Saturday, November 23, 2013


His cookie crumbs fell to the floor, he drank his milk in two gulps and then he asked for more.  We sat in the dining room at the oval oak table and he told me about his day.  I sat right next to the teenage boy when he wondered why and when he said he couldn't believe it and when he laughed out loud.   I wondered how I ever got to be so lucky and how he managed to grow up so fast.   I sat right next to him and I hoped he would never stop talking to me.

I saw the writing on his arms when he finally took his coat off.  The teenage boy’s arm was covered in pink marker.  I saw the word “Hi” with a heart dotting the “i”.  There were smiley faces with hearts for eyes.  There was a phone number or two with hearts at the end of each number.


Girls had done that to my boy.

I promise that someday, I will be open minded enough to accept whatever wonderful girl the teenage boy chooses to bring home to his loving mother.

Today is not that day.

Today these girls cover him in ink. They flirt with their markers.  They take his coat when they are cold.  They paint their yoga pants on and wear low cut shirts.  They bend over forward and take a selfie.  They post it to Instagram.  They screech the teenage boy’s name in the hallway when they see him.   Hugging is not optional.  They eat parts of his lunch because they are “literally” starving to death. Their lives become complete when the red Starbucks Christmas cups arrive.  They fill them with coffee because last night they became part of #teamnosleep because they “literally” could not stop watching Pretty Little Liars.  They wear their Victoria’s Secret “Pink” sweats on days like this.   They can’t believe how ugly they look when they are “scrubbin’”.   They rest their head with its perfectly flat ironed hair on the teenage boy’s shoulder and pull out their sad puppy dog eyes.  Did he know that they will “literally” die if their parents don’t buy them the newest iPhone?  Today these girls are 14 years old. Today they drive me nuts.

Someday they won’t, however.  Someday they will learn how to flirt with their brains and not their markers. Someday they will post a selfie that isn’t R rated.  Someday they will remember their own coat and their own lunch.  They will realize that the coffee tastes the same no matter what color the cup is. They will go to sleep before midnight because they have goals they want to accomplish the next day. They will realize that even on their “scrubbin’” days they look awfully darn cute.  Someday they will realize their wavy hair is absolutely perfect just as it is. Someday they won’t need to communicate with puppy dog eyes.  Someday they will be well spoken, smart, thoughtful young women who buy their own iPhones.

Someday I will sit in the dining room at the oval oak table and the boy will tell me about a young woman. 

He will wonder why and he will not believe it and he will laugh out loud.

He will wonder how he ever got to be so lucky.

I will sit right next to him and hope that he never stops talking to me.

 Check This Out!

My friend from high school, Andrea, in addition to being one of the funniest people I know, is an awesome cook.   One of my favorite recipes of hers is also one of the simplest.

Throw some chicken thighs in a crock pot.  Pour in two cans of Herdez salsa 

and two bay leaves.  Cook it for quite some time on high or even longer on low. Andrea sometimes throws in a can of green chiles as well.  Use the meat for tacos or whatever else sounds good.

Last time I made this I only used 3 large chicken thighs, 1 can of salsa, a splash of water and forgot the bay leaves.  I cooked it on high for about 4 hours and then turned it to low for another hour and a half.   It was still awesome.

Also, if you live near me and need a real estate agent you should contact Andrea.  She is an honest, approachable "Fancy Real Estate Lady-FREL" and comes highly recommended by all who know her. Check out her Facebook page here.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

How Do You Say "Creepy" in Spanish?

Their small beady eyes never moved.   Their piercing gaze was locked on me. There was never any doubt that I would be the one to blink first. I would soon turn away but it was quite clear that those two black rats would continue to leer at me from behind the potted plant.   

The lobby of the Mexican restaurant was decorated for Halloween.  Orange and black streamers, miniature pumpkins and witch shaped wall decorations surrounded me.  I sat in the worn leather chair waiting for my rice and beans to go.

The manager hurried through the lobby with a tray of drinks perched above his shoulder.  He politely smiled at me and quickly muttered, “¡ Hola! ¿Cómo está hoy?”

“I am doing just fine”, I immediately responded in English.  The quick moving manager was almost out of the lobby when he abruptly stopped and backed up.  He cocked his head to the side and had an uncertain look on his face.

 “Do you speak Spanish?” he questioned me in English.

I paused longer than would be expected as I tried to decide whether or not I did speak Spanish.  The manager chuckled at my indecision and then rushed out of the lobby again with his tray held high.

I resumed relaxing in the shabby chair and waited for my rice and beans.  I used the time to try and compose the sentence in Spanish, “Hey buddy, those black rats behind that plant are a pretty darn creepy Halloween decoration.  Those rats don’t make me think happy thoughts about your restaurant.”

I went up to the cash register when my food arrived.  I made polite chit chat, paid my money and took my hot bag of food.   As I turned to walk out the door I glanced back at the potted plant.  I was going to give a ceremonial wave goodbye to those beady black eyes.

Except, those two rats were gone.  There were no beady eyes staring back at me. That potted plant sat all alone.

 I rushed out the door a little bit perplexed and a little bit creeped out.  And I wondered to myself how I would say in Spanish, “Next time I’m going to Subway.”


Check This Out!
The Spice of the Month here at Slightly Exaggerated is smoked paprika. I find myself throwing a few shakes into more and more dishes recently.  Canola oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic powder, tons of cumin, a shake or two of chili powder, a squirt of lime juice and a generous shake of smoked paprika make a super great dressing. To make it a bit creamier I dolloped in a bit of Vegenaise (vegan mayo for the vegan teenage boy in our house) but you could use sour cream or real mayo.  Throw it all in canning jar and shake it up.  Pour it over a mexican salad or pasta or rice. It's awesome!