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colored sugar sprinkles

December 28, 2011

I wanted to write something real and honest about the holidays. Insightful. I got nothing. I’ve eaten too much fudge and it’s given me a sugar hangover and the lack of sleep and winces of reality of what it took to pull off Santa this year still have me reeling. We didn’t do the charitable things I had planned, or go to our Church or even bring cookies to neighbors. I managed to bake off a few dozen sugar cookies with the kids, but just as they did when they were 4 years old, the twins got giggly and uncontrollably ‘spilly’ with all of the colored sugars. The kitchen floor was covered. Our stumbly toddler trekked happily over all of the crunchy, gritty colors. Mostly we kept up. Gift exchanges at school, class parties, bills, preparations… We managed the rough surf of rafting down this wild river that is Christmas for the Santa-type Christians we are. We did manage to make homemade fudge to box up and give as gifts. And honestly, our children are genuinely caring, kind people year round, so if my idea of a Christmas list became right size, I’m getting okay with that.

My 8-year-old sugar spiller son is waiting patiently for me to put our littlest nudge to sleep for her nap. He wants to build his new architecture Lego set with me. One year we built Lego cars together and I feel special that he wants to build with me again. I watch Inside the Actors Studio while putting our sweet baby girl to sleep and cringe a little when I see Charlie Sheen being charming, reticent, admired.

“People root for me because I’m honest, I take my lumps.”

I’m amazed a little by his comfort level with his self-admiration. I don’t think of honesty as I hear him. A click on the tivo remote info button says this was taped in 2007. Pre ‘winning.’

No, people root for you because like me, the first time I saw you in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, with your coked out eyes, James Dean hair, and taunting sexuality, I didn’t even know what it was I wanted, but I was in. I was 16. At 42 oops, 43 and 2 weeks, it looks a lot different.

I hit the mute button, and as he talks to Lipton I write some dialogue for him.

“You know, I just don’t have it in me to deal with the legacy that is my Father. I could say… figure out who I really am and all that jazz…but I’m quite comfortable being uncomfortable in his shadow. I’ve got lots of addictions to distract me and I just don’t think I want any more out of life. I’ll take the multimillion dollar paychecks and life in the shadow.”

Why do we pay entertainers these offensive salaries and perks and love and ‘homage?’ As he tells another calculated, charming, endearing joke as if he is one of them, most of the audience gobble it up with romantic intimate giggles and applause. The camera pans the onlookers. People. Real ones. Some with thinning hair, gap teeth, student loans and our own moment of longing to maybe once in a while have it that easy, have access, have praise and status and a chair on the stage.

While Sheen basks in the Lipton led audience praise for his baseball movie, one slightly effeminate male audience member invites Sheen to play in his softball game ‘anytime.’

“I only play hardball, but thanks for the invite.”

Hardball, really? Is it hard to live a life of financial and facial entitlement? A gravelly voice, cheekbones and a jaw that start women’s unfertilized eggs popping like popcorn, thinking (in a primitive mind) that those are the clues to survival, strength, progeny and a strong protective mate.

If this man-child ever faces his own inner demon that is his father, that would be taking his lumps. Avoiding incarceration, landing million dollar paychecks, and giving in to a brief stint in rehab, are those lumps? It’s uncomfortable to watch this seemingly well packaged lump talk as if he has this worldly, humbled air of integrity and comedic brilliance and that the sit com world that is Two & 1/2 Men is raised to an art form because of him.

The most honest thing that I heard was when Lipton mentioned that Sheen had once referred to movie sets as’ playgrounds.’ A real, if unintentionally revealing moment. His father is an icon. He misses that mark of his own making and hunkers down in this costume of hunched shoulders, clasped rubbing hands and seemingly handsome likeability. It is play. It is fleeting and limited and the playground that my kids stumble around has bars that are too high for a few seasons, gnats, friends, mud, bee stings and time to go home.

Sadly he has become his own desperate caricature and those once edgy lines are deeper and less flattering. As I watch his love affair with himself, I think about grown up love. About the attractiveness of a man who works hard, wants more and appreciates and loves who he’s got.

As he held our baby girl, talking during the jumble of clean up after Christmas dinner at my Sister’s house the other night, I overheard my husband telling someone,

“Yesterday the bottoms of her feet were covered in colored sugar sprinkles…”

His eyes have this sturdy, limitless flash behind them that he’s passed down to our youngest boy too. He is strong and kind and when he jokingly (I think), lovingly asks, in our sea of barking dogs, bickering kids, phones ringing and messes to clean, “let’s have another baby…” my ovaries go crazy.

Sugar Cookies:

3/4 c sugar

1/2 c butter softened

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 c flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

pinch of sea salt

colored sugar for decorating

Heat oven to 400 f. Beat sugar butter egg & vanilla. Blend flour, soda & salt in a separate bowl, then add.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls, roll in colored sugar sprinkles & place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Flatten with bottom of a glass dipped in sugar. Bake 6 – 8 min. until edges are lightly browned.

tweaked a tiny bit from land o lakes fun time butter cookies

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