Not The Target Market

Monthly Archive: May 2016

What Your Waitress is Really Thinking

old_waitressThe Hunter and I went to a wake not too long ago. The family was well known in the town and the line stretched round the block. We waited almost two hours.

Afterwards, we went to dinner at A Famous Inn. The Maitre d’ pretended the dining room was quite full up and that he would have to check to see if there were any places left for those of us silly enough to show up without reservations. It was rather a comical, unnecessary performance, as we could see in to the dining room and the place was practically empty – probably not unusual for a Tuesday night at 7:00 in the off season. There were no indications there was a rush imminent any time before next Friday. (more…)

Corpus Christie

Monstrance1Four years ago, when I first started eating gluten free, I needed information and advice. Some things were evident. Bread made out of wheat and beer made out of barley were now out of my diet. But there were also all kinds of things that weren’t so evident. Who knew that soy sauce almost always contains wheat? Or that barley malt was used in Rice Krispies? Two more things to scratch off the list.

For a number of reasons – I’m old and not cutting edge; I’m suspicious and want information vetted; I find it easier to read on paper than on a screen – I prefer to get my information from books rather than from the internet. This is why I came home one day with The Gluten-Free Bible: The Thoroughly Indispensable Guide to Negotiating Life without Wheat by Jax Peters Lowell. (more…)

Laugh and You’ll Never Be Old

fountain of smartI have just spent a very frustrating morning in the creams and lotions aisle. All I want is a moisturizer for my face – a moisturizer made for sensitive skin so that in trying to keep the skin on my face, rather than flaking off onto the floor, I don’t also end up covered in spots, looking like an adolescent who just binged on chocolate and potato chips. (I have thankfully reached the stage of life when I should be able to binge on chocolate and potato chips without leaving any evidence, at least on my skin.) (more…)

The Trinity

250px_ShamrockSunday is Trinity Sunday.  I have no new or startling theological insights into the great mystery of the Trinity. What I do have is an idea for another trinitarian image – one for our contemporary age –  to stand alongside St. Patrick’s shamrock. (more…)

Make No Mistake: It’s a Dilbert World

Inventory-Optimization-Follow-the-RulesLast week I read about a father in the U.K. who was fined for taking his daughter to Disney World in term time.  He refused to pay the fine, which was then doubled, so he took the case to court and won. It’s rare that one gets a sensible outcome when dealing with inflexible bureaucrats and I cheered.

Some background: in an effort to stem truancy, the U.K. has enacted draconian attendance laws, applicable to everyone. Parents may not take their children out of school for anything but the direst of emergencies. Period. End of Story. (more…)

Perseverance Among the Doves

mourning-doveThe doves have been much in evidence on the bird feeder these days and this is out of character. They are ground feeders. Perhaps in cities we can modify this to say that they are ledge feeders. They simply are not built for the gymnastics of a small, swinging window feeder. Indeed, studying their body shape and listening to them land and take off, I sometimes wonder they can get airborne at all. (more…)

Changing Tastes

ages-of-womenI once wrote some piffle about the only way to approach a garden is on one’s knees. While I was intimately and passionately involved in my garden at the time, clearly what I wrote was a piece of pretentious crap. I was miniaturist back then, both in my garden vision and in my frame. I preferred to see the small-scale details, the soil around perfectly deadheaded blooms and a weed-free bed.

I had completely forgotten about this pontificating piece of nonsense until I ran across it the other day in an old journal. What a difference, as they say, the space of some years makes. Having grown more billowy myself, I am no longer a miniaturist. And I now prefer to enjoy the grand sweep of the gardens from a distance – preferably from the porch, away from bugs and scratchy things. I think of the space more as a water color painting than as clumps of discrete plantings. And I find when the painting needs a bit more softening (to hide the ever encroaching weeds), a glass of wine is just the right lens to give it that diffuse look. (more…)


rhubarb-vodkaAround here the best, surest, and most beloved sign of spring is not the greening grass, the cherry blossoms, the daffodils, the lilacs or even The Hunter pushing the envelope with his tomato plants. The most looked for sign of spring is the rhubarb vodka distilling on the counter.

This elixir is simple to make and refreshing to sip – especially on a hot afternoon. I have never served it to anyone who did not like it. In fact, the reactions are all identical: eyes pop out of the head and a slow smile spreads over the face, followed by one word: “Wow!”  There is an instant understanding of why I refer to this drink as “kool-aid for adults.” (more…)

Mothers Have Enough to Deal With


Mother and Child, Ferdinand Hodler, 1888

The daughter-in-law and I spent a very nice day yesterday shopping for maternity clothes. It was a nice day, largely because it is always a nice day when I get spend some time with her. The fashion industry contributed little or nothing to the niceness.

Even before the experience of my lapsed Vogue subscription, I have been convinced that fashion is a conspiracy – against me, and any of the rest of us, who are Not The Target Market. Over the years, I have realized that I’m a misshapen (more…)