Tuesday, March 21, 2006

White Trash Food and Cheesy TV Night

On Tuesday nights, Bump plays in a pool league. While I find the idea of a "pool league" slightly dorky, the people on his pool team are all very cool, and he enjoys playing. I think the social outlet is important for Bump, especially now that he's home with Lumpyhead all day.

Before Lumpyhead was born, Bump would go straight to pool from work, leaving me to fend for myself as far as dinner was concerned. I used to sigh dramatically and tell Bump it was okay, I would just sit on the floor and eat dirt while he was gone.

Bump has always done the cooking in our household, because he enjoys it and is good at it. I know how to cook, I just don't do it very well. I gravitate toward convenience food that is bad for me. Tuesday menus were likely to include:
  • fish sticks with legendary amounts of tartar sauce
  • macaroni and cheese from a box - the powder kind, and possibly a store brand
  • microwave popcorn and Freixenet
  • a can of green beans and half a bag of potato chips
  • tator tots with legendary amounts of ketchup
  • Hot Dish - if I was feeling ambitious
  • Triscuits and a bottle of red wine
  • Dinty Moore beef stew - mac and cheese I'll skimp on, apparently, but not beef stew. Only name-brand stew for me! Cripes.
  • frozen pizza and four beers
Bump says that when you hear the can opener in our house, it means I'm probably "cooking."

Once, when I was living with Aunt Bob and Scrubly, I prepared A Bowl of Meat. It started off as sloppy joes, but we didn't have any rolls and the bread had gone bad. When Scrubly came by and asked me what I was eating, I tried to come up with something nice-sounding, but gave up, and admitted that I was eating A Bowl of Meat.

John once evaluted my cooking by doing a little dance and singing, "You like to eat your white trash food, you like to eat your white trash food. . . "

I started to really enjoy my Tuesday nights alone. I controlled the remote. I watched stupid TV shows without guilt.* I might work on a crafty project. My mother would call to chat.

Peter often invited me over for dinner on Tuesdays, aware that I was fending for myself and fearing evening after evening featuring Bowl of Meat. He would even try to maintain the spirit of White Trash Food and Cheesy TV Night, but he could never really get it right. (I think you gotta be from there to do it correctly.) I appreciated his efforts, but started declining his invitations. His food was fantastic, but I liked the evenings by myself.

I found out Lumpyhead was on the way on a Tuesday night. I didn't tell Bump I suspected I was pregnant, because I didn't want to get his hopes up. After all those years of contraception, my initial reaction to the EPT was "SHIT! Oh, wait, no. It's okay. Huh."

Then I sort of wandered about for a bit, wondering what to do. Should I call Bump? (I didn't. I waited until he got home.) How should I tell him? (I left the test on the bathroom counter and knit a bootie, which I flung at him when he asked about the peed-on stick.) Is it gross to leave a peed-on stick on the bathroom counter? (Yes.)

Now Tuesdays are Lumpyhead and Me Time. My mother still calls to check in, but now we have a videophone set up so she and Dad can see Lumpyhead. I don't watch much TV, but I have other guilty pleasures. Like holding Lumpyhead throughout his entire evening nap; the back of his head gets sweaty when he sleeps.

*Oh, I did stupid. Stooopid. Gilmore Girls, Smallville, then I'd switch over to Charmed on TBS. Or Nip/Tuck (until it got dumb. . .er). Eventually the lineup included Babies: Special Delivery, which Bump termed "Scary Baby Stories." I loved watching Scary Baby Stories when I was pregnant. Babies: Special Delivery was my favorite, though. Birth Day is okay, but not as good. Maternity Ward was too scary - all 14-year-olds or drug addicts - and TLC's A Baby Story was too sacchariny-sweet - all blonde sorority girls (and I mean that in the unflattering way) holding showers where they play idiotic party games and coo over the arrival of little Madyson and their life is complete. Gah.

A note: Gene Weingarten claims that the term "white trash" is inherently racist. I do not intend any racism whatsoever, and apologize if that's how you see it. If you can think of a better term to describe the trailer-living tornado bait set, please substitute it for white trash above. I find the term endearing, particularly as it applies to me. For I am White Trash from way back, just without the white.


daddy in a strange land said...

Sorta on topic (not really, but...), remember how we were talking about hapa/AsAm/ethnic kiddie t-shirts? Check this one out:

Daddy L said...

Ha ha, this post reminds me of my wife. I do 99% of the cooking (although she's determined to cook baby food. So far the mashed peas are coming out fine, literally!) so when I'm away she'll eat:

Cheese and Crackers
Instant Oatmeal
Granola Bars
Wine Gums

I'd call to check in, "Hey what was for dinner." "Oh y'know. I wasn't really hungry." "You ate cookie dough didn't you?" "..."

laurie said...

not being from the midwest (but from the south where, oh no no, we don't have regional cuisine at all) i've never heard of "hot dish" before. but i love the idea of it. i guess we just called that a "casserole," but "hot dish" is just so descriptive in its utter non-descriptiveness.

btw, i think you sound like a very creative cook. lots of variety within the convenience food category.

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

I alwyas ate pasta out of some sort of bag or grozen pizza when Gabe had night classes.

I would also watch the NFL Network or jeopardy!. That always drove him crazy when he was home.

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

You know - frozen pizza.

Ian was helping me type.