Sunday, February 17, 2008

Disaster Ensues

My parents bought a new "state of the art" (my Mom's favorite description of technology as she is still stuck in the 70s when it comes to technology) freak magnet out in California. This one is stronger. I think it was made in Japan or something. The new freak magnet is pulling them in from everywhere at a never before seen rate of speed and frequency and frankly, I can't take this shit anymore. I'm going to go ape shit in about two minutes.

My weekend has been a tremendous disaster. Half of my stuff is still at my parents' house because I was so sick all week that I just couldn't get the energy up to gather everything and take it back to my apartment. I planned on doing that this weekend.

But no.

I had to go to a baby shower yesterday morning. I was stressing a bit over this baby shower, because I can't recall having been to a baby shower in my adult life quite yet. Most of my friends just got married so now they're all starting the move into the next phase of life where they all reproduce. I figure that once all the hoopla from their weddings settles down they get bored and kind of miss all the parties and attention so the best way to get all that fun back is to get pregnant and start a new round of making your friends buy you presents and honor you in various ways. So because of this I currently have five pregnant friends and one who is desperately trying to be the sixth. I still have two more out of state weddings this year so between all of my friends I should probably be flat broke by next November. My next birthday charity challenge will have to be for me.

I've got the wedding shower thing down. I know what to get, where to get it and I can win that toilet paper wedding dress game like nobody's business. The baby shower, however, is all new territory for me. Partly this is because in my family no one has ever had a shower. Whenever one of my family gets knocked up there's usually some sort of dispute in court, a restraining order against the baby daddy, other family members who are mad about the pregnancy and instead of being happy and throwing parties we all sit around and worry about the kid's future and say things like "I don't know how she'll take care of this one because she don't take care of the one's she's got." It's horribly depressing. Because of this I've come to associate baby with tragedy not baby with party. It's really sad but growing up I can't think of a single time when I ever once saw anyone happy that they were pregnant and I never saw anyone happy for someone else being pregnant either. I think this has really influenced my own choices about not having children (yeah, please stop asking me when I'm getting pregnant because I'm not, ok?)

But as I have transcended my roots to some extent I now have friends who got to come from nice happy families where people love babies instead of seeing them as money sucking, life ruining, germ infested burdens. I am trying to make the transition and my mindset is so rooted in the negative view of babies that when my friends tell me they're expecting I don't know if I should congratulate them or give my condolences and ask if they need a ride to court/ the abortion clinic/ the welfare office/ or the DNA testing place. Some things are just ingrained, you know?

But back to this baby shower nonsense. I had no idea what to do or expect. Friday night I had to get a present which was an ordeal in and of itself because I found out that I don't know what half of the stuff in the baby section of Target even is and I have no clue what people need and what is considered good taste or tacky as shit when it comes to babies. Also, I felt really uncomfortable buying my friend a breast pump and nipple creams. It was a little too intimate. I ended up kidnapping a woman in the stroller aisle and begging her to help me out. She had a baby herself so obviously she would know what babies needed, right? She did. She loaded my cart up with all sorts of infant paraphernalia, nothing concerning nipples, and a hundred dollars later I was ready to wrap the gifts and be done.

My stress was over!

Yeah, right.

In the middle of the night Husband and I awoke to a gigantic crash. Our first thought were: a. the cat has somehow ripped the TV off the wall. b. an angry mob is trying to break in and they are using a bulldozer. c. a plane has crashed into the building.

We inspect the entire house, find nothing and go back to bed thinking we are nuts or the apartment is haunted.

The next morning I overslept and cursing my friends for having a shower at 11 am, I rush frantically to shower and find an outfit. When I opened my closet I found the source of the gigantic crash. My entire closet system had collapsed in upon itself in the middle of the night as 70 years ago,when the place was built, some moron thought that one bracket would be enough to hold twelve feet of shelving and a wooden rod. I might add that when I moved in that I too was moron enough to believe that the 70 year old rig could last another 70 years.

I had a lot in that closet. Apparently I am a pack rat, although I've been in complete denial about this. I guess I think that if you can't see the clutter, that if you pack it into a closet and shut the doors, that the clutter does not exist. Oh I was so wrong. In a massive junk heap, amid the tangle of broken shelving, were my Christmas decorations, my wedding dress, the tragic leather pants my mother bought me during a psychotic episode where she bought us all leather pants, clothes from ten years ago, shoes from ten years ago and every hoochie, trashy tank top my mother has ever bought me for three dollars at TJ Maxx that I have never once worn. Somewhere in this catastrophe was supposed to be the outfit that I was going to wear to the shower. I considered canceling, but Husband assured me that the world had not ended and then he pulled out, and I wish I were kidding, a strapless mini dress that I think I used to wear when I worked at the Bubblegum Kittikat and said:

"Wear this! It's perfect!"

Then we got into a fight about why an eight year old, red, sequined, strapless mini dress that barely covers the bottom of my ass is decidedly not appropriate attire for a morning baby shower where most of the guests would be wearing sweater sets and pearls. Also, he wanted me to wear the red minidress with a pair of old brown loafers because those were the shoes closest to the top of the pile. My friends would have had me committed if I showed up in that get-up. Although, it might have been slightly amusing, I have to admit.

I managed to pull something decent out of the heap and I went to the shower where I was late and where they were all playing games that had to do with one's knowledge of babies, so I failed miserably. Then we all sat around and drank blue punch that looked exactly like Windex and they all talked about babies, because four of the guests in addition to the showeree were also pregnant. I said nothing and everyone made jokes about pregnancy being contagious to which I declared myself vaccinated.

At the shower, which was really nice and in a lovely home, I encountered my newest addition to the Nasty Assed Recipe Hall of Fame, and this was good because it had been a while since I'd seen a casserole worthy of being placed alongside the pretzel salad.

The hostess called it a hot chicken salad. It was not ok. It also caused me some significant cognitive dissonance. My brain almost exploded. On one hand I was in this beautiful house surrounded by girls in pastel outfits who were all educated and had been to Europe at least twice, but on the other hand they were serving a dish for lunch that was totally out of Millpond and reminded me of one of my own family gatherings where people would be talking about the restraining order against the baby daddy. It was really confusing. I still haven't figured it out.

The casserole consisted of cut up chicken chunks mixed with raw onion and celery, lots of mayo and salt and pepper. This was spread in a casserole pan and topped with a layer of orange American cheese which was then covered in crushed potato chips, chow mein noodles and slivered almonds. The whole lot was baked in the oven and served hot. NOT OK.

By the time the shower was over I was ready to starve to death and when I get hungry I get mean. I knew I had to go home and confront the closet situation. I can not even explain the new level of irritability I've achieved this weekend.

At home Husband was waiting for the Direct TV guy to come install our new dish so that we can have 275 channels that still don't have anything to watch on them. The guy had come, had a panic attack and left, promising to return. In the meantime Husband had brought the contents of my closet into the living room for me to sort through. I decided to watch "Lost" dvds because I want to catch up and see why everyone loves this show. I had gotten to Disc 3 of Season 1 when the disc stopped working leaving me completely hanging not knowing a thing and with nothing else to watch on TV since the Direct TV guy disappeared into oblivion with his panic attack. I may never know who clubbed Sayeed and where that damned polar bear came from and who the guy in the suit standing in the water is!!!

Husband is now building me a new closet, the Direct TV guy never returned even after we called back three times and my house now looks like a Salvation Army thrift store instead of a place where human beings can actually live and walk through without tripping over junk. The good thing is that I got rid of a lot of crap, including god damned Disc 3 of Season 1 of "Lost."

But on top of all that unforeseen work I still had a lot of planned work that has to be done that I didn't get to. Also my laptop was in my room at my parents' house.

This morning Husband and I were going to come to my parents' house, get the rest of our stuff, including my laptop, and then we were going to try to get all the work done that we need done for tomorrow.

We arrived to find that the freak magnet had worked some major overtime. The house was filled with what looked like the crew of a pirate ship. Come to think of it, a lot of my parents' friends look exactly like pirates. Perhaps, in a sense, they are like pirates, most of them. They have lots of earrings, tattoos and jewelry. One guy had his nails painted to look like cat's eyes. The men wear puffy shirts and vests and boots, and Readers, can I just give you a word of advice? Never trust people who wear puffy shirts and vests, ok? Just take my word for it. If you see a man in a puffy shirt and a vest - RUN.

I think I'm going to get a Jolly Roger and fly it out in front of the house when my parents are home. It would be perfect.

So here are all these people who look like the crew of the Black Pearl and they are all staying here and they are staying in my room. As we arrived a boat had pulled up and everyone was going on the boat, and then my husband got sucked into the vortex and he too ended up on the boat, but I resisted. I had to work! I had to do the laundry. I had homework and needed my laptop! It was utter madness.

Finally everyone left. I went to get the laundry and my schoolbooks out of the car and guess what? Husband took the keys with him on the boat. At least, I sighed, my laptop was here.

I went upstairs to get it out of my room and oh my fucking God I was attacked by a strange dog. And my room here looked like my closet did yesterday. The pirates had ransacked my room - my only safe place in my parents' house where I go when it gets too much for me. My sacred spot was destroyed and there was an attack dog in it!!!

I can not describe the mess that the pirates had made in my room. They had basically emptied four suitcases and five dog carriers. There were alligator and purple ostrich boots all over the floor as well as some whorey looking clothes, so I'm guessing there are some pirate wenches on board as well. I don't know why there were five dog carriers because I only saw one dog, and the one dog was a vicious chihuahua who bit the shit out of my ankles until I yelled at it and it went under the bed. Somewhere in the mix of beads, spandex, leather vests and dog kibble I found my laptop and came downstairs.

And this, dear readers, is all I could do because everything else was locked in the car.

Does anyone have an extra Xanax for me? Oh wait, I bet the pirates could help me out with that.


Anonymous said...

Ok. This was so funny, I've decided I must have "Depends" for the ensuing future in order to make it through your blogs without destroying my furniture because of peeing my pants but not caring because your so damn funny.

Anonymous said...

This (and all the BubblegumKitty Cat/family tree stories) is EXACTLY why I love reading here. Pirates! Closet disasters! Attacking wee dogs! The aggravating thing where ALL your friends but you (me too, save one) are breeding! Gross "food"!

Thank you, oh Great One. I remain a huge fan.

teebopop said...

I laughed. I cried. I peed. Then I prayed for you! OMG! How DO you keep your sanity?

foxymoron said...

You write the BEST stories... I swear you're the Erma Bombeck of dyfunctionality.

Hinsley Ford said...

Were I your neighbor, I could do a lot better than Xanax.
When you crawl out from under your mess, write me back!

Anonymous said...

Now, if you'd just worn the outfit your husband picked out for you, while retrieving your laptop, I bet the pirates would have hailed and toasted you and renamed their ship after you.

I kid not.

MP said...

Pirates..beautiful...w/ a killer taco bell dog. Yeah..what kind of left coast magnet did they bring back w/ them?

Anonymous said...

Love your blog!

I don't have children on purpose. If you decide not to have children, don't let anyone make you feel like a freak. There are a lot of us. Think of it as advanced eco-goodness.

Also, for baby shower gifts I recommend diapers. New parents need them, you don't have to stress about whether somebody already got the baby nose-snot-sucking-bulb or the baby nail clippers, and you can buy them at the grocery store.

The Merry said...

It's true, that was funny -- to read about at least. The only thing I can add is that at least your memoirs are never going to have a dull moment.

Anonymous said...

Any dish that has heated mayonnaise loses points with me. Lose more points for American cheese. Lose even more points for chow mein noodles or any crunchy bits that aren't formed by the baking of said dish (ie. potato chips; breakfast cereal).

Pirates are not cool. They're anachronistic.

Unknown said...

I remember you mentioned having a Holland part of the family awhile back. I'm looking for my cousin RObert / Robbie Holland w/ grandparents Jean and Ray Holland of Indianapolis. His dad is dying in the VA hospital in Phoenix AZ and wants to hear from him.

clynne said...

A relative who shall remain nameless served us "hot chicken salad" this Christmas. It was awful -- it looked *exactly* like cat food. EXACTLY. It's quite possibly the nastiest thing I've ever pushed around my plate and pretended to eat.

Note that this is the same relative who turned up her nose at my grilled chicken salad (an actual salad), informing me "I don't eat salad" when I said I was making it for dinner... and then when I changed *her* meal to be grilled chicken with some tortillas, beans, and vegetables nicely laid out on the side, loudly offered her avocados to anyone who wanted them because "Actually I don't eat vegetables AT ALL."

I felt morally superior not offering her catfood "salad" to the neighbor dog running around outside.

Anonymous said...

That is an f*ing riot. Your amazing stories and an unparalleled skill at telling them are why your blog is always the first I check everyday.

Two thoughts - I have a friend who persistently and unwittingly calls it The Starvation Army which has wonderful irony in the malapropos.

I too am blissfully child-free. Embrace your inner-Auntie - I like to think of myself of a male version of Auntie Mame.

Anonymous said...

Great post

I prefer to note that God, or whomever, wisely knows that some of us are better Aunts and Uncles than parents. Proudly stand your ground on the child-free status

Anonymous said...

Granted I'm not a parent, but I have been told my my prolific breeder friends that they can never have too many "onesies" (those little cotton leotards with snappy crotches). So next time you go to a shower, buy a buttload of onesies and one of those cute sock/hat combos and call it a day. Not as coo-inspiring, but probably the most useful.

Reb said...

Congratulations on deciding to not have children! As for those that ask "when?", tell them that your lobotomy keeps getting rescheduled, but just as soon as it is done.....

Just because they have a nice house in a nice neighbourhood and wear pastels and pearls does not mean that they actually have any taste. Nasty casseroles have a way of transcending all sorts of boundaries. It is after-all the easiest (cheapest) way to feed a bunch of people with the least amount of effort.

epiphenita said...

i would have given real money to see you or anyone else attend a baby shower in a red mini dress and loafers.

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