Drive by seasoning

A “pox party” is where parents deliberately infect their kids with chicken pox so they’ll become immune sooner than later.

We had planned to have two one-child families over for dinner Saturday evening, but Family A decided to send their kid to a pox party earlier in the week. My kids had the vaccination, but we felt it was a little awkward to potentially expose the Family B’s kid without everyone agreeing first. So, we rescheduled Family A, which is too bad because they’re the ones who had requested I make clam chowder.

I wasn’ t sure if they’d have an issue with bacon, so I fixed it separately, poised to add it to the chowdah if they were cool with it. And if they weren’t, I get four strips of bacon for me. While we were standing around, I was hot-dogging by eyeballing my measurements. Shake of this, sprinkle of that, pinch of that other thing. As I was adding the last herb, oregano, the kids did something loud that distracted their attention. And apparently mine, for I had opened up the “scoop” side of the monster-Costco sized container and dropped about a half cup of it onto my bubbling masterpiece.
Without uttering a single profane word, I took the pot over to the sink and scraped out the congealing mass of seasoning, hoping that I got enough of it. The other adults went into the living room.
Sinced the kids won’t eat anything with more than one seasoning, I started the kids pasta boiling. The combination of two meals meant I didn’t have much time to actuallly interact with Family B until dinner was ready.

The clam chowder was excellent, well below oregano-toxicity. However, I wasn’t done with my social faux pas for the night: I forgot to pre-set the table with utensils. Are you supposed to laugh, or just merely be moritified if when you realize your guest is attempting to eat salad with a soup spoon?

21 thoughts on “Drive by seasoning”

  1. Pox Party? They actually have those? You’ve got to be joking. After reading the definition: ‘A “pox party” is where parents deliberately infect their kids with chicken pox so they’ll become immune sooner than later,’ I cannot believe it but then again I wouldn’t be surprised.

  2. re: Pox parties – chicken pox is apparently much milder if you have it as a child than if you get it as an adult, so the theory is if they’re going to get it anyway, try to time it.
    We opted for the optional vaccine, reputed to be about 70% effective.

  3. Oh, lest it sound like an old X-files episode, what usually ensues is a playdate and the kids share some common food item like a lollipop.

  4. Pox parties should like one of the strangest things I’ve heard of (or never heard of)…though maybe something people do in a more “liberal” state like Washington.

  5. Tredecillion

    I have actually heard of Pox Parties, but I did not realize it involved the sharing of a lollipop for germ-spreading effectiveness.

    May I just say… Ew.

  6. Are you supposed to laugh, or just merely be moritified if when you realize your guest is attempting to eat salad with a soup spoon?

    No offense to Family B, but surely attempting to eat salad with a soup spoon has to be a bit … odd? Would it be considered rude to inquire of one’s host about alternate cutlery?

  7. Keep in mind that “pox parties” have been used within families for decades, they just weren’t called that. When I had the chicken pox, the doctor told my mom to let my brother play with me as normal. “He’s going to get them anyway, and they might as well get them at the same time”.

    My own kid, however, has had the vaccination, which must be relatively new. Better living through science and all of that.

  8. Let’s suffice it to say that I would never consider a pox party for my own child. Besides spreading chicken pox, what about other infectious diseases? (Inside I am just saying, “OMG!” no offense.. I know it wasn’t YOUR party) 🙂

  9. I’ve heard of pox parties, but I thought that they were a relic from the past since there is now a vaccination. But, I am also surprised that the vaccination is only 70% effective. I guess the pox party after being vaccinated is a good idea.

    I often forget the appropriate cutlery when setting a table. My guests will just get up, go into the kitchen and on the way to helping themseves, ask if anyone else needs a knife or whatever.

  10. My son had a “mild case” of chicken pox as a small infant. He has just come down with shingles at age 21. Apparently, his original case of pox was too mild, and it has lain in wait until now.

  11. Sorry to hear about your son getting shingles, John.

    Regarding the cutlery – we just happened to notice it and ask. If it were me, I think I would have said something. Lettuce can be tricky! Croutons, though, work better with a spoon.

  12. I had the chicken pox when I ws twelve, and I don’t remember them being all that bad. Itchy, yes, and I had to take baths with cornstarch, which disgusted me more than my plague.

    Apparently, I also had ‘the pox’ when I was four, but it didn’t take, so I am in the minority of the population who has dealt with the disease twice. Of course, I also had only three wisdom teeth, so I’ve just been working on my Mom’s insistence that I am special.

    She wouldn’t lie, would she? Hello?

  13. I went to a gonorrhea party in college.

    I’m kidding. I never went to college

    A pox party – which I’ve never heard of, and which immediately strikes me as poor decision-making – sounds like something out of Poe. (“Billy, would you like some opium with your lollipop?”)

    Interesting me-fact (not that anyone should care): I never had any of the childhood illnesses. No chickie pox, no measles, no mumps – nada. And not for lack of being exposed either: My sister had pox and measles (I think), but I never came down with either.

    My mother’s immune system must look like an NFL team’s defensive line – minus some of the chubby.

  14. I know this might sound even more crazy than the pox parties themselves, but I’m a television anchor and news reporter who’s looking for a pox party to spotlight.

    The fact is, whether you feel comfortable with them or are appalled, it’s a growing trend that’s resurfacing from decades ago. It’s more popular in the west coast.. but it’s drifting east as well.

    Have you heard of one lately? Please tell me about it! I’d like to see if we can be invited!

    Thank you.

  15. All three boys vaccinated. Two have had the pox. Mild cases (8 yr old had 12 spots, 6 yr old had over 50) waiting for 2 yr old to get it. Incubation is 10-14 days. I am making your cinnamon swirl bread recipe today. A lot less instructions than “The Best Recipe” if you are cooking anything out of that cookbook you shouldn’t be that much of a cooking moran. Thanks.

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