“Betcha can’t eat just one”
A few years ago, Lay’s Potato Chips threw down the gauntlet in a new advertising campaign: “Bet you can’t eat just one!” It was a clever slogan–and had a clever commercial to match. But I think the line resonated so much because it’s true. It’s quite difficult to eat just one potato chip. You tear open the bag and, before you know it, you’ve somehow eaten the whole bag. Even when you didn’t think you were all that hungry.
Popcorn, potato chips, peanuts. It’s pretty hard to stop at eating just one. They’re hard to resist. These salty little snacks are downright addicting. Just try having only one peanut or just one chip. It’s not gonna happen. Thinking that you are just going to have one handful of popcorn, turns into two and three and four grabs into the popcorn bowl until there is nothing left but salt and kernels. Peanuts – try tossing just one peanut in the air to catch in your mouth. Within minutes you’ve thrown a dozen or so nuts up high, tilting your head back and opening your jaws wide to catch em’ on the down swing.
I give a half-ass attempt in not keeping any chips or peanuts in the house and let me tell ya’, it’s really hard to do. Along with ice cream, I purposely don’t add snacks to my grocery list. And yet, somehow, I find my shelves lined with microwave popcorn and Planter’s nuts. Cheetos, Frito’s and Ruffles fill the cupboards and there is Chocolate Chip ice cream in the freezer. I blame it on the weekends. And Malcolm.
Weekends are for errands, exercise and extracurricular activities. It’s when Malcolm and I run into town to do odd tasks we can’t get to during the week. It’s when we are able to swim and/or work out at the club and it’s when we have friends over for a get-to-gether. Inevitably, as we are heading home on the freeway after running around doing errands or from swimming, Malcolm will look over at me sitting in the passenger seat, and with an expectant look on his face.
“Know what I’m thinking?” he’ll ask.
“No, what?” Of course, by now, I should know what he is up to.
“I’m thinking we should stop at the store and get some ice cream?” Malcolm looks at me with hope in his eyes. He senses my hesitation. Before I can voice any veto, he continues, “You can pick out what flavor you want,” adding incentive for me to give the okay to stop at the store.
“All right,” I cave, thinking I’ll swim extra laps the next day. “But I want Chocolate Moose Swirl and you have to go in to buy it,” I tacked on my conditions for bringing the forbidden ice cream into the house.
Other times, we’ll stop at the grocery store to pick up something for dinner and walk out with a bag of chips. Midnight snacks include popcorn with Tabasco sauce and butter and during the summers, we’ll sit outside under the portal, cracking open the roasted shells as we sip our beers, eating peanuts. Yep, it’s hard to keep snacks out of our household.
So the other day when we were driving home from swimming and Malcolm looked over at me with that same expectant look, asking, “know what I’m thinking?” I knew he wanted to stop at the store. It was almost noon and I didn’t have much on hand for sandwich makings’. I geared up for the big ask but I already knew I was going to relent since I was craving some Crunchy Cheetos. I put on my “not-gonna-budge” face.
“No, what?” I braced myself. Since it was lunch time, I just knew he wanted the full spread. Popcorn, potato chips and peanuts. The three “P’s”.
“I’m thinking we should have another puppy,” Malcolm glanced over at me, watching for my reaction. Unfortunately, I had just swallowed a big gulp of water. My mouthful of water sprayed all over the dashboard.
“A puppy?” I croaked, mopping up the spewed water with my shirt sleeve.
“Another kid?” I questioned. Malcolm and I were late bloomers. We didn’t marry until we were both in our forties and children weren’t truly an option. Our dogs were our kids.
“Are you serious?” I asked. (No, I did not shriek, I politely asked). I had thought once or twice about having another puppy, another Berner, but had been hesitant in bringing up the subject. I figured it would be a few years yet before we were ready for another dog. Amore and Dolce were still going strong. When we had Tiamo, along with the girls, raising three dogs was a huge commitment. Vacations were out of the question. Weekend trips were a big hassle. Finding a puppy-sitter we could trust, the expense of it all, took a toll on the joy of being away from our girls. A puppy would only add another layer to our lives.
“Well, yeah,” Malcolm sheepishly replied. “This time it would be different,” he swore.
“Different how?” I wondered. We would still be back to three dogs. Three huge dogs.
“For starters, this puppy wouldn’t be allowed on the bed!” Malc exclaimed. “It’ll be trained, like we trained Tiamo, not like the girls!” I chuckled over that statement. Amore and Dolce mean well, but they do have excitement issues. Tiamo was so well-mannered, so well-behaved, we just assumed Amore and Dolce would be as well. Even with training, Amore and Dolce are hellions only a mother can love.
“What brought this on?” I queried.
“I just want another one,” Malcolm said. I wondered if this is how married couples discuss having another child.
“Don’t you remember all the chewed up shoes, all the torn library books, all the middle-of-the-night-keep-me-company times?” I poked at his memory. “You sure you want another child?”
“Well, yeah,” Malcolm repeated. “It doesn’t last forever. They grow out of it.” Dolce and Amore’s “terrible twos” lasted four years. In dog years that’s 28 long years.
“When were you thinking of bringing on this addition?” In other words, how many years apart do you want the kids to be? Amore and Dolce are working on their sixth birthday and unfortunately, Bernese Mountain Dogs have a short life expectancy. The average life span for a Berner is seven to ten years. Tiamo was with us less than seven years. In Berner terms, the girls were getting up there.
“Well, not for another year or too,” he answered. I relaxed a little bit. “But you can’t just stop at one!” Malcolm added. My thoughts turned to the Lay’s potato chip “Betcha can’t eat just one!” Nope, you can’t just stop at one. Even though the word “puppy” was added to the forbidden snack list, and is now part of the four “P’s”, I know without a doubt, in another year or too, a puppy will be brought into our household. Snuck into the house when my back is turned.
We exited the freeway at our turnoff, puppy conversation over.
“Wanna stop and get some ice cream?” I heard from the driver’s side.