Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Bowl of Popcorn, by Lia Mack

It was a Friday night. My dear husband was hard at work, the night shift, and I had the house to myself. Well, technically, I wasn't alone: I was seven months pregnant with my little boy wonder. And we were both in the mood for some crunchy popcorn and a good belly-laughing movie.

Up the stairs I huffed and into the kitchen I started to pull out the necessities: corn kernels, butter, salt, sugar (LOVE sugar on my popcorn), and a big bowl. Patiently I waited, listening to the pop-pop-pop of the hot kernels, imagining each and every bite, salted-sugary-buttered fingers digging in for more, and more.

The baby kicked, I drank down a glass of water, and the dog paced back and forth, knowing in her sweet mind that mommy wouldn't leave her out of the forthcoming delectables. I rushed to the bathroom for one last pit stop so that I could, hopefully, watch the movie in it's entirety without having to heave-ho off of the couch for another pit stop.

Finally, the kernels were all spent, warm and waiting their toppings. Butter, melted down over them, salt and sugar sprinkled in just the right amounts. It was a big turnout, needing a bigger bowl to contain all it's goodness. Pulling out the biggest glass bowl I had, it all fit just right, leaving enough room for one hand to plunge in and take away it's treasures.

Sidestepping the drooling dog, mommy and baby descended the stairs, huge bowl of the most perfect popcorn anyone had ever created lightly resting atop the baby belly, hands ever so carefully holding tight to it's rim lest it fall.

At last, the movie was set, the popcorn perfect, the dog ready to curl up with mommy and the big belly, ready to dash off to retrieve any fallen treats. I was tempted to taste the popcorn, knowing by the aroma that it was going to so good, however I needed one last trip to the bathroom.

"Don't touch that, Marley, ok?" I said to the dog as I rushed down the hallway, however penguin like.

When I came back into the living room everything was as I left it. Breathing out a sigh of relief, I sat on the couch only to realize that the TV tray that the bowl of popcorn was upon was far out of my reclined reach.

Hoisting myself up off the couch, I picked up the edges of the TV tray and slid it closer still to the couch, gauging the distance, hoping for the perfect placement lest I have to drag myself up off the couch again. It had been a long day, working since six in the morning. Mommy just wanted to put up her feet and eat her warm treat.

Assuming it couldn't get any better, the distance and the relaxing night to follow: a romantic comedy staring Meg Ryan, my favorite, and a big beautiful bowl of perfectly buttered popcorn all to myself, I released the TV tray in it's place.

Only, the stupid folding legs of said TV tray had, unknowingly to me since I couldn't see past my big belly, had collapsed, causing the table, popcorn bowl and all, tumbling down on to the ground, crashing with such a slam that the biggest glass bowl I owned turned into a million shards of glass, covering the entire span of the family room, perfectly coated with butter sugar goodness and the last of the popcorn that I had in the house.

The dog lepted off of the couch, ready to devour every last bit.

"NO! Stop! It's glass!" I cried, pushing the popcorn crazy dog out of the room.

Not wanting to face the mess, but knowing I was alone in the house, and would be for at least another three hours, I pulled out the vacuum.

And I cried. And cried. And cried.

My popcorn. My beautiful popcorn, so perfectly buttered and salty-sugary good. Not one piece was spared a shard of glass. Picking buttery glass-sharpened-popcorn out of the carpet I blubbered and cried, squinting hard against the tears to remove it all lest the dog find a piece, eat it, and then I spend the rest of my night in the doggy-emergency room.

Hunger and hormones combined, morning the loss of the best bowl of popcorn to ever be created, I cried three straight hours. Three gut wrenching blubbering hours, until there wasn't strength left in my mind to feel an ounce misery.

However, to this day, I have not made a more perfect bowl of popcorn. And I still need a mega-sized glass bowl...