Thursday, July 30, 2009

Methods in Parenting

As a preschool teacher, I often glean a lot of information about a child's homelife by how they treat their toys. A child spends a lot of time play-acting with inaminate objects, repeating whole conversations from home. Don't ever believe that your child does not hear every single word you say, even when the comment is not meant for their ears. Nothing cracks me up more than to see a 5 year old boy on the playground find some new bug or treasure and yell at the top of his lungs "HOLY CRAP!!"

My own daughter this morning was talking to her visiting friend about her new dog. They were both giggling about how Eddie was licking himself. My daughter proudly proclaimed "Well, he has such big balls, he has to keep them clean!" I'm sure the other girl's mom is going to be so happy to hear that! Again, thanks for introducing that term to her Hubby!

But I am learning a lot about who I am as a parent by watching my daughter interact with our new pet. He's 9 months old, not really a puppy, but still in need of a lot of supervision. She hovers over him with an almost neurotic intensity. If he goes into another room, she follows just to make sure he is okay. If he doesn't want to sit with her she becomes sad because she thinks he doesn't like her as much as the rest of us. When she takes him for his walks, she is constantly surveying the area for danger, although she lets him sniff where he wants to, as long as she is right there beside him. It's quite amazing.

I've raised my daughter to be very independent with activities. When she was three, she would put her shoes on at school and then help all of the other kids with their shoes and coats. She has gotten her own drinks and snacks since she was 4. She fixes her bed and does her chores, but still hangs on me and wants to snuggle ad nauseum. And yet, when I see her with Eddie, I see myself reflected in her actions; how I hover and watch and guard her so closely, sometimes making myself sick with worry. I am the perpetual helicopter parent. But I am not going to make apologies for that. In this day and age, I think you have to be.

But I think I need to learn my lesson from this. You can't always enjoy what you have if you can't let go just a little. It tends to own you. I think today, just for the fun of it, I will yell "Holy Crap!" just to see what E will do!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Elises's Story Reposted

The Grand-Daddy of all Ghost Stories
Before I begin this, I want to let you know that I will be changing some of the facts of the criminal case to protect my identity. I will not, however, be changing anything that occured to ME. Everything I say here is true as I perceived it. Whether or not it is really true or is just my fantastical imaginings, well, you'll have to decide.

In our former town, there is a serial killer on the loose. No one knows how many women he has actually killed, but the number attributed to him is anywhere between 5 and 10. He always takes the same type of woman: Mid-thirties, troubles with drugs, sexually promiscous, dirty blond hair, normal builds, neither scrawny nor fat. One of the woman abducted was taken less than a mile from my house. For some reason, whether it was because she was taken so close to where I lived or for some other reason, I obsessed over her disappearance. Every time I would drive to church, I would pass a stand of pine trees and feel certain her body was going to be discovered in that patch of trees.

Then almost a year to the date of her disappearance, another woman was taken. It was about this time that things got really strange for me. You have to understand, I never sleep. I don't fall asleep easily and I don't stay asleep. So one night, as I was lying in bed, not quite asleep but not quite awake, I was shocked into reality by a sensation on my feet. I can't stand my feet being covered when I sleep, so my toes always poke out from under the covers. This sensation was cold and tingly, almost as if someone with ice cold fingers was grabbing my toes. I bolted straight up in the bed and looked around, not seeing anything, not feeling anything but the cold, prickly sensation left behind on my foot. But I was aware of something, almost an ethereal thought floating around in my head. I felt another voice saying "I always had such nice feet!"

I continued to look around, not quite sure why I had that thought echoing in my head. Had I not been awake? Had I been dreaming? I wasn't sure. But all I could think was, is this Elise, the first missing woman? I had that experience of finding the dead prostitute; was something like that happening again? I got out of bed and went to search the websites online. I went to the site dedicated to finding Elise. There, in the description of her outstanding characteristics, it said, "Tattoo on left foot." I was stunned, but thought, this might just be all a strange dream. I went back to bed and as I was falling asleep, I felt that cold, prickly sensation again and this time I felt the voice say, "Why did he have to take my foot?"

Shortly after this all began, her body was found, along with the other woman's body. Her body was not in the patch of trees where I thought it would be. It was directly across the street! At least, most of her body was found. Her foot was missing.

To be continued....

After the night when I googled all of Elise's information, things began to get more intense. It was as if I had opened a flood gate, she realized she had connected and had a lot she had to say. I dreaded going to bed at night. I would stay up later and later, hoping to exhaust myself past that restless half-sleep state when she appeared. (I say appeared loosely, because I never actually saw her.)

Before her body was discovered, I had repeated images of her walking out of the automatic doors of a store with the killer following close behind her. Every time he would look up into the security cameras and I would have the perfect view of him. I kept seeing him getting into a white pick-up truck and hearing the word "gardener." To this day I have not figured out if she was trying to tell me he was a gardener or if his last name was Gardener. Finally, Hubby couldn't take my restless sleep patterns anymore and I had to tell him what was going on. I was terrified he would think I was crazy. Maybe his religious beliefs would make him run screaming from me. But he listened and asked me questions and just supported me through all of this. I described the man I kept seeing to him and he agreed it sounded like the stereotypical killer. We both thought maybe my mind was just imposing that piece of information.

We thought that, that is, until several days later when the newspaper printed an artist's sketch of the man I kept seeing in my dream. It was the man down to the color of the hat I had seen him wear! I started to hyperventilate as I showed the picture to Hubby. Maybe this wasn't me just being insane after all. It was about this time I contacted my pagan friend, Charlitan. She has been through a lot of weird stuff with me and I knew she wouldn't think I was crazy. She gently suggested I try to contact someone. But I am a pastor's wife, I can't tell the public that a dead woman is talking to me.

So, after the sketch came out, I sent a letter to the family of Elise. I didn't mention what I had been experiencing. I just said I lived in the area and knew there were a lot of 24 hour stores open within walking distance of the location Elise had disappeared. Had anyone checked the security tapes of those stores?

There, I thought, I've done my part. Maybe she'll leave me alone. But then the most horrible images of all started going through my mind. I watched her and the other woman who was taken the next year die...over and over. But here's the confusing thing. I kept seeing Elise's throat slashed with something other than a knife. It was a strange wiry looking thing. I saw the other woman stabbed over and over again. When their bodies were finally found, it was the exact opposite. Elise had been stabbed and the other woman had her throat cut by something other than a knife. I had to get to the bottom of this, so I contacted Charlitan again. This time she told me to try to talk to Elise.

And that's how I found out the killer struck again.

By this time I was getting really creeped out by what was going on. Charlitan suggested I ask specific questions before I went to sleep in hopes of getting more straightforward answers and less gore. So I asked her what she wanted me to do. Eventually I feel like I did get my answer, but something else came up first.

One night, after her body had been found and the media attention went national instead of just local, she said my name. She had never said my name before. In fact, I can't say I had even heard official words before, just images. I wasn't aware she knew who I was. Up until this point in time I thought of us more like two people caught on the same stuck elevator together, strangers caught in a dangerous situation who made bizarre small talk. But as I was falling asleep, she said my name. I'll never forget WHY she said my name. She wanted to make sure she had my attention, because the very next thing I heard was a man's voice saying "Hey Ann, you wanna date?" The image that flashed before my eyes was the worst I had ever seen. I saw a bleached-blond woman in a sterile white tile room having her head smashed into the floor. The peculiar thing about this image was for the first time I could associate a smell with it. My nose stung with the scent of antiseptic lemon cleaner. I couldn't tell if this took place in a restaurant or a hospital, but the woman was most definitely dead.

For the next two days I agonized as I watched the news. Would this have been prevented if I had done something? Was this all just a strange nightmare since no one had disappeared from our area since that image? I went to bed the second night and said, "Elise, why did you show me that? That was cruel." This time I really had been asleep when I heard her say, "It's not here, too much news attention. It's here!" and I saw an interstate sign for a state several hundred miles away. I also saw a restaurant. I instantly woke up and ran for the computer. Still nothing!

The next day, exhausted and confused, I stayed up late, trying to put off the inevitable. I was on the computer and told myself I would look just one more time for this "Ann." This time I found her. Her picture appeared on my computer screen. She had just been reported missing. It seems she was a recovering drug addict who had been working at a restaurant but living in a motel about a mile from the restaurant. She had been a prostitute in the past but was trying to turn a new leaf. Her name was Ann and she had been missing 3 days. To this day no one knows what happened to her and I still don't know what building I saw her in, but I can still smell the lemon scent. It's something I will never forget.

So I asked Elise again, what did she want from me.

What Did Elise Want?

By the time I learned of the newest woman killed, I knew I had to find a way to end this for Elise. I was starting to feel physically and emotionally ill from the lack of sleep and the horrible images. I was still being awoken by ice cold fingers on my toes and something new was turns out if you open your mind to allow one paranormal being to communicate, you open your mind for any. But I'll get to that later.

So I asked Elise what she wanted me to do. I absolutely refused to go to the police and tell them she was communicating with me. To this day I don't really know if I believe she was or if this was just an incredible string of coincidences. But I knew I had to figure out what she wanted and try to set her free. I went to bed that night and amazingly enough, nothing happened to me. I slept for the first time in weeks. Maybe just my asking was enough.

But the next day another story broke about Elise. Remember how I told you her foot was missing when they found her body? The foot showed up! The foot AND some jewelry that belonged to her which helped to identify the remains. Somehow, when the CSU has cleaned the area, they had missed it. Everyone thought for a while that the killer had put it there to revive interest in the story, but I knew differently. The news media interviewed Elise's family and her brother very specifically said, "It's as if Elise is trying to give us a message that she's all right now. I want to believe that."

I decided right then that this is what Elise wanted me to do, to let them know that she was all right. Then and there I wrote a letter. I wasn't going to write it to the family because I didn't want to add to their pain if I was wrong, and I wasn't going to send it to the police because that would be the end of my Hubby's career. So I wrote a letter to the private citizen who had been heading up the search for Elise's murderer. Everything I have written in my blog was in that letter and I mailed it anonymously. I told her that I felt like Elise's brother was right and it was now up to her to decide what to tell the family.

And just like that, Elise was gone from my life. No more cold fingers on my toes, no more horrible images, no more confusing clues. Nothing...

Well almost nothing. Several weeks later one more terrifying thing would occur that would make me shut down whatever "ability" I had. Someone, or something, went way too far...

The Last Straw
You know, it was kind of exciting to have had the contact with Elise. Scary, but surreal and weird all rolled into one. I obsessed every day that I was crossing some kind of mental health issue line and that my wild imaginings were taking over my life. But I also truly felt like she had come to me because she knew I understood how it felt to be left behind with no answers from a loved one. She probably knew, eventually, that I would come around and be willing to at least try to give the closure that I never got from my brother's death to her loved ones. But I certainly didn't miss our nightly go-rounds.

Charlitan had warned me to be very careful throughout all of this. She told me that once a spirit makes a connection, there are many spirits who want to share that connection and not all of them are friendly. I didn't doubt Charlitan, but I really couldn't conceive that something else would want to hurt me or bother me. Other than the wolf-like thing in Old Man's Caves, I had never felt threatened by anything.

One night I was blissfully sleeping in one of my rare deep sleep phases when I started having a dream. I was being dragged onto a very old boat, made entirely of wood. The man dragging me was terrifying. He had broken and blackened teeth and was wearing a worn and filthy hunting jacket with a battered baseball cap. His hair was raggedly cut and he stank of old cigarettes and beer. He threw me onto the floor of the cabin and told me not to leave the boat. I looked around and the boat was all hand-crafted wood inside. There were brass railings throughout the cabin and a big-ornate mirror on the wall. The thing that I noticed the most was a table in the middle of the room that had hand-made pottery sitting in the middle. There were cups and bowls set as if people were about to sit down to a meal together. The ship looked much too expensive to be owned by the man who had dragged me onto the boat.

I thought the man had left and I tried to escape by running toward the side of the boat. I planned on jumping over the edge and swimming to the old Civil War undergound tunnel that still ran under the downtown area. This was all taking place in a part of town that I was very familiar with, so I knew there would be rattlesnakes and water mocassins in it, but that was a risk I was willing to take to get away. Just as I was about to jump, the man appeared out of nowhere and grabbed me by my hair and started cursing at me.

By this time I was screaming in my sleep and Hubby was trying to shake me awake. I could feel Hubby's presence lying in the bed next to me, but I was struggling to wake myself out of this nightmare. The man was bending me backwards over the railing and trying to force me into the giant pilings of the dock. It was as if part of my spirit had been shoved out of my physical being and I was watching from the sidelines and screaming at the same time.

As I finally woke up, the man was screaming and I heard myself say out loud (in his voice), "I told you not to leave the boat." This act of speaking finally broke the hold of the nightmare and I was fully awake. Hubby asked me if I was okay and then rolled over and went right back to sleep, not even waiting for an answer. At least, that's the impression I had. It turns out he didn't know what to say to me, so he rolled over to be able to mull over what he had heard.

The next night as we went to bed, he turned towards me and said, "You really freaked me out last night."

"You heard that to? I thought you were asleep." I replied.

"Do you know what happened?" He asked.

"I know I said 'I told you not to leave the boat." I answered.

"It's not just what you said, it's how you said it." At this point I started to get that strange tingling sensation that I get when my fight or flight response starts to kick in. What had I missed? "It wasn't your own voice at all," he said, "it was some strange, redneck voice that sounded really guttural and creepy!"

I tried not to faint. Once he said it, I knew what he was talking about. I had felt like something had taken over my body for just a second before I woke up, but I thought it was part of the dream. I didn't know my voice took on the sound of another person! I got right out of bed and emailed Charlitan, who doesn't sleep either. She told me to ban this thing from my house and mentally see myself binding all the doors and windows because something had crossed a line and tried to use me. I did what she said and went back to sleep.

The next morning a tall ship sailed into town. No news media had reported its intended arrival since they were making an unexpected stop. No part of my subconscious could have known this ship was coming to my town. The ship was hand-crafted by its crew down to the brass-railings inside. They made their own dinnerware out of pottery and lived aboard the ship, so they were a little ragged looking. When the news interviewed them from the inside cabin, they panned their camera around the room to show the lovely, ornate mirror sitting on one wall. This was the boat from my dreams.

I have no idea why I had that dream. I do believe something tried to channel through me. But I am not willing to open myself up again to that sort of experience. So you understand why I am a little creeped out by discovering my new house has a spirit. The spirit has taken my husband's memory stick, papers, keys, and is continuing to open and close cabinet doors. But I am not asking for anything back. I am done being psychic....

And I am done with my story. Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I'm sure I'm going to offend someone....

Now I know what I am about to say is me calling the pot black. I realize my blog holds numerous misspellings and grammatical errors. So I am just as guilty when it comes to what I am going to say. But I have a something I need to clear up.

For the record, someone "passes away", not "pasted away". They are not glued to death, the song is not "Paste Me Not, O Gentle Savior!" Someone in our church recently died and people were offering FB condolences and kept saying "I'm so sorry your loved one pasted away!" I have spent the past 24 hours singing "Pasting away in Margaritaville" because of this. Get it right, people!

And now for my big news...yesterday we adopted a very cute little Jack Russell mix (9 months old, housebroken and crate-trained) from the SPCA. I don't understand how someone could spend so much time and money on a dog and just turn it out, but I am glad they did this time. The dog we chose was hit by a car and ended up in the pound. He wasn't hurt too badly and we just fell in love with him. We have been looking for a dog for a while and since I now have 3 jobs, we thought it was time. Plus there are no kids on our block and E has been so lonely, we thought having a dog would help carry her through until school starts. And don't worry, just because I have 3 jobs, I will only be working 5 hours a day. The dog will not just be left in a crate all day long. I have to say though, I have never had a small dog and had no idea 17 pounds of pup coming at you full force could pack such a wallop!

Oh well, I'm off now to have a picnic dinner down by the water. My life is SO hard!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Man before the Man

Several days ago I was accused by another pastor's wife of being unloving and discourteous towards Hubby on Facebook because I posted a nightmare he had and closed with "Why can't my husband just have the normal "naked in front of the congregation" dreams that other pastors have?" It was totally meant to be tongue-in-cheek and even Hubby didn't take offense to me posting it. But when she said that, my feelings were hurt and I removed the offending comment from the FB because I never want to appear as if I don't love my Hubby. I love my Hubby fiercely and would never purposely hurt him. He does read this blog and sometimes I accidentally say things that may hurt him or cut too close, but it is never out of spite. That being said, I had this really weird dream last night about another man and I wanted to share.

In my life I have had a total of 4 real relationships. One was the asshole from college who spent me into a tailspin when he friended me on FB recently, one was a really nice guy for whom I was the rebound girl, one was Hubby and just was. He was the man for whom there was no title or explanation, so we'll just call him Norm. For the entire 4 years of my college experience, he was always my fallback guy. He was my "friend with benefits." He was my protector during rough times and the man who would keep me grounded when I started to fall. He was everything and all things to me, but we couldn't be together. He just didn't have the same feelings for me that I had for him. We tried...he tried, but we were just not good together.

Several years back Hubby and I were going through some really rough times. I am a very high need person (like you couldn't tell THAT!) Hubby was in seminary and working for a church and I was struggling under the weight of the church from hell and being a new mom. We stopped communicating and I became very lonely and needed to feel like someone cared about me. So I looked up Norm on the computer. I emailed him out of the blue after 10 years of being apart and we commenced to catch up via email. It felt so good to have that attention again. I knew I would never do anything more than email him, but I still felt guilty and told Hubby that I had contacted Norm and why. It was that emotional affair thing rearing its ugly head. But Hubby and I worked things out and Norm receded back into my distant past again and all was well.

Until this morning....for some reason I had a dream about Norm. And wasn't a dirty dream (get your heads out of the gutters), it was just a dream about a day we had spent together when we were in college. I woke up completely confused and exhausted. In my dream all of those feelings had come rushing back and upon waking it took me a few minutes to shake them off. I felt guilty and couldn't go back to sleep for several hours. Why did I have that dream? I figure there are probably several reasons.

The easy out reason is that Hubby has been too busy for me lately and I am feeling lonely again. That would put all of the blame on Hubby (not that I did anything wrong by having a DREAM) and help assuage my guilt. But I think the real reason is that I am so emotionally off-balance right now I'm struggling in my mind to get back the me who was the true me. Norm only knew the true me. Except for Hubby, he's one of the last people to know that person. Does anybody else ever feel that, like somehow you got off course with your life and lost yourself, but then when you actually started to find yourself it's scarier than being who you had become and you try to hide in the past? Did anybody understand that run-on sentence?

Strange things have been happening here. I haven't had to put out a single resume and I have 3 jobs! I got lousy stinking drunk the other night with a church member (sorry again about that drunken comment, WL!), something I am not proposing I do all the time, but still, everyone needs to be allowed to let loose sometime and I haven't let myself do that in a while. Things are cheaper here so we're not dirt poor. People know my name instead of just calling me "Hubby's wife." CountryTime is a time warp and I feel like I am being hit hard by a mid-life crisis in reverse. And then I had that dream.

Hmm...I'm not sure what I hope to accomplish with this post. I guess this is just one of this "is there anybody else out there who feels this way?" kind of thing. But that's all I have today. I'm sure in a few days I'll be able to regale you with tales of my new PUPPY!

Monday, July 20, 2009


I will return to the story of my dad tomorrow, but for today, can I just tell you....MY SUPERMOM AND SUPERWIFE POWERS HAVE FAILED!!!! Do you ever have one of those days where if you hear the word "Mommy" or "Honey" one more time you might just have to run screaming from the room with a burning hot spatula in your hand and high tail it out to the nearest interstate like the roadrunner when Wiley E. Coyote is chasing him (her), legs spinning like a whirling dervish?

I am weak people, WEAK!!!! Some woman are meant to be stay-at-home moms, some people are meant to be work full-time moms. Right now I am a "get me out of the house before I poke my eyes out" kind of mom. And I am tired of my Hubby being star of the show. There, I said it..I'm FREAKING tired of everyone asking me if HE likes it here.

Okay, that's my rant for the day. I am off to grocery shop!

Oh yeah, when the school year starts I will have two jobs. I will be a part-time Preschool teacher and also be the drama coordinator for a children's theater. Yay me. Then I will be a "work part-time so I can be a good wife and mom" type mom.


And yes...please read this tongue-in-cheek....mostly!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Paranoia will destroy-a

The person visiting via Roadrunner from my hometown was my Hubby reading my blog at church! Whew. I haven't been that freaked out since I found out the former assistant to my Hubby's Big-Grand-Giant Poobah had found my blog.

Sorry for the panic. I just have this overwhelming fear that I am going to get Hubby in trouble or the wrong person from the church is going to discover me and end up making us move because I am a big, fat hypocrite.

I probably wouldn't be so nervous but the term "muddy waters" coincidentally happens to be very significant to my new town. But I am not going to disappear yet. If I ever do have to disappear, I will let Wide Lawns know where I am and create a member's only account.

The funny thing about all of this, I was more freaked out by the fact that someone from my church might have discovered me then I am about the fact that the Department of Justice spent 22 hours reading my blog. I must have set off some alarms somewhere. Dear DOJ, I am harmless. My dad was a scientist who did covert government work, but that's another story for another day.

Deep Breath-es-es

My old boss was German and whenever our classroom would get too loud, she would clap her hands to get the children's attention and then tell them to take "Deep Breath-es-es." The children, being small and impressionable, thought this was the way you said it, so I would occasionally hear them comforting a classmate by telling them to take "deep breath-es-es."

Someone from my new town is reading my blog....they also commented anonymously on my blog...I need to know if you are going to keep my confidentiality or if I just need to disappear.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I'm sitting here staring at my screen thinking I should update my blog. But how do you follow Elise's story? What can I say? It's weird. I never have nothing to write. But I am empty. So I will try to answer Gina's question from a while back. She asked why Christians are so afraid of the paranormal. Gina...I have no idea. I asked Hubby. He said he had no idea. But I have a thought or two.

First, I think that there are a lot of Christians out there like Hubby who don't put limits on what God can do. Those people are not afraid of the paranormal. In fact, it seems to add to their faith because it is beyond their comprehension, as they feel God should be.

Second, I think that the people who are so afraid of the paranormal have a real fear of the devil and think that anything they can't explain or that causes them fear comes from an evil place. I myself, although I believe in evil, do not believe in the devil, so maybe I am just full of it, but that's what I think. A lot of people tell me something is being caused by the devil, such as addictions and accidents, so maybe they just have a real fear. Other than that, I have no idea.

So if anyone has anything else they want me to write about, please help and give me an assignment. Things are just going too well in CountryTime. I have no angst from which to rant and rave! Lord help me, I might have to move!

Monday, July 6, 2009

My Beef with Buffets

Okay, before you start reading this post, if you have a queasy stomach, skip to the third paragraph. I will not be responsible for any person who ends up nauseous by this post. Now, if you are still reading, here we go: Normally I avoid buffets like the plague. They just end up being a trough of food that is never really very good because it sits so long waiting for 100's of people to come by and pick it over, sneeze on it or just plain use their fingers instead of the tongs. It's a petri dish of edible bacteria! However, one of our congregants gave us a gift card to the local Asian buffet and so we felt obligated to at least try this restuarant.

While we were at the restaurant, a young boy about 11 was given free reign of what he wanted to eat. He loaded up his plate with a strange conglomeration of food and piled it so high it was spilling onto the floor. I watched in horror as he went back to his table and proceeded to stuff his mouth with enough food to feed a family of four. Not ten minutes later that same boy was running, and I do mean running, for the nearest bathroom, only he didn't make it. He spewed all over the floor near the desserts, all over a fellow customer's leg and directly in the line of sight of the nearest server who proceeded to do ....NOTHING!. It took the restaurant 10 minutes to get around to cleaning it up, all the while people were looking at it and walking around it as they continued to get their food! Needless to say, my appetite was ruined, but I was like a moth to a flame, watching as all of this unfolded.

But I think what happened to this boy just confirmed what I already thought about buffets. Humans are not supposed to have the ability or opportunity to gorge themselves at will. Now I know when were were all nomadic clans we were living on feast or famine. But we are no longer nomads and most of us, at least in America, have food available to us at all times. But I think that seeing that buffet sets off some primal urge in us to eat until we, well, until we puke!

Case in point, E had to go to the doctor the other day for strep throat. We were there two hours and then had to get her prescription filled and she was hungry, so she asked me to take her to the Pizza Hut which just happened to do a lunch buffet. We both started with a small bowl of salad and then returned for ONE piece of pizza. I told her if she finished that piece she could get another one. She didn't. She was full. So was I. So we stopped eating!

But the other people were like turkey vultures feeding on roadkill. Everytime a new pizza would come out, they would swarm. Some of them loaded not one but TWO plates of food and took it back to their table. Watch people eating at a buffet. At least half of them will sit with their backs hunched and their arms protectively encircling their plates, ready to fight off anyone who might challenge their right to gorge. And their eyes are always floating back to the buffet to see what new thing might be coming out, ready to pounce with another plate. And then, as I was eating my food, I realized I was having trouble reaching my plate. THE BOOTHS WERE BIGGER! Booths in buffets are bigger than your average booth, if they have booths at all. I was just amazed.

So, even though I went to two buffets in two weeks, I haven't been to one in over a year because, with my food addiction I just don't need that. I'm going back to banning the buffets. But next time you go, look around and see if you don't agree with me. No one needs four plates of food. No one needs to have that opportunity. No one needs to watch what I watched that boy do at that Asian buffet. That's a sight that will be burned in my brain for years to come.