Thanks for the questions this week, readers! I truly appreciate it and keep on writing in; just leave a question in the comments or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Our first question this week comes from Chad, who I hear resembles Carlos from Desperate Housewives, growl! “Don’t you think it is time for you to get a dog? Not a puppy, a dog. It’ll love you just the same even if you don’t go through the hassle of potty training yourself. It is a dog, they have unconditional love.”
In a word, NO. Have you not been reading 141characters?! I’m having a baby! I don’t have time for a dog. And besides, I’ve only met one well-behaved dog in my entire life (Puppy, may you rest in peace). All other dogs that I know are a handful! Take Vitamin G’s dog, for example. He is SO adorable, but also a rotten stinker. He’s sneaky in a “I’m going to eat all these chicken bones out of the garbage and steal pills out of your purse” kind of way. He might give Vitamin G lots of unconditional love, but if you raise your kids properly, they will, too—with the bonus skill of verbal communication! Plus, babies’ jaws can’t crack chicken bones. Case closed.
Ok, this response from Rosalie wasn’t exactly a mailbag question but I thought that I’d take the time to respond anyway: “OMG. I have been waiting for you guys to post about Jersey Shore forever. I keep thinking I should write in to Mondoo’s mailbag about it, but maybe now she’ll just respond to your post.”
Dear Rosalie, Sorry that 141characters left you hanging for so long! I’ve refrained from writing about Jersey Shore for a couple of different reasons:
1) I don’t feel like watching it. I try to steer clear of those types of reality shows, you know, the ones that leave me with no faith in the future of humanity and leave me wondering how I’ll never get that half hour of my life back.
2) It seems disturbingly similar to any Real World post 1999—constant drinking, belligerence, and hot tub making out. I stopped watching Real World after the Hawaii season because then it stopped being real and started being a freak show.
3) The only thing that separates this show from the Real World is that it unfairly stereotypes an entire ethnic group. Therefore, if I wrote honestly and truly about my Jersey Shore feelings, I fear that I might sound incredibly racist. I love insulting celebrities and my neighbors but I would hate to alienate an entire ethnic group.
I hope that Vitamin G has satisfied your need for us to comment on Jersey Shore though, if not, perhaps I’ll send you an email with my true thoughts 😉
Our next question comes from Mrs. Zack Morris: “So, who is your favorite celebrity’s baby (toddler) as far as being adorable goes? As a follow up, who is your least favorite celebrity’s baby (toddler)? Mine is Suri Cruise because her parents are bat shit crazy and her stupid high heels and her never wearing a coat habit and phew, that’s about it.”
At the risk of resembling this woman who is obviously way into the children of celebrities (seriously, read some of her explanations of these 20 Cutest Celebrity Kids. Lady, get a life!), I will proceed with my favorite and least favorite children of celebrities.
Most Favorite: Matilda Ledger. Hands down. She is so adorable, chill, and always happy. And I love her casual, “I’m a real little girl” outfits, unlike your “fave” Suri Cruise who wears her dresses and heels and shows off all the time. And besides the Affleck children, she’s the celeb baby that you see most with his/her parent(s) and not a nanny and bodyguard. So, kudos to Michelle Williams for balancing Hollywood and being a mom.
Least Favorite: I hesitate to list a least favorite because you can’t really dislike a little kid unless you know them and they are super mean or are simply gross and eat paste or something like that. But there is a child of a celebrity that I just feel plain badly for and this is Ryder Robinson—son (I think? Can’t be too sure when you look at those pictures) of Kate Hudson and Chris Robinson (who I guess is famous, I’ve never heard of him). This poor child’s whole existence is fraught with ambiguity: his name is Ryder (I’m sorry, but that doesn’t scream boy to me), his hair (I don’t think my hair has ever been that long), outfits like this, and I swear I saw him wearing a dress once. Poor little kid.
Our final questions come this week from our most loyal reader and commenter, Kerri. I’m combining my answers into one retort, I hope that’s ok, Kerri:
“1) Favorite quirky vacation spot? We are visiting family and going to Hershey Chocolate World today. I have been before but am really excited about it!
2) Favorite ice cream flavor?
3) Did you go on any road trips when you were growing up? What sort of things did you do to occupy yourselves in the car?”
Oh Kerri, my family was all about the road trip. We drove to Disney World (from PA, mind you) four times, to the beach countless times, and also to Amish country too many times for young children. We occupied ourselves mainly by sleeping, fighting, and car bingo.
I don’t know if I can call any of these my favorite vacation spot but one thing is for certain, they are definitely quirky. It wasn’t until later in my life when walking down memory lane with my sisters that we realized that our parents took us on some pretty bizarre vacations as children.
Exhibit A: Anderson Pretzel Bakery. Ah, yes, the fascinating creation of the pretzel. We learned all about it during a fascinating tour of the Anderson Pretzel Bakery. The reward for watching dough being baked and bagged? A Bavarian Dutch pretzel. Kinda worth it. As a child with a penchant for salty snacks, I especially enjoyed the gift shop at the end of the tour that contained just about any kind of pretzel you could imagine.
Exhibit B: Lebanon Bologna Factory. No one ever wants to know how they make things like hot dogs and bologna but my parents wanted us to know the truth. I don’t remember much about that tour but I remember how badly it smelled. This visit wasn’t a total wash though; they gave you a free Lebanon Bologna Factory flyswatter at the end. Score!
My parents were really silent during our family conversation about these bizarre childhood road trips. When pressed, they explained their actions with an exasperated: “What?! Those vacations were fun… and we were poor. At least we took you on vacation! And you liked them!” Touché parents. What kids don’t like pretzels and bologna?
If you’re interested in taking your family on such vacations, I found this helpful book. I plan to scour my parent’s house for the copy that they surely had back in the 80s.
Favorite ice cream? Please see this post. And, furthermore, my favorites change by day. Right now, I could totally go for some chocolate marshmallow. Aw man, now this pregnant lady needs to go to the grocery store. Thanks for the craving idea, Kerri!