torsdag, september 22, 2005

Teddy Bears and Yachts

"Hey, look at the table for the Maritime College," I say to the oldest.
"Yeah I saw that and I talked to the rep. They have their own campus in Manhattan, and every summer you get to go on a boat to Europe. It looks interesting. I think I will check into it."

I could see her, calling me on her cell phone from the bowels of a mid-sized but very grey tanker, "Please mom. Please can't I come home? I hate it here."

Nobody made Private Benjamin up, you know. I have one too.
. . .

I always wanted to build a bear," the 14 year old insists, as we pass by a B-A-B money vacuuming storefront.
"You have," I challenge. "Well, go for it." The last time I used that phrase, somebody in Little Falls, New York, drove a stripped-out school bus over a snow drift that turned out to be a snow pile at the end of a country road and the bus and all its passengers flew through the air and landed in a field of fluffy white stuff.
For real we can do this?
For real.

And with that the two youngest and I ventured into somebody's brillant venture capital investment.

"Which skin should I use, black or brown? And should it be a girl bear or a boy bear? Which do you think will look better in an outfit and what outfit should I get?"
Are you asking me? Are you serious? I am here to observe and pay.
"No really, I need your help."
Well, ok, then. I like the black bear, and I think it should be a boy.
"I think I will get the brown one and it will be a girl"
And what about that little jeans outfit on that stuffed rabbit? It has leopard print lining on the jacket.
"You mean, Ho Bunny?"

A thirty-something close to edgy couple stood near us, sent there by some well intentioned relative to buy a gift for a child they did not know well. They felt as if they landed on another planet and hated it. I could tell. See, when I am not pestered to death by kids who never listen to me anyway, I am a patient observer.

They thought Ho Bunny was funny. I became an observer again.

I watched as the lady in charge of the big machine that blows stuffing into the nylon pelts worked her canned schmalz on my youngest. The little one didn't stand a chance. She was totatlly sucked in, and worked the air pedal perfectly for the lady. But the lady needed to get something behind her, so Mrs. "I've Been Carefully Trained to Spend Your Money" turned, leaving the partially stuffed animal hanging from a long, catheterizing air tube. The fourteen year old thinking that the youngest is simply not working the pedals correctly, encourages her little sister to work them harder, which of course starts the enormous fluff and air machine and in turn shoots the still dead animal across the room, stuffing into the air, and milk - had there been any in there - to come out of the noses of the reluctant couple.

I began to imagine that I would probably make a fairly decent merchant marine. The deadline to apply is sometime in February.

måndag, september 19, 2005

I went to a party and stayed sober. It was easier than expected, despite alternating between warm no-name cola and no-name diet cola mixed with the cold melted water from the ice bucket. I didn't rush out of there, too nervous to settle in. Neither did I stay and feel compelled to control the conversation and guest flow traffic. Instead, I found a chair, sat down, and watched. It felt round and calm, at least until my new best gay friend started tracing my spine with his fingers. His boyfriend shot up out of nowhere, pulling my new best into clean-up duty.

So, apparently, I haven't sacrificed much. I can stay sober and still wonder, "What just happened here?"
My youngest stood next to me, while a woman told a story at a party:

"So I said to my friend, 'Why not just call your baby Oh, Jesus, because that is what everbody will say as soon as they hear there is a fifteen year gap between your two kids.'"

On the way home from the party, my youngest followed a period of prolonged silence with, "Why didn't you just call me 'God'?"

Oh, Gosh.
Whoever said, "The more you do, the more you can do," had a maid.

torsdag, september 08, 2005

For the Record.

Nuclear 2: "Oh, come on. I haven't lied in a long time."

Nuclear 3: "I made friends with a pretty girl today. It was weird. She was like 10 times prettier than I am, and she wants to be my friend."

Nuclear 4: Wanna know a secret? Aiden thinks I am his girlfriend. Wanna know what else? Aiden is my boyfriend. I hope he goes to my kindergarten. If not, then when will we ever see each other again?"

Me and Martina

"Martina, she's about your age, right?"

There I was, sitting in the car, minding my own business. Actually, I was doing better than minding my own business. I had gone to the US Open. I follow the sport a bit. I don't raspberry the Russian babe players. I try to remember faces and learn the play. Then bam, out of nowhere Nuclear 1 put me out to pasture with the dinosaurs, stuck me with the seniors. I felt like an innocent bystander struck by a runaway Hummer.

I sat there thinking, "What? She has to be 55 by now. Maybe 60. Do I look as old as she? You are so dead. It's going to be at least 2 hours before I forget this."

Then I run to the Google and discover she is only a wee bit older than I.

I gotta stay out of the sun.