John and I celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary on Friday. 1) Yes, we got married on Cinco de Mayo, shut up, and 2) gosh, sixteen years. This was an occasion for which I had a terrible time finding the right card, let me tell you. Most anniversary cards are spectacularly gooey, festooned with chirpy/insipid romantic declarations and zero mention of the far-more-important issues of compromise and forgiveness and sacrifice and fuckups and repair that accumulate along the way, not to mention all the heartbreak and limitations of being human, even (especially?) a loving human. I mean, long-term marriages are packed with so much heavy-duty adulting I feel like that’s what should be acknowledged as opposed to flowery-script soulmate poetry, but I suppose “Let us recognize the complex and sometimes-shiteous terrain we have navigated together while solemnly exchanging no-whammy fist bumps for making it this far because damn” might not jive with the soft-focus clinking champagne glasses.

Well. After sixteen years, no card is needed to express what I feel above all else: I’m so deeply grateful for this beautiful, messy, amazing life we’ve built together.

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There is a girl in Dylan’s class who brings the most amazing lunches from home. Her bag always includes a selection of Tupperware-type containers filled with wholesome servings of things like quinoa and kale chips. Once I saw her eating beets. BEETS.

I personally have zero experience with this type of child. A third grader happily tucking into a bowl of beets is pretty much as exotic and incomprehensible to me as those heptapod aliens that communicated via squirts of mystical space-ink in Arrival. Like, yes I see that this young human appears to be willingly consuming a vegetable, but I’m going to need a team of physics professors using about ten whiteboards to decipher what it all means.

Here’s what Dylan takes to school every day of his life: a peanut butter sandwich made with cinnamon bread, an Annie’s fruit snack, and a bag of pretzels or chips. Every. Single. Day. I used to make him eat the school lunch because I thought he’d sort of be forced to try new things or maybe get motivated by his friends eating their lunch, but then I joined him for lunch a couple times and saw that he was reluctantly nibbling about a molecule of whatever he decided was least offensive from the cafeteria menu and throwing the rest away. Then I tried sending in different types of lunches — how about some applesauce? Whole wheat bread, at least? A CLIF BAR COME ON KID WORK WITH ME HERE — until my last fuck was lying in the trash along with everything else.

So now he gets his motley collection of processed carbohydrates and he’s happy as can be. Every now and then I read some pearl-clutching article about how parents are sending their kids to school with these terrible unhealthy lunches and I figure the author must have ended up giving birth to a Beet Kid because otherwise they’d know that you can die on that Whole-30-shaped hill or you can send in the goddamned Cool Ranch Doritos because at least they’ll get eaten.

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