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.

Yes, Vows were Renewed

They came, they overate, they drank a concoction called “The Tenafly Teaser.”

Wiggles, the Lord & Master, as well as family and friends converged on our brother Andy’s house in Northern New Jersey to reaffirm their love and snarf up some corned beef.

Yup, that’s right. Corned beef – as well as Pastrami and sour pickles and tomatoes – were supplied by the one and only Katz’s of Houston Street. Here’s what the boxes looked like, piled gingerly so as not to bruise the meat – in Andy’s car.

Watch out for the Meat!

Watch out for the Meat!

You know you've made it when your name is on a box from Katz's.

You know you’ve made it when your name is on a box from Katz’s.

True to her word, Wiggles didn’t allow the word G-d to be uttered during the course of her and the L&M loving speeches to each other. They did however, mention the words “psychosis” “frisky” as well as the phrase “Two wrongs made a right” in reference to Sassy.

Here’s how they looked, post-renewal.

Let the Eating Begin!

Let the Eating Begin!

It was a wonderful time, even for a semi-cynic like myself. Everyone worked together to make it a seamlesly enjoyable get together. You know who was one of the stars of the show? Yes. that’s right – Pancake, who had grudgingly attended the grooming salon at Litter & Leashes the day before. She looked gorgeous. Check it out:

Is that a Face?

Is that a Face?

She let everyone hold her, snuggled up with Jeanne, and didn’t poop inside the house. I don’t want to say she was tired when she got home, but she slept till 9:40 this morning, which I regarded as a personal best.

There is video percolating around of some of the juicier moments – so I am looking to some others (who know who they are) to email it so it can be posted.

And of course, Wiggles will be adding her own account of the day’s events. Can’t wait to see what her top moments are.

Wiggles and I Eavesdrop on Jeanne’s Therapy Session

this is a woman with a degree! Thank God!

this is a woman with a degree! Thank God!

 

On the suggestion of her gerontologist, our fair mother has entered therapy.  Wiggles and I can only imagine what she talks about, but we can make some educated guesses that main topics include:

1. her children

2. the need for a weekly hair appointment

3.  her ailing husband

4. the need for a weekly manicure

5. current events: I think this week probably included a mention of the stunning tie-dye assymetrical hem dress that Wiggles bought Mah at a local Teaneck emporium. Jeanne looked adorable in it, especially after she paired it with jewelled flip-flops and dangly earrings.

 

This was, in fact the outfit that Jeanne wore when we delivered her to her session. We were hoping that we’d be invited in to hob-nob with Mah and her therapist. But alas, the shrink didn’t ask us to join in the revelry. She just snapped on the radio and ushered in her patient, the 80-year old living embodiment of the Age of Aquarius.

Wiggs and I had to know what Jeanne was babbling about! With no time to lose, we rustled up some props so we could hear.  Here’s what it looked like:

ooh! she IS discussing us!

ooh! she IS discussing us!

 

Then she abruptly switched topics. Wiggles said she heard the words “gold bracelet,” “hot dog at Costco” and “crackle nail polish.”

When the session was winding up, we had to get ourselves together. “Act casual!” I instructed Wiggs. Here’s the pose she took:

Here she is, NOT eavesdropping. I swear, Your Honor!

Here she is, NOT eavesdropping. I swear, Your Honor!

Jeanne was happy as a clam when she emerged. Then guess what we did? That’s right: onto Costco for hot dogs and lemonade. Bliss!

 

 

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!

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.

I’m a Weight Watchers Dropout

Who can resist the power of frozen Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies? Not I, said the not so little Wiggles.

The good news:  I’ve kept off 30 or so pounds for over three years.

The bad news:  The siren song of sweet and salty snacks keeps ringing in my ears. I consider the fact that carbs are bad for me to be proof positive – as if I needed any – that there is no god.

Mmmmmm. Chips.

When I was in college and weighed so little that they turned me away at the blood donation drive, I could regularly devour an entire large bag of Lay’s Classics, no problem, no weight gain, no nothing. Those were, indeed, The Days.

Not to mention my late-in-life munchies issue as I continue my intergalactic journeys courtesy of medical marijuana baked goodies.

I’m truly at a crossroads. I don’t want to be a roly poly. I certainly don’t want to be pre-diabetic, let alone full blown diabetic. I could do without open heart surgery. You know, those pesky medical issues fueled by obesity.

But, gosh, as I begin the long slide down toward the Big D, shouldn’t I be having some fun? And shouldn’t some of that fun come from the delectable chewing of bread, pasta, potatoes and such? Cause, really, isn’t food one of life’s grandest pleasures?

Or should I keep my big mouth shut and maintain a body like this? The eternally unsmiling Victoria Beckham, mother of four, best know for her high fashion line and not having eaten in decades. What’s it all about, V.B.? Is it just for the proteins we live?