Tuesday, November 26, 2013

No Offense

My eight-year old's latest catch phrases are, "No offense," "I don't want to offend you," and "I hope this is not offensive," all of which are followed by the word, "but," then a truth-telling of some kind. I don't really know if EJ understands what "offend" means, but she sure likes trying out not offending people, namely me.

A few weeks back, when she was really sick—the kind of sick that makes parents worry—and I had spent days focused on keeping her comfortable with her high fever, she crawled into bed while I was still sleeping and landed this classic:

"Mom, I don't want to offend you, but I have to ask: have you taken a shower lately?"

She was hot, sweaty, and coated in Vick's VapoRub as she said this to me, pinning me down under my comforter as she rubbed all her sicky-sick germs all over my side of the bed. She followed up her question by turning around to kiss me, so as to seal the deal on my impending illness. As we later realized, she had the flu, and yes, I got it, too, just as her energy had kicked back into high gear.

No, no offense at all, sweetie. Please, make sure to tell me about my smelliness or hair-sticking up at absolutely any time, it is part of our contract.

I thought this couldn't be outdone. I really did. Sure, there was the, "Mom, I hope this is not offensive, but I think you are crazy,"  while driving home from school one day. That one felt like a compliment, actually. Moms who are a little crazy are more fun, and they also keep their kids on their toes—who doesn't want that in their arsenal?

I'm not just crazy, though. I'm setting new trends in beauty. You know how I know? Because last Tuesday, while sitting in a full doctor's office waiting room, enjoying a really nice conversation with EJ, she threw out this non sequitur, in a voice loud enough to give a presentation to a banquet hall:

"No offense, Mom, but your hair smells like ham. Really. It is hammy. I like it because pork is my favorite meat. Your hair is so meaty."

After letting everyone know about my hairstink, she then hugged me and put her head in my hair, taking a deep breath, and exhaling, "Ah..." with a smile, as if she had just been to a parfumerie in Grasse and come up with the newest formula for Chanel's fragrance line.

What was more interesting to the people around us? The fact that I literally have pig-hair, or that my daughter seemed to like it so much she wanted to eat it? Instead of being mortified, I've decided to embrace this as a new-product development opportunity.

Attention, every company now on the Moroccan argan oil bandwagon, stop what you are doing!  I know a cheaper, and apparently much more pleasant, form of grease to put in your products. We also put it in our family's cinnamon roll recipe, so you know it is going to be good. Are you ready? 

It's LARD.

You could call your product "Lardresse," or "Lardrique," using the age-old technique of adding a French-style suffix to a product name a) to negate the other part of the word (LARD), and b) to imply loveliness that cannot be created without an "e" at end of the word. I can see the ad copy now:

"Want hair that is so yummy it is craveable? Now you can eat your bacon, and wear it, too! My hair is silky, shiny, and smells so meaty. And Lardresse/Lardrique is all natural, which matters to me."

Now, I'm not sure how I have naturally gotten the smell of ham into my mane without using a lard-based hair care product, but I guess I can thank good genetics for that one. You know what that means, right? EJ's dreams of sporting a head of hair that smells like a delicious smoked pork shoulder may come true. I hope that, if she has kids, they let her know when that day arrives, preferably in public.

No offense.


  1. Kori, I've told you before that I love your use of language. This one made me laugh out loud! Karen S.

  2. I don't even get the niceness of "I don't mean to offend…"
    I just get blindsided by "You might want to think about wearing something other than yoga pants."
    "WHAT did you DO to you HAIR?"
    or, also in a full waiting room
    "Mom, I love you because you don't care what you look like outside the house."

    Don't you feel the love?