Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Tell me you love me, come back and haunt me...

We got a letter.

I say we, but actually, it was a letter to my dad, delivered to our address.

It was a form letter from a life insurance company, writing to say that they were notifying him that the company had changed names. They would continue to automatically withdraw his premiums(!),  nothing about that had changed, but that it would be under a new name.


Nick called them this morning. And then he called to conference me in.

It turns out that my dad had another life insurance policy, a very small one, one we didn't know about. He and Betty had a joint bank account, and as such, it wasn't closed when he died. So they have been pulling premiums out for the last five years.


I was fine in this conference call conversation, even through stating cause of death. At this point Nick asked when the policy was opened. 1992. Which turns out to be a good thing. Because in Virginia - and I hope you never need to know this - if the policy is more than two years old, they cannot refuse to pay because it was suicide.

So I was fine until the representative asked for date of death. I had to put the phone aside and ask my mom. Because I have deliberately avoided knowing.

I walked toward the kitchen, saying, "Mama, did Dad die on May 15 or 16?"

She paused just a moment. "May 16."

I didn't realize I was holding my breath, but I was. The tears started to flow as I exhaled.

May 16 is the second day. The day I wouldn't take away from his life, but the day that means he had a whole day away to change his mind, to come back to us. And he didn't.

And I am bereft all over again.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

That'll teach 'em

Last night, out of the blue, Jordan started singing, ""And those two little boys were drinking whiskey and rye, singing this'll be the day that I die..."


"Mama, why those little boys died?"

(Silently: Uh, maybe because they were drinking whiskey and rye?)

Out loud: "Oh, sweetheart. They were 'good old boys' and not little boys. They're called boys, but they're big men and not little boys."

And a couple nights prior, my friend LaCure had posted something about Taylor Swift and Starbucks lovers, and how list of ex-lovers made so much more sense. And I was all, "Yes! I had to look it up! Starbucks lovers was driving me crazy!"

You know about me and Big Ole Chedo Lino (don't carry me too far away...)

Right after that, I stumbled across this New Yorker article! There's a name for these mishearings! They're called mondegreens!

So go read it! And then come back and tell me about your Starbucks lovers.

Also: we love Taylor Swift around here. "Mama, I LOVE Taylor Swift!" Oh, me, too, my friend!

She's our #1 underwear dance party soundtrack. We've got a blank space, baby, and we'll write your name.

Monday, December 15, 2014

No fair!

A month or two ago Jordan came home from school and he said, "OK, Mama. I'm going to ask you if I can have a treat. And you say no. OK?"


"Mama, can I have a treat?"


"No fair! Shut up!"

Huh. I said that this is a very unkind thing to say. We definitely don't tell people to shut up. He very proudly said, "Angie taught it to me!"

"Well, I know Angie's mama, and I know she is not OK with her saying that."

So Jordan has been all "no fair!" lately. NO FAIR! He's got India saying it. "No fair!"

The other day they were both no-fairing me and I cracked.

No fair Jordan had to go to school. No fair he had to put on clothes. No fair this and no fair that.

Finally, I hadn't put on enough syrup on their pancakes. They wanted more syrup.


I snapped.

"I know. Life isn't fair. NOTHING IS FAIR! You know what's REALLY not fair? There are lots of kids in the world that don't have ANY food. No food! None! They go to bed hungry every night and they wake up hungry every day. You know what else isn't fair? There are kids who want to go to school and they can't because they have to work! Little kids! That's NO FAIR. And there are people who don't have any clean water to drink. They don't have clean water and they get sick and they die. That's really NO FAIR. And there are..."

Nick grabbed my arm and said, "I think that's enough." The kids' eyes and mouths were wide open.

(Nick was right. Just like when he stopped me from getting in trouble with the cops. Even though in both cases I really wanted to shake him off and say, "Let go of me! I'm on a roll! NO FAIR!")

Thursday, December 11, 2014

We wear the pants

People have told me, prior to seeing Nick and me in person and together, that they assumed I was exaggerating about his size. I've said this before. It is a recurring topic. Particularly because I like to describe him as a wall of seersucker or a wall of plaid walking down the street.

And then people see us together in person and then they are all, he really is big and more than twice your size and you really are little and no wonder you always talk about how enormous he is.

He is happy to be big, but sometimes I get defensive about being little, because I would like to be at least five inches taller, although I'd settle for one or two. I'd say 5'10" is my ideal. I bet it would feel great.

I mean, it is fine and I'm fine, but if I could wave a magic wand, I would have fewer wrinkles and be a lot taller.

On a side bar, our neighborhood had an alley party and someone asked me who my husband was, and I pointed in the direction of a group of men and said, "He's the enormous one with the beard."

And then she criticized me for calling him enormous...and I was all, but it's true! He is built like a side of beef! He has huge cattle bones! Look at his wrists!

And frankly, it's one of the things I love about him. Through the years I dated men of a variety of statures - the shortest of whom was exactly my height, 5'3" - but apparently, if I were a gay man, I'd be all over Bear Week in Provincetown.

Anyway. I'm not and I'm not and there you have it.

She still glared at me. And so I didn't mention the Bear Week to her.

Now, the other day I was in the midst of doing ungodly quantities of laundry large and small when Australian Builder came over to measure our windows.

Because we are no longer going to have 100-and-some-year-old rotting window frames. Instead, we are going to have brand new window frames! Hector Bigwood is working on them!

And then we will get plantation shutters! Yay!

(Also, a dear high school friend of mine says now he can never look at plantation shutters at Home Depot the same way again. Sorry, Matt.)

And there I was, having hauled basket after basket of clean laundry up to fold on the bed and then put away. AB remarked that my jeans and Jordan's are not so different in size at this point, which isn't exactly true, but he is going to be as big as me pretty soon.

Nick dislikes folding the kids' clothes, because he says they're so tiny that it takes forever to make a pile of them and you just don't feel like you're getting anywhere. Whereas I dislike folding his clothes because they are so large and unwieldy.

So then I got AB to take this picture of me with Nick's pants, because, really.

Me, I have to flap every T-shirt out like a sheet before I fold it. WHA-POW! Oh! Which reminds me! We did stop using antiperspirant, and the yellow crud under the arms has stopped happening!

Sometimes when the kids don't want to get dressed, we joke about us putting on their clothes. And then they howl with laughter, because of course we couldn't fit into their T-shirt/dress/shoes! Hahaha!

The other morning Jordan was all, "Daddy, you can't wear my clothes! You couldn't even get into Mama's pants!"

And Nick was all, "Sometimes I like to try!"

Thursday, December 04, 2014

It starts with a little caulk here and there...

I have somehow become a penis repository.

Wait. That doesn't sound right. Let me explain.

No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

Buttercup is marry Humperdinck in little less than half an hour. 

My Facebook wall. People regularly come across something penisy and put it on my FB wall saying, "I saw this and thought of you." Or they tag me in someone else's post saying, "Lisa would love this!"

Examples: a Christmas-decorated palm tree. (Thanks, Cathy!) The penis museum. A wall of penises that wave in response to sound. (Thanks, Wendy!)

Naturally, I laugh out loud. Because I think they've hilarious. Because, you know, penis stuff is hilarious. Also because I am 12.

Although really, it's not like I have loads and loads of actual penis experience. Even when I was Internet dating, nobody sent me any dick pics. Seriously. Apparently this happens to everyone, and yet I got nary a one.

I did, however, have a guy tell me I was too fat for him to go out with, which is why he wasn't actually showing any interest when he wrote to me in the first place. And there was the guy who asked me on our first (and last) date if I wore my glasses to look less attractive.

So there were certainly dicks. Just no pics.

But! Back to the pressing issue at hand!

There are lots of people I am FB friends with who I know but don't really know know. You know? Like some of my parents' or Nick's friends, or work friends, or people I went to school with years ago but didn't necessarily know well.

They now probably have the impression that I am all penis, all the time. Like, I myself have a wall of music-responding penises and lots of penis art and a penis palm in my front yard. So every time there's another penisy I knew you'd love this! post, I am quite certain that they're all, "Oh, she's such a penis-loving pervert!"

Or something of the sort.

I don't know who these people are because they do not say it to me, but I am certain they are out there.

In fact, if you are one of those people that I know but don't really know, and you happen to read this, and you do have the impression that I'm a penis-loving pervert, would you please tell me?

And actually, now that I've said all this, I think maybe I am a penis-loving pervert. I probably am.

Even though really, I only ever contend with two penises, to both of which I regularly say, "Please put that away."

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

And when I pull out my jammy get ready cuz it might go BLAAAAW, how ya like me now?

India my love,

It's been a long, long time since I wrote you a letter. You're now, what? Two years and eight months.

At two and two-thirds (I had to do math there), you are a force of nature. In this picture you are making what I think of as your "The hell?" face.

There wasn't even any reason for it. Except that we said we had to go upstairs and get changed after breakfast. This is the face you gave the poor candy-hander-outer who asked you who you were for Halloween.

Also, in this picture you are wearing one of three dresses you deign to wear. Two of which are actually nightgowns. Oh, wait. You also have a couple skirts you still like. And two tops. So now that I'm writing it down, I suppose your outfits are not as limited as it feels when we are trying to get dressed.

You have begun to assert that when you are bigger, like when you're four, you will have a penis. I can only assume this is because your brother is so fascinated by his.

Of late, you have started calling me Mumpika. I love it.

"Hi Mumpika!" You sometimes shorten it to Mumpa. (I wonder if when you're a teenager you'll call me something like Mumps and none of us will have any idea why.)

I say, "Hi Indika!" Or, because I call you Indi-bindi, sometimes I say, "Hi Bindika!"

Bindika is taking it too far, it seems. "It's INDIA!"

You say a lot of things in capital letters.

We bribed you and your brother with tons of horrible (and delicious) snacks on the way to and from New Jersey for Thanksgiving. You fell asleep with the Cheetos bag in your hand, and when it was not there when you work up, you immediately looked for it and said, "WHERE ARE MY CHEETOS?"

Between you and Jordan, you are the bossy boots. You happily take charge (C'mon, Jordan!)  and tell him what to do. And if  Jordan is doing something you don't like you'll say, "CUT IT OUT, JORDAN!"

You are a hugger and a snuggler, and you will still wrap your little self around my neck and cling like a tree frog. I love it. You give giant hugs and very carefully-planted cheek kisses. One of the best things in my world is to lie in bed with you at night and cuddle and giggle.

When Daddy puts on his tie and buttons his jacket in the morning, you look at him and say, in an admiring voice,  "Gorgeous!"

I don't know where you got this, but he is charmed by it.

And the fact is, when you are charming, you are so very charming.
Despite your penchant for socks and sandals.

You still eat the lip balm, even though we've had a million discussions about how it goes on your lips and even your cheeks and the rest of your face if you so choose (you do). But we don't bite it and chew it. You seem very disappointed with yourself when you bring me one and report, with evidence, that you've eaten some of it.

There are many days where I am certain that you are killing me softly, but I love you beyond measure, and I wouldn't change a thing. Well, maybe one thing. I'd like a little more sleep. But that's it, my Indika.

Love love love,