“…the present generation tried to achieve a reputation for cleverness by decrying all that was obviously great and obviously good and by praising everything, however obviously bad, that was different.”
- Elizabeth von Arnim, writing about our great-grandparents’ generation in 1922. And we thought we were so cutting-edge.
Last night I dropped Gene off at his motorcycle which he had left parked at Orinda BART. I was sitting in the car while he rummaged around in the back seat to collect his gear when he handed me a spoon.
“This looks familiar,” he said.
I took the spoon. “Yeah, I guess this is one of ours,” I said. “It feels a little heavier to me. I wonder how long it’s been back there?” I felt the spoon all over, examining it, and then put it on my bag so I would remember to bring it inside and wash it, which it definitely needed.
“It’s weird that someone would just leave a spoon in a parking lot,” Gene said, and I sat blinking for a moment, processing this, before flinging the spoon out of the car.
“Did you just pick this up off the ground and hand it to me?” I demanded, frantically grabbing for my hand sanitizer.
“Yes,” Gene said, attempting to be innocent but already laughing. “What? Was that not okay?”
“I guess I’ve never explicitly said this. Let me do so now: please do not pick trash up off the ground that’s covered with the remnants of someone else’s meal and hand it to me.”
“And now I know that,” said Gene.
The worst prank ever.
Two of our best friends had their first baby this week! It’s such a huge deal, let’s examine how it impacts me. I was discussing the possible repercussions this will have on our regular friend hangouts with another regular hanger-outer, Jacob, the day it happened:
Jacob: “What do you think this will mean for socializing? Do you think we’ll see them this summer?”
Me: “Maybe. She’s such an organized person, I could see her working out the perfect way to see friends and care for an infant without a single unnecessary item or difficulty.”
Jacob: “True, but she may prefer to sleep.”
Me: “Ah, but what you perhaps don’t realize is that she has always preferred to sleep. For all the years we’ve known her, every time she chooses to hang out with us she’s basically forcing herself to sacrifice an important nap. So I’m not sure this will be any different.”
But seriously. I am so happy for them and so excited to meet their daughter, who — based on the picture I’ve seen — looks like one of those babies who are all soft and darling, not one of those scrunchy red kinds you sometimes meet with. Also, I’m eager to ask the new dad, who is the wine sommelier of our group, what kind of wine pairs best with childbirth.
Me: “Check it out, I found this in that box of my old toys.”
Gene: “What is it?”
Me: “Here, you can look at it.”
Gene: “A tiny pillow with a pocket on the front.” He sticks a finger in the pocket, as I knew he would. “What’s it for?”
Me: “When I was a kid I used to put my teeth in there for the tooth fairy.”
Gene: [Stands frozen, finger still in the pocket.]
Me: “I’m not sure it’s ever been washed.”
He flings the pillow away and runs to the sink. I laugh and laugh.
The best prank ever.
Lately I’ve taken to sending Gene a daily sample of the most ridiculous headline I can find on CNN.com. I would like to share a few from the last month or so:
Justin Bieber’s monkey quarantined
Dog tattoos: cruel or prudent?
Cute woodchuck eats ice cream
Saget’s X-rated ‘Full House’ memory
Sandwich buyer in a pickle over pickles
‘Toilet of the future’ solves big issues
And some of my favorites from today:
Life coaches commit suicide
Justin Bieber to be launched into space (I assume this is related to his monkey issues. We’ve had enough, Bieb.)
Again, these are all headlines taken from CNN’s main page — the news that CNN felt would be most relevant and important to our lives. This is why I get all my news from Jon Stewart.
Kris: Blech, I’m sorry, I keep going on and on about this. I need to stop telling you every thought that crosses my brain.
Gene: I like hearing all your thoughts.
Gene: I do. If your thoughts were an RSS feed, I would subscribe to it.
It’s an understood thing around our house that on particularly sunny days I’m going to spend most of my time in the yard, swimming and reading, rather than grocery shopping or sweeping the staircase or any of the other useful things I sometimes bring myself to do.
Today I was doing that for a while, and then I came inside because I wanted to eat some banana bread. (My second two slices of the day — so, that’s four slices so far today. It’s 1 p.m.) I was too lazy to put on a cover-up dress, so I was sitting in my swimsuit in my library chair for maximum transference of sunscreen onto the furniture, the plate of dessert wodged under my chin like one of those collars you put on wounded dogs, with a napkin spread over as much of the rest of me as possible in a vain attempt to catch the crumbs from my Cookie Monster-esque devouring of treats. (Face-first, that’s how I roll.) And Gene happened to pass by the door and paused to take in this tableau and then unironically said “I’m so lucky.”
Just, thank god, you know?
Once, a few years ago, I tried taking all of our medicines and toiletries out of their ugly cardboard-and-plastic packaging and putting them into funky little jars, sort of like this:
And then Gene said “Why are the band-aids in this jar with the narrow mouth that I can’t get my fingers into? I can’t tell which one of these bottles of pills is the Tylenol. Where did all these Q-tips come from? Do we use these for anything?”
And I realized that I will never live a Pinterest life.
Kris: [starts charging across, realizes Michele isn't with her] “You coming?”
Michele: “Sorry, yes.”
Kris: “Did you forget how to walk?”
Michele: “No, I was just waiting for a white man to cross with.”
Michele: “You know, the little white light-up man? In the crossing sign?”
Kris: “Ah. Yes. You may wish to rephrase that in the future.”
“You should certainly have more children — not that I like children very much (I find them tiresome) but they grow up into people if you give them time. In my young days parents were not afraid to admit that they found their children tiresome. Now it is considered unnatural and yet people have fewer. That always strikes me as strange.”
“They didn’t have to bother with their children,” Humphrey pointed out. “They just handed them over to a competent nurse, and — ”
“That’s exactly what I mean,” said Miss Dunne. “They didn’t pretend they liked them. Now they pretend they like them and don’t have them.”
-D.E. Stevenson, Celia’s House