That was startling

My husband, with no effort whatsoever, lost four pounds over the Christmas holidays. I feel I could close out this post without saying anything else. It’s like one of those one-line stories; an entire story captured in just a sentence. Men, am I right? But the real issue here is that our household is apparently a zero-sum game as I gained that same amount over that same time period. One cannot expect two weeks of unbridled culinary hedonism without some consequences, however, sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be a man.

Add that to the fact that, while shopping for protein powder, the salesman asked if I was fifty-plus. On the one hand, there are many whose lives were cut short, who would love to be fifty-plus. Life is a gift, every damn day is a gift, we must celebrate each year that we are on this planet. On the other hand, I’m forty-four.

In his possible defense, I was at the end of my hair colour cycle and with each passing month the contrast between my now-almost-white roots and the rest of my hair is more and more pronounced. See?

It’s even more pronounced because today my hair appointment got rescheduled to Friday; I was torn between feeling, well, GREY, and also feeling excitement at having a couple of unexpectedly unscheduled hours. Unfortunately, a lot of that happily unexpected free time ended up getting consumed by the discovery that our scanners have mysteriously stopped working, right in the middle of my paperwork for insurance renewal.

My friend Janet (HI JANET) was telling me that at her Hollywood peak, Marilyn Monroe had her roots touched up weekly. WEEKLY. Imagine having the resources to do that. Imagine having the TIME.

As it is, I spent the first part of Monday morning at the orthodontist’s office, where I thought we were going to be able to book the braces-coming-off appointment but were instead told that it could be a few more months. It felt, very much, like a January piece of news. I had been holding off booking a dental cleaning for my son with the thought that he would be braces-free very soon, but alas. After the orthodontist I spent a solid 45 minutes on the phone booking various dentist and doctor appointments for both boys, trying to juggle my own schedule with their schedule with the doctor/ dentist schedule, and let me tell you, after that I thought a little bit about day-drinking. Only a little bit though. It was like my old linear programming days, where if you added too many parameters and restrictions prior to solving for x, you would end up with no feasible solution.

Back in those days, the computer programs took forever to run, and it would feel so disheartening to do so much work and wait so long – the computer would often time out or die while calculating – to get the response no feasible solution. The first full week of January feels similar, not to mention that the really cold weather has arrived. The weekend lows are in the minus 30s and the highs in the minus 20s; just going out to get groceries or to take the kids to school feels like an epic feat of strength. I’m living in my legwarmers and layers, and it takes a great deal of willpower to get undressed and then into the shower, and then great willpower to get OUT of the shower, and even more willpower to just put clothes on afterwards. That’s a lot of mental energy and willpower, considering that doesn’t take into account leaving the house.

I am trying not to be too bitchy about the cold weather; this is where I live, cold weather is part of life, let’s just move on. However, my Raynaud’s is in full-blown weirdness; I was driving home from class – with gloves on, of course – and by the time I got home this is what my left hand looked like.

That finger still hurts, and it brings to mind what my doctor said, that the only real cure for this is to live in a warmer climate. Maui? Where my fellow Renaud’s sufferers at?

Well. There are many lovely things about January. Be present, cherish the moment, I chant to myself, over and over like I’m institutionalized a la One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. Not out loud, though. Speaking of this, something I really dislike about our society today is the ubiquitous Bluetooth. I cannot even begin to count the number of times I have heard someone speaking, and, thinking they were addressing me, I turn to answer only to discover they are talking on their Bluetooth. It startles me EVERY TIME. I was mentioning this to one of my seniors and he said that he has a different perspective. When he hears someone ostensibly talking on Bluetooth, he avoids eye contact in a stay away from the crazy person kind of way. I mean, I probably shouldn’t judge as I am a person who sings out loud in the grocery store. Perhaps that’s why people avoid eye contact with me? Just kidding, I have yet to notice people avoiding my gaze as I ask them random questions as regards the items in their cart/ how old their baby is/ have they ever tried this before?

SPEAKING of that, I have been meaning to mention these “kalettes” I found at Costco a few months ago.

There were several of us women milling around the display in the giant refrigerator, all of us asking each other if anyone had tried them? And if they were good? No one had so I volunteered as tribute and grabbed a package. Later, in the lineup, a woman asked me about it. Well, for all of you wondering, THESE ARE DELICIOUS. I have bought them every time I have been to Costco ever since; they are glorious roasted with olive oil and balsamic. I’ve also made them with nutritional yeast, which was also good.

They don’t LOOK that appetizing, but believe me. BELIEVE ME THEY ARE DELICIOUS.

Circling back slightly to Things That Startle Me Constantly, there is a sign in my neighbourhood for a fitness centre that offers Gentle Fitness. The only thing is, Gentle is misspelled; the sign actually reads Gental Fitness. Every Single Time I drive past it, I am startled anew at the idea of Genital Fitness. I mean, what is that? Kegels? Pelvic Floor Exercises? Something Else I Am Not Aware Of And Probably Don’t Want To Be? All that goes through my head within a second, and then I remember, oh. They mean GENTLE.


  1. Beth got kalettes at the farmers’ market last weekend and we had them on polenta. Then I put the leftovers on ramen noodles for lunch the next day. They were very good. (I did the C to F conversion and I don’t think I’ve been in that kind of cold since we lived in Iowa when Beth and I were in grad school there, at least the lower end of the range you mentioned.)

  2. bibliomama2 says

    I haven’t been to Costco in months, and I’m bemused by the fact that I actually kind of want to go just to look for kalettes (is that, like, kale babies?) My friend’s husband has Reynaud’s too and often displays the dead fingers for the kids’ amusement. And you don’t look fifty, some people are just absolute crap at discerning age (I am one of them, but I wouldn’t ask a woman if she’s fifty, so he is just dumb). And as for crazy people, I am happy to report that since I saw Waitress on Sunday I no longer sing along to the radio in the grocery store. I do sing the soundtrack of Waitress though, so, yeah, never mind.

  3. This is the content I crave in January.

  4. Oh my gosh YES to the ‘men’ thing. Coach gained a few pounds but I am sure by the end of the week that will be resolved because MEN. Ugh. I have gained 4 lbs on top of the pounds I gained when I slowed my workout down with the injury. Really bumming me out.

    That mispelled sign: wow- and no ine has opted to correct it?

    You do NOT look 50 at all!

    Your cold sounds awful. I totally get the getting in and out of the shower debacle.

    I brought Curly to the ortho over break and found out while we were there thst Reg is due and could have even come with us. He was just sitting at home so that was mind blowingly frustrating because now school and babysitting are underway. Grrr.

  5. Your hand is freaking me out! I have head of Reynaud’s but apparently I don’t have much first hand experience with it, because I’m thinking you should probably go to a hospital immediately? Where they will likely amputate your hand before the alien infection spreads? I’ve been watching a lot of Grey’s Anatomy with my daughter so I’m pretty sure I’m right about this.

    Also: Genital Fitness, solid gold hilarious. 🙂

  6. Those palettes look adorable. And similar to Brussels sprouts, possibly? I would totally try them.

  7. I am BAFFLED – clearly my inner NICOLE voice (you, I mean, not my normal inner-Nicole voice) – told me “go ahead buy the kalettes” – I could have SWORN you already wrote about them. I have possibly detoured into Costco extra times in the last few weeks to buy them, Seriously considering whether it would be okay to buy 2 and just have one to myself for a lunch? Or half for a lunch, they are just SO good and easy.

    Did you know Mark’s sells rechargeable gloves that warm your fingers? I also got some reusable warmers from London Drugs but still need to try them out – this week will be the test.

    Finally, I bet your phone does a better job than your actual scanner! Give it a go. 🙂

    • nicoleboyhouse says

      I think we just talked about the kalettes at coffee – and I put photos on IG. I did NOT know that about Mark’s but am going to look into it! And yes to the phone – much better idea.

  8. Meant to say that my 15 yr old Mini has Raynauds. Before we knew what it was the teachers in junior high were making her wash her hands thinking she spilled ink on them. Ha.

  9. I recall years ago (while still in my 40’s) being asked if I qualifed for the senior discount at TJ Maxx. I was SO appalled….in hindsight, I should have taken the darn discount! You still look like a baby, gray roots or not.
    I love making kale chips from regular old kale. (anything crunchy is up my snacking alley) I’ll have to look for this the next time I go to Costco.
    Your poor fingers; I’ve not heard of this condition….but then again, I live where it is mostly always HOT. (a/c is currently running and set to 73*-It’s January for heavens sakes!)
    I’ve had days with trying to make the apponintmentss work (insert frustration!) and day drinking wasn’t allowed. You’ll get there though 🙂

  10. I’m not sure why my comments always come out from that weird gravatar place. it’s kind of startling too.

  11. My parents were mostly happily married for 52 years but one of the few things that genuinely enraged my mom was the fact that she spent so much time eating right, working out, being healthy etc and still unhappy with her weight. My dad basically ate whatever he wanted and stayed thin. One year he decided he didn’t like the small pooch he’d developed so he stopped eating rice (?) for a couple of weeks and lost 5 pounds. The man metabolism is some BS.

    On a lighter note, I’m going to get some of those kalettes if they sell them here! I have a couple of dishes that call for kale and honestly, I hate dealing with all of the deveining I have to do with the big kale so these seem like the perfect solution!

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