Donna Smaldone
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Sunday / February 26 / 2012

Mastering the art of cramming

Skip-n-Donna on their 2008 Oscar Quest in Westminster, Maryland -- about to see "There Will Be Blood" with Carl & Kathy Freundel [Pic taken by KathyFreundel.com (February 12, 2008)]
Skip-n-Donna on their 2008 Oscar Quest in Westminster, Maryland — about to see “There Will Be Blood” with Carl & Kathy Freundel [Pic taken by KathyFreundel.com (February 12, 2008)]

Cramming-in our annual quest to see every single movie nominated in the major awards categories before the big reveal tonight, Skip-n-I headed to Crossgates Mall in Albany on Saturday to see, The Artist and then headed home to watch Woody Allen’s, Midnight in Paris. This following a Friday night hunkered down with calzones from East End Eatery and The Tree of Life as well as The Help.

We knocked down nearly half the Best Picture nominations in two nights. Now you know why I chose the word, “cramming”.

Yup — we’re partially insane.

And you know what? I wouldn’t change a thing.

Stuck in the car together about 50 minutes each way to and from Crossgates yesterday, I once again thanked God for shoving me into this man’s lap.

His sweaty hand cradled in mine, we sang along with the matchless Sir Paul McCartney (he better than I), and contemplated the art of cramming — not just our own, but that of our children.

Beginning tomorrow, our son Grant will sit for the South Carolina State Bar Exam — for three full days! I need an Excedrin just thinking about it. He’s spent every day since December 11th studying. I’m certain a summary of his lifestyle over the past two-and-a-half months can be found on Wikipedia under, “cramming”.

In honor of my babes, I donned my Mother’s Ring yesterday. My daughter Brittany surprised me with it on Mother’s Day two years ago. She’s another offspring who is mastering the art of cramming as she works, studies nursing, and takes care of her 18-month-old son Brody. Alongside her, I look like an indolent sloth.

In honor of the way my one-n-only still makes me blush, I also wore my husband’s South High class ring from 1980. There’s just something sexy about wearing his high school class ring; something that makes me feel a bit mischievous, as though I don’t want my parents to walk in on me kissing him; something exhilarating that knits us together as if still in the grips of love at first sight; something enchanting.

Our Date Weekend Extravaganza reminds me of one we had four years ago, just outside Baltimore. For the first time, we involved friends in the mission, subjecting them to our madness. One of them with a camera. So much for the, “Now we have to shoot you” ritual. Rather than attempting to recount the evening, you should probably read about it through the lens of Kathy Freundel here.

We’ve seen most of the nominations for Best Picture this year and for us, it’s now between The Artist and The Descendants. Both stellar. If I had to pick right now, my $2012 is on The Descendants.

Descendants or not, I’m grateful for mine. They are the quintessential reason Skip-n-I smile so much when we consider what really matters. Yet another reason why 50-minute drives are entirely too short.

 

2 responses to “Mastering the art of cramming”

  1. Suki says:

    Cramming hurts to read, say out loud, or even think about! The outcome however; will have smiles on ALL of our faces! I know I can speak for Grant and myself when I say… No way would we have gotten this far in our lives if it wasn’t for YOU!
    I LOVE YOU

    • Donna Smaldone says:

      You two make my world beautiful… you inspire me! You are a loving daughter, doting mother, and tremendous woman. I’m proud you are my daughter, my sweet girl Suki. I love you, too.

      Love,
      Mom
      xo

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