time for action and lemon loaf

As an aside to Pop Tart Tuesday, wherein Saucy debated the merits of teenagers dumping each other via Facebook, email and the least impersonal method of all, text message... she would like to share one more bee that is festering under her hair extensions about a disturbing trend that she witnessed a few years ago on vacation with Buddy Budderson:

Allow Saucy to set the stage: It was a weekend night in Toronto, she and Buddy decided to visit the entertainment and video game emporium known as Playdium. For the uninitiated, this is by far the mecca of video gaming. Imagine every single game known to man - under one roof.

And Saucy says "known to man" when she really means "known to boy" because it was apparent upon entering the establishment the demographic within was predominantly boys aged 12 to 20.

It was crowded, noisy and for Buddy, it was like heaven. He'd been promised this sojourn and there he was. Saucy obtained a game card and they set out to have some good, new-fangled fun.

Everywhere Saucy looked, she saw young teenagers taking part in the fun.

Until... Saucy began observing a disturbing trend throughout the arcade. Teenage boys everywhere were playing games. Teenage girls were everywhere, standing in lineups. At first, Saucy brushed this off as coincidence, as surely the concept of chivalry - while it is covered in the middle years Social History curriculum - is all but dead to this generation, reasonably she did not expect the young men to surrender their place in line to allow a young lady to play ahead of them.

That would be... asking entirely too much. Instead, Saucy assumed that the girls were simply waiting their turns to play the games.

But, no. Upon further observation, Saucy noted:

This was the part that really chapped Saucy's hide. The girls scattered about the arcade, standing in long lineups and "holding" spots for their boyfriends. When boyfriend finished the game he was playing, he jumped into his warmed up spot - and directed girlfriend which game to scope out and get a spot for next.

Saucy began to wander the Playdium and did some quick calculations. Approximately 95% of the people playing the games were teenage boys. Approximately 95% of the people standing in line were teenage girls.

And let Saucy just say, the girls were not making the best of it. They did not seem to interact with each other, as in "we're here in a group and this is how it goes, the girls hang out and the boys catch up after they play." The girls looked sad, forlorn and lonely. The closeted-anthropologist that Saucy is was deeply intrigued and she began to study the behaviour in earnest.

The girls did not even seem to know each other. It was apparent that they were there on dates. As in, "hey, would you like to come out with me on the weekend, hold my drink and save me places in line at the arcade?"

Oh, but wait... it gets better: some of the girls also held the boys coats. Thus freeing up their hands for all sorts of high scoring fun.

You guessed it. Catered to their every whim, ran errands for them, fetched them drinks from the concession and even took pictures of them on the more interactive games. Later to be posted on Facebook one can only assume with a caption like "my man owning this game."

You don't even want to know how wound up Saucy was over this situation. Reminiscent of the great Kindergarten photo debacle of 1999, her first instinct was to rally the girls to attention by standing on a table a 'la Sally Field in Norma Rae:

Until she realized that a) although she packs a Sharpie marker on her person at all times, she was lacking the poster board needed to start a simple revolution, right there and then, and;
b) it appeared to be a trend that was more far-reaching that even Saucy could imagine.

Saucy decided that right then and there, a chill was probably going up Gloria Steinem's spine because somehow, this generation of young women is simply allowing boys to get away with this junk. Saucy could feel the chill run up her spine and her only thought was to point the whole mess out to Buddy Budderson in an attempt to thwart this ongoing trend at a grassroots level.

Reader, surely you must be concerned about the denigration of civility and manners between the genders in our youthful population. Even Loopy makes observations about what she sees in school: boys slamming doors in girls' faces, boyfriends loping ahead of their girlfriends who are hobbling on crutches and trying to balance unwieldy backpacks, and the everyday use of words that shouldn't be repeated on a family blog that denigrate women... you get Saucy's drift.

Enough already. Saucy is {this close} to launching some sort of activist program for girls under the age of eighteen to stand up for themselves and say, with baked goods:

"I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!"

Rabble-rousing takes a lot out of Saucy. She needs to replenish with hearty baked goods, and today was no exception. She whipped up two lemon-poppyseed loaves in order to deliver one to Pepper tomorrow as a small condolence for the loss of her Grandma.

You haven't had lemon loaf until you've had Saucy's Lemon Poppyseed Loaf

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs at room temperature
1/2 cup milk at room temperature
1 and 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
grated rind of one lemon
1/4 cup poppy seeds (optional)
save the juice of the lemon
1/4 cup white sugar

Using the whisk attachment on your mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the milk at medium speed until just blended.

Sift together the remaining dry ingredients with the lemon rind and blend into the egg mixture on medium speed. Turn speed to high for about thirty seconds after it is all blended.

Throw in the poppy seeds and stir them in by hand.

Pour batter into a lightly greased loaf pan... a small loaf pan is best here but if you like, this recipe is easily doubled and baked in a longer loaf pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes and test for doneness. The top should be slightly golden with a small crack.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for ten minutes on a rack - in the pan.

In the meantime, stir together the lemon juice (seeds strained out) with the sugar in a saucepan on top of the stove over low heat. When the sugar is completely melted and the mixture has thickened to become a glaze, remove from heat.

Remove the loaf from the pan, set it on the cooling rack and before it is completely cool, use a pastry brush to apply the glaze to the top - and the bottom - of the loaf.

When the loaf is completely cool, use a serrated knife to slice it into lovely equal pieces. It slices up beautifully, or if you need to freeze it, wrap it in a good amount of plastic wrap uncut.

There now, Peeps. Don't we feel better about things already?


Kate's Cupcakes said...

Nothing I love more than lemon poppyseed goodness! Will try this recipe as soon as my course load permits me to!

I must say, I am a huge fan of your empowering blog posts, as of late. (Any post with a recipe is a thumbs up in my book) It seems like the main issues with girls under 18 and their relationship patterns is that the pressure to have a boyfriend, overpowers any negative aspect of the relationship. Because, let's face it... would you rather have a "boyfriend" who neglects your wants or needs but is, for lack of a better word... still a "boyfriend" or, a group of girls spreading nasty rumors about you for not having a "boyfriend" at all? It's a dangerous bullying web they weave, in middle through high school. I truly believe that as children, their only hope is to get such grounding advice from parents such as yourself. Keep it up Saucy!

Rosemary said...

Yum looking loaf!

everythingisjustwonderful said...

I hope to raise my future children with such convictions! And to be quite honest, I would have any girl I know under 18 join such a movement!

Anonymous said...

Saucy, you are so right! This generation needs to wake up and smell the baked goods! I am going to talk to my granddaughter about this very thing this weekend, and although she is only 11, the seed should be planted early for best root absorption. Thank you for brining this to our attention. You rock! Candy

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Yum to the bread!
As for the entitled generation who have won the right to equality without any fight and are now cheerfully pissing all of their rights away without a second thought--look out! You totally deserve what's coming to you. SHAME on you for not taking the gifts from Alice Paul and Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Margaret Sanger and Susan B Anthony and flying even higher!

Saucy said...

Agreed. Thanks to the likes of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, this generation is taking off their bras for entirely the wrong reasons.

Megan said...

Well Saucy - your breakup email the other night has been stewing in my head so I have to write. I don't doubt that you witnessed what you witnessed at the playdium - but I am here to tell you that there are loads of girls who Gloria Steinam is cheering on! You have huge power to start the movement - start with those Cheerios! After I read the email the other night - I really wanted to hear the boys side. Let's face facts - girls can be a bit dramatic - because frankly (and don't flame me for this) was it possible that Roxy overreacted to the breakup. How serious could they have been at 15? I don't think they are even allowed to drive. Was it possible that the boy had tried to delicately (and let's give him a break too - he is only a 15 year old boy - and kids text each other constantly from across the room - why should the breakup be any different - in his mind) give her clues that he no longer wanted to date and she chose to ignore his signals - GEE I know 36 year old women (cough me cough) who are guilty of that.

Your breakup advice was spot on! You break up (walk away and don't look back) you spend a few hours,days moping with some Ben and Jerry, then you doll yourself up, and go catch the next fish!

I struggle with this - I am the single mom of a 10 month old girl - and I wonder how do I teach her to have a healthy relationship and stand strong on her own two feet - when I have not learned it.

I hope you keep this dialogue going as you journey through this with Loopy and Buddy and Roxy.

Megan said...

@ Candy - 11 is not too young - it's perfect!! Woman of the world - we hold coats and video game seats for NO MAN or BOY!

Megan said...

UH OH - I am a little fired up about this subject.

Clandestine Road said...

I am also aghast that girls seem to have so little self respect and so little a sense of self. I am so grateful for your observations and call to action. Here's to taking back femininity from being a spectacle and realigning it with feminism!

Coco said...

Wow. Your loaf sounds so good. I want some.

I am greatly disturbed about the way girls let guys run over them. I don't understand. I grew up in the time that girls were breaking free from these things, women were breaking the molds and glass ceilings. What gives? I also hear about violence and abuse happening in these teen relationships. It totally irks me.

Michelle said...

Sadly, I'd say the trend is good practice for the marriages that are soon to follow...wife works, raises the kids, cleans the house, etc. while the man (if he works at all) comes home and plays video games until bedtime. An all too common scenario these days!

Saucy said...

Sweet Megan,

I'd NEVER flame you for voicing your opinion - especially when you had the courage to put your name to it rather than ANONYMOUS ;)

You make several good points. Here is the "guy" side from what I know of it: things were fine, just wonderful in fact... for a teen relationship. They don't even go to the same school. And your point about not even driving yet is spot-on, in fact, The Fan said exactly the same thing... nothing can be THAT serious if you can't even drive to see each other :)

But without divulging too much about Roxy's personal life - 'cause that ain't my style - I will tell you these are my "coach" observations"

Boyfriend always waxed enthusiastic about her to her friends, as late as last week.

She didn't cry or overreact at all, but her giant peepers did get all watery and of course the rest of the Cheerios jumped to attention when they heard what the message said, and went in for a group hug (truth be told, they find a reason for a group hug at least twice a week, so I wasn't alarmed about that part).

She gathered herself up and came to sit beside me on the bench while the team ran the routine again and I realized she was... stunned. She said, "I talked to him before cheer and things were fine. This is so final. Do you think it will blow over?" and that is when I called practice down and gave the entire group a little talking to about all this IM and online relationship junk.

Who knows what goes through the minds of teenage boys besides Doritos and Call of Duty? But I will tell any boy this: send a girl all sorts of loving and doting signals one week and dump her by IM the next, you should stick with Doritos and Call of Duty. You're not ready for dating.

Your ten month old girl will be just fine. It sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders and just because you're single now, doesn't mean it's going to stay that way. Loopy, Buddy and I bunked together in The Fan's very own master bedroom when Loops was just your daughter's age until Veto came along six years later. These things have a way of working out!


Anonymous said...

I feel better... everything looks better on the right side of a slice of homemade lemon loaf and a cup of tea.

{Hugs} to you, Roxy and the rest of the Cheerios!

sassy said...

oh Saucy, I just read through you kiss off advice, PERFECT! You shoudl teach classes to all. So true, all of it-

the treat girl said...

Once again, you are dead-on and addressing an issue that is running rampant in my household as well....we have taken the texting off of Cindylou's phone for a lot of those very reasons...the language they feel they can use while texting is horrid! My niece even got asked to the prom via text! Before we know people will exchange their wedding vows this way too!!!! It is crazy the way "date" different people every week.....pretty much by texting! Anyhoo......I hope have success with making your lemon loaf....because now that I'm all fired up too I need a treat!!!

Lisa Wheeler Milton said...

I remember being that girl in college, watching my silly - but very cute - boyfriend play video games instead of doing my own thing. Which was strange because I was all sorts of being my own girl, even then.

It bums me out, picturing my girl doing such things in the next few years. I think I will recount this story to her again.

(Sorry I haven't been in blogland lately. You are lovely, Ms. Saucy.)

Jill said...

Oh Saucy, there is hope for empowering young women, with you in the world! Your cherrios are so lucky to have you. They're learning lessons that took me for.e.ver. Loved your post!

Bamm-ela said...

Oh Saucy, this issue has been bugging me all week - it fits with the whole Jesse James and our girl Sandy thing, too. The civility, where oh where did the civility go? The drama and the anguish of my teenage years are long past, but I would hope that teens today were doing it BETTER, not worse. I struggle with the energy I laid out for the women's movement only to see the emancipation of young women burned onto Girls gone WILD DVDs.

Jerri-Lea said...

I think that you are the headliner at that "Women Geniuses Conference"!! Any more thought on it? Let us know where and when can we purchase tickets to your keynote speech? I'm sure people would come from all over! Heck, maybe we'll get you a tour bus so you can take your wisdom on the road (we'll make sure you have a huge kitchen so you can serve your famous cupcakes as well!)

You should compile all your wonderful advice so I and have it on hand for my two wonderful daughters! (Moto-Moto could learn a thing or two as well, he's pretty great but still trainable!)

LadyK said...

You know, first time i read through this i nodded in agreement (although i'm more likely to be playing the video games myself but that's another story). And I do agree that young boys need to learn respect (and many MANY young girls need to learn to not dress like a streetwalker but again, that's another rant).

But then i started thinking - how many times have we gone to the mall and seen women or girls who have their men (or boys) hold their purse while trying on things, or their soda, or their coat. Isn't this just the male version of what the mall is to a girl/woman?

ChaChaneen said...

Mmmmmm yummy, a little slice of your lemon poppy seed cake would go sooo nice with my coffee right now. Thanks for sharing your recipe!!

Saucy said...

LadyK makes a great point. I've seen that. Veto has, on occasion, held my bag (for a moment and mostly for the fear that if I put it down it will be grabbed or I'll forget it)... but I think most women would agree that they try to avoid doing that to their men if possible and I have seen some men downright refuse to hold a purse...

I think the thing that troubled me about what I saw that day at Playdium was a consistent, organized way of being... girls standing in line to hold spots, being sent off to the next game to hold the next spot and so on. And it wasn't just one or two lone girls holding their fellas soda, it was practically every gal in the place looking totally subservient and the worst part: not looking like they were engaged or having a good time at all. And when I say "engaged" I mean... into it or enjoying themselves. They looked downright bored.

Hey, I'd be bored too if Veto shuffled me over to the concession line to get him treats while he stayed in his seat and watched the game - and I'd gladly do it - but then he could take a turn, you know what I mean?

Kate said...

Mission #1: Teach young girls they are worth more than a pound of eye make-up, a 3 inch skirt and running endless errands for a punk. In short, teach them how to be a lady.

Mission #2: Bang some male heads together and teach them how to treat a lady. In short, teach them how to be A GENTLEMAN.

Mission #3: Teach every single one of them how to spell, speak and interact with each other. It's called MANNERS.

I am with you Saucy. Poopsie is turning 9 tomorrow (complete with the Joe Jonas cupcakes tonight) and she needs this advice NOW. At 9. Are you shocked? I SURE WAS. Love you and your empowering ways! xox