Day Four This evening we were (thankfully) invited to a friend’s house for dinner. It’s raining, so immediately I reach for my usual heavy-duty red raincoat that Luke gave me for my birthday. But then I remember I can’t wear it. I have a 99-cent raincoat that is ready to make its debut.
As I leave the house in the flimsy, ankle-length purple coat, Luke comments that I look like Grimace from McDonald’s. For my hostess gift, I hold a Lady Linda raspberry cream cheesecake. Lest you think this sounds appealing, please note that it’s a packaged dessert that looks like something out of a vending machine. At the party, it sits by its lonely self on the table, uneaten.
Day Five After finding out that one of my best friends has become engaged, I reach into my treasure trove of dollar-store knickknacks and pull out a potential gift — a ceramic kitty peeking out of a boot. It may not be cut crystal, but I’m certain that this precocious rendering of a kitten will be kept in a special place in my friend’s home and treasured for years to come.
For dinner, I make what I deem my “Just Under the Wire” spaghetti with tomato sauce. The name is inspired by the fact that all the ingredients — including a suspect-looking container of Parmesan Reggiano that apparently does not require refrigeration? — were mere days from expiration. All in all, the meal’s actually pretty tasty.
Day Six Despite a few victories, I’m fed up with 99-cent-store living. The last straw is my baby sitter having sushi delivered to the house for lunch; I, though, toss something called a Souper Meal into the microwave and stare at it as it makes its way around in circles until the timer beeps. I’m left with a steaming-hot bowl of chicken-flavored (not chicken) deliciousness.
Later, as I give the babies a bath, I let them play with a rubber ducky I picked up for them at the store. The ducky came with several little ducks, which I’m pretty sure are choking hazards, so they don’t go near the tub. I also use some Babyish-brand wipes, which make my babies’ tushes smell like car air freshener. The package touts physiological pH — I’m still not sure what that means (though it sounds scientific).