If there’s anything I hope to teach Nathan, it’s that he’s not better than anyone else. Maybe he’s better than the cast of Prisonbreak, at least that’s what I’m thinking because when I asked Mike if he wanted to cuddle, he pointed to the television and said, “Can’t. Prisonbreak’s on.” He said no to his wife, the mother of his child, the only one in this house with a working va-jay-jay. I could be as moist as a snackcake but if this coincides with a FOX show about incarcerated men, I might as well be Patrick Duffy.
My mom harbors an method of categorizing things according to whether or not they are “high class.” If it’s European (including, but not limited to the British monarchy, especially Princess Diana, particularly Diana pre-Dodi Fayed), it’s high class. If it’s the cabbage salad in the styrofoam container from the teriyaki lunch special, it’s cheap. She’s quick to dissect food, furniture, and anchorwomen hairstyles, questioning coiff height or applauding fringe length with an, “Oh, that’s high class.”
I could give her toilet paper from Buckingham Palace and she’d examine it with her thumb and forefinger, inspect its fibers and exclaim, “Two-ply? That’s high class.”
I do love my mother, quirks and all, but this system is not something I want to pass on. I commit numerous low class felonies, one of which is thrift-store shopping. I love it. I love perusing the aisles and checking out what someone has lobbed into the donation bin.
Sometimes I am slapped with memories of my high school years.
And the years before that.
I relayed the story of the defective leap frog toy to my mom’s group without telling them where I had bought it. One of the women asked, “Couldn’t you just return it?” and I said no, I couldn’t. Because I bought it at Goodwill. The way Goodwill came out of my mouth sounded like how they interview snitches and bring their voices down a couple of octaves because they don’t want their identities to be revealed. I’m sure some of those women could buy two Britax carseats without entering into a Tourettes-like-swearing-phase. I think I made some stupid joke to distract them from the truth: I just outed myself as the cheapest mofo in the room. I could have said, “Yeah, I bought it at Nordstroms,” but then there would be a pause and a voice would emerge, “You, Mona? At Nordie’s? Let’s try that answer one more time.”
I don’t want Nathan to ever feel embarrassed of where he buys his clothes, or where he lives, or of his superhero costume assembled from a clothespin and a “God Bless This Kitchen” towel. If I ever thought that he was basing his life on how far he was from “high class,” I’d grab the keys, load up the car with chips and Thomas Kemper sodas, sing this song to him until he learns that if he’s presented with the teriyaki lunch special, he should just eat it.