No More Feasts of Scraps

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Separation.

Super Bowl, Schmuper Bowl. A bunch of guys running around  in tight pants and acting like gorillas. Give ‘em some swords and let’s have some real fun.

The Long-Awaited Honest-to-God Secret to Being Happy

I’d totally forgotten about the Super Bowl until I decided to indulge myself, get out of the house, and do some ex- citing grocery  shopping. I had to elbow my way through the crowds a few times, but once I decided to enjoy the experience rather than rushing home, it went  much better. After a rough week  at  work,  rather  than  craving  excitement,  I  longed  for something simply peaceful and found it wandering around the Winn-Dixie grocery store, of all places, just taking  the time to look                       at     new      products rather than  grab-and-run.

I bought sunflowers to indulge my Tuscan Sun mood, turkey  meatballs and turkey sausage to assist my dietary improvements, two boxes of fresh raspberries because I’ve discovered I really love them and they’re supposed to be very good for me, and air filters for the AC/heating unit.

I found myself grinning over a new product next to the filters. It  seems that now you can have vanilla-scented air in your home—or cinnamon or tropical or whatever—by placing a scented cloth of some sort next to your air filter and the intake will pull the scent into the vents and  disperse your preferred scent throughout the house. Sorry, but I figured this one out a long time ago.

My ex used to come home from a three-hour basketball binge, tug off this sweaty-wet athletic shoes, and place them in front of the intake vent to dry them out quicker. Not my preferred scent throughout the  house. Later, I decided to try to mask the scent by waving some sandalwood incense in front of the vent and found that I could make the whole house reek of something sweeter in just a few minutes’ time. If I’d been think- ing, I would’ve patented the idea back then.

But  then  I  headed  home  with  my  sunflowers  and cranked up some Simon Stinger, Lush, and Delerium songs and danced around the  kitchen while I feathered my nest. It re- minded me of all the times I used to turn up the tunes—usually old 80’s songs, like Danielle Dax, B52’s, the Cure—and dance with the girls when they were little. Maybe that’s why they love

80’s music so much.

I put up a new light fixture, one of the batch I bought almost a year ago that various men have promised to put up for me and never have, and so I made the time during the daylight and managed to not electrocute myself. I’ll get to the rest over the next week, though I may have to recruit someone with more upper body strength than I have to put up the new ceiling fan in the living room. Still, it felt good to make those little changes. And besides, it was too cold to play outside with my new chain- saw.

The girls came back from their dad’s, cooing about the new lights, the sunflowers, the little things I’d done in the house. “I’ve been  trying  to figure out what’s different about

you,” Shannon said over dinner. “About what’s changed since your divorce.”

A lot of things, I wanted to tell her. But I was curious about her opinion.

“You have confidence now, Mommy,” she said.

Yeah. I do. For the first time in my life, I do. I no longer feast on scraps.

And damn, but this tastes good.