Sunday, June 14, 2009

Milk studs and ball diamonds

I had been feeling a little sluggish during a brief stop in Detroit last month – partly because of the traveling, but mostly because of all the processed / convenience foods I’d consumed in the previous week – and so I bypassed the fast-food kiosks in the airport and instead opted to purchase a fresh salad.

But what beverage options did I have to go with my good-for-me meal?

It seemed counter-productive to order a sugar-laced soda with my greens, plus I knew that it would only perpetuate my sluggishness and do nothing to get me out of my funk. So instead I bought an individual container of milk. (It was actually a partly-skimmed chocolate milk, but still. It was the healthiest alternative next to water.)

As I stood in the middle of the airport in an exhausted haze, mindlessly employing the use of a straw to slurp back my chocolate milk, I was surprised when a cute, young (read: 35-ish) blonde gentleman began speaking to me.

Thank you for drinking milk,” he politely commented in his mid-western drawl.

Huh? Still in a haze, I wasn’t exactly at my most articulate best.

I’m a milk producer – so thank you for drinking milk.”

Oh, umm, yeah,” began my slow decent into a self-inflicted episode of humiliation. “I normally don’t drink enough milk, so this was a nice alternative because we’ve been traveling and… and… Oh dear God, he was starting to walk away. Umm…… CALL ME!”

Heh, okay, so that last part didn’t really happen, but that’s not to say I didn’t think it.

My random encounter with the cute milk producer got me thinking about the fact that other people – complete strangers, no less – really do sometimes pay attention to what we consume when we’re out in public.

Which brings me to my next anecdote. Yesterday was a beautiful day that turned into an even more pleasant evening, so my husband and I grabbed a bat and some tennis balls and made our way to a nearby ball diamond where we could attempt to re-enact the winning escapades of the ’86 Mets.

We picked up some friends along the way and played until the sun began to set, which, when you live as far north as we do, was around 10:15 p.m. when we finally packed it in. It was an utterly fantastic evening, and it had an innocence about it that was reminiscent of The Sandlot.

(Note: I’m the pudgy one in the middle.)

Semperfi_Dani was with us, and in a spirited attempt to rally the troops, she made up songs for each of us while we were at bat.

In true pick-up-baseball fashion, many of the song lyrics rhymed with our names. (Example: “Garry, Garry, he’s so hairy…”)

Naturally, the song she made up for me went a little something like this: “Let’s go, Jo, the hefty ho!”

At least that’s what I thought she said.

I didn’t think twice about it until we were talking later, and she clarified that she hadn’t called me hefty but instead had referred to me as happy.

As in, “Let’s go, Jo, the HAPPY ho!”

(Shwaah? I come across as happy to you? Whoot!)

It’s funny that we sometimes hear what we THINK someone else might say about us, rather than what was actually said.

So what lessons did I learn from these two unrelated incidents?

1. It’s important to always eat healthy when you’re in public because you never know when someone else is watching. The same also applies to tequila body shots and table dancing.

2. Even though you may be feeling particularly fat, provided you’re enjoying yourself and have a smile on your face, people will only see that you’re happy. And not fat.

(Okay, okay, so maybe the first lesson I actually learned was that it’s important for us to support our local North American milk producers. )

(… because you might one day end up marrying into the family business… ahem)

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