Every Christmas, my mother would buy mixed nuts and put them in a fancy bowl with a nutcracker and picks and our family would crack and eat nuts all through the holiday season like the squirrels that we were. When my mom died, I inherited her fancy bowl, nutcracker and picks and vowed to continue the tradition. So, for the past 3 years, I have made Luisa buy the mixed nuts and I have put them out in the bowl during the holidays.
The kids love them! They love them so much that they crack a million nuts a day and leave a trail of broken shells in their wake and I end up yelling "PLEASE DO IT OVER A PLATE!" or "WHY ARE YOU MAKING SUCH A MESS?!" until I finally scream "NO MORE NUTS!" I don't remember the nuts making such a mess when I was a kid and my mother was more of a neat freak than I am so I can only assume that, like everything else, modern nuts have gone to hell.
I know you are wondering why I am talking about holiday nuts in July. Well, last Christmas, Luisa bought two bags of mixed nuts but there was an entire bag leftover because of the aforementioned screaming and eventual moratorium on nut cracking. The leftover bag of nuts was still sitting in the pantry in March and Luisa and I had the following conversation:
Vikki: I'm going to dump this bag of nuts out in the yard for the squirrels.
Luisa: What?! You can't do that! Then, you'll attract more squirrels!
Vikki: Have you seen how many squirrels are out there?! I'm not going to attract MORE just buy dumping some nuts.
Luisa: They will become dependent upon us and then we'll never get rid of them.
Vikki: It's one bag of nuts and we'll never be rid of them anyway. There are already millions of them!
Luisa: No. We should just throw the nuts away.
Vikki: That's wasteful! I refuse to throw them away.
Luisa: I don't want you feeding the squirrels!
And so began the Great Nut Stand-off of 2012 and the bag of nuts remained in the pantry.
Luisa left for DC last Thursday and I have been solo-parenting since then and the house is messy and everything feels chaotic and, when that happens, I like to throw things away to create the illusion that I actually have control over something.
So, on Monday, I spied that bag of nuts and smiled gleefully as I ripped open that bag, marched outside and dumped them out for the squirrels. Finally I would be Queen of the Squirrels!
I am happy to report that there has been no swarm of squirrels as Luisa predicted. There aren't any squirrels hanging about with little handwritten signs asking for food.
This means that I was right and she was wrong.
I seized victory in the battle of the nuts!
Unfortunately, I was so right about the squirrel thing that all of the nuts remain exactly where I dumped them.
And it has been raining a lot.
And now there is a gigantic pile of wet nuts in the yard.
But a victory is a victory, right?
Luisa comes back on Friday. I am currently writing a victory speech that concludes with a humble request that she pick the wet nuts out of the garden. I have a bad feeling that my winning streak might be short.