A Very Monty New Year

monty cute face“Monty has some New Year’s resolutions,” I informed my husband.

“Is that so?” he responded, without looking up from his computer.

“I’m serious,” I said. “He really wants to be a better dog in 2015.”

My husband closed the computer and eyed me suspiciously. “He told you this?”

“Well, not exactly,” I admitted. “But I felt his remorse, so I helped him write up a list of ways he can improve upon his dogginess next year.”

Truth be told, Monty did not need to do much to be a better dog. He was a great fetch dog (even when he wouldn’t give back the things he fetched), a polite member of the family (even when he passed gas and tried to blame it on someone else), and an incredibly affectionate animal (even when he tried to French kiss the mailman). I really didn’t think he needed to improve upon his dog skills.

However, as a Golden Retriever, he set a high bar for himself and I could sense that he wanted to set some goals for the New Year… and who am I to get in the way of his self-improvement ambitions.

“Number one,” I read from the list. “Monty endeavors to break his underwear and sock chewing habit, or at least cut it down to one pair of boxers a day.”

Monty nodded in agreement. My husband also approved.1798346_10154862032575354_4351427782607084150_n

“Number two. Monty promises to dig fewer holes out back so our backyard will no longer resemble the surface of the moon.”

Monty crossed his paws. I wasn’t sure he was 100% behind that resolution.

“Number three. Monty resolves not to pee in the house when a service technician comes to repair something,” I continued.

Anywhere in the house?” My husband wondered.

“He can’t promise the floor but he guarantees the family room rug.”

Monty and my husband exchanged conciliatory glances.

“Number five. Monty agrees not to steal any food off the kitchen counter, as long as it’s not steak, chicken, eggs, tuna fish or peanut butter.”

My husband looked at me skeptically. “So basically he’s agreeing not to steal vegetables off the counter?”

“Take it or leave it,” I said.

He rolled his eyes. Monty quietly spiked the football.

1544354_10154504594015354_264147041878947526_n“Okay, last one,” I added. “Monty resolves not to bark at invisible intruders, phantom cars, and imaginary squirrels in the middle of the night when we are sleeping.”

“I LOVE that resolution,” my husband said emphatically.

“… but he asks that in return, you don’t keep him up with your snoring.”

My husband narrowed his eyes at me. “The DOG said that?”

I nodded.

“Okay,” he said. “I’ll try to do that as long as HE doesn’t hog the bathroom in the mornings.”

I squinted back at him. “Monty doesn’t use the bathroom.”

“…And I don’t snore,” my husband retorted.

We glared at each other for a moment. “Tell you what,” I said. “Monty won’t hog the bathroom if you won’t snore and I won’t bark at the mailman.”

Monty licked himself and my husband pecked me on the cheek.

“Deal. Happy New Year!”

©2015, Beckerman. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Da Holidays, It's a Dog's Life

Doing the Cranberry Can-Can

Photo by Mr T in DC

Photo by Mr T in DC

When it comes to Thanksgiving, there are two kinds of cranberry sauce people: The can people and the homemade people.

I come from a long line of can people.  In my family, the canned cranberry sauce was an essential part of our Thanksgiving tradition and I thought it was awesome.  Unlike the homemade cranberry sauces, the canned sauce would not carelessly meander into the other food on my plate, disrespectfully tainting the sweet potato pie or rudely running into the turkey gravy. Additionally, since I was raised on the stuff, I actually liked the taste and had no curiosity whatsoever about how they were able to get it into a shape that continued to look exactly like a can, even after it came out.

Cranberry_Sauce_(3617909597)I was not introduced to actual homemade cranberry sauce until I got married.  My husband came from a traditional cranberry sauce family, and like most traditional cranberry sauce families, they thought us canned cranberry sauce people were heathens. Of course, they didn’t say that out loud. But when I looked around the Thanksgiving table at my first Thanksgiving dinner with them and asked for the canned stuff, I could see in their eyes that they were thinking it.

Wanting to fit in with my new family, I tried to be accepting of the homemade cranberry sauce, but to my canned cranberry taste buds, it just tasted nasty. I preferred the artificially sweet taste and smooth gelatinous texture of the canned cranberry sauce to the tart, somewhat lumpy feel of the homemade stuff.

I don’t think this made me a bad person: Just someone with a preference for exceedingly fake, food-like items.

At first I felt bad that I was the lone canned cranberry sauce person at the table. But then I realized that Thanksgiving is all about celebrating two cultures coming together in spite of their differences to give thanks for what they have. I thought it was a great chance for the canned cranberry sauce people and the homemade cranberry sauce people to meet at the dinner table and accept ALL the cranberry sauce options we had before us.

I considered all the other rival groups in history that been unable to transcend their differences – the Sharks and the Jets… the Hatfields and McCoys… the Montagues and Capulets – and realized this was indeed an opportunity for the two cranberry factions to finally come together.

In the interest of peace, love, and brotherhood, I decided to bring a can of cranberry sauce to my next Thanksgiving dinner with my husband’s family. While my traditional cranberry sauce brethren simmered their whole cranberries, sugar and orange zest on the stove top, I unsealed my canned cranberry sauce with a can opener, gently slid it onto a plate, and then sliced it into circles.

As I proudly set my plate of canned cranberry slices onto the buffet, I beamed at one of my nephews and offered him a slice of canned cranberry goodness.

He studied my cranberry sauce, and then in the true spirit of the holiday, he looked up at me, and said,


©2014, Beckerman. All rights reserved.

bookbutton-04“Lost in Suburbia: A Momoir. How I Got Pregnant. Lost Myself, and Got My Cool Back in the New Jersey Suburbs” makes a great gift for the holidays!! To get a copy for you or a cool mom you love, CLICK HERE

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Filed under Da Holidays