...for a different kind of girl

silent surburban girl releasing her voice, not yet knowing what all she wants to say about her life and the things that make it spin. do you have to be 18 to be here? you'll know when i know.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

dreaming, dreaming is free...

Over bowls of breakfast cereal - Lucky Charms for him, low fat granola with raisins for me - my youngest son and I recently mapped out our long range plans for happiness. As the more mature of the duo (As evidenced by my high fiber morning pick-me-up. God, I miss you, Lucky Charms. Do you miss me?), my plans weren't that exciting to my charming five year old. Plucking around his bowl for sugary red balloons and green clovers (you know, the good stuff), he interrupted me to say he wishes to visit our state capitol building.

"I've never been there before," he told me when I asked why he was suddenly so interested in such a visit. Seeing this desire as a means of introducing him to government, democracy and the importance of being an informed citizen when casting a vote (I know! What kindergartner DOESN'T want to know all there is to know about these things, right? He'll be totally cool on the playground!), I assured him we could definitely look into a trip to the capitol one day soon. The building is stunning. But best of all, you're not charged for your visit. In these lean economic times we live in (thanks, government!), we're doing as many free things as possible.

"You're very smart to be thinking of such practical things for us to do together," I praised, chewing and chewing at my granola (generic - not quite free, but sorta free). Sensing an inroad paved by my speedy agreement that we'd hit the hill one day soon, my son scooped another spoonful of magically delicious deliciousness into his mouth and began to ponder. After he swallowed, he looked at me, grinned and fired.

"Ok, after we go to the state capitol, I want to go to Disney World!" he informed me, huge grin and all. That look on my face, the one met with his impassioned, "Wha? I've never been there before!!" clearly indicated that, after a lesson in state government, clearly the next lesson my son and I will be having is in economics. That whole "free" part went totally over his gorgeous head.

"Sweetness, your best chances of getting to Disney World right now lie in that bowl of Lucky Charms," I told him. "Keep digging around in there for that marshmallowey pot of gold until you find a real one."

The way I figure it, that freakin' Lucky the Leprechaun owes us since I bought name brand cereal ("Oh! Thank you, mommy!"). Besides, it's been a long time since I've been to Disney World. Oh, sure, our state capitol is a cool building and all, but it's no Cinderella's Castle, and honestly, I wasn't kidding a few posts back when I said I could rock a castle.



Blogger FTN said...

What? You mean Disney World isn't free?

I have friends who seem to be taking their families all the time. It MUST be cheap, right? Let's quickly do the math:

4 $50 tickets, times three days: $600.
Rather than dropping $1000 on airline tickets, I'll assume you'll be driving. Hmm, maybe 2000 miles round trip, at 25 miles per gallon IF the mini is doing well on gas mileage, at $2.50 a gallon: $200.
4 nights in a hotel: $400.
12 meals, if they are all cheap and nasty fast food: $250.

So if you don't buy ANY souvenirs or anything else, you can do it on the cheap for $1500.

I think we have two choices. We either rob a bank, or you start selling your body on the side.

Or... I start selling MY body on the side! I'll give you 20%.

Hmm. Yeah, we better go with the bank robbery idea.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 8:34:00 AM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

I'll just chime in with my 2-cents'-worth (yeah; send it to my Paypal account), and say that The Mouse is way less cost-efficient than meets the eye. And we stayed with relatives in Florida when we went. At the end of the day, we'd been in the park for 10 hours, and got on 10 rides (and two of those were 'Small World', 'cuz it had the shortest lines) (That song! That DAMNABLE SONG!!). Just sayin'.

And, it's odd, isn't it? I, too, live in my state's capital city. Every day, on my way to work, I drive right down the main drag, with the capitol building dead-center in my field of vision. And, in all the years I've lived in this city (more than 30), how many times have I gone on the (yes, free) tour of the capitol? Exactly once. (sigh)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 9:01:00 AM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

And, just for the sake of sayin' so, I'm sure there's such a thing as generic Lucky Charms. . .

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 9:03:00 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Ah, generic granola. You pay for it in other ways.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 9:25:00 AM  
Blogger Confused Husband said...

I've never been to Disney World either. Can you take me with you? Please? Pretty PLEASE? PRETTY PLEASE WITH SUGAR ON TOP! I WANNA GO TO DISNEY WORLD!! RIGHT NOW!!!!!!! If you take me I PROMISE to never ask for anything EVER again.

Oh sorry. I forgot how old I was. :D

Good luck on getting to go to a free Disney park. Or any theme park for that matter.

Something on the side: FTN where are you getting gas for 2.50 a gal? We're paying 3.05 out here. That's on the cheap too. Shell is over 3.25.

And I know for a fact that they make generic Lucky Charms. You get twice as much for less than what you get pay for a box. Look for the bags.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 9:34:00 AM  
Blogger Phyllis RenĂ©e said...

He actually asked to go to the state capitol? I don't think I even knew we lived in a 'state' when I was in kindergarten.

And, yeah, you can get generic Lucky Charms in a bag. But with any of those sweet cereals it would be cheaper just to buy a 5# bag of sugar.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger FindingHeart said...

You took a picture of my bowl this morning? Kids: waffles, Dad: Chucky Larms!! (They're dagically malicious!)

TX has a state hist museum near the capitol, free admit for 18yr and under. My 7yr keeps saying, "When are we going back there?" Ahh, nice!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger Choppzs said...

Love, love, love Lucky Charms! Now days its mostly marshmellows and no more of that stinky old other cereal in there! lol I'm just waiting for it to become ALL marshmellows!!

Oh and Disneyland isn't all it's cracked up to be! lol

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

Politicians seem to have about as much connection to reality as the average cartoon character... and let's face it, our economy and standing with the rest of the world has become something of a thrill ride! So perhaps visiting your state's seat of government isn't as different from Disney as you might think.

Suppose your son would buy that story? ;-)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger you da mom! said...

don't those sugary bits in lucky charms hurt you? i can't eat them because they shock my gums. it's like shooting up pure sugar cane through your mouth. nice story, though!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 2:19:00 PM  
Blogger Sailor said...

But the burning question in my mind, is *did* he find the pot of gold in the Lucky Charms?

Oh, no, you said they were name-brand. Hence, the only gold around is what you used to have, before you purchased that box.

Bagged generic all the way, for our gang!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 4:54:00 PM  
Blogger Nanette said...

That cereal looks good. You're a good cook.

Oh, and you should get the generic per the other suggestions.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007 5:25:00 PM  
Blogger Mandy Lou said...

I never got sugar cereal or got to go to Disney World (I've been to Disney Land, but it's just not the same) - I wanna come live with you guys!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 9:24:00 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

FTN - You know you've made me cry, right? Bailing on me in the chitty chat, and then coming here and doing math, and quickly at that!?


You know what I find interesting about your money raising scheme? That it involves, at first blush, *me* selling *my* body for the financial benefit of this *we* thing. Hmmm. Interesting.

Let's rob banks, Clyde. Especially if you're just looking at giving me 20 percent on the sale of your body.

Desmond - I have been to Disney a few times. I closed my eyes every time and pretended happy things were happening, thus avoiding the reality of financial ruin. Of course, we went back when we had money. We don't have that now. Thus, I shatter the dreams of children within a 10 mile radius of me.

And how have you raised this many chidlren and not chaperoned a field trip to the state capitol? You are either very, very busy with the worky work or very, very smart at the avoiding.

And there are indeed generic Lucky Charms. My kids are none the wiser most of the time. I blame that on the fact that they sometimes eat the sugary cereal and I encourage them to do drugs at recess.

I kid...

Kelly - Indeed. I anticipate paying for it in fiberlicious ways.

CH - We just torture our kids with what they can't have around my house. No trips to Disney and no real cereal. Ok, except for this time. This time they got the real cereal (why does Disney never offer two-fer-ones with coupons?).

And here gas is $2.64/gallon. FTN apparently lives in the Magic Kingdom, and the banks we'll be robbing are filled with candy.

Phyllis - I have a coupon that will let me buy a bag of sugar for 99 cents. I'm a penny pincher!

And I know! I sometimes forget even now we live in a state. These boys of mine also are big fans of museums and art centers. Who knew I'd raise the culturally astute?

FH - Did you finish all the Frootie Pebbles, eh? I say there should be no age cap on the Lucky Charms. Those "marshmallows" rock!

Choppzs - While I can't quibble too much about DisneyLand, for I'd go there if afforded the chance, the lone time I've been I was pregnant with my oldest, so I spent much of my adventure there sitting things out. DisneyWorld, though, makes me happy, happy, happy. I would live there. Disney, however, seems to frown on that idea.

Michael - Ah! Very good comparison. I imagine if my state government sold mouse ear hats that I could get embroidered with my son's name on it, I might be able to pass the myth off on him for about an hour. After that, I'm afraid hell would break lose.

you da mom! - God, exactly! There is a moment with each bite of Lucky Charms where my skin crawls and there is a jolt of pain because I feel like I'm grinding sugar directly into my gumline. But they say love hurts, so I'm willing, from time to time, to suffer for romance.

Sailor - Had he found a pot of real gold in those Lucky Charms, this post would have had an entirely different vibe, my friend. It would have been all "suckas!" this and "hell yeah, baby!" that.

Coupons, however, are the only time my kids get the real deal. Or if I need to score mom points and I bust out the real stuff. Trust me. They can tell the difference between the fake mac and cheese and Kraft.

Nan - Amidst my collection of cereal boxes (it's so huge. do you want to see?) are some fakes. I'll make my case soon. You'll want to see that. Get comfy and prepare to tune in, baby!

Mandy lou - I never got these things until I grew up and got out of the controlling hand of my family. Now, you're welcome to come live with us, but I feel it my duty to warn you, you and I will be the only females. The men outnumber us, and it's not pretty. However, if you can promise you'll perhaps play Barbies with me and knwo how to braid hair, I'm sure they'll leave us alone.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 10:32:00 PM  
Blogger kimmyk said...

we went down to orlando 3 years ago and omg i'll never go back. tooooo many flippin' people accidentally bumping into me. ugh.

but if he finds that leprechaun in the bottom of his bowl of cereal well shit i'mma get me some.

ive been wanting to go to seattle for a while now. think that's in the bottom of that box of marshmallowey goodness?

Thursday, October 18, 2007 5:51:00 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Unless we win the lottery, we will never go to Disney World. Now someone needs to tell my daughter.

Thursday, October 18, 2007 7:01:00 AM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

Well, yeah, the free capitol tours tend to happen during 'normal business hours', and with my commute, I'm never in my hometown during 'normal business hours'.

The one time I actually went was over Christmas break, several years ago (yeef; maybe 8-10?); it was actually pretty cool. Altho, it being Christmas break, all the actual legislator-persons were gone, and there was no opportunity to see the actual legislature in actual legislative session.

But, you know, they say that anyone with a fondness for sausage or the law, should never see either one being made. . .

Thursday, October 18, 2007 8:50:00 AM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Kimmy - We've done the Orlando thing a few times. It's been a very, very long time now, though. That I made it out unscathed is rather amazing, too, since I am not a crowd person. Seriously. A busy drive-thru gets me antsy.

We'll start dumping out the boxes of cereal now and see what we come with. They're on to some generic rice krispies now. Fingers crossed!

Chag - I'm thinking an intervention may be in order. We'll round up our kids and disappoint them in one big swoop! Good times!

Desmond - You're kind of lucky. Though, I used to have to sit down at the state capitol on showcase days for nonprofits. Yawn. Gah! There's a reason my grip on politics is somewhat basic. And why I probably am not a huge sausage fan.

Oh...you know...that last sentence? Yeah. That could go all over the board.

Thursday, October 18, 2007 8:55:00 AM  
Blogger FTN said...

I thought that in your part of the midwest, all the cars ran on corn. Isn't that cheaper than regular gas?

Thursday, October 18, 2007 9:05:00 AM  
Blogger Nanette said...


Thursday, October 18, 2007 9:07:00 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

FTN - My mini runs on fairy dust, wishes and the thunderous power set free by galloping unicorns. There is not price on this fantasy.

Nan - double down crying snort right back at you, sweets!

Sunday, October 21, 2007 11:43:00 PM  

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