Lambrusco, Flowers and Condoms


Maybe our fellow shopper could have also used this for his date. Find the t-shirt here.

Maybe our fellow shopper could have also used this for his date. Find the t-shirt here.


Me: Right, now we check out and we are home. Sorry for this detour, Hank. I don’t know where my brain was today to have forgotten to do the shopping before Super Market rush hour.

Hank: It’s okay, mama.

Me: (scanning items through the self check out)

Hank: (distracted)

Me: (finished, stuffing items into my shopping bag) There.

Hank: Done?

Me: We are officially one hour away from quiche.

Hank: (distracted)

Me: (rushing us out of the over crowded mall across the street from our house)

Hank: Mama, did you see the man next to us, at the machine next to us?

Me: (looking both ways before crossing the street) I am afraid I was not observant on this shopping trip, no.

Hank: He was going on a romantic date.

Me: Was he?

Hank: He bought lambrusco and two wine glasses and flowers and condoms.

Me: (snickering) Well then. That man was both romantic and responsible.

Hank: Condoms are for sex, right? I mean I know they are, but like, they are right?

Me: A condom is a form of protection from sexually transmitted diseases and viruses and a birth control worn by the man during sex to prevent pregnancy. There are also condoms for women to wear but those you have to buy at the pharmacy because the world isn’t fair.

Hank: And that was nice of him to also buy flowers and lambrusco?

Me: (crossing the street) Like I said, I wasn’t observant at the store today, but I will say that from the items you described in his shopping bag that man is saying to his date, “I appreciate you, I want to spend time with you and if our date moves on to sex then I am responsible and prepared to keep us both safe, and if his date is with a lady, baby free .

Hank: That’s right.

Me: That man is prepared if his date leads to sex there is never a guarantee of sex.

Hank: You have told me this. Both people have to want to be responsible and want to have sex. You never have sex when only one person wants too.

Me: Correct. Sex must be between two consenting people mature enough to handle the emotional and physical responsibility sex requires.

Hank: What kind of quiche are you making, mama?

Me: (deep sigh now that that conversation is done and dusted) Spinach, cheese and leek.

Hank: Yum and mama?

Me: (fishing for my keys) Hum?

Hank: What does lambrusco taste like?

Me: (opening the door) Fizzy.


Nasty Woman

All I thought when Trump called the clear winner of the debate, "A Nasty Woman."

All I thought when Trump called Clinton, “Such A Nasty Woman.”


Hank: Mama?

Me: One minute?

Hank: (audible gasp)

Me: Yes? (walking into the living room with a squawking baby in one arm and a dirty diaper in another, realizing I left the news on unattended) Oh.

Hank: Donald Trump called Hillary Clinton, “a nasty woman.

Me: I know.

Hank: That is not okay or professional. That is rude.

Me: She called him Putin’s puppet.

Hank: (giggling) I guess that is rude, too.

Me: (walking away to dispose of said diaper) Listen, that is footage from the third debates. A lot of things were said.

Donald Trump: “I think it’s terrible if you go with what Hillary is saying in the ninth month you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby.

Now, you can say that that’s okay, and Hillary can say that that’s okay, but it’s not okay with me. Because based on what she’s saying and based on where she’s going and where she’s been, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb in the ninth month, on the final day. And that’s not acceptable.”

Me: Hank…

Hank: What? What is he saying? Rip a baby out of the… what?

Me: (turning off the news) Donald Trump is talking, or pandering, to a group of people who believe the government should step in and tell a woman when she can or can’t have a baby.

Hank: Ripping babies…

Me: Hold on, let me finish. Donald Trump is using language to scare and intimidate. He is using language to paint a picture. He is ignorant on the subject of childbirth and a woman’s rights to not be pregnant or when she can deliver her baby. (dramatic, as if preaching from the pulpit) Do you want to see a baby ripped out of the womb in the ninth month on the final day?

Hank: (nervous, scared giggles) Mama, no…

Me: Amália?

Molly: (looking up happily from making soup in her play kitchen) Sim (yes)? Hello, mama. (waving then going right back to her soup)

Hank: What?

Me: Your sister was born by cesarean section one day before her due date. Technically, she was (returning to my dramatic, testimonial tone) ripped from my womb on the final day!

Hank: (giggling) Oh, really? Wait (pause, thinking) Then why is he saying that?

Me: Trump doesn’t know what he is talking about. He will say anything, even contradict things he has said in the past, to win votes. He will even call a highly trained, professional woman (singing from Janet Jackson’s song Nasty), “Nasty,” because a woman has won a debate with her intelligence and platform and not with nonsense. He is ignorant about childbirth and what a woman’s rights are to her own body.

Hank: I want Hillary to become President. If she wins I will cry I will be so happy. She will be a great President. You can’t have a liar for President.

Me: What is scary is in this case is he doesn’t believe he is lying. He is so ignorant on the subject he is speaking about he looks like a fool. Imagine if he had to negotiate with a leader from another country and he didn’t take the time to educate himself on the issue or even on the culture of that country. How well do you think that negotiation would fair?

Hank: Mama, is he winning? Like is he going to be President?

Me: Hank, we have to wait and see. All Americans have the right to vote for their best candidate. I would never want that to change. I have no opinion about how other people should vote. I have voted, I am proud to do so and I am proud of my choice. I want the same for everyone. On November 8th I will be proud to have done my part and no matter who wins I will know how the majority of my country feels about whom should be commander and chief. As long as the I hear the phrase, “Record Voter Turnout,” on November 9th I will be happy. (deep sigh) I am sorry I left the news on.

Hank: I’m not. I like to know what is going on in the world. You always tell me that not everyone is a good person and we don’t have to like or get along with everyone. I don’t like and get along with Donald Trump. I can tell and I have never met him in my real life, but I would get along well with Hillary Clinton. If I were old enough she would have my vote.

Me: (smiling)

Molly: (banging on her pretend pots and pans)

Hank: I can’t believe Molly was ripped from your womb. That is the sack of fluid where she and before I grew inside you, right?

Me: (crashing back against the sofa, exhausted about having to deal with the ramifications of ignorant fear mongering yet again) I can tell you there was absolutely no ripping involved. I am beyond grateful to have had such amazing medical care afforded to me and to McGoo.

Molly: (singing, banging, dancing and loving life)

Hank: Now I know never to say things in public unless I know what I am talking about!

Me: HA! (rockets and riots of laughter)

Hank: (giggling)

Me: Best lesson you could take away from that atomic, orange Cheeto.

Hank: (positively purple with laughter) Cheeto.

Me: (crying with laughter)

Molly: (thinking she is the cause of our glee) Hurray! (giggling) Ta-dah! (wiggling and giggling about the room)




The Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755

The Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755


Me: (outside the school gate) Hellllllo Hank!

Hank: (waving to his friends) Tchau (bye), até amanhã (see you tomorrow).

Me: (roughing up his hair) How was your day, chicken?

Hank: It was good. Did you know that Lisbon was totally destroyed by a… an… the ocean… you know when it…

Me: A tsunami?

Hank: Exactly. In one thousand seven hundred and fiftyyyy five…

Me: Seventeen-fifty-five.

Hank: Huh?

Me: That is how you would say it in English, 17-55.

Hank: Oh, thanks.  In 1755 there was a huge earthquake in Lisbon and everything was on fire and then after that all the water in the Tejo (Tagus River) it was gone and you could see the bottom and then the ocean just (slapping his hands together as hard as he could).

Me: Just like what happened in Japan and in Indonesia some ten years ago or so.

Hank: And then this guy after they cleaned up and found all the living people, this guy… I don’t remember his name…

Me: The Marquês de Pombal?

Hank: Yes, good brain, mama. He rebuilt the Lisbon we know today.

Me: Yup. He did what is now called city planning. The same thing happened in Chicago except it wasn’t a natural disaster of extreme proportions it was a cow that destroyed the city.

Hank: A what? A cow? A vaca (cow)?

Me: Yup. A cow kicked over a lamp, the kind that uses fuel to burn, and before they could get on top of it the whole city burned to the ground. This is why I prefer Chicago over New York, because of the city planning and the lake and the museums and the river and… (sigh, homesick).

Hank: So that is what I learned about today and I had a very nice day.

Me: Do you like history?

Hank: Um… I guess. I don’t have a favorite subject yet if that is what you’re asking.

Me: No problem. I love history. Studying history is important. History has all the answers.

Hank: What do you mean, because history has already happened?

Me: Exactly, but also by being brave enough to admit that everything has been done before in one form or another we can look to history to see how they solved complex problems. Climate change? Look what happened to the dinosaurs. Economic crisis? Look what happened in the great depression. Monoculture corporate farming? Look what happened to the ancient Egyptians. Trump? Look what happened to every totalitarian dictator who wanted to close their borders, marginalize whole groups of people and fear monger. It’s all been done before and that is why I love living in this time. There is only a problem when people aren’t educated enough to see we are falling into a repeated pattern and when people of power aren’t brave enough to ask a historian what history has taught us.

Hank: But what about technology?

Me: What about technology?

Hank: That isn’t a part of history.

Me: True and we are learning the impact of modern technology on our lives as we go, but there has always been innovation and history can teach us a lot about the affect of massive rapid innovation. Look at industrial farming and the industrial revolution.

Hank: But right now we are making the history for my kids about smart technology and robotics and microtechnology, right?

Me: Yes, you are making history.

Hank: This is why I am in love with informatics.

Me: No one ever called you dumb, Hank.

Hank: (kicking buckeyes) Not one day.