A Perfectly Cursed Life

Because Blessings Are Overrated

My Mother, Myself – or – Take A Walk On The Wildside September 23, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kimwithak @ 2:18 am
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Last Thursday my Mom and I went out for dinner to celebrate my birthday.  Yes, my birthday was Monday, but people are busy.  Namely, me.

I love Mom.  This goes without saying, I think.  But I love her more than the obligatory daughter-to-mother love ratio.  She’s an amazing person that’s been through a lot in her life and still is the kindest most caring person I know.  Honestly, she’ll give you the shirt off her back and then ask you if you’re still cold and go buy you a new wardrobe.  That’s the kind of person she is and I hope that some of it has rubbed off onto me.

But there are ways in which my mother and I are extremely different.  I’d like to just describe them in general, but I think that these two vignettes will serve to do the job much better than I ever could.

Scene 1:

My mother arrives at my house and pets one of the outdoor cats from two doors down for about five minutes while Rocky goes nuts at the door.  She then gets in and proceeds to tell me how happy Rocky is and what a good dog he is (which is not a lie–he’s a kickass dog).  So she gives me my gift and it’s extremely generous.  Then we get ready to leave…

We’re in her minivan (Pride and Joy) and we’re backing out of the driveway.  She looks back up at the house before shifting the van into reverse.

“You need to trim your bush,” she says matter-of-factly.

Without missing a beat, I reply, “That’s what she said.”

“That’s what who said?” she counters.

At this point I’m laughing hysterically.

She continues, “Who said that?”

I can’t stop laughing and reach into my purse to try and call Mr. CVD.

“Did someone tell you that you need to trim your bush?”

Laughter continues uproariously.  Mr. CVD’s phone goes to voicemail and I put it down. I contemplate calling The Mister and then realize that I probably should just wait to tell him later.

“No one mom…it’s a joke.”

“Oh.”  She pauses, ostensibly to gather what the joke may be.  “Ha.”

She continues to back out of the driveway, clearly not understanding how she set me up for the perfect “that’s what she said,” joke.  My Dad would have gotten this.

Scene 2:

My mom heavily insisted suggested that we try some Vietnamese place the people at the nail salon suggested. Now, my mom isn’t shy from cultural food, but this extreme desire to visit this place isn’t quite like her.  So I say fine and we go.  Of course, she expects the decor to be much more than it is.

“Oh….this is it?” she asks as we pull into the mid-1980s strip mall where it’s located.  “Are you sure you want to go here?” she questions, almost suggesting that this was my idea.

“It’s fine.”

“We can go somewhere else.”

“This is fine, we’re here.  Let’s just go in.” I assure her.

“I just thought it’d be….you know…a little fancier,” she struggles to get out.

“I didn’t.”  She’s pulling in the parking spot very trepidetiously.  “But that’s fine.”

“Okay,” she says very unsure of her selection.

So we get in and order.  This was no small feat, because the menu was composed almost entirely of dishes we had no clue what they were.  She asks the waitress if the beef is ground or not in this dish, the waitress thought she said “brown,” and I have to clear up the ensuing confusion.  Eventually we order.

As we sit and wait I look at her shirt.  It’s an interesting t-shirt with applique shoes and boots that are all in some sort of animal print and the shirt says, in between the melange of footwear, “Take a Walk on the Wild Side!”   (Side note:  this is the woman who wears glittery shit to go bowling, so this shirt will not come as a surprise to anyone who knows her.)

“What’s with that shirt?”

She looks down and pulls the fabric out to inspect the shirt closer.  “It’s got shoes on it.”

“No shit, Mom.”

“Well…you see it’s got shoes on it that are animal print…”

“Yeah?”

“And it says ‘Take a Walk on the Wild Side!'”

“Right,” I respond.

“Well…it’s wild because of the shoes.”

“Yes, I get it.”  Then I add, “The joke isn’t lost on me, it’s just not funny.”  And it’s not funny.  I’ll be damned if she thinks this shirt is amusing, but my “that’s what she said” victory from earlier wasn’t.

“Well, it’s better than what you’re wearing.”

I look down and do the same thing she just did.  I’m wearing a Detroit Pistons t-shirt. “No it’s not,” I say.

“Pistons?”

“It’s a damn t-shirt,” I respond.  “It’s a sports team…it’s not a bad joke.”

We sit there without much to say until the spring rolls come.  At that point, the waitress does not give us any silverware.  There are some funny spoons and chopsticks on the table.  I hand her some.

“How’s this for wild, Mom?”

Take a walk on the wild side indeed.

Sometimes I wonder how we’re related when things like this occur.  My sarcasm is clearly not from her–she barely gets when I’m being sarcastic, let alone engages in sarcasm herself.  And although I’m no fashion plate, I’d not be caught dead in a shirt with applique shoes on it.  I have some standards. (Mr. CVD can shut up with his comment here…)

But as we’re walking to the car, I remember that we are again connected.

“Well that was interesting,” she says, unlocking the doors.

“Yeah, I thought it was good.”

“I didn’t think it was that good…the beef was tough.”

“Mine was good.”

“Oh well, sorry…”

“Don’t be sorry…I liked it.”

“Well, okay.”

We pause before separating into a ‘Y’ shape to enter either side of the van.

“I could go for some ice cream,” she says.  And even though I was stuffed, it’s that kind of blatant love of eating food (especially at times when you shouldn’t be hungry) that reminds me she is my mother and I am her daughter again.  Applique shoes, lack of sarcasm and all.

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What Another Year Older Looks Like September 16, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kimwithak @ 6:47 pm
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There are years when my birthday is an event.  This was not one of those years.  It wasn’t a bad thing, necessarily.  I did what I had to do and moved on.  I had cake (because I bought one for myself to bring to work) and I wasn’t alone last night (because Mr. CVD came over and we ordered pizza).  I’m not disappointed.  It’s just sometimes birthdays give me more inspiration to pontificate than usual…this wasn’t one of those years.

Instead I’m left with a bit of a steadily-decreasing opinion of the world around me.  I try to see the beauty in things, but lately I just find the flaws in the beauty.  Only then can I appreciate beauty…in the flaws.

I guess I should use this time to gather some things I’ve learned over the past year and save them for prosperity.  So here it goes:

  • Everyone has flaws.  Flaws are beautiful when they’re acknowledged, sad when they’re not, and downright tragic when they’re ignored.
  • You can’t help everyone and sometimes you can’t help anyone.
  • Enthusiasm is great, but it wears out.  Being able to look yourself in the mirror with what you do on a daily basis is a much better measure of a person.
  • The closer the family, the more common the disagreements.
  • People will do damn near anything to avoid making a change.
  • I’m not as in touch with any sixth sense as I once thought I was.
  • Old media flings can bring back old memories and emotions.
  • I was more of myself when I was less of myself.

Some of those probably make no sense to you.  And that’s fine.  Just remember to check back often…because one day, they will.

 

Remember What I Said About Blessings and Curses? September 15, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kimwithak @ 3:36 pm
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Though I haven’t blogged about it here for fear that he’d finally read my blog, I had been planning a surprise 30th Birthday Party for The Mister for a few weeks now. It’s been one other thing to add to the stress that has been the move, my work, etc. as of late. But it was also necessary.  The Mister hasn’t had the best birthdays growing up and it was about time for him to have a good one.  It was also kind of a housewarming as it was the first party in our new place.  So I had to get things organized to a state where people could come over.

Mr. CVD and Mr. RMB were part of my plot to get The Mister out of the house while Mom, Dad and others helped prepare the place, welcome guests and hide to surprise him.  The events of the night were unfolding either according to plan or better than the plan could provide.  It was surreal.  For those who know TheMister, you know that he can be stubborn and can throw a fit about doing things like you’ve never seen.  So I was afraid he’d be throwing a fit about our mock plans or something along the way.  But the Universe was preparing me for a great fall and allowed the events of the night to unfold somewhat perfectly.  The Mister was compliant with the ruse and the timing was perfect.  The Mister was very surprised to see his friends and family in his Man Den Basement hiding for him. The only thing that was not cooperating was the weather–it was raining for two days straight at that point. But what the heck, we have a house and a covered porch.  Life was good.

In other words:  all was too well with the world.

Shortly after the party started, Mr. CVD comes upstairs and informs me that the basement bathroom is flooded.  Sure as shit (pardon the pun, but I feel it necessary to comfort myself with literary techniques), the water was everywhere and moving towards the bathroom door.  The folks that were crammed into my basement because of the rain were soon pushed out by the flood waters which started escaping the lavatory.  Dad was trying to contain the problem and for about ten minutes we thought he was successful.

Fate had other plans.

Soon thereafter, The Mister’s mood turned from celebratory to frustrated and then frustrated to irrate.  Our guests began to leave just as the festivities were really getting underway.  The water continued to come out and a plumber was required.  Said another way, we had curses coming our way.

The night could only get better, right?

Well, the plumber comes out and snakes the main drain.  At one point a weird noise comes from the drain as the machine winds more and more cord down the pipes (that’s what she said).  It sounded like a dragon hiccuping or a baby turning inside out.  The plumber informed us that the problem was not over.  In fact, the $185 it had cost us was only a drop in the bucket.  We have tree roots in our line to the sewer…something that requires excavation and major repairs to fix and something you can’t just remedy with a series of quick fixes.  His estimate–about $1850.

As The Mister and Dad finished up with the plumber, a buzzed Mr. CVD and I took Mom’s minivan (her “pride and joy” as Mr. CVD joked) and attempted to go to Meijer, Michigan’s all-hours superstore, as The Mister insisted they had carpet cleaners for rent.  Though Mr. CVD and I doubted it, when we arrived at the Meijer approximately 3 miles from the house, it turns out he was right.  So we ask the soon-to-be-discovered-as-inept kid at the service counter to help us procure such a magic machine.  He looks at us like we’re from outerspace.  The machines are sitting about five feet from him, yet the concept is completely foreign.

“I don’t know if we rent those,” he says.

Mr. CVD and I look at each other as only we can understand.

“They’re right there,” one of us replies.

He then fumbles around for someone else to help us.  Then comes this brilliant revelation.

“The day shift must have taken the key, sorry.”

Mr. CVD, in his slightly inebriated state says “The Day Shift would take the key.  You know how those Day Shifts are.”

So we stood there for about five minutes while he tried to figure out what to do.  Finally we ask if the other store which is about 5 miles away from the house has such a rental system.  I’m not sure what confused him more–the rental, the fact we asked for another store’s abilities or just life in general–but it required an older employee to help him figure out how to lift the receivier and call the store.

Sure enough, the other store had them. The catch?  We had to be there by 11.  It was 10:25.

So Mr. CVD mount up into the Minivan and start out on the second part of our journey.  That’s when the hunger pangs hit.  I had about half of a half of a sandwich and a pickle spear.  I was starvin’ like Marvin and the four drinks I had in me made it difficult to control that hunger.  So we made our secret (but now exposed due to this blog post) stop at McDonalds on the way.  If The Mister knew, he’d be pissed.  But I didn’t care.  I was about ready to pass out.

We get to the other store and, for a change, the clerk was quite helpful.  I mean, it still took forever, but she was helpful.  (Side note to self:  write her manager a letter, I’m sure she doesn’t get enough praise for being the only employee at Meijer to give a damn.)

We get back and Mr. CVD insists on doing the cleaning.  So that’s what’s done.  I drive him home.  I get to bed around 2 a.m.  tired as can be.

The best part of this?  Today is my birthday.  And although I have an excuse to work from home for the time being, I’m still going to be out about two grand and I can’t wash clothes or use the dishwasher for a few days at least.  I was told to limit my bathroom use and showers, but honestly, they can bite me.

The blessing of having The Mister be compliant when I needed it most was tempered by the curse of a faulty plumbing system.  I’m telling you–I cannot make this stuff up.  My life is a series of checks and balances in which I’m constantly laying in wait for the next turn of my luck.

The good news is that I should be in for some good news.  The bad news is that there’s probably bad news to swallow soon thereafter.  I guess what they say is true: “you take the good, you take the bad, you take it all and there you have the facts of life….the facts of life.”  Too bad there’s no half-hour time limit on the saga of my life.

 

Happy Birthday, Mr. CVD September 11, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kimwithak @ 3:35 pm
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Today is the 27th anniversary of the date of the birth of the Will to my Grace, Mr. CVD.  (The Mister would have had a post like this if he actually read my blog.  I bet he’s jealous.)

So, in honor of Mr. CVD’s birthday, here is a digital reinactment of the best birthday card ever.

Kylie Minogue–$5,000,000

Katie Holmes–$20,000 (that’s right)

Madonna–$50,000,000

—OPEN CARD—–

Melanie Griffith–Priceless