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All Consuming

Consume v.
1. to destroy, as by fire; do away with
2. to use up; spend wastefully; squander (time, energy, money, etc.)
3. to eat or drink up; devour
4. to absorb completely; engross or obsess
5. to buy for one's personal needs

Let's take a look at these one by one, shall we? For our purposes, we'll go down the list backwards. "To buy for one's personal needs" - this weekend we bought a new car. But did we consume it, or will IT consume US? Cue the dramatic music, and let it play for the five years we're cursing ourselves for taking on a new, higher car payment and cutting our ears off so as not to have to endure the kids' screaming requests to watch a movie on the BUILT-IN DVD player (damn you, Honda Pilot designers) rather than shelling out $1500 to repair a faulty radiator in our old, trashed, sour milk-smelling Mercury Villager. "To buy for one's personal needs AND TO CONFIRM ONE'S COMPLETE STUPIDITY" - that's our form of consumerism.

"To absorb completely; engross or obsess" - Quinn personified the 4th definition on the list when my dad and stepmom brought their 10-year-old poodle with them for the Thanksgiving weekend visit. He thinks the dog is a puppy, and a friendly one at that, so he spent the entire three days following it around and talking to it in a high pitched voice, then getting belligerent when she wouldn't voluntarily submit to his smothering grip. He would go from a baby-talking chimp to a 300-pound wife-beater: "Come 'ere sweet wittle puppy, come eeeeeeeerrre, I wuv you, you're soooo soft! .... HEY! DOG! GET BACK HERE! COME HERE DOG! COME...HERE! NOW! DDDOOOOOGGGG!!!!!" I'm sure that poodle would have chewed his face off if given the chance, but I was quite grateful that Quinn's attention was focused on something other than demands for milk and chips.

"To eat or drink up; devour" - well, do I really need to elaborate? It was Thanksgiving, after all. John and I don't eat meat so we don't cook the traditional turkey, but we still managed to stuff ourselves irresponsibly. The salesman who we bought our car from said to Bryce, "are you going to eat lots of turkey tomorrow?" and he responded with, "well, my parents are vegetarians, so we just eat a lot of casseroles." The next time we saw the salesman, he remembered, and as he was telling us goodbye, he said to Bryce, "don't eat too many casseroles tomorrow!" I baked my first ever pumpkin pie (with a streusel topping, mmmm, brown sugar...gggrrgglllrrrbbbgggllll) and a cake from scratch. Oh, and thanks to my wine connoisseur dad, there was much imbibing of wine and spirits, which probably took up just as much space in our flabby, gurgling mid-sections, if I'm being honest.

"To use up; spend wastefully; squander (time, energy, money, etc.)" - we wasted our time sitting around and eating, which in turn used up our energy so that by the time we took the kids out to pick up some photography props for John at a local furniture store, we had squandered the opportunity to get through such an experience unhumiliated. If we'd been "on our game," if I may use such a trite cliche, we would have been smart enough to bring two strollers with us, and also to talk to the kids about what we were doing and the fact that we expected them not to scream until we were comfortably back within the confines of our own dysfunctional home. As it happened, though, we were too close to food comas to be thinking straight, and we ended up humiliating my entire family AND having the furniture store write a manifesto against us.

"To destroy, as by fire; do away with" - our state was literally consumed by fire yesterday. We headed out for dinner with my dad and stepmom, and the dry leaves on the street were blowing around in violent circles; the air was hazy and we smelled smoke, but I assumed it was from a neighbor's fire place. When we got home and turned on the news, there were reports of fires all over Oklahoma, as well as warnings to evacuate the area if we saw even a small grass fire. It's been dry here, but I've never seen anything like this - it's not like we're in California, where natural forest fires can get out of control. These are isolated grass fires and fires caused by a downed power line here, something else random there. But all at the same time? I was watching with a really confused look on my face when John said, "isn't it weird that Bryce has been obsessed with fires, then he had this huge burst of energy, and now fires have broken out all over the state?"

Great. We didn't have enough issues in our family, so now we're dealing with a telekinetic pyromaniac, too?