Saturday, May 7, 2016

Poison v. Sea Salt Caramels

It's bad enough that Alison blasts "Highway to Hell" every time she thinks I've  made a driving mistake, she's taken to calling me "Poison" when she deigns to address me. If I call her on the phone, she answers, "Yes, Poison?"

You can judge whether I deserve it.

She had chopsticks on her birthday wish list and I've been busy in the week or so I've had the list to peruse leading up to her 15th birthday on Thursday. I scoured the stores at Castleton Mall, including Hot Topic where a nose-pierced, two-toned hair wearing young lady advised me that they didn't have anything that weird in stock.

She turned to a co-worker who was wearing even more hardware on his face, leather everywhere else and a shock of pitch black hair held back by a bandana that I think had skulls on it. He laughed. "Man, I have no idea for where anything like that would be."

He glanced over and smelled my desperation. "Journeys?" he posited.

"Dude. You have NO idea, remember?!" I said. I might not be a Hot Topic demographic, but even I know Journeys is where you find sneakers, not chopsticks. Walking out of the mall I remembered the Asian Market was behind it. "I'm a genius!" I thought and headed north.

As you might expect, the Asian Market has a good display of chopsticks. I really wanted enamel ones but they only had wooden and stainless steel. I picked the set I thought was prettiest, added it to the bags of other birthday goodies and headed home.

I was showing Jeff what we had to offer our one and only child and he was initially pleased at my brilliance. Then, he turned the package over. Below whatever the Chinese symbols meant there was a note in English: the state of California believes they contain chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.

I don't know why California health officials are standing alone in this consumer warning, and I wouldn't have bought that set had I turned the package over and read it. But in my defense, why would you sell something like this?!  At least put them in the cigarette section where people consciously make the decision to ignore the surgeon general warning!

I wrapped them anyway, planning to tell her I'd replace them first chance I got. Jeff, meanwhile, had squirreled away an enormous jar of her favorite candies -- sea salt caramels. While on a day off work, he'd also picked up some silly socks I'd seen earlier and a book she wanted.

She was thrilled with all of the gifts but decided that -- despite my plans to switch out the chopsticks -- I had tried to kill her. And give her birth defects.

I advised her that as she was already born these 15 years, she didn't face the threat of birth defects.

"There's other bad stuff in them," she countered. "Dad gave me sea salt caramels!"

They made me pose for a picture with the things, but somehow I can't get it to post here...

She's been telling her "Mom tried to kill me on my birthday" story to anyone who slows down near her, including Aunt La and Miss Amy who stopped by to surprise her with tacos and creme brulee. (My idea, mind you...) later that day.

When I was planning her little surprise, I'd thought I'd invite Jenna, Bree and the Ogdens over - along with their parents.

"Jenna has soccer, but I can come," Amy said.

So we made it a smaller affair. I'll get her together with her friends later. Maybe.

Ali was super surprised and happy to see Lyn and Amy. And super quick to show off her poison chopsticks.

It's a good thing for me that Mother's Day is around the corner. My luck Ali will make me breakfast but insist on a Chinese theme so I'll have to use those damn things.

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