I do love to travel; it’s the number one on the favorite things to do list. But, I haaaate to pack. I’ve been looking for that perfect dress for years, but haven’t found it. It should be reversible and on one side you could wear it to a midnight drunken beach party debacle/bonfire or flip it over and wear it to a presidential inauguration. Haven’t found one yet, still looking.
If I ever get rich enough to afford supercilious things, what I want is a personal valet. They wouldn’t have to do much really, just bring me a cup of coffee in the morning, mail back my Netflix movies, and pack when I’m planning to travel. Anyone out there know someone looking for a part-time valet job? Ok, they might get asked to patrol the house for cat fur balls on occasion or go to the drug store and pick out that perfect shade of lip gloss that I can never find. Whatever I buy, I end up looking like a circus clown 20 minutes after application.
I tend to mutter curses and talk to myself a lot when packing. I’m talking through the activities trying to figure out what I’m going to need and combine that into the least amount of clothing and accessories. It occurred to me earlier that it would help to declare a packing day moratorium with Mr. Husband on responding to anything I say, scream or mutter. Unless I address him by his given name and am looking him in the eye, or if I happen to be screaming in pain and yelling “help.” Other than that ignore me completely, please, thank you.
Packing is a pretty personal thing though when you think about it. It gets even more stressful when Hubman starts asking me what he should pack. That overloads my brain. Once I snapped, “just bring everything.” He did…and threw out his back trying to get his suitcase out of the car. This time I told him “honey, we’re going to a place where people’s idea of dressing up is wearing a clean T-shirt, shorts with no holes and a new pair of rubber flip-flops, trust me I lived there, figure it out!”
Hubman and his mom have this thing about preparation that involves talking about it five thousand eight hundred and seventy-two times – per day. This just drives me bat shit crazy. I end up wanting to say rude things like “look, just throw yer crap in a garbage bag, get in the damned car and let’s go! Anything you forgot we can buy along the way. It’s not like we’re going to Botswana.”
But, I’m trying to be a lady about this. I’m still a little raw and embarrassed by yelling at an in-law on Thanksgiving Day. I’ll get over it, I always do. If I didn’t, that would mean big trouble because I say things that even I don’t believe came out of my mouth, often.
**Sigh** Here I am writing again, when I should be doing….well, you know. I guess I’ll go pack.
I have a kooky family. So what? I miss them anyway. It’s the day before Thanksgiving and I’m moping around the house. Earlier this month, I expressed an extreme disinterest in doing a huge bang up in-law infested turkey day at Hubman’s mother’s house this year.
We leave on a way loooong road trip, with his mother in tow, the following Monday at the ass crack of dawn. That’s too much to cram into the time allotted. It’s not like there is no one else here in North Texas to cook a damn turkey. So what is his response? Move the party to our house! Excellent idea, oh beloved Bimbo of mine. Howz about I burn all your Star Trek collectibles in a big bonfire in the back yard. Wouldn’t that be fun?
I think I now know why iron skillets were invented and it was not for cooking, that’s just the cover story. There were created to knock husbands over the head with when they just…don’t…get it. Part of the problem is that I miss MY family. I love each and every one of them, even though there have been times that I contemplated murder, keel hauling or at the very least 20 lashes.
Some of this annoying ennui is my fault. I need to put my foot down in the marital kind of way before the next big holiday and say “HEY! It’s my turn. WE, not just me, are going to my family’s house for a holiday.” We are not solely responsible for entertaining every one of your relatives on every damn holiday ever invented. And I don’t wanna hear any whining a about how much it’s gonna cost. Or what is your mother is gonna do without us there to cater to her every whim, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Hell, bring her with us. We’ll give her a peek at how the darker side celebrates a holiday. The crazy beer drinking, Saints football team loving, dance at every opportunity, laugh at everything, wear a turkey on your head, New Orleans people way of celebrating. There is more than one way to do a holiday. And some of them don’t involve standing on your feet slaving over the stove until your feet swell up to the size of watermelons, and groaning and moaning about it. And on top of all that claiming you enjoy it. Uh, yea, and I like to get root canals too. Nice try, but I’m not buying it.
So I’m trying to work on things to be grateful about. I’m alive, have my health, a loving husband, even though he is rather thick-headed in the female department. A family that loves me, friends, I don’t live on the Gaza strip. I can afford to do pretty much whatever I want to do, within reason. I probably can’t afford to charter a jet and fly to Russia to train and go up in space, but I don’t want to do that anyway. I’m pretty much OK with being Earth bound for the time being.
I own a postage stamp size plot of ground on the moon. I bought if from a coupon on a cereal box when I was kid, but can’t find the paperwork. My dog loves me, and my cat doesn’t bite me…often. I do have a lot of things to be grateful for. Perhaps what I need to do is state my case earlier in the game. No means No. If I don’t wanna, then I don’t wanna. And if I do, then I do. Going along for the ride, moping around and pitching a fit when it’s too late to change anything isn’t working out well. Guess I need to pay more attention. Ignoring my needs and wants just isn’t doing the trick.
Well a good time was had by all this Thanksgiving day. It was a strange and wonderful day here in New Orleans, as it always is. Mom rocked the cooking for 2 days straight. About 3ish yesterday the Turkey was ready. And a fine bird it was. Much beer and wine was consumed during the interim, of course. When it was time to carve the turkey we discovered that the elected carver had taken ill to his bed. We were instructed to go ahead without him.
We soldiered on, trying first one knife and then another. At one point the hostess announced that she didn’t want the person who cooked the turkey to come anywhere near said turkey. The bird should rest a bit longer. I thought to myself that if it rested any longer we would need to put a lily on its breast and carry it with much ceremony to the nearest cemetery. Someone else blurted “oh just never mind.” Not wanting to be a rude and pushy guest I held my tongue until that point. I pointed out that we could not never mind the turkey because there were hungry people in the house and more coming.
I stepped in and give it a try. This particular turkey and the knives available did not get along well. The result was a sort of pulled turkey melange. I pulled off chunks and cut them on the plate which worked a little better. Then the feasting began. The turkey was fabulous and cooked to perfection. We ate and ate and ate some more. Turkey, mashed potatoes, giblet gravy, baby peas, stuffed celery, cocktail onions, fruit salad, and pies of all varieties.
We then discussed the pros and cons of pickled beets. Some people love them, Mother included. I think they are revolting and should be banned in any civilized country. But, I try to live peaceably with them as long as I don’t mistake them for Cranberry sauce. I did one year and almost had to be sedated to survive the experience.
As the day and evening progressed various beloved friends stopped by. My sister the gracious hostess and her husband allow smoking in the kitchen. And so it ended up standing room only in there with an occasional overflow into the hall and out the back door. A lively discussion about any and all persons who were not there went on for hours.
Around 9 in the evening a mass exodus occurred. Those who had vehicles removing those who did not in the process. The grand exit knocked over a potted palm in the final stages of good byes, hastening the departure a bit. I drove my mother home and got lost a little on the way back, but it’s all good.
It was a wonderful day. I just have to write about it or I will forget. Like to get things documented while there are fresh in my mind. Hope everyone had a memorable Thanksgiving Day. Cheers.
Why must some people learn things the hard way? I’m referring to myself of course. I like to bend rules. Even more fun to break them. Sometimes there is a reason for rules though. This whole NaNoWriMo thing is breaking my brain. It’s also causing me to have a mini nervous breakdown. What rule did I break? Why the NO part of NaNoWriMo. No meaning novel. Well blow me down. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still plugging away. The pothole in the road is that my story morphed from a novel into a semi fictional auto-biography. A biography is not a novel.
I broke another rule. Don’t go back and read what you wrote – keep writing! I did and opened Pandora’s box. Oh my god, I think, I can’t write this. Well yes, actually I can, but can I publish this? If I’m willing to run the risk of nobody every speaking to me again, including people I’ve never met, sure go right ahead. Scrambling for rationalization, I think, Eureka, I have a plan. I will wait until everyone I know is dead, then publish. This plan has a major flaw. I don’t know that many people older than me. So I will be dead too. Where’s the fun in that?
Writing about my life poses other problems as well. Scrutinizing one’s entire life on paper in 30 days sends one into a paroxysm of self-examination that would try the hardiest of souls. Maybe there is a damned good reason to explore someone’s life after they are gone. “Did that really happen? Why do you think that’s funny? That was a horrifying experience. Why was that so traumatic to you? That’s happened to others and they aren’t curled up behind the sofa in a fetal position, sniveling into a blanky. What will the result of this month be? Will I spend the rest of the year gluing macaroni smiley faces to paper plates?
So I struggle onward, cursed by my own stubborn attitude. The month is 2 thirds done and the draft is 1 thirds done. Now I remember what I liked the least about corporate hell. Deadlines…the bane of existence. Deadlines are here to stay in my life though. I have to get the inspection sticker renewed on my car on a deadline. Snarling “yer not the boss of me” to the traffic cop who pulls me over for an expired sticker isn’t going to get me very far. Well maybe to the local lockup if he’s had a bad day. But, it’s probably not a good idea to create situations as fodder for future stories.
I’m not writing a long and winding novel like Atlas Shrugged here. More like Atlas Staggered, fell to one knee – then went to happy hour to recuperate and didn’t come home for a week. Never read that book, actually. But, the title has always given me a giggle. Mom hates that book with a passion, so if you’re reading this, Mumzelle, please don’t go into a tizzy. We’ll talk about it next week when I get to New Orleans for Thanksgiving. Turkey and family, that’s living.
Part of it is fall allergies. But the main problem is preparing for the NaNoWriMo novel challenge in November. Been thinking about story lines, characters. Worrying about losing my mind in the process. Started jotting down ideas on a legal pad a few days ago. Now I have 2 pages full of snippets. Glanced over the list last night and a strange thought came to mind. “Good grief, much of this is from my own experiences.” I could write an auto-biography and no one would know, or believe it. If they did, I ‘d get a one way ticket to the basket weaving academy.
True living in New Orleans for 20 odd years added to the list of oddities. One night in the French Quarter is the rough equivalent of a year in the suburbs. The most exciting things in my life this last month is the bug guy came and sprayed for termites. Well Mr. Husband ate something bad and hurled, but that was a vicarious experience at best. And oh yeah, my girlfriend got a boob job. Now I want one too. But that will pass, I’d want a new pair of boots if she got some. That reminds me, I bought 2 pairs of boots last week. A gal just can’t have too many pairs of boots, in my opinion.
Back to the novel contest. It will be interesting to see if I persevere. I’ve given up on New Year’s resolutions because they are sooo…permanent. I know I can do something for a 40 days because I frequently make some kind of habit change for Lent. One year I gave up the F word. That was an incredible challenge. It made me realize just how much I used that as a go to word when ticked off. During that time I researched more interesting ways to swear. My 2 favorites are “great crucibles of balderdash” followed with “by Thor’s left buttock!” Try saying that to the person who stole your parking place. Doesn’t help, but they might be a little scared of the crazy lady.
One thing that concerns me is that Thanksgiving falls right at the end of this dash to the finish line. Ah Ha, see there I’m making excuses already! Maybe I need to come up with some sort of reward to finish. A trip to Berlin or Moscow. Yea buddy.