I’ve written about them before, but I’m still remembering a few moments in our shared past, and remembering them is so sweet.
I was able to spend quite a bit of time with my nephew, Lane, when he was a baby. I would come home from college for weekends, holidays or during the summer, and sometimes he would stay at my parents’ house. Every now and then, I would sleep in the room his crib was in.
He would wake up in the night and I had been instructed on what to do:
The catch was getting him to fall back asleep after that bottle. I would try to ease down into an old wooden rocking chair, made by my grandpa, without jostling Lane too much. I would rock and rock, and those big, round, blue eyes would just stare up at me.
Even after he drifted off, sometimes he would wake again when I tried to lay him down. So, I would put him in the bed with me. And those big, round, blue eyes would stare into mine. I would close my eyes, hoping he would get bored with looking at me and close his own, but the next few times I opened them, he would still be staring.
He always fell back asleep eventually. Sometimes he would wake again, fussing a little, and I would pick him up and rock him back and forth while standing.
It was one of those times that he took his pacifier out of his mouth to yawn, put it back in and then laid his head back down on my shoulder. I remember he was just wearing a diaper, and I stroked his baby-soft back and thought life couldn’t get sweeter than that.
I know nothing compares to being a mom – my relationship with my own mom taught me about that – but being an aunt has been one of my greatest blessings.
While driving and listening to “The Age of Miracles” by Karen Thompson Walker (thanks, Jess), I suddenly had a vision of what the world might have looked like in prehistoric times, when giant snails roamed the earth.*
I pictured them as wide as two lanes of highway. Matt asked me (because of course I described this to him) if people could ride them, like in “The Neverending Story.” I said yes, but they would not be goofy looking like the one in “The Neverending Story.” They would be serious, real snails.
This led to a discussion about where snail shells come from.
“Are snails born with shells?” I asked him. “Or is it like a hermit crab kind of thing and they have to find one?”
“I think they’re born with them,” he said.
“But when do they start developing their shells? Maybe, if I were a snail, there would just be a bunch of empty shells floating around in my ute (yep, I call it that), waiting for fetal snails to find them.”
Matt pointed to his fingernails, which is a difficult thing to do if you point with both hands (he doesn’t, but still).
“You’re born with fingernails,” he said.
“It’s your typical chicken-and-the-egg question,” I said, ignoring his logic.
I wondered whether hermit crabs were born with soft shells and had to find bigger ones as they grew.
“If they’re not born with them,” Matt said, referring to the snails again, “do they inhabit the shells of dead snails? ”
“Probably so,” I said. “Maybe for snails, shells are like Social Security numbers, and they reassign them after they die.”
*“The Age of Miracles” has nothing to do with giant, prehistoric snails.
Suppose, some day, I go missing because I got kidnapped on a trip to Russia. Maybe you were with me on the trip, maybe not.
You are looking for me for a long time, and eventually the government declares me legally dead.
Here’s what I need you to do:
DON’T BELIEVE THEM.
It’s not like I’m a government conspiracy theorist or something, it’s just that I firmly believe that my life will go down like an episode of “Alias.”
If they happen to finally find “my” body, do not believe that it is mine. Even if it is just bones and they swear that the teeth match up to my dental X-rays, DON’T BELIEVE THEM.
Check out my teeth yourself and compare them to the X-rays. Because I don’t want to show up in five years and find you married again. I will be so pissed. And yes, I will probably beat up your new wife, because I will have been in Russia, honing my martial arts and weapon skills while trying to escape from the country without attracting the notice of the KGB. (Yeah, I know they’re supposed to be gone, but I DON’T BELIEVE THEM.)
Instead of making New Year’s resolutions, I find it more useful and entertaining to make New Year’s Predictions.
(Note: The items I predict will not necessarily happen in 2013. Or ever.)
1. Something resembling control or restrictions happens to assault weapons or doesn’t happen but is talked about at length while the Mormons quietly assemble underground bunkers, stockpiling assault rifles and nuclear warheads.
2. The mysterious cut on my right thumb eventually heals, with or without Hello Kitty Band-Aids.
3. Kid Rock and Pamela Anderson get back together. Come on people, believe. Believe in love.
4. The internet becomes obsolete because we are finally able to communicate with each other through cats’ minds — telecatically.
5. A photo of the President spitting out borscht wins a Pulitzer.
6. Israel and Palestine collaborate on a book of haiku.
7. I travel to Mordor.
8. Hybrid cars turn on their owners, forcing them to buy larger TVs and more disposable plastic bottles.
9. Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson rise from the dead to sing a duet before falling on and devouring a crowd of Asian tourists.
10. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s child is the first to use a teleprompter to learn to read.
A recent spate of encountering others with physical curiosities has me puzzled.
Some of my friends have mentioned that a woman we know has strong body odor. I haven’t detected this myself, but I trust their olfactory abilities.
However, I have observed, on many occasions, a woman who has several very long hairs on her chin. She is not old — not yet. She is not hideous and does not perform witchcraft, that I know of.
And just today, while I was in line at the grocery store, I couldn’t help but notice that the teller had very horribly and obviously painted-on eyebrows. She did not appear to be suffering hair loss from cancer or alopecia.
These encounters have caused me to wonder — don’t these people have any friends?
A friend’s most solemn duty is to tell us when we are overlooking some fixable physical aberration or applying our makeup too thickly. If these women have friends, or even husbands or boyfriends who are helpful at all, why don’t they seem to know that they are growing a beard or marinating mildew in their pits?
It reminds me of my attempts to teach my friends the “How’s your mother?” trick. It is meant to be an non-conspicuous way of asking if there is food in your teeth. For instance, after a meal, I would smile broadly and say “How’s your mother?”
If there was nothing in my teeth, the response would be “Just fine” or something similar.
My friends, however, almost never failed to do it backwards. They would give me a wide smile and ask, “How’s my mother?”
How would I know?
Friends. We need them to make us laugh and eventually set us straight.
I feel slightly better now that NBC News actually credited us with some information (see super long link below that I can’t seem to shorten because I’m on my iPad), but I still feel like I was thisclose to seeing my name on The Huffington Post, The Daily Mail, some crazy Dutch website all in Dutch, around the world, etc., etc., etc.
But maybe that’s just my huge ego talking, since the story is obviously not about me. I just was the first in the entire world to report it…
Down, ego! Down!
Since I am so bitter, I will have to console myself by seeing the errors – like how “detectives” questioned Blaec Lammers (there is literally only one detective with the Bolivar Police Department due to budget cuts), FoxNews reporting “MASSACRE TWARTED” [sic] (is that like a painful “Twilight”-themed fart?) and Perez Hilton reporting that he had 400 pounds of ammo (as opposed to rounds), which would make him super strong.
Yep, that’s totally my byline of my story that I broke that is now being reported by national media.
Probably about a month ago, I brought a banana to work for a snack.
When I peeled the banana, it was clearly past its prime. So I threw it away in my trash can. Unpeeled.
Our cleaning crew quit or was fired — who knows — and we’ve been responsible for throwing out our own trash and doing the cleaning ourselves.
I was gone for a week when my husband had surgery, and the banana remained in the trash can…
Now gnats plague all of the employees, and they all wonder where they came from. It was me. I’m sorry, but it was me.
It’s Wolfie! Let him in!
I’m so horribly obsessed with Jan Terri. I’ve totally nailed her dance moves from “Get Down Goblin.” Matt told me he had never been more attracted to me.