5 for Friday: Ways I’m an enigma wrapped in a contradiction


photo credit: Cellblog1138 via photopin cc
photo credit: Cellblog1138 via photopin cc

They should have written a song about me.

You know, like me being like Cleopatra, Joan of Arc or Aphrodite. And then kinda like Roseanne Barr, Sarah Palin and Kate Gosselin. (They never seem to write songs about dudes in history, do they?)

Dads are always saying “do as I say, not as I do,” but I won’t whitewash my innate contradictions that way.

I am complex. Whether it’s onion preferences or talk radio habits or sports experience, I am the exception to my own rules. There’s nothing wrong with that. Even Kate Gosselin has a little Aphrodite in her.

Behold:

1. I order my burger without onions, then get onion rings as a side, and put them in the burger.

photo credit: jelene via photopin cc
photo credit: jelene via photopin cc

First, you should know that I put my own onion rings on the burger. None of this “no onion, but can you add mayo, but only to the underside of the patty, and can I have a kaiser roll instead of the regular roll, and do you have anything other than American? Gouda, perhaps?” No, I’m a “dream it and build it” kind of burger eater.

So, I do ask for no onions, then order the side of onion rings, and only about 13 percent of those I order from recognize the irony.

Way before restaurants billed this as the Western Burger (hold the barbecue sauce on mine, please – some things just should never go on a burger, but that’s a blog for another day), yours truly was stuffing his burgers with onion rings and keeping the secret all to himself.

This one isn’t so strange.

It did make me hungry to write about it, though.

2. I detest the prevalence of a lot of talk on music stations, but left to my own devices, I’ll listen to NPR.

photo credit: Sean Molin Photography via photopin cc
photo credit: Sean Molin Photography via photopin cc

There’s a big difference between Matt & Ramona on your drive time, and listening to Robin Young’s interviews on Here And Now midday (radio crushes aside). John Boy and Billy and Science Friday. Bob and Sheri and Morning Edition. I do love to tune in to 95.1 to see if anyone can beat Cassiday in pop culture trivia while I drive Elise to school, but after kidlet drop-off, it’s bye-bye Neon Trees, hello button No. 7 – my local NPR station, WFAE.

(If blog shout-outs could translate to fund-drive contributions, I wonder if this could score me a CD of Beethoven’s ninth symphony or tickets to the Museum of the New South. Or at least an NPR tote for the grocery store).

(Wait, do NPR types know what a shout-out is?)

Anyway, when the other stations stop spinning the tunes and start flapping their gums, it irks me, nearly to the extent of CiCi’s Pizza not having an adequate selection of pies on the rack at any point of my buffet visit.

Hey, weren’t we just talking about radio? How does this always get back to food?

3. I coach soccer, but I’ve never played soccer.

coach soccerBut I don’t consider myself a fraud of any degree. One kid in practice asked a few weeks ago, “Coach, what position did you play in high school?” I could have said, “third-string backup” or “left bench” or something equally pithy, and either one would have been truthful, but neither one had to do with soccer.

So I told him, “I didn’t play soccer in high school. In fact, I’ve never played soccer before in my life.”

Luckily, the kids’ gasps drowned out Marie’s contribution, which was “he’s never even worn shin guards!”

Sometimes, this is an issue. I’ve had one kid challenge me when she found out I’d never played. “Why don’t you do it, coach?” she answered when I told her to execute a soccer move. I did. Not prettily, but I did. NFL great Joe DeLamielleure once told me he didn’t much care for a certain coach he had who had never played the game.

“How’s he supposed to demonstrate anything? The guy was old, and so short, he probably got sand in his shoes when he farted.”

Images aside, he has a point. But being a great player makes no guarantee you’ll be a great teacher. Being the last kid to make a team – any team – gives a guy a nice perspective on what it means to BE on a team. More likely, your kid is closer to that than being the next incarnation of Alex Morgan or Landon Donovan, right?

And wouldn’t you want her coach to come from that background, too?

4. I can’t stand Ashley Tisdale as Maddie in “Suite Life of Zach and Cody”; however, I love her as Candace in “Phineas and Ferb.”

Sometimes, from another room, I’ll hear Candace’s voice, and come running to the TV room, only to find Maddie on the screen with Zach and Cody, not my favorite lovable loser redhead cartoon girl. In fact, if Maddie on “Suite Life” rants and yells, it makes my skin crawl; if Candace on “Phineas and Ferb” laments out loud her latest failure to bust her little brothers doing mischief, I find it entirely endearing.

Before you pass judgement on me giving so much thought to a Disney Channel character and animated big sister, please consider this is the second consecutive item listed here that I’ve not even mentioned food.

Oops.

5. I sometimes run, and play disc golf every day on my lunch break. On any given day, I’m likely to indulge in a meal that doesn’t include sprouts, tofu or anything organic.

photo credit: nffcnnr via photopin cc
photo credit: nffcnnr via photopin cc

So, back to food. It’s untrue that I’ve imagined a slice of New York pizza and a tall Coke Zero at the imaginary finish line of my morning run, but I have thought about pie and soda during my cool-down lap.

It’s untrue that I have told myself, “bag this putt, and you can treat yourself to a bacon quesadilla” while on the disc golf course, but I have Googled disc golf courses in the area while allrecipes.com was up on another tab.

It’s untrue that I’ve mentally told myself “one for me, one for society” when scooping fresh cookies off the baking sheet, but I have consistently “tested” every first cookie of the first batch for quality assurance.

 

And while super-healthy folks go to the health-food stores right after their 342.3-mile run, during which they probably drank specially filtered water while cutting an incredible profile in lime green Lycra running gear, I’ve noticed they often come out of those stores looking … kinda grumpy.

Next door, the people walking out of Bojangles look … kinda happy.

So I’m sort of in the middle. Conveniently healthy-thinking at the right time, and able to appreciate what grilled meat, copious melted cheese or an extra tablespoon of brown sugar can do for a body.

An enigma, wrapped in a contradiction.

Or bacon.

Either/or.

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35 thoughts on “5 for Friday: Ways I’m an enigma wrapped in a contradiction”

  1. There are only 2 kinds of food: those that you add chocolate to, and those that you add cheese to… That’s my philosophy and I’m sticking to it. And I can’t judge the “food” thing – I’m fighting a love affair with Henry (O Henry) every time I go out in public!

    1. LOVE that philosophy. And if you’re talking cream cheese, there are probably an instance or two that both of those tenets would apply!

      Food and Good are just a letter apart. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. Fight the good fight, sister, but don’t be afraid to lose!

  2. Love it!! Oh yes, I get it all! I wonder if other people are the same way?? I believe so….I can’t think of one example for me right now- too fried. But I KNOW I have them!!! Hmm… Okay, okay..I got one- so I LOVE donuts sooo much, but look at them like they are the devil of my stomach (and thighs). I try my damndest NOT to go near them. All the while, shoving an entire cake down my throat like it’s nothing. How’s that? You don’t believe me? You can ask my kid who exclaimed at her 5th b-day party in front of about 20 family members and friends, “Mommy, PLEASE don’t eat all my cake this time!!”. 🙂 (But I stay away from those awful donuts)

    1. People are like this – they’re just embarrassed to admit it. And I think the CDC just said cake is calorie free, especially birthday cake.

      You know how people make a separate cake for a kid’s 1-year birthday party, so she can destroy it and not share it? And be photographed extensively while she does?

      I propose one of those cakes in your house for your kid’s sixth birthday.

      And I want to see the pictures.

  3. I have NPR on in the car a good deal of the time, and I know a good shout out too, when I see/hear/offer one.

    Love Candace, hate Maddie. And I didn’t know until you posted it, that they were one and the same.

    And now that you’ve made me hungry, I’m going to go round up some food. But not onion rings or a burger…

    1. I’d definitely give a shout-out to you, and to Renee Montagne, too. Probably someone has done a piece on the origins of the shout-out at some point on public radio.

      I think my love for Candace stems from my allegiance to the Colorado Rockies. You just want, for once, for Candace and my Rockies to come out on top, but you kind of love them because they never do.

      You’re missing out on the onion ring and burger combo … but, more for me.

  4. I think the onion ring thing makes total sense! How can you go wrong with deep-fried anything? And you’re right. . . .those people coming out of the health food stores probably don’t look anywhere near as happy as the people coming out of Bojangles. Again. . . . . deep fried.. . . . Hope you have a great week!

    1. I’ve often wondered what would happen if you deep-fried the whole burger, but I don’t want to be excessive. Too often.

      Hope you have a good week, too. Remember, Michelle, just like fried food, non-fried food should be enjoyed in sensible moderation.

  5. Priceless post! I love that you can admit you are a conundrum wrapped in a riddle too. I do the same thing on my burger, by the way, yet LOVE onion rings!! And no barbecue sauce has ZERO place on a burger.

    1. Thanks! Now I really wish I’d included “conundrum” and “riddle” in the original post. I need to run stuff by you in the future. I missed out on that one!

      Barbecue sauce in burgers is a travesty, but not as tragic as rice in a burrito. I need to write a post about food mistreatments, too, I think.

  6. LOVE this. I try my best to live as a vegetarian, but I would eat my own kid’s face if it were wrapped in bacon. We’re humans, we’re allowed to be as irrational as we like. That’s what separates us from the primates – well that and the opposable thumbs which allows us to pop open a Twinkie package easily. Thanks for the laugh

    1. Thanks! I think bacon would be top-3 in hugest distractions if I ever even dreamed of going vegetarian. Plus, my kids’ cheeks are so sweet and rosy, they’d probably be delicious wrapped in bacon.

      I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we have the opposable thumbs that can open a Twinkie package so easily. Call it natural selection, call it the grace of God, I call it fate. On that note, I’m going to make myself a lunch that involves meat and cheese that is packaged in such a way that will make me thankful to be human enough to open it.

      1. mm … something makes me think there’s a county fair out there who has beaten us to that idea!

  7. There was this burger at Red Robin I used to order, can’t remember the name, but it came with onion straws *and* onions on it. I always asked them to hold the onions. Every single time, the waiter/waitress would look at me kind of oddly and say, “What about the onion straws?” and I would say I wanted them on the burger. And the waiter would pause, look at me *really* oddly, make a note on the order pad, and walk away without a word.

    IOW, I get it. 🙂
    (Also….mmmm…Red Robin….)

    1. I know what burger you speak of, and it should totally have been renamed the Sara with the modification of having the onions left off. This to me is a rule infraction – why have onion straws *and* onions?

      That’s like having chicken and eggs in your egg salad. It just shouldn’t happen.

      On another note, yeah … mmm. Red Robin. What’s better than fixing a great, tall, delicious burger for lunch?

      Having someone else fix it. Even if they don’t understand us and our onions, right?

  8. Fun post!
    And, honest. So nice to hear that other people are walking contradictions.
    Personally, I don’t eat meat, but sometimes I crave (and wolf down) a tri tip sandwich or some breaded talapia.
    Most modern kids tv programming drives me up the wall, but I totally am with you on the Ashley Tisdale thing. I love Phineas and Ferb!
    I love animals but I don’t want pets but I have a house filled with them.

    1. Thanks Gina! I think I’d worry more if I didn’t contain the innate contradictions. They kind of confirm a heartbeat, you know?

      See, I think that’s the inner carnivore in you coming out to play. I’m afraid if I went vegetarian, I’d fall off the wagon by eating a side of beef or entire wildebeest.

      I wonder how Ashley Tisdale would feel, being so reviled and so loved all at once. I’m convinced kids television is created first to annoy grownups, which in turn endears it to kids.

      They love to get our goat.

      Speaking of goats – I wonder if they’re at your house, too.

  9. You must have been molded from the same cast as my husband! No onions on anything but he orders onion rings on a regular basis! Too funny!

    If I had a penny (or maybe a quarter to cover current inflation), for every time I told my children not to eat snacks before dinner, I would be a very wealthy woman. However, I join the ranks of walking contradictions as I find myself standing in the laundry room sneaking a Fruit by the Foot only moments after chiding my children! “Do as I say, not as I do”, this is my mantra!

    Great story, thanks for sharing!

    1. I also like to order a Mighty Kids Meal at McDonald’s, with a double cheeseburger and a Diet Coke.

      Part of the reward of making it to adulthood is eating your dessert before your dinner – or really at any provocation. Isn’t it?

      That’s what I really wanted to grow up to do. Forget the driving and money and women – let me have my Oreos before my casserole.

      Thanks Rebecka!

  10. I love this! I think we’re all guilty of being an enigma wrapped in a Kate Gosselin. 😉
    I have to admit though, I’m always perplexed by people who order 3 double cheeseburgers, an extra large fry, & a Diet Coke. But hey, whatever works.

    #trafficjamweekend

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