The Easiest Way to Getting What You Want

You know when people ask you what flavor of ice cream they should bring back home from the grocery store, or what you want for your birthday this year? Are you one of those people who has the emotional flexibility to answer these (a.k.a, life’s big questions) with, “I don’t care, surprise me!

I’m not.

It’s not that I’m as anti-surprise as certain people. Maybe it’s a slight bias towards control freakism, or maybe it’s just that I know what I like. Why let someone “surprise” you with strawberry or another unfortunate flavor when chocolate peanut butter is readily available?

A part of me wishes I could be more carefree, less concerned about retaining a degree of authority over situations. But then again – if we’re rationalizing behaviors here – being decisive can be just as helpful to those asking the questions.

I learned my lesson one birthday a few years back (when I urged a certain someone to “surprise me” and was later presented a pretty, but pretty impractical, ceramic teapot): specificity is the real spice of life. In the years since, with this particular person, I’ve taken a more direct approach to answering questions big and small. And that is how you wind up with a life full of DVDs, immersion blenders and one engagement ring that were precisely what you wanted.

Continue reading


Lettuce Cups for the Rest of Us

Anything handheld is automatically perfect.

The Gameboy Color, tacos, Mini Babybel cheese wheels. Maybe it’s the symmetry, but it’s probably more about proximity. Or, rather, the intimacy.

Think about the crazy things that can happen when an external controller, or a fork and knife, no longer stands between you and the thing you’re consuming (be it Ms. Pac-Man or a Tex-Mex delight.) Things just get real and raw.

It used to be that handheld edibles were a novelty of carnivals and food trucks. But now, the rugged concepts of collapsible tents or corroded vans have followed in the footsteps of every normal, vanilla object before it: becoming sophisticated, urban and – for worse, definitely for worse – artisanal.

Now noshes served from the innards of a vehicle are ornate bites that demand full utensil sets, extra napkins and way too much patience. Agreed?

Continue reading

Football Heartbreak Turkey Chili

There are things we learn at a young age:
-Look both ways before crossing the street. (I do this much less than I should.)
-Public nudity is “typically” frowned upon. (Unless you’re this girl.)
-Philadelphia sports teams will always break your heart.

I should’ve known things weren’t going to bode well for the Eagles on Saturday night once NBC played the first dubbed-over rendition of Carrie Underwood’s abominable NFL promo song. It’s one thing to ruin The Sound of Music and an entirely separate felony to ruin football. (Maybe my sick obsession with the ’90s precedes me, but I would give my appendix to have Hank Williams Jr.’s “Are You Ready for Some Football” bit back.) A couple hours of botched cable reception later, the Eagles’ season was over and I was falling asleep less than halfway into Kill Bill Vol. 2.

Continue reading