Now flip flops are staple footwear for all seasons and occasions and something you should never call thongs in public or else your teenagers will scatter and claim not to know you.
I was a gymnast and used to be able to do several flip flops in a row. I would do them across my lawn to show off for the neighborhood boys. Those were the days – a youthful, agile body that would respond to my every whim no matter what commercially engineered caloric edibles I consumed.
Middle age is the day of reckoning. Eat, drink and be merry is over. Now it’s eat fiber, drink water and be very careful about combining medications.
In my effort to try and take care of my aging self, I try to pack healthy snacks in my bag when I’m going to be away from home for the day to stave off destructive ingestion. I had done just that to go and watch my son do some flip flops at a gymnastics meet this past weekend.
I was met by a sign at the door that said, “NO OUTSIDE FOOD OR DRINK ALLOWED.” I noticed no one was doing a bag search, so I thought about bucking the system. Who cares about an apple and a bag of baby carrots stuffed in the purse of a middle-aged woman who suffers from a chronic case of the munchies?
Then I remembered my daughter had recently given a talk in church about being honest and how being honest with yourself is the most important thing and it’s the little decisions of honesty that matter most, blah blah blah.
It’s true. It starts with sneaking produce into a gymnastics meet and before you know it you’re holding up the Bountiful Baskets delivery truck at gunpoint in the elementary school parking lot yelling at them to hand over the melons or else.
I took my food back to the car. I walked into the building hungry, but clear of conscious.
As I walked through the doors I was met by a vendor buffet that was surely catered by Willy Wonka himself – candy bars, taffy, suckers, cinnamon rolls, nachos, popcorn, soda, licorice, rice crispy treats, jerky, candy etc. etc!
All around me were little gymnasts forking over money to the Oompa Loompas behind the counter for the various goodies. My son started his mantra, “Can I have this? Can I have some of that? How much money did you bring? How many things can I get? Can I get something for now and something for later too?”
This is what I get for being honest? This is what I get for trying to be healthy? This is what they serve at an athletic event for American youth where hundreds of parents are giving up their Saturday to keep their kids active and away from the TV and the computer and from becoming a child obesity statistic?
Disgusted by this blazen attempt to force me into carnal consumption I held strong to my convictions of health and honesty, “Son, I have some food in the car. When you have a break, we’ll walk out to the car and eat it.”
And that’s just what we did.
And that is why I am no longer the apple of my son’s eye.