What shall I regale you with today, mes amis?  Do you know that I took two whole weeks of French in college?  That would be four whole classes, I believe.  Wait.  Maybe it was only a week and a half of French, which would make it three whole classes.  Well, whatever.  Do you know what I remember from French class?  “Enchantee.”  “Enchantee.” And spelling my name, which has a lot of E’s in it.  I could never say “E” right in French.  That was probably the straw that broke the camel’s back.  If only I could have spelled someone else’s name, perhaps I would be reading Zola in his original language today, n’est-ce pas? But that is water under the bridge.

Yesterday, quite suddenly and out of nowhere, I noticed that my teeth were not hurting.  This morning I ate shredded wheat for breakfast.  It was all right.  I think that later today I may try biting into something with my front teeth.  Not like a steak or anything crazy like that, but maybe a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  I am feeling that confident.

I also seem to be building up callouses on the inside of my mouth, which is another sign of progress.

I talked to my father on the phone last night.  It was his birthday, and I like to talk on the phone with him for his birthday because I never remember to send a card, let alone a gift.  My father is hard to shop for, anyway.  He’s at that stage of life where everything he wants he’s already bought for himself.  That means that if I want to give him something he doesn’t already have, I have to a) spend more money than I have, or b) put more thought, time and effort into his gift than I can afford.  Fortunately, my father isn’t one of those people who makes a point of remembering whether or not you gave him a gift for his birthday.  At least he’s never acted like he cared.  Maybe that’s the problem.  He should have pretended to care, if only so I would have been trained to acknowledge his birthday in a more meaningful way.  Do you like the way I turned this into his problem instead of mine?  Clever. Anyway, I talked with him on the phone.  He said he had a good birthday.  So he didn’t need a dumb gift from me after all!  I think I will hang my Daughter Of The Year plaque in the bathroom.

Also last night, I dropped Princess Zurg off at the roller rink for a church activity.  She had been undecided about whether or not to go, since she hasn’t historically enjoyed skating and doesn’t enjoy falling down and, in her words, is “sort of clumsy.”  But she decided to give it a go, anyway, because maybe she might have fun this time.  I was proud of her for being open to new versions of old experiences.  Anyway, it was a weird experience going to the roller rink.  I’m pretty sure this was the same roller rink I skated at when I was a kid, and I don’t believe they’ve redecorated at all in the intervening thirty years.  It is really like stepping into a time machine.  There is something vaguely seedy about most roller rinks, I think.  They’re not something that anyone builds new ones of, you know?  And this one was just out in the middle of nowhere, in a dark alley.  I reckon that it was a slightly more bustling commercial district in its day, but I don’t really remember.  I think I only ever went there during the day.  That would have made it a little less creepy.  Anyway, back to PZ–when she came home, I asked her how it went, and she said it sucked and it was two hours of her life that she wanted back.  So now we know for sure she’s not a skater, and that’s good.

I was a skater, once upon a time.  A roller skater, that is.  I had my own roller skates and skated around the neighborhood all the time.  I am so old that I once owned roller skates with metal wheels.  Can you believe they ever made those?  Anyway, I loved to roller skate, as a kid.  What I did not love about roller rinks is that they always had you do the hokey-pokey at some point.  Was this anyone else’s experience?  I have never been a fan of the hokey-pokey.  Even as a child, I think I found it too undignified to enjoy.  Unworthy of us serious roller skaters.  Well, whatever.  At some point I stopped roller skating–probably when I grew out of my skates and I stopped getting invited to roller skating parties (because who roller skated anymore?)–maybe around age twelve.  I didn’t go again until I was an adult, and let me tell you, that was an entirely different experience.  (Except for the hokey-pokey part.  Seriously, what’s the deal with the hokey-pokey?)  I spent the whole time being terrified that I was going to run into or get knocked over by some four-year-old on roller blades.  Excuse me, that’s incorrect.  Some four-year-old on inline skates that were probably not Rollerblades (TM).  I haven’t been skating since before PZ was born, but last night had me feeling a bit nostalgic.  Maybe I just need my own private roller rink.

I never did learn how to skate on inline skates.  They were after my time.  But not after my father’s.  My father enjoys trying new things.  (That was how he broke his hip a couple years ago, riding to work on his razor scooter–or as my sister put it at the time, “extreme commuting.”)  When I was in high school, he decided to take up inline skating.  He bought himself a pair of inline skates–Rollerblades (TM), I believe–and he would drive me to my early-morning seminary class, which started at 6 a.m., and while I was in class, he would practice skating in the parking lot of the church.  And all the time people would ask me, “Was that your dad Rollerblading [“Incorrect!”–Ed.] in the church parking lot?”  And I would say, “Yes.  Yes, that was my dad.  He enjoys trying new things.”  At some point he got pretty good at it, or at least competent, and I don’t remember if he just lost interest or didn’t have time for it anymore.  I should ask him the next time I talk to him–which should be before his next birthday, or I’m not Daughter Of The Year.

Tonight PZ has a slumber party at her BFF’s house.  I am going to drop her and her other BFF off at the Birthday BFF’s place (that would be the BBFF’s place, but I didn’t want to confuse you) and then probably take the younger kids out for hamburgers.  I might even eat a hamburger myself.  We’ll see how the peanut butter and jelly thing goes.  Maybe we’ll go to McDonald’s so I can get McNuggets, which can be bitten into quite easily with one’s back teeth.  Except that Mister Bubby hates McDonald’s, and I hate chicken nuggets that are not of the Mc-variety.  I don’t know what it is that makes McNuggets so much tastier than other varieties of chicken nuggets (not to be confused with chicken strips, or chicken tenders, which are completely different animals), but I find myself thinking how much more awesome they probably tasted before they felt compelled to use all-white meat.

I’m sorry, but after two weeks of shunning most foods as not worth the dental pain they would cause, I am feeling a tad hungry.

I really am going to stop typing soon, but I wanted to tell you that I finished reading that Joy Fielding book, The Wild Zone.  It really was unlike any other Joy Fielding book, although it did end up having some obligatory Joy Fielding elements.  The men were all jerks or wusses, and there were a couple of dream sequences.  And not long after that first fifty pages, the obligatory Character Who’s A Grammar Nazi appeared.  At least this time it was the villain who was obsessed with grammar and not the heroine.  I don’t know if that was some kind of self-parody or if Joy Fielding is just evolving as a writer and/or human being, but whatever–I approve.  It was a pretty good book, complete with a Scooby Doo ending, which I appreciated.  This ends our mini-installment of Mad’s Book Club, and thus endeth today’s blog, for it is 1,400-plus words and, you know, that’s just too many.

Gentle readers, adieu.  Or as they say in the francais, “Lecteurs doux, au revoir.”  (At least that’s what the free online translator said.  French-speaking readers, please correct as necessary.)