Tuesday, September 07, 2010

chronicles of a young urbanite

...with massive impending parenthood anxieties.

tonight after work i fulfilled my young progressive urbanite imperative and picked up my first shipment from my CSA (that's community shared agriculture for all you in the great unenlightened unwashed). inspired by dr. rei's friend K, we signed up for kawartha ecological growers small box. it costs $25/week and runs from june to november. we're hopping on in the latter half of the summer share season.

there are a few things i like about this particular operation:

1) the pick up is a 10 minute walk from lil' ugmo
2) you get $15 in "fixed" items - this means that they tell you how much of whatever you're getting, but you still get to go and pick out the potatoes, onions, spinach etc. that you want. this week's small box consisted of: 6 ears of corn, 1 bunch of spinach, 1 head of boston lettuce, 1 qt. of onions, 1 squash, and your choice of peppers, zucchini, or cucumber.
3) you get $10 in "flexible" money to be spent as you like on whatever extra items you like - the balance or deficit from this money can be carried over from week to week. so for example, this week we spent $8 on potatoes, beets, and green zebra heirloom tomatoes, so we'll have $12 for next week.

it'll be an interesting experiment for me to cede menu planning control to the vagaries of the farmers each week, but any type A anxieties are ameliorated by the fact that they send out an email of what you can expect a few days prior - which still gives me plenty of room to plan. i'll still be shopping at our local veggie store, but this is a nice alternative for basics and it'll stretch my "iron chef" cooking-on-the-spot creativities.

so the progressive young urbanite checklist stands at:
- CSA: check
- designer stroller: check
- mid century modern fixation: check
- loudly extolling virtues of "community": check

i'm basically one mommy group latte and one jogging stroller away from being a rather unpleasant person (well, unpleasant to me, at any rate.)

this is what i made with our spoils:

heirloom tomato-basil tart, sautéed beet greens w/ garlic, corn on the cob

so last night, after watching a long-marinating episode of "treme" (we JUST watched episode 3 last night!), i suddenly had a panic attack. well, let's be real here - i had a minor psychological crisis - there were none of the accompanying physiological symptoms of a true panic attack. for some reason, watching david simon-produced stuff can set me on a downward spiral - it happened all the time with "the wire" - too verité, i guess. too much on how awful people can be. too real, exposing the bone beneath the flayed, imperfect, bruised flesh of people at our most avaricious and ignorant.

anyway, as the episode neared it's conclusion and i contemplated the alien watermelon form of my belly (spumante bambino was doing somersaults), i suddenly turned to the dotytron and said, "dude. there's going to be another person here. soon." and the dotytron, ever unflappable, ever optimistic, said, "i know!" seeing that he had missed the subtext of raw, naked, white-knuckled fear, i had to press on, "WHAT WERE WE THINKING?!?!" "i don't know anything about being a parent!" "this person is going to be with us FOR LIFE!" "what if i'm really bad at this?"

you can probably fill in the rest. it was a serious case of buyer's remorse. it's all too easy to go along, with the little incubating consciousness growing inside you as an abstraction, even as you watch its movements making a quivering 50s jello mould of your abdomen, blissfully ignorant of the fact that this THING is going to come out and be sentient and IMPACT EVERY PART OF YOUR LIFE.

i'm feeling faint just thinking about it. thinking about all the ways i can screw this up. thinking about how much is beyond my control, when heretofore i've practically made an entire ontological philosophy out of the unerring belief - nay, CELLULAR KNOWLEDGE! - that the sheer intractable force of my will is enough to force things to fit my orderly schema.

example of why i think i'm going to be a bad parent: this past weekend, at the new york state fair, i was the recipient of a sound dressing-down by a deep fried funnel cake vendor when she overheard me telling miss ramona, in no uncertain terms, and with a fair degree of volume, "DON'T YOU TOUCH ME WITH YOUR STICKY HANDS" as i simultaneously LEAPT AWAY from her cotton-candy clasp. "oh well now, that is just MEAN" said the fryer, disappearing to produce a wet paper towel with which miss ramona could clean her offending fingers. espying that i was clearly expecting some future-sticky-fingered progeny of my own, fryer lady chastised me further, telling me that one day, my own kid would be grown and would want nothing to do with me, and i would be beset with nostalgia and regret for those times when she/he had reached out to me with high-fructose corn syrup digits.

see? you might as well have CAS on speed dial. i'm BAD at this. i don't LIKE sticky fingers. or sand. or much dirt. at the strong museum of play this last time a little flaxen haired tyke stood before me while i was sitting on a bench holding court with my sister and ostensibly keeping a (very) lazy eye on my niece and nephew, and interrupted me with the accusation, "you couldn't catch me!" to which i gave her a withering look of disdain and replied, "i wasn't PLAYING" and then picked up right where i had left off in the conversation (probably gossiping). i can't feign interest!

i'm so glad i have the dotytron to balance things out. me? i'll make sure that the kid has a wonderfully designed space with tonnes of storage, the best packed lunches, a well-packed diaper bag, and the mouthiest, most loyal coach that has ever been kicked off the field. the dotytron will take care of the soft, nurturing, soul-enhancing stuff. it's a good division of labour, i think. we have the bases covered (i hope. i pray.)

target was having a baby sale the day we left. so i went and bought a breast pump, because it was $150 cheaper than the one i had registered for. we debated whether or not to just buy it right then and there or play russian roulette and see if anyone sprang for it on our registry, finally deciding that saving ourselves and our friends and family $150 was a pretty good thing. as i pulled it off the shelf, having pulled the trigger, the dotytron turned to me and said, "you better pump the s**t outta that thing" - lol! carting the box out of target and looking at all the features and realizing i didn't know sweet f**k-all about pumping much of anything outside of bicycle tires and being all about equity, i told the dotytron that we were going to test it out on him first. he wasn't too keen, mostly because he thinks he's going to have to shave his chest and that the only result will be hilarity for me and a purple nurple for him.


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