Every family has unique rituals. Our`s is no different- except our rituals might be unusual compared to others. A long-established ritual for the Clampitts is the weekend trip to Spouse`s office. Spouse catches up on work while the Offspring catch up on homework, or Facebook.
The well established custom begins with the Offspring lining up at the starting gate- the door between the garage and the entry. Once the door opens, they`re off. Racing down the vacant hallways fueled by desire for the candy placed at the secretaries` cubicles. Snorting and pounding their way through 4 floors of free candy, careening around corners and bouncing off each other toward the prize, they eventually return sweaty, exhausted and sugared up.
Lest you think the Offspring are heathens living by their own rules, they were each allowed only one candy per cubicle.
Every Sunday was Halloween at the office.
And then we moved to Japan.
In our parental quest to maintain some routine in our new home, the start of the school year was ushered in with the inaugural trip to Spouse`s office.
Excited to sample the Japanese confections, the Offspring hit the hallways stampeding. Imagine their dismay-disbelief- to find one lone basket filled with a meager sampling. A pittance versus the usual cornucopia.
I, undeterred, dove in with gusto. I emerged with a fist full of crackers. Not being picky, I didn`t pay close attention, or any, to the wrapper. I opened it, took a bite, and everyone started howling.
“Mom- you STINK!” These Offspring have not yet mastered saying nothing if there`s nothing nice to say. In case I didn`t realize the full impact on their delicate senses, a very thorough dramatic scene ensued whereby their feelings were expressed through choking, gagging, and rolling around on the ground.
The smell did illicit fond memories of a bait box left in the Galveston sun all afternoon and my Dad yelling at the wrong culprit. (Always funny) I flipped over the offending cracker to inspect more closely.
Spouse picked nuts. He poured the bag in his hand.
There were a few nuts in the packet.
It`s now obvious to me why the Japanese are so much leaner than their Western counterparts. Instead of a heaping helping of Doritos with cheese queso, the snack choices are of the dried variety instead of the fried variety.