Well, Shut My Mouth

The question is:  Can I?

I know I’m a chatterbox. I even was dumb enough to believe I was a stupendously enjoyable blabbermouth. Funny. Pithy. Educational, even. I thought the Lord & Master and Sassafrass enjoyed my tidbits from Vanity Fair or whatever book I’m reading. I thought my hilarious bon mots were a pleasure for them.

I thought wrong.

Lately, after the umpteenth time Sassy has flailed her arms and said, “Oh my God, her monologue never ends,” my sweetheart of a hubby replied, deadpan, “Welcome to my world.”

For the first time, I heard them. And now I can never un-know what I’ve heard.

Holy crap. I’m the problem. They don’t want to hear what I’m blathering on about. They’re praying I’ll shut the hell up.

Is this why I’ve seen parents from Sassy’s elementary school cross the street when they see me coming? Am I that long-winded bore everyone’s trying to avoid? Am I Daddy? Whom we loved to kid about his ever-ready jokes? For years we had a caricature someone drew of him standing at the bathroom sink, looking into the mirror, asking, “Hey, buddy, did you hear the one about…?”

Like father, like daughter. Two misfits looking for a laugh.

Like father, like daughter. Two misfits looking for a laugh. This is our father’s Boston Latin School senior yearbook entry, just before he set off to Harvard.

I’m not embarrassed. After you’ve shoved an entire human being out of your vagina in front of strangers, albeit ones with medical degrees, you don’t embarrass easily.

I guess, like Barack Obama tweeted after being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, I’m humbled. Just not humbled for quite so wonderful a reason.

So, as I bump up against 60 years on the planet, I must consider an entirely new way of being. A quiet way. It’s gonna be quite the adventure. Unlike my previous embrace of Oscar Wilde’s advice: Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Taken, now I must not be myself. Lest I drive my family stark raving mad.

Stay tuned for updates on how I navigate this fine mess.

P.S.  This place is like a morgue without me talking.

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We’re Baaaaack

So. Where was I?

Blogging fell apart as life starting going biblically wrong. Disappointing our dozens of readers, for which we apologize. But good news, fans and foes, Roberta and I have decided it’s time to resume our scribbles.

Amid all the tragedies, life has continued on its usual cray-cray way.  Another typical day in the life of Wiggles:

Guess who’s accompanying her hard-of-hearing hubby to a computer repair store run by a heavily accented, pidgin English speaking Taiwanese man? You know what the vows say, “for better or for worse.”

Not to mention the Lord & Master’s next stop at the DMV, where he’s going to take both the vision and written driving tests. (For a professor, he’s got a surprisingly intense case of test taking anxiety.) And then he’ll have his mug memorialized onto the new license with a honking huge upper lip cold sore the size of Montana.

When the new license arrived, the L&M groaned that he looked like a Russian mobster. He did. An angry one. “I thought I had a pleasant expression,” he protested. Well, now he knows his version of pleasant looks more like “one step closer and I’ll blow your brains out.”

I have landed smack dab in the middle of a goddam Tennessee Williams play. Clearly, a lesser known gem. Perhaps you’ve heard of it: A Crumbling House to Match Our Crumbling Lives? We’ve got our very own Big Daddy and the requisite forlorn heroine – yes, dear Sassafrass has returned to the nest – lolling the day away in her cluttered quarters. But I, Wiggles, am a reformed JAP from the east coast, now mellowing out in SF. How did I wander into this production?

Among other reversals, I am reduced to taking care of my hair myself.

Among other reversals, I am reduced to taking care of my hair myself.

Our father, who art in the Actors Home in Englewood, New Jersey, used to quote his beloved Abraham Lincoln: “I laugh because I dare not cry.” Daddy, I concur.

Mah Suggests I Write to Suze Orman

While chatting up Our Mother on the telephone, I entertained her with tales of the Lord & Master’s and my many fiduciary blunders – mortgage under water, interest-only payments on line of credit, foolishly sending Sassafrass to NYU – one of the top ten most expensive schools in the country – leaving us enslaved to one Miss Sallie Mae. You know, fun stuff designed to get her mind of being housebound, diabetic, and facing increasing dementia.

And, let’s not forget, Hot Pants & I shepherded Bob and Jeanne through their very own personal bankruptcy. It’s a toss-up whether the finest moment during that hoopla was (1) H.P. finally locating a folder marked “I.R.S.” inside of which she found not a single thing or (2) Daddy’s approach to the bench in court accompanying himself with a fart for each lurching step he took. As their lawyer said, “Well, this’ll be a first.”

She zeroed in on the solution immediately.  “You should write to Suze Orman. She can fix this.”

“I’ve seen a lotta Money Morons in my day, and you’re right up there with the worst.” Hell, if I’m gonna mess up, I’m gonna go all out!

Oh, Mah, I wish it were true. Yet here I sit on another gorgeous spring day in San Francisco, doomed to be stuck in paradise. Until Wells Fargo repossesses.

So, here goes:

Dear Ms. Ormon: 

My mother wants you to undo the craptastic financial dilemma in which I find myself. Please help.

Sincerely,

Another Idiot Who Used Her Home Equity Like an ATM.

I can hear ol’ Suze lecturing me right now. “Use of your credit card – Denied. Using electricity and heat in “your” home – Denied. Eating – Denied.”

Most Women Would Slim Down For Their Vow Renewal. I Clearly Am Not Most Women.

This was my short lived dream. Dressed, of course.

The Lord & Master and I are renewing our connubial vows before our Nearest & Dearest as our 25th anniversary approaches. As Bob says to Jeanne on theirs, “Another year of goddam wedded bliss.”

Why, you ask? Because we are grateful to be lucky in love; because we still enjoy spending (almost) all our time together, because – let’s face it – no one else would have us.

Unfortunately, we’re enjoying ourselves so, ahem, fully in the run-up to this “picnic with ‘mush'” as the L&M refers to it, I’ve backed off the traditional ‘lose weight/look great’ idea, and sunk into the more forgiving, indulgent ‘be happy/look’ crappy mindset.

So I’m gonna resemble this luscious lady instead.

Of course, after two weeks of Big Jersey high life, by the Big Day, I’ll be a Big Mess.

Ah, the good old crispy pre-SPF days.

P.S. Memo to Hot Pants:  Battle of the Figurines? It’s ON, Babycakes!

Preview: Wiggles Is Coming to NJ to Renew Her Wedding Vows: Jeanne is thrown into a Clothing Quandry

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Yep, you read that right. Seems Wiggles is putting down her nail scissors (or should I say, her saw?) and she and the L&M are getting on a plane to come East and re-pledge their love. It is shaping up to be a hell of a party, complete with deli platters, Sassy as officiant, and special appearances from Bob and Jeanne, the latter of whom has been mulling her outfit for the past few weeks. I expect the rumination to intensify, and I will start to hear more of the following:

Are you wearing a dress to Wiggles’ party?

Joan Rivers has been showing a lot of new clothes lately. Should I get a new outfit?

I do have white pants I could wear.

I think I need a new skinny belt.

One of the girls bought me a skinny belt. It cost $2!

That skinny belt doesn’t fit. I think I need to loop two together.

Let’s go to Banana Republic so I can get something to wear for Wiggles’ party!

Eesh. It will be a bloody miracle if I make it to this bash.

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Jeanne & Geography

“I’ll just mosey up Route 17. Why are so many cars honking?”

Our Mother Jeanne has always been a bit of a kook. Not for nothing did her children refer to her behind the wheel as “Mrs. Magoo” – and that was when she had all her marbles. As a risk-averse person, I considered being her passenger as a kid a solid 100 on the Terror-O-Meter. (Not that Daddy’s driving would have won any awards, either, but that’s another story…)

Anyhoots, the residents of Bergen County can rest assured that Hot Pants has taken possession of Jeanne’s snazzy little dinged-up roadster.

Now all Mah’s geographical adventures take place in her head. Bob & Jeanne have a woman named Indiana who helps them out with life’s daily demands. Seriously, her name is Indiana.

Well, Mah was yakking on the phone with H.P. and said, “I wonder when Kentucky will get here.”

“You mean Indiana?” my smartypants sis inquired.

“Oh, right, of course,” Jeanne didn’t miss a beat.

Well, I’ve gotta hand it to her. Indiana and Kentucky do border one another. And the source of my geographical certainty comes from the Broadway hit Show Boat. As any theater hag can tell you, baby Kim’s name was based on the Mississippi River location of her birth – the meeting up of Kentucky, Indiana, and Missouri – K I M.

I imagine Mah dredging up some long ago school assignment on the map of the USA. Indian, Kentucky – what’s the diff?

To quote Bob’s favorite American, Abraham Lincoln:  I laugh because I dare not cry.

Hef came to Bob & Jeanne’s!

Bob, aka Hef

Bob, aka Hef

 

I went to Bob and Jeanne’s this weekend to celebrate Jeanne’s triumphal return from her second visit in as many weeks from Hackensack Hospital. Brother Peter, who’d flown into NJ to slap some sense into his aged parents, made a Chicken Parm Surprise for lunch. Bob wanted to eat in front of the TV, which he likes to blare at a dulcet volume level of 85 so he can watch CNN around the clock and hear 10% of what the reporters are saying. But his beloved children prevailed on him to come to the table, so he reluctantly wheeled himself out wearing a devastating ensemble of Depends and a blue velour bathrobe, circa 1975. You can see how he looked, in the first image above. Andy took one look at him and said, “Hef? Is that you?”

Bob nodded amiably as he speared some ziti. Then he debonairly took a sip of Diet Pepsi through an ancient straw. Come to think of it, Hef and Bob probably do look a lot alike these days.