Thanks to a pack of pork chops that hadn’t quite thawed completely, I found myself without anything to eat for dinner on a recent Tuesday evening. My normal plan would have been to order a pizza but I wasn’t in the mood for Papa and his $7.99 2 topping large. I sent a text to a friend: “My pork chops didn’t thaw out enough. What should I order for dinner?”
Geez! I got the wrong date again!
So there I was this morning eating a lovely bowl of porridge (read that as Oatmeal) patting myself on the back for eating whole grains for breakfast instead of a chick fil a biscuit and using apples and raisins to sweeten those grains instead of sugar, when I glanced at the wall calendar. March 4th. Oh man! The Ides of March was yesterday on the 3rd. I missed it again! Or wait….are the Ides on the 5th? I can never remember what day in March the Ides actually fall on. It doesn’t matter, it really doesn’t.
In fact, my whole reason for wanting to remember the date (for the last two years) was so that I could use it on my Facebook status. Try to refrain from rolling your eyes. Having “Beware the Ides of March” as my status might signify to all who saw it that I am cultured, clever and well read. That you may find on my bookshelf the works of Shakespeare (pronounced here real snooty-like and with a hand flourish: Shake-sp’yah!) and probably not 50 Shades of Gray. That I might enjoy eating sushi and not those God awful looking Fish McBites from McDonald’s. They may think to themselves ” Perhaps I should post this inspiring quote by Mark Twain on her wall instead of the picture of the fuzzy little kitten spewing obscenities and flipping the bird.” (Cat’s have middle fingers? Who knew?).
I have a friend who laughs at my annoyance over the lack of interest when I would post what I feel are discussion worthy topics. I might draw two likes and her one sympathy comment. But that comment over on such and such’s wall about what happened at the bar this past weekend was liked 234 times and got 37 comments in 4 minutes. My laughing friend being one of the likers. Et Tu, Friend? Yes – I am slightly bitter. But I digress….
I did some quick researching and found “The Ides” fall on the 15th of the month. I did some additional G
oogling research and found that outside of Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, the date means nothing at all. The Ides is just a fancy way of saying the 15th. Hearing a Soothsayer calling it “The Ides” certainly wouldn’t have sent any shivers down Caesar’s spine – you know, outside of being told to beware it because of your impending death and all – for all intents and purposes calling out the Ides of April would have gotten the Soothsayer the same reaction. Ignored.
I watched a segment on one of those morning news shows recently that had as a guest the author of Secrets of an Organized Mom. “When it comes to getting organized with kids, you have to start by throwing out some sentimentality” says professional organizer and mom Barbara Reich. “All those lovely artworks and macaroni-and-glue creations your little darlings bring home from school? Toss ‘em”. I agreed with the interviewer in that the advice sounded a little heartless. Barbara advises of the artwork “It’s really not that special”. Wow.
Okay, despite her blunt delivery, I agree. I imagine keeping every single piece of paper your children scribble on can get to be a bit too much. As I watch this, I am reminded of a closet in the house in which is piled several boxes of my stuff from elementary and middle school that I decide to tackle. What I have forgotten though is that years ago I’d already gone through the chaos that was this closet and there are only 4 boxes neatly stacked in the corner and a small basket with a lid that used to house a doll and her accessories. Well, I’m sure inside those boxes are plenty of papers that I can toss and whittle this down to 2 boxes instead of the 4. The first box was small and square. Able to be held in one hand it contained only a few books. The second much larger had a couple of baby dolls, doll clothes and shoes, those Mickey Mouse souvenirs from that Disneyland trip I’m sure I begged to have. Uh huh! I WILL use them! (…ahem….they are unopened and in prime condition….let’s move on…) my faded purple Wuzzles bag with the rainbow straps which contained more doll clothes, plastic hair rollers, a battery operated visor with lights, a strawberry shortcake – which I’m sure is actually my sister’s as I was forced to get Huckleberry Pie so we wouldn’t have the same character -yes, I AM bitter – and some other pocket sized doll with pink hair that I’m sure used to smell like something other than a cardboard box. A third heavy box full of books. Many of them I remember. Most of them had my sister’s name on the inside cover; neatly clicked out in white on red plastic tape made from a 1980s Avery label maker. I’m sure this was done to distinguish her books from my books. Whatever – finder’s keepers! The best thing I’ve found however is a notebook from around when I was 11. It’s banged up, missing a cover and most pages but some pages survived. This must have been a creative writing notebook as it’s filled with stories of a clumsy knight, time travel, characters named Ludmilla, field trips, a person drowning in a bowl of coco puffs and a speech written as if I were running for Mayor in which my slogan was “Don’t be defiant, vote for Shannon Bryant” Catchy huh? My favorite story which had me laughing for its absurdity is a mystery story. I’ve included the story below so that you can bask in my middle school genius-ness. I’m sure I didn’t keep this notebook on purpose. I’m sure I just threw it in a box to clean my room up at some point. After reading through it, I’ve decided that organizer mom is only partially correct. It is probably not feasible to keep everything your little ones make, be selective if you have to but don’t throw sentimentality out altogether. If this has been tossed, I wouldn’t have remembered that I used to like to make up stories – especially since I tell people all the time I suck at fiction. Maybe that’s not really the case. And maybe after reading the story you will remember that it’s not always the Butler who did it.
Who Dunnit’? (* Yes I really did use all of those exclamation points)
It all started on a stormy night in a big, spooky house. I was spending the night with my best friends who were sisters. Their mother was having company that night. Everything was going fine that night until SNAP, CRACKLE, POP “What was that!” I exclaimed “And don’t tell me someone’s eating Rice Krispies.” “Oh It’s just lightning said Mi-Mi . “Just lightning, said Fi-Fi, who was hiding behind a lounge chair “Easy for you to say”. Just then the lights went out. “Oh….oh great, the lights are out! “I’ll go put another fuse in the fuse box.” That was Gretchen the maid. “Hey listen, while were in the dark let’s tell a Ghost Story” screeched fi-Fi. Mi-Mi, and I agreed. “Once upon a high hill stood a really, really spooky castle. Every night the people who lived there heard screams that sounded like……Aaaaaghh! “Hey that was Gretchen! Something’s wrong!!!!” They rushed down to the study, only to find a half ring of people surrounding Gretchen, on the floor! The man stooping over her looked up and said “she’s dead.”
That night in the study, everyone discussed the death. ‘Now everyone calm down, we must find out who did this, now let’s see was it the Butler, the chef, one of the guests…….” “No it was me!” Startled everyone turned around “No over here in the corner” “In the corner?” I exclaimed “Why there’s nothing over there but a chair, a TV, a stereo, a dog….a dog!!!!!!!* It was you all long, but why?” “Why? I’ll tell you why. All these years that Gretchen mistreated me.” “What do you mean?” “All the other dogs in the neighborhood were eating Kibbles and bits, Gains burgers and Snausages in their own Bow Wow Kingdom. But me I was in the dog slum eating leftover broccoli and liver, not to mention the few chicken bones. Now I’ll kill all of you!” He pulled out a dagger and aimed it at us. Little did he know the dog catchers were on their way. He bounded at us but missed and fell out the window. Then Fi-Fi pulled out a can of whipped cream and sprayed it on the dog like a beard. She started screaming “Mad dog” when the dog catchers pulled up. They put paw cuffs on him and rode off. After that the family never bought a dog again and took to bird watching.
Yesterday was President’s day. I had already decided long before the sun cracked the holiday sky that I would spend the majority of it in bed flipping through channels and wondering why I pay so much for cable only to end up watching back to back episodes of Castle or The Mentalist. I picked up my phone from the nightstand and checked my email. Lo and behold an email from Lane Bryant screaming that they had bra’s on sale for $14.99 for today only in honor of President’s day. Crap! Plans thwarted. My bra’s run a conspiracy game in which they all decide that they want to break, snap, fray, spontaneously combust…all of the above…with the same two weeks. Because of this I find myself having to buy multiples at the same time. Realizing how much of a deal this was I jumped out of bed, dressed quickly and was on my way to the town center (which conveniently had a jewelry store located beside it for my shopping convenience ). “Hi Welcome to Lane Bryant!” the lady called as I kicked through the door. No time for pleasantries and manners. Every woman wearing a size 14 and up this side of the James River Bridge would be on the hunt for this deal. I don’t think I said hello back, I may have smiled but the only thing that came out of my mouth was “You have bra’s on sale?”. Normally I have better manners, but for my spidey sense telling me the game was afoot and I didn’t have time to waste on suck pleasantries as manners. “Over there” she pointed to a two tier rack to her side which was deserted. Yes! Seems everyone else had allowed the lure of a Monday off of work to daze their bargain shopping senses and keep them in bed, I thought. Silly rabbits…you choose to stay in your jammies and watch the view instead of scoring discounted lingerie. Clearly, I am the clever one. Or am I? The rack was relatively sparse and the only bras on sale in my size are some radioactive pumpkin orange colored monstrosities with big yellow flowers. Ick. It wasn’t even a cute orange. Who lost their job designing THAT bra? Not quite ready to give up I searched through the other sizes thinking perhaps some may be misplaced and Voila! I happen upon a decent blue and black number. Nothing I would have picked up myself but hey…for $14.99 I can live with it. Tried it on. Perfect fit. Dance of Joy. “Will that be all for you ma’am?” the lady asked. “Yes, thank you” I respond nicely, my manners having returned. Beep. She scanned the tag. “Oh. Did you find this on the sales rack? Someone must have put it over there by mistake it’s not on sale. The regular price is $36.00.” Face having fell, I wait a few seconds for her to offer a “But hey, our bad! I’ll give it to you at the sale price! Thank you for being a valued customer!” Silence. No such luck. Me frowning and manners having disappeared again “No, I don’t want it then” and flounce (maybe semi-flounce? ) out the door to the jewelry place to attempt to drown my disappointment in silver plated bliss. No such luck there either.
Later that evening a friend asked if I was successful in my hunt. I recounted my story. “You know….I’m starting to hate those narrow B cup women who can buy all the cutesie barely supportive bra’s at Walmart and Target for $7.99 while I have to shell out $36 bucks for a decent bra. $38.50 if it’s in some new collection”. “My sister complains about that all the time,” she replied. “Actually, I can find bra’s at Target….just not always the particular style I want.”
“You’re one of them!” I accused. Her friendship contract is up for review effective immediately.
I think I’ve offended The Godfather Cat.
It must have been him that I angered inadvertently when I shooed that random homeless hobo cat out from under my car that dark night when his freaky glowing eyes and quick feline movements caught me by surprise when I was on my way out. Stupid cat! And why is he napping under my car? Ugh! I glanced accusingly at the houses on either side of mine and thinking I’ll bet this cat belongs to one of you, flounced myself indignantly into the car and promptly sped away to my destination. It wasn’t the first time it’s happened and I thought nothing of it until today when I found a dead rabbit on my porch. Nay….ANOTHER dead rabbit! The first victim met his demise this past summer. Leaving early in the morning for work I saw the decapitated bunny head on the sidewalk directly in front of the porch step and screamed bloody murder. What the what?! I looked around for the perp or at least someone else to witness the horror. No one. Who does that? Or rather what?
Not wanting to be late (that was my excuse) I left the head and drove off to work and did what any red blooded American in 2012 would do in this situation - I posted my traumatic find on Facebook, took a poll on what vicious beast could have killed the fluffy cuteness and offered everything short of prostitution and top secret nuclear arms sales to the person who would remove the offense. This didn’t prove successful; however, with input from my
fair-weather Facebook friends I decided that surely it must be the Godfather cat himself who murdered Peter cottontail in cold blood with the candlestick in the billiard room and left his head for me to find as a warning. It took several phone calls and the
bribery offering of a seafood dinner to convince a reluctant friend to dispose of the head. All was well and right with the world…until today.
Today I was going to be on time for church. Yes! I would pull up precisely 5 minutes before service started, find a good seat without having to climb over anyone, say a few Good Morning’s and be pleased as punch at my accomplishment. I turned the ignition, thought I saw movement out the corner of my eye and turned to see some furry animal on the porch on the other side of the door. Was that there when I walked out just 10 seconds ago? Crap! Is that another rabbit?! Getting out of the car I crept back up to the porch albeit stomping along the way and making noise hoping the rabbit had only been frozen in fear and would hop off on his jolly way when it heard me. No such luck. Definitely dead. Standing and looking with grossed out face I looked around again for the perp or a witness only to see some guy across the street in a black sweats walking by.
Deciding he looked too much like a serial killer, I refrained from calling out to him to lend some neighborly help. I don’t have time for this. Jumping back into the car I sent this text message to the same friend: OMG THERE IS A DEAD RABBIT ON MY PORCH!!! PLEASEEEEEEE GET HIM!!!!!!!” His response: Again?. “Are you kidding me?” he asked when he called. I’ll spare you the details of my whining, and all the gagging noises I made as evidence that I could not touch the departed hare and the promise that I would be his best friend “…like FOREVER…” if he did me a solid and disposed of the carcass…again.
Hours later the body is gone the crime scene tape has been removed and all is right with the world again. I glance toward the window and wonder what might be taking place on the other side of that curtain, if Godfather Cat is still ticked off at me and decide that if I find a horse’s head on the porch come tomorrow….I’m packing up and leaving town!
Godfather Cat can have the house!