Skip to main content

Stomping Ground

As part of a Social Studies project that has overtaken our lives, Mallory is conducting a tour of cupcake bakeries in the Triangle area. The research involved in this project, as you will imagine, has been quite tasty. Yesterday we went to Chapel Hill to visit Sugarland, a bakery featured on Food network which also happens to be right across the street from where Chris and I first met.

Chris and I kept mentioning this kind of thing -- This is the restaurant we ate at on our first date! This is where I'd pick your mom up after class! Our first apartment was right down that street! -- and each time the girls would say, "Ewwww!" It's unclear why details of our past life disgust them so greatly. "If your daddy and I had never met, and had never dated, you wouldn't have been born," I've said numerous times. Mallory, however, seems to find the whole concept of dating very unpleasant, and I think Phoebe just doesn't like to contemplate a world before she was in it.

We parked at the Turtles -- a free lot so named because of the giant mural on the wall facing it:



Phoebe was disappointed that this was just a mural and not the outside of an aquarium. The Turtles was where, one evening, right after I'd parked and gotten out of the car, a drunk guy came into the lot, got into his own car (which was perpendicular to mine) and yelled out the window, "You'd better hope I don't hit your car!" and then proceeded to back out and do just that -- he slammed into my car, then drove forward, and then reversed into my car again. Chris ran over and started yelling ferociously and defended my honor (and my car from further damage). Good times.

We ate lunch at Pepper's Pizza (where, in fact, we had dinner right before seeing an REM concert on November 10, 1995 -- which we do consider our first date) -- it's a divey kind of place where all the waitstaff have piercings and tattoos and the seats and tables are decidedly vintage. Delicious pizza, though.



We then walked down Franklin Street to the comic book store, where the girls wheedled me into buying them stuffed animals, because apparently we can't go anywhere without buying a stuffed animal.



Then on to Sugarland, which was immediately impressive to the girls because of the mosaic in front of their entrance:



It was, indeed, a land of sugar, showcasing some really amazing cakes like this one:



That's a cake! A real cake! What the!

They also have gelato, which I'd never tried before but which is now my favorite thing. I had coconut and the girls had vanilla and we all agreed it was divine. Apparently they make frozen margaritas and daiquiris with the gelato and I must go back to try one of those. The cupcake -- we split a Red Velvet -- was merely okay.



Then we took a walk through the UNC campus. I should've taken more pictures because it was just gorgeous -- UNC has a pretty campus anyway, but with everything freshly blooming and kind of damp from recent rains it was just lovely.



Phoebe kept asking Mallory, "Do you think we should be Tarheels or NC States?" as though those two colleges were the only options. (And yes, the choice should have been Tarheels or Wolfpack.) Mallory said she wanted to be a Tarheel; Chris replied that she'd have to get really good grades. After a few moments thought she said, "What if I don't go to college at all and just work at McDonald's? That would be okay, right?" I said, "Not if you want to have a house and a car and to be able to afford to have a family." She said, "I'll just find someone to buy those things for me." Ha! Good luck with that, kid.

I have to say, though, that as we left the prettiness of the quad and got into the section of campus that I'd spent all my time in -- the graduate school buildings, the library, the gross dining hall where I'd eat my lunch -- the fond nostalgia I'd been feeling turned into something else. In fact, as we passed by Greenlaw Hall, where I'd had most of my classes, I just had this feeling of oppression and dread -- much the same as I'd felt during my two years as a graduate student, in fact. (At least, that's how I remember it.) Mallory and I went into the library because I wanted to find my thesis, but I couldn't figure out how to work the computers, so we just kind of wandered around for a few minutes. The library is not a pretty building, it's depressingly industrial and gray, and I had unpleasant memories of the boring job I had there (Interlibrary Borrowing, can I help you?) and the hours I spent at a desk on the 6th floor, taking notes and writing papers. Ugh. I'm sure I did enjoy some parts of getting my degree -- surely? -- but on the whole I just remember feeling weighted down the whole time, much like this girl with all the books:



As we walked back through campus to the car, I found myself wishing, again, that I'd pursued another course of study, that I'd done something different with my life. I thought of the advice I would give my 18-year-old self, if only such a thing were possible.

Then Phoebe complained that her feet were hurting, and I said, "Maybe you didn't wear good walking shoes," and she said, "No, I think I just don't have very good feet," and I laughed and felt glad, after all, that I've ended up where I have.

Comments

Karen said…
Gelato is yummy. Sounds like you had a good day.
aimee said…
I think you ended up where you were supposed to. This is something that I have struggled with off and on for years, but I know I wouldn't want to change a thing.

Popular posts from this blog

New Math

This word problem was on Mallory's math homework last week:

Lesia has 32 stickers. Diana has a few stickers. Lesia adds their stickers. She has to regroup when she adds. How many stickers does Lesia have? Circle the number.
3
5
6
8

We puzzled til our puzzlers were sore, but we still couldn't figure out the answer. I wrote a note beside the problem: "Mrs. G., this problem didn't make sense to either Mallory or her parents."

The next day the paper came back with a note from Mrs. G. She circled the last line of the problem and wrote:

"Misprint! This should have said Diana."

Okay! Whew! I was relieved to know that I wasn't, in fact, dumber than a second grader.

Except then I realized that I still didn't understand how the answer could be 3, 5, 6, or 8.*

I can't wait til she gets to algebra.



*Unless what they're calling "regrouping" is what we used to call "carrying the ones." In which case the answer would be 8. I think. Maybe.

Yard Sale. YARD SALE!

Anyone who doesn’t hear Tom-Hanks-as-Woody-the-Cowboy screaming that line…hasn’t spent much time around small children. Or at least around small children who like to watch Disney movies.

We had a yard sale this weekend – we being me, Chris, his sister Amy, and his mom. Yikes, it was exhausting. There was much hauling of boxes and furniture and standing around and chasing Mallory and Phoebe about the driveway all Saturday long. I made a hundred bucks – not too shabby, I guess. Chris made about $75 selling the “dregs” of his toy collection. The main point, however, was to sell our old living room furniture because we’re getting a new sofa and chair today (it’s being delivered as we speak!). We did sell our beat-up love seat for $25, but there were no takers for the beat-up sofa sleeper or the recliner. Alas, but that’s the way it goes.

Most of what I sold was baby stuff – clothes, bouncy seats, playmats, and so forth. It was a relief to see it go. Right after Phoebe was born I had the urg…

Confederation, confederation, confederation

Mallory has a big Social Studies test today. She’s not doing well in Social Studies, this year. When I asked her why her grades were so low, she said, “I don’t like Social Studies. Besides, no one can be good at everything.” I thought this was a fair point, but let her know that it was not acceptable for her to do quite so poorly, whether she liked it or not.

We studied for hours for this test. We read the chapter twice, summarized main points, went over vocabulary words, filled in blanks and did true/false quizzes. There were moments when I despaired – as when I asked, “The villages of the Cherokee people came together to form a...” and she said, “Um...bison?” But I think she knows the material pretty well; honestly I’m not even sure what else we could have done to get her prepared. I told her we would like for her to get at least a B.

I know she’s nervous. I’m nervous for her. I slept poorly all night.

But, I also know more than I really wanted to know about the early peoples of …