (Why, indeed!)
Tuesday: The five year-old decided that it was time to have some of his new kindergarten friends over for a play date. Okay, we actually have calling cards for that purpose, printed with our address, the home phone number, Mom and Dad's cell numbers and the family's e-mail address. Nah, Parker decided, too easy, and far too impersonal: shunning the preprinted cards, he wrote out some of his own:


Then he, very carefully, folded them into paper airplanes. "Parker, I don't think you can take paper airplanes to school." "But these aren't paper airplanes, Mom; they are CALLING CARDS." Ahhhh, yes, important loophole. Walked away from the conversation entirely convinced that he doesn't care a rat's patoot about providing contact information to his friends - he just wanted to game the system and bring paper airplanes to school. With each passing day, he continues to morph more and more into his big brother.

Thursday: I met some friends for girls' night out at an establishment on Seventh Street. One of the girls had a plate of desserts with her, left over from a prior function, and she insisted on sending them home with me. Now, I've been very good in sticking to my low-sugar "allergy diet," but now that my immune system seems to be humming along again, I allow myself a treat here and there - but only things that I really, REALLY like and have to have. Well, I really, REALLY LOVE baklava. And there was baklava on the Saran-wrapped plate. So, a few blocks down the road, I decided that I had to have a piece of baklava on the spot. A couple of seconds of digging under the Saran elapsed before I realized that I really wasn't paying attention to the road. The thought crossed my mind that it would be pretty embarrassing to get into a wreck while trying to access a piece of baklava. And then I became aware of exactly where I was within the Seventh Street development - at the stop sign next to Terra Grill - and I decided that it would be HILARIOUS to get into a wreck while trying to access a piece of baklava in front of a Mediterranean restaurant.

Friday: Having skipped lunch, I went to Super Target mid-afternoon to pick up some greeting cards, hummus and a bottle of Superfood (note to file: Naked Foods Green Machine Superfood is ambrosia in a bottle; Odwalla Green Superfood, meh). I actually managed to limit myself to just those items, meaning that Friday was one of those rare days that I was able to avail myself of the Super Target "ten items or less" checkstand. Apparently, Friday afternoons at Super Target are "Crazy Old People Time." I saw several of them, but the one two people ahead of me in line took the cake - mussed hair, smudged lipstick, way too much eye shadow, and it took her eons to complete a very simple transaction. Given the latter, it would have been entirely appropriate for her to turn to the rest of us in line and thank us for our patience. Instead, she turned and very enthusiastically delivered the equivalent of an Oscar acceptance speech, gushing things like "I want to thank you all for your support." At the end of the speech, she clasped her hands together and shook them on either side of her face, like a victorious boxer or or a winning politician. I should have been worried about how she was going to get home, and I did worry about that, sort of. But the primary thought that ran through my head was, "God, I love 'Crazy Old People Time.'"

Also on Friday: I saw for the first time the menu for the new sushi and sake restaurant that just opened on the ground floor of the pie-shaped building at the corner of West Seventh and University. I immediately called my husband and told him all about the menu, and we made plans to have lunch there. He asked me what the restaurant was called, and I could not remember whether it was "Blue Sake Sushi" or "Blue Sushi and Sake," so Parnell suggested that, in light of the fact that his friend Eddie offices on the second floor of Pie-Shaped Building, we should refer to the restaurant as "Under Eddie's." This made total sense to me, particularly since the restaurant next door is named Eddie V's.

Even later on Friday: I gave directions to the house of someone who lives on Lindell Avenue, and for the umpteenth time I had to remind myself that they didn't live on Kirkwood Road (a street a few blocks away in the same neighborhood). And, also for the umpteenth time, I wondered why I consistently confuse Lindell with Kirkwood. Then it hit me: there is an established attorney in town named Lyndell Kirkley. Lindell . . . Lyndell Kirkley . . . Kirkwood. And I was very relieved that I am not, actually, factually, going mental.

Saturday: Providing proof that Fort Worth is the biggest small town in the free world, while out at a Junior Club social event I mentioned our new name for Blue Sake, and several people decided to adopt it as their own . . . because they all know Eddie. Also, Parnell advised me that he would not be partaking in any sake at "Under Eddie's," because he has never had sake and, quote, "I am too old to try new liquors." What the what? I certainly don't remember marrying an arbitrarily crochety old guy. These things sneak up on you, I guess.

Prior to the Junior Club event, we attended a wedding downtown, and - thanks to the groom being Sri Lankan-by-way-of-London and both halves of the couple being doctors - the wedding party read like a meeting of the United Nations. It was a beautiful, life-affirming ceremony, but we agreed that there is something to be said for having a Scottish lass deliver the first reading ("Thanks be to GOTT") and a Hugh Grant clone deliver the homily. After making a few pointed (but entirely charming, in that British way) comments about the groom being just a wee bit unworthy of the bride, he shared the bride's confession that she was initially attracted to the accent. Then Hugh Grant said, "As you might have noticed, I, too, have an accent, and if you also find the accent attractive- and you are female - I am single, and let's talk after the service." Now, if an American dude pulled out that statement mid-wedding ceremony, we would all find it crass, wouldn't we? But substitute a British guy, and all of the men are chuckling and the women are - well, melting. So, post-remake of "Four Weddings and A Funeral," and over a delicious chicken tikka masala at the Fort Worth Club, Parnell and I agreed that: (1) all weddings should involve people of Sri Lankan extraction (chicken tikka masala, people - not rubber banquet chicken, chicken flippin' tikka masala); and (2) in retrospect, we really should have tried harder to make friends with British people in our early twenties. It really would have classed up our own nuptials.

Okay, the potpourri story: My senior year of high school, I participated in "Greater Houston Close-Up" along with most of my other 633 classmates. GHCU was a two-day "intro to government" attended by seniors from campuses across H Town. It also was boring as heck. Highlights were - well, the biggest highlight was the morning of day two, which I skipped entirely, opting to sneak out a side door into a parking garage (very Watergate) and participate in a day of downtown shenanigans (very Ferris Bueller) with several other seniors. We played with the executive toys at Hammacher Schlemmer (very Harry and Sally), talked the James Coney Island dude into giving us paper hotdog-slinger hats, visited a shoe store that appeared to cater exclusively to pimps (one of the guys purchased a pair of purple vinyl loafers with black-and-white faux snakeskin vamps, wore them around the rest of the day . . . and forgot to take them off when we returned at lunchtime, and I will never forget his very quick retort when a teacher noticed his change in footwear: "They are my Easter shoes, and I promised my mom that I would break them in"), and I have a vague recollection that we ended up at my dad's office. (It's okay, Dad was cool - he'd seen Ferris.)

But the highlight of day one was our field trip to court (my small group drew the short stick and did not get to go to the county lockup, where I was informed PRISONERS ACTUALLY SPIT ON YOU - so, on second thought, maybe not the short stick). The bailiff slept through the entire proceeding, and there were a number of odd types camped out in the back, clearly just there to spectate, and one of them was hooked up to a very large oxygen tank. The defendant? An alleged shoplifter, accused of stealing a bath rug and a bag of potpourri from JC Penneys. Apparently, when the store security guard stopped the woman at the door, she had both the bath rug and the bag of potpourri stuffed in her purse, begging the question - just how big was the purse? But the highlight to end all highlights: defense counsel, a good ol' boy to top all good ol' boys, continually referred to the potpourri as "POT-POUREE," not using the French pronunciation, but saying "pot" like he was talking about marijuana. And, apparently, he was not entirely aware of the difference.

Defense counsel to store security guard: "Now, can you tell the court what, exactly, is POT-POUREE?"
Store security guard: "Well, it's dried flowers."
Defense counsel: "Uh huh, and does one INGEST this POT-POUREE?"
Store security guard (sort of confused and alarmed all at once): "Um, no. It, um, it's designed to create a pleasant aroma."
Defense counsel: "Uh huh, and is it possible that the POT-POUREE in the defendant's handbag was a specific type of POT-POUREE, PURSE POT-POUREE, designed to be carried in a handbag to create a pleasant aroman in said handbag?"
Store security guard (now entirely convinced that defense counsel was an idiot): "I don't think so. I've never heard of purse pot-pour - um, purse potpourri - and it was, like a one-pound bag."

It's a wonder that I decided to go to law school.

No comments: