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.

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.

Wiggles Surprises Everyone By Being All Substance, No Flash

Dateline: The Foggy Grey Splendor of San Francisco

Our security system consists of being the most run down house on the block.

Hot Pants clued our dozens of followers into the yummy Katz’s Delicatessen details and even managed to slip in a snapshot of myself and The Lord & Master (shhh – don’t ever let him know his actual face has appeared on this site!).

So what have I, Wiggles, to say about the renewing of our vows? On the serious side, renewing vows was way more fun than taking them as a 32 year old basket case with the emotional sophistication of Gidget. The L&M and I dressed down, skipped the rings, and just stood together before our family and friends and told the truth. And when the truth is as beautiful as our lives, that’s powerful stuff. I have done countless stupid things in my life. But when it mattered most, I fell in love with a man so indescribably wonderful that every other aspect of my life has been bettered by our relationship. I know this is rare, and I cherish him and our life together.

Of course, I wouldn’t be Wiggles without loads of dumb moves. How is it that I didn’t learn from Sassafrass’s high school graduation that I should not appear in public wearing ivory pants? Even when they fit properly, such bulk and bumps do not look good in light colors. Apparently, I am incapable of seeing myself in a mirror. It’s all a blur, topped with makeup and jewelry. Most unsettling.

Fat & Happy. I cannot complain. But I do apologize if this burns your eyes.

Also, I must confess that my industrial strength two week old blow-out was quite the worse for wear having slogged through the worst of the Jersey summer heat and humidity. Even more startling, I managed to eke another week out of said ‘do until I finally plopped into the magical hands of Hamideh, my Hair Goddess. I maintain it’s her hair; it just happens to be on my head.

Multigenerational gorgeousness.

Allow me to close with just a heartfelt thank you to all the people who made it such a great day: Andy & Susan for letting us trash their home, Roberta for shlepping the food from NYC, Jeanne for wearing one of her snazzy new dresses and playing the piano for everyone, Tucker for being Tucker and looking more fabulous than ever while doing so, Leigh Ann and Josie and Matt for wasting their Saturday by being with us, Peter and Sue for trekking in from Chicago amid enormous challenges, and, most of all, Sassafrass for blessing us by singing “Our Love is Here to Stay,” which celebrated us as a couple and as a family.

My Immortal Beloveds [to steal a phrase from Kelly Ripa]

I promise never to be this serious again, folks!

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!