The Weight Watchers Identity Crisis

This is my mother. She’s biracial. Her mother is white and her father is black. I don’t think she ever really struggled with her racial identity until now.

The other day I got a phone message from her that went something like this. “I’ve only got 31 more pounds to lose before I hit my goal weight.” She’s doing Weight Watchers. “You’re not even going to recognize me. The next time you see me I’ll be a skinny, wrinkled, white woman.”

My question is, since when does joining Weight Watchers make you white? I had no idea when she joined that she’d turn into a white woman. I wonder what my father thinks about that.

Email Scam

I got this amusing email today. I’ve recently gotten lots of scam email like this. The best part about it is the grammar.

Hello Dear,

Please i have to let you knowing this that your have reciverd your parcel, and do not let me knowing about that since last year.

At this very point now, do to i have not heard from you to knowing the sitution of things now, for your information track your parcel and you will sean what am talking about please.

However if you knowing that you are not the one please do get back to me as matter of urgent to day.please track and sean with this information Below

I didn’t include the link and phone number. I don’t think I’ll reply.

Turd Pizza

I can’t believe that someone took a picture of this and decided it looked okay to put on a flier and slip into people’s mail slots. Does this make you want to eat pizza?

The funny thing about pizza here is that all the pizzas have names. This restaurant has a pizza called Mexican Passion. What kind of name is that for a pizza? All cheese pizzas seem to be called Margherita. What’s that have to do with cheese pizza?

We went to a restaurant once (actually it was a grimy take out place that doesn’t deserved to be called a restaurant) and ordered a cheese pizza and the guy acted like he had no idea what we were talking about. “What? What?” he kept saying and frowning at us. Finally my husband asked for the Margherita pizza and the guy smiled and nodded with recognition. Apparently, you must call the pizza by the proper name when placing your order.
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An Apartment with a View

As she hopped off of the golf cart, Teresa pointed to a slime covered retention pond with a fountain of water bursting from its center and said, “We have six lakes on the property. It’s nice to have a view of them from your apartment, but that’ll cost you extra. My apartment is near one on the other side of the complex and it’s so peaceful. It’s a lot better than an apartment facing the parking lot.” I nodded and said nothing. I was thinking, how dare they put a fountain in the middle of a retention pond and then charge you extra to live near it.

At another apartment complex the representative that showed us around said, “You can fish in our ponds but I wouldn’t recommend eating the fish because of the pesticides.” She waved to a woman and her child fishing in the retention pond near the swimming pool. In the apartment complex I currently live in some of the fish in the ponds swim with their backs partially exposed. I wonder if that’s because of the pesticides. Maybe it’s because the water is so murky, we wouldn’t know there were fish in there otherwise.

The owners of apartment complexes must think that lakes are appealing to people because a lot of the complexes in our area have the word lake in their names. They have names like Camden Lakes and Lynn Lake. I don’t know about the Camden in the U.K., but Camden, NJ doesn’t have a lake. If it did have a lake, it would probably be polluted and smelly and not something you would want to live near. Some apartment complex owners think people like wind. There are apartments named Crosswinds and Windjammer. What is a windjammer?

Some of the shabbiest looking apartment complexes have the best names. Across from the laundromat is an apartment complex called The Chateaux Versailles. Down the street from us is Bel Air Apartments. If the name is fancy enough tenants won’t notice the paint peeling of of the buildings and the potholes in the parking lot. The fancy names will fool tenants into thinking they live in the lap of luxury.

Brandywine Apartments is located down the street from my parents’. That’s an appropriate name for an apartment complex. Brandywine is probably what you’ll be drinking after you’ve lived there for five years and you’ve missed another night’s sleep because you could hear your neighbors loudly having sex and the woman upstairs just bought a new aerobics DVD.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my apartment complex. It’s nice. Other than not having water on Tuesdays, I have no complaints. Sometimes, I like to lounge on the pesticide coated lawn near the retention pond, watch the hump back fish swim in circles and relax. Now this is living.


My stepson has a favorite shirt. It is red and stretchy and has the word split written across it in white letters. He likes to wear it on Wednesdays and keep it on for the rest of the week. We have to wrestle it off of him to put it in the wash. He has other shirts, but something about this one is special.

He’s had this shirt since he was six. He’s twelve now. Needless to say it is getting too small. I can image him at sixteen wearing this same shirt stretched tightly across his chest. His stomach hanging out. The sleeves cutting off the circulation to his arms. The seams straining. The word split looking squashed from being stretched so far. He wouldn’t care. He would probably wear it on a date and be unaffected by the girl’s furrowed brow and questioning looks.

When I ask him what’s so good about his split shirt, he just says he doesn’t know. Then he thinks for a bit and says it’s not too big. This isn’t a sufficient answer. He has other shirts that aren’t too big. I would like to know what he likes about the shirt, so I can get him another. Right now, I can only speculate. Maybe it’s the fabric, stretchy and smooth. Maybe it’s the color, dark red. Maybe it’s the word split written in white cracking letters. Maybe if I used iron-on letters to put split across his other shirts he’d wear them too.

Health Insurance

During my entire working adult life, the only time I have had health insurance was when I was living outside of the country. As an English teacher in Korea, I was covered under the Korean national health plan. After being in the country for a few weeks I received a small blue booklet that was my health insurance card.

Overjoyed at the thought of having health insurance, I used it whenever I could. Things that I would normally ignore sent me rushing off to see the doctor. Swelling in my big toe, time to see the doctor. More acne than usual on my face, time to see the doctor. Food poisoning, congestion, a rash on my arm, time to see the doctor.

I also enjoyed whipping my health card out at the pharmacy. The pharmacist would take my card and jot down some information before giving me my very cheap medicine. I usually wouldn’t use the medicine for as long as directed. That cream for my acne made my face itch. The medicine for my congestion made me dizzy. I didn’t really know what I was taking and that also made me nervous. I had a toiletry case full of ointments, creams and little packets of pills.

Now, even though I work in the health care industry, I don’t have the luxury of health insurance. I find myself feeling envious of those who do. My mother recently fell off of her scooter and shattered her shoulder. She has gone to several doctors and will eventually need physical therapy. She has insurance.

If I had fallen and broken my shoulder, I would have to send my husband out to cut a good straight branch off one of the trees outside of our apartment. We would use tape and string to fashion it into a splint for my arm. My husband would research healing time and physical therapy exercises on the internet, and I would hope for the best.