Today I got an email from my Aunt Bette containing a link to an album of photos she took while on vacation. She emailed her sisters, (including my mother,) as well as my firefighter brother and some of her friends. In the description she writes this:
“These are from Ketchikan. Jo Ann & Bill – I snapped the homes along the way, good places you could buy your dream cabin in the woods! Rick – there are pictures of places for the boat and plane you’ll own after you win the lottery. Toby – as always, I shoot the fire stations for you.”
So I wrote back,
“Aunt Bette, you should NOT shoot fire stations! Those people are trying to PROTECT us.”
Then she wrote back,
“I take pictures of the fire stations, KG. In the photography world, you can say taking a picture, snapping, or shooting a subject. I did not mean that I shoot them – we do not even take our guns on vacation and I have the utmost respect for what your brother does. I am not criminal, please know this.”
At first I was like, “Ha, what a perfectly funny response, because of course she doesn’t think that I think that she takes out a gun and shoots at fire stations.”
But then I pictured my aunt and reread her response.
It is clear now that my sarcasm and internal bad-joke-mechanism has become so advanced that my own family members think I’m stupid.
I’m going to go work on an internationally accepted “sarcasm font” now, to prevent this type of mix-up from happening ever again.
Do you ever do that thing where you have a fight with someone and storm away, feeling like the fight’s victor, then moments later you end up needing their help for something and you have to go crawling back?
Like when I quit my last job by slamming papers down on my horrible boss’s desk and telling her, “You want all this stuff done? YOU DO IT!” and stormed out, feeling high as a kite. Then I got into my car and glanced over at the seat next to me where my check-out list sat, (aka the paper I had to turn in with my boss’s signature in order to get my last paycheck).
Well, I just pulled another one of these brilliant moments with my fiance.
We were quarreling about whether or not to put his super masculine, extremely hideous, awful & ginormous framed prints of radio parts on a wall in our new house. I was trying to explain that he had to let some of these bachelor possessions go, but he was trying to explain that we had nothing better to put there and that we don’t have the money to buy anything new.
We ping-ponged our positions around for about 5 minutes until I’d finally had enough. The last thing I told him before I stormed away to shower was “YOU HAVE BAD TASTE… AND YOU SMELL!”
Yessssss, I was the victor! I was the classy “fights-like-a-6-year-old” victor!
Less than 15 minutes later however, things went downhill, (per usual).
As I was blow drying my hair post-shower, I did that thing where I flip my head upside down to dry the underside and all of a sudden I felt a sharp tug on my scalp. I turned the hairdryer off but the strain persisted. It started to smell like melting plastic and I came to the realization that a bunch of my hair had been digested into the back of the hairdryer like the owner of a Snack Time Cabbage Patch Doll from 1996.
I had a flash-forward to myself bald, then in my wedding dress a year from now with an inch of hair all around.
Every bride’s dream… fuss-free tresses on her special day!
Tugging on the stuck strands unsuccessfully, I came to the realization that I’d need someone’s help to unscrew the backside of the hairdryer if there was any hope of rescuing my locks. I also knew at this moment that unless our dog suddenly developed grip, grasp and torque abilities in her paws, I’d have to let my fiance walk away as the ultimate victor of our fight.
Crawling back is my favorite.
Taking a deep breath of humility, I meekly called downstairs, “Niiiiiiiick?” pausing for a reply which didn’t come.
“NIIIIIIICK?! NICK I LOVE YOU!” *pause* “HELP?” *pause* “HELP PLEASE?!?”
Listening to the dead silence, I finally acquiesced with, “YOUR TASTE DOESN’T SUCK… I LOVE YOU? PLEASE HELP ME?”
This time I heard a heavy sigh and some shuffling around as if he was considering it. Not willing to waste anymore of my hair’s precious time, I finally pulled out all the stops with, “THE OUTCOME OF MY CURRENT SITUATION WILL AFFECT THE WAY THAT I LOOK FOR A LONG LONG TIME AND I NEED YOUR HELP OR I WILL BE BALD SOON.”
Afraid of what he might have to be seen around town with if I was telling the truth, I finally heard my future husband trudging up the stairs to see how horribly I had mangled myself.
He was able to unscrew the back of the blow dryer and rescue about two thirds of the mutilated hair, cutting out just a few strands which had melted together in the hot coils and came out looking like a clump of plastic Barbie turds.
Nick really is my hero.
Most of our long term relationship-type spats are resolved this way, (with me doing something stupid and him helping me with my stupidity until everyone forgets that we were fighting). The way we come to such quick resolutions for disagreements accounts for about 25% of the reason I agreed to marry him in the first place. If I had been single for all these years and living on my own, I’d probably be dead a’la-stupidity by now.
Oh how I love that boy o’mine!
(Plus, I can just sneak the manly radio pictures into the junk corner of the basement after he leaves for work.)
For the 4th of July party we’re hosting on Wednesday I bought a bunch of birthday decorations from the dollar store, (I mean… the HUNDRED dollar store?) and I plan on hanging them in a little corner on the porch for you. I was going to turn the whole event into a surprise birthday party, but then I remembered that we really only have like 2 other friends and I don’t want to awkwardly rope my family and other people who you don’t know to celebrate you. Sorry… I hope the $100 store decorations and cake I’m planning to make will suffice! (The “Sort-of-Birthday-Party” isn’t as good of a present as the 50 Shades of Grey box set which Shannon is getting you, but I felt really uncomfortable about going halvsies on porn to give you in front of my future mother-in-law.)
Speaking of porn books and you being 27 now, I think it’s time you go have babies so I can practice on them before I mess up my own midgets some day. I’ll play wing-gal if you want to go DNA hunting at classy bars like Suds ‘R Us or Nutties one of these days. You don’t have to commit to a relationship with your sperm donors, but you will probably have to let them touch your thighs.
Welp, I’m going to go clean the dog fart smell off the couch now while I simultaneously practice avoiding the leftover quesadillas that are staring me down from the coffee table. I just have to keep repeating, “Don’t eat cheese and chicken that’s been sitting out for 3 hours, don’t eat cheese and chicken that’s been sitting out for 3 hours, don’t eat cheese and chicken that’s been sitting out for 3 hours.” I just made that into a song in my head to the tune of Ace of Base’s “The Sign”. Maybe if I keep singing it, the STOP EATING FOOD mantra will stick one of these days. (I’m already 14 points in the red on Weight Watchers this week. On the right track to fitting into that too-small wedding dress!)
Happy 27th you old maid.
Care for some jazz while you read? Click here to open a new window for Billie Holiday’s “Born to Love You”. (…Get it?)
We are Holiday Borns. It’s the term commonly used to describe someone whose birthday coincides with a day even more important than their own arrival into this world. If you too are a Holiday Born, you’re probably already familiar with the paltry, contemptible, second-rate nature of the sentiments of the general public towards your special day.
Perhaps your mother got an earful of, “You had a baby today? Congratulations! Is it the son of God? No? Oh… sorry to hear that. I’m going to go celebrate Christmas now”. You’re the ones blamed for stealing baby Jesus’ thunder, and although your friends and family swear it’s cute to be a Holiday Born, it’s really more like a huge inconvenience for their holiday planning.
Or maybe you’ve had a conversation like this with the neighborhood pre-teens on October 31st:
“Trick-or-Treat! Give me some candy or I’ll throw eggs and toilet paper at your house! What? Oh, happy birthday! No, I don’t give YOU presents, you give ME candy. No, you can’t leave your house to go to a birthday party tonight, or we’ll double destroy your private property and add some flaming dog crap to your porch as well. Don’t try that empty bowl with a “Just Take One” sign either, or we just might burn down the entire neighborhood.”
If you’re a Holiday Born, I’m sure you’ll agree it’s rough.
MC and I are Valentines Day & Independence Day. Definitely not the worst type of Holiday Borns to be, but we still have to live with some less astringent side effects of escaping from the womb on a “special day”.
As a Valentine’s Day baby, for example, I must live with the knowledge that I ruined the most romantic day of the year for my parents with my egomaniacal need for presents and attention as a child. I wholeheartedly blame my birthday for the demise of their 28+ year long marriage. There’s no way anyone can build a strong and healthy relationship when Valentine’s Day is pulled out from under them like a chair from the nerdy kid who doesn’t look before sitting down next to the class bully. Poor mom & dad never stood a chance.
As a kid, being a V-Day Holiday Born wasn’t so bad, since I’d always have a class party and get extra candy hearts. As soon as a Valentine’s Baby like myself hits the teen years however, the class parties dwindle and friends decide to spend the day with significant others instead. The day becomes isolated. A contempt for your fate as a third wheel slowly begins to fester and stew inside of you, until you’re forced to muster up a coping mechanism like sarcasm which pours from every orifice in your body for the subsequent 364 days. Happy birthday, me.
MC on the other hand has the burden of ruining summer barbeques, parades and firework shows with her constant need for 4th of July birthday attention. Even if she protests, friends and family always think it’s an overload of politeness and modesty and try their best to accommodate her birthday into their Independence Day plans. It’s usually obvious when the two events have casually been combined into one big party, decorated with flags, red, white, and blue streamers and fireworks. “It’s a birthday party though… I swear!” As long as you have a permanent marker, you can easily sell it this way by writing “HAPPY BIRTHDAY MC!” on the first white stripe of each 10 cent Valley Forge brand mini flag you stab into the ground between the musty smelling old Cornhole game and the charcoal grill. (Is it legal to write on an American Flag with a permanent marker?)
Being Holiday Born defines you in many ways. It raises you with the awareness that you are NOT the most important thing going on at any point in time and instils within you a caustic, bitter reaction to those who think they are. Which is… everyone else in the world.