Friday, September 2, 2011

What do families talk about at Thanksgiving if they're not snarky?

My dad is like a big kid. Always laughing and joking and hanging out with friends and never wanting to come home. But he does. Sometimes under the influence of alcohol, but he always comes home. He's always worked hard to support his family - two or three jobs, and even now in retirement, he continues to work. He's got a pretty great work ethic which makes me wonder why I managed to date every unemployed idiot in our county. He's pretty much had poor health his entire life (many times he had way worse than poor health) yet he never complains about it. You know those people that have to whine and cry and tell the world every time they have an ache or pain or a hang nail; yeah, we get it. You don't feel well. Ever. If my dad had been like that we would have killed him long ago.

Basically, my father has a pretty decent sense of humor. He "gets me." Which can be scary.

A couple weeks ago I gave him some balls for his birthday because he's old and he might lose his. Golfing, I mean. What? The guy has bad vision; those balls are small.

Then it was my birthday. I came home to find some lovely plants and flowers. (My dad is an excellent gardener. I am not. But my sister is. He gets me confused with her. But I still love the plants he gives me because they remind me of him and that he loves plants and that makes me smile. And when the plants die I remember that someday I'll miss him when he dies. It's like the gift that keeps on giving.)

It's like a thousand little hearts beating out my father's love.

Is this a palm tree? I don't live in Florida?

And he even included a card. I thought it was somewhat curious there was one, singular blue ball included in the envelope.

Well, that explains the ball. Kind of.

Big V:  Oh, your dad dropped you off a gift for your birthday? That was so nice of him. Let me read the card.


Big V:  This is the weirdest thing I think I've ever seen. Why would your dad give you a card like that?

Me:  Oh, because I was afraid he was getting old and going to lose his balls so I gave him some for his birthday. He's just getting me back.

Big V:  What? You what? Wait. Your dad is afraid you're going to lose your balls?

Me:  No... read the card. Obviously my dad is afraid I'm going to need something to do in case I get lonely.

Big V:  Couldn't you just read a book or something?

Me:  What?

Big V:  If you were lonely. Couldn't you just read a book until I got home?

Me:  Right. Because that's what you do when you're waiting for me to get home.

And so I called my dad to thank him for the beautiful flowers and the naked man.

Me:  Thanks for the birthday plants! They're beautiful! I love them!

Dad:  I forgot one of his balls. It's sitting on the kitchen counter; you can grab it next time you come over.

I feel so sad for people who don't have conversations like these.

I can't wait until Christmas. Let the games begin continue...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

There are WAY MORE than just 4 things that will make me go insane. Trust me.

If I could guarantee I'd be one of those wearing floppy sun hats while driving my convertible with the top down in the middle of winter, dancing in the fountain at the downtown plaza kind of crazy people, I would gladly welcome insanity. Unfortunately, it's more likely I'll end up one of those haven't taken a shower in eight months, walking up and down main street with my hands clasped together while shouting vulgarities at passing school children kind. If it comes to that, I blame this:

Exhibit A: the ugly coffee table.

Big V had this table before I moved in. Yes, it's real wood. That's about the only thing it has going for it.

He's never used a coaster. So there are water marks every where. And dog scratches. And random Sharpie marks because he never quite got the whole "it bleeds through" concept. It's not pretty. And it's huge. Plus, it's round. And I despise round. Unless it's a chocolate mousse pie. Then round is okay. I prefer right angles. There are not enough right angles on this piece of furniture.

Big V does not care for the table but for some reason he can't bring himself to actually get rid of it. For years it sat banished in the end room of the basement. A room no one ever goes in. Then it moved to sitting next to the chest freezer, which we won't talk about because someone left the freezer door open and we lost half a cow. Which is a lot of meat. That smells bad after its been thawing for a few days. Anyway, now the round table is in the garage next to the lawnmower. Because every piece of furniture you love and can't imagine parting with deserves a spot in the garage. Why is this thing still at our house?

Exhibit B: the office refrigerator

I work where they keep a basket full of take out condiments and 12-pounds of butter in the fridge. This alone would drive a person batty.

Exhibit C: the traveling toothpaste

I never taught my child how to brush her teeth. She does THIS. This is not okay. No amount of asking nicely, reminding, yelling, screaming, public humilation has taught her that THIS is not okay. And so, I have gathered up all the toothpaste in the house and carry it with me. Right now the baggie of paste is resting comfortably on the passenger seat of my car. Because my sixteen year old daughter doesn't know how to brush her teeth without grossing out the entire family. I now ration out toothpaste. Do you see how close insanity is for me?

Exhibit D: the crutches

Dotter has a ruptured bursa sac. It's something on your knee that isn't supposed to be ruptured, therefore, she is in a lot of pain. It's hard for her to actually bend her knee since it's quite swollen. Yesterday, two seconds before the ortho doc walked into the exam room she exploded in the most massive sob storm I've seen in a long time. Why, you ask? Because she wanted to be "cleared" to ride the rides at the county fair. (It was wristband night, after all.) Thank all that is good and wonderful - he cleared her for the fair rides! This meant that I got to walk around with her all day long so she would have someone to hold her crutches while she was standing in line and hobbling up to whatever ride we just waited twenty minutes for. Did I mention it was all day long? Also, she couldn't hold anything else when she was using her crutches. So I became a human pack mule. Lugging around Lemonade Shake-Ups and Funnel Cakes.

As if that wasn't fun enough, the Bean was also at the fair with a gaggle of her girl friends. She kept calling to try to ask me nicely/cry/threaten/hate me into giving her money. Which, I am proud to report, I did not give her. I am under no obligation to throw money at a kid who quit her summer job because it interfered with her social plans and still can't figure out how to clean the bathroom sink, even though I've asked nicely/cried/threatened/hated.

If you need me, I'll be swimming in the fountain at the plaza.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Like I have a medical degree.

You know that person who every time he meets a girl working at a strip club she turns out to be psycho so you just want to turn to him and yell for the love of cheese - stop picking up girls in strip joints!

Or that mom who every time her kids get hurt she thinks it's not a big deal but it turns out to be pretty important, like the time her daughter broke her arm in two places yet she drove around with the kid to do errands (and vote) and days later the doctors were all what kind of mother are you?! And that same mother probably didn't take the whole broken nose or torn ligament thing seriously either, so you just want to scream at her for the love of cheese - just take your kids to the ER!

I'm sort of like one of those kinds of people. But less of the picking up chicks in strip clubs kind.

So, this weekend Dotter took a digger on her bike. And her whining was driving me crazy. I finally took her in after she screamed, "I could die because of loss of blood, Mom!" (To her credit, it was still bleeding, but not like, gallons worth.)

You'd think she broke her leg or something.
It was a skinned knee, people!

Okay. A little swollen, perhaps.

Or maybe even a lot swollen...

But it wasn't broken.

(Thank goodness because I do not think I could've lived down another ignored broken limb.)

However, we will be meeting a nice orthopedic surgeon this Wednesday morning.

Which happens to be the same day as wristband night at the county fair.

Which was the absolute last thing this little girl wanted to hear.
(When you're 9, it's all about the rides.)
(When you're 38, it's all about the cream puffs.)

"This is the absolute worst summer of my life!" she wailed.

"Oh, please," I said, hoping to invite some perspective to the conversation. "You said that last summer after you slammed your fingers in the car door."