Tag Archives: Humor

Inter-Office Peace Treaties

13 Aug

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I’m taking a break from voicemails for a bit here.

…Also, there’s this huge-giant spider in the bathroom that is too big to kill.  It’ like Aragog from “Harry Potter.”

…Ok, maybe not quite as big as Aragog, but big enough that it is winning the turf war. 

I’m thinking of putting a post-it on the door as warning for the WHS Pimp in the morning…but I dunno what to write on it that doesn’t make me sound like a total “girl”…and thus get me made fun of.

I mean, if I put something like, “WARNING: Arachnid of death, enter at own risk,” I’d never hear the end of it.  But if I wrote something like, “Enter with boots on and please kill me” that might send a mixed message.

…For instance, what if it decides to move out in the middle of the night, to wherever it came from.  Then in the morning, maybe WHS Pimp comes in and finds nothing behind the door…but leaves it open…and I just assume he took care of it, but forget about the post-it…then close the door to go pee at some point, and look like I’m inviting permissive homicide to any and all who walk by.

…And WORSE, what if its still in there with me, at the same time?

These are the kind of things I think about, you guys.

…Especially when my bladder is full of an entire pot of coffee and “freak-bug” in there, won’t let me pee.

Seriously.

…Maybe we could hold like a negotiation for a momentary peace treaty…which lasts just long enough for me to do my business.  I tell him, I promise not to go near him with any large, heavy, squish-inducing object, and he promises to stay within my eyeline the whole time, and not move an inch. 

…Then, (of course), by morning, WHS Pimp can artfully announce an instant ban on all inter-office peace treaties, and kill him dead with his steel-toed boot.  And maybe wipe the creepy guts and leg-appendage-pieces off the wall as well.

Call me just another crazy Politician, but that whole thing sounds really good to me.  It’s like a really violent, version of “good cop/bad cop.”

…Or, you know…Europe. In the thirties…

~D

45 Cents

17 Jul

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I really need it to have been payday, yesterday.

…The sad truth is that I’ve been on the grace period for my car loan payments since Monday, am just this side of tampon rationing, have stolen the travel sized toothpaste out of my theatre kit for real-life use, and my current capital worth is about 45 cents. In nickels.

…Luckily, I’m stocked up on TP and food.

As an actor, one learns (eventually) that this is the kind of life you should expect, NOT just as you struggle through your College student years…but, FOREVER.

…And because I don’t have a credit card, dealing in cash-only means never having that cushion of an ER fund to dip into, like normal people do.  When I say I have 45 cents, believe me: I have 45 cents.  And that is all.

…So, I’ll stretch that ’til Friday, at which time  I’ll need to pay all my bills but the rent, get Harriet’s oil changed, get a wedding present for Earnest, and purchase dairy, veg, and toiletries to make me human again.

…Till then: I’m just a poser…who jingles when she walks.

~D

Ship Edge & Pea Gavel

27 Jun

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So, a reprieve to the day.  About fifteen minutes in all, where the entire office just hydrogen-exploded with laughter, after snorfling giggles as quietly as possible through a series of phone calls with a new customer.

…We will call her “Helen.”

“Helen” is one of 21 new contract-customers whom I called for bookings today.  One of the 14 I Ieft voicemails for, with the usual schpiel of info about requirements and ya-de-ya-duh…and one of the 9 who have since called me back. 

…But apparently “Helen” didn’t know why she was calling, or whom, or for what, or really much of anything. 

To be fair, “Helen” is of the elder generation…possibly beyond the generation you would think of as the eldest, now living on the planet.  If she was 110, I wouldn’t be surprised.  If she was on the Mayflower, I wouldn’t be surprised, either. 

…And though I haven’t the slightest idea how a person with severe mobility issues, and self-proclaimed near blind and deafness could or would, go out alone into the world and purchase one of our products, she did.  Then promptly forgot all about it.  Until she remembered it again.  Then forgot again.  Necessitating several conversations tag-teamed by the WHS Pimp and myself, ending in tears of total gut-wrenching laughter.

…We did try to be professionals about it.  And we managed, on the phone.  Sort of. But that is all.

Here is an approximate run down of the scene:

WHS Pimp: (On phone) [Blah-blah,] this is [who-de-ha]…and how can I help you?

“Helen”: (On phone, screaming so loud that I can hear every word even from my office.) WHAT?! WHAT?

WHS Pimp: Hello, this is [blah-blah], how can I help you?

“Helen”: I CAN’T HEAR! YOU HAVE TO SPEAK UP!

WHS Pimp: HELLO!  THIS IS [BLAH-BLAH]! HOW CAN I HELP YOU?

“Helen”:  I SAID, “I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” YOU HAVE TO TALK LOUDER.  AND SLOW DOWN!

WHS Pimp: OK. CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

“Helen”: WHO IS THIS?  WHAT DO YOU WANT?!

WHS Pimp: MA’AM, YOU CALLED *US.*  IS THERE SOMETHING I CAN HELP YOU WITH?

“Helen” : WHY DID YOU CALL ME?

WHS Pimp: AH! YOU MEAN WE LEFT A VOICE MAIL?  HAVE YOU BOUGHT A [BLAH-BLAH] LATELY BY ANY CHANCE?

“Helen”: WHAT?! WHAT?!

WHS Pimp: A [BLAH-BLAH.]  HAVE YOU BOUGHT ONE.  LATELY?

“Helen”:  WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!

WHS PIMP: I THINK YOU PURCHASED A [BLAH-BLAH] RECENTLY, AND WE HAVE CALLED YOU TO SET UP A BUILD DATE.

Helen”: WHAT? WHEN?

WHS Pimp: ONE MOMENT AND I’LL PUT YOU ON WITH THE OFFICE MANAGER AND SHE CAN HELP YOU.  ALRIGHT?

“Helen”: WHAT???!!

WHS Pimp: ONE MOMENT, PLEASE.

(WHS Pimp puts phone on hold.)

WHS Pimp: Uh. Yeah.  We have a screamer.  She doesn’t hear well, and seems really confused.  You’ll have to talk slow. And loud.

Me: Yeah.

Me: (On phone) HELLO, THIS IS [BLAH-BLAH] HOW CAN I HELP YOU?

“Helen:” WHAT?!? WHAT?!?

Me: I THINK YOU NEED HELP BOOKING AN INSTALL, IS THAT CORRECT?

“Helen”: I DON’T KNOW. I WAS TALKING TO SOMEONE AND HE JUST WENT AWAY. WHAT IS THIS?

Me: WE SELL [BLAH-BLAHS.] I THINK YOU BOUGHT ONE. WE JUST CALLED TO–

“Helen”: (Apparently to herself. Or her invisible friend.) –WELL, I JUST DON’T KNOW, I CAN’T HEAR THEM! WHY DON’T THEY SPEAK UP?  WHAT DO THEY WANT FROM ME? WHAT?!

Me: …I’M SORRY, I…CAN YOU HEAR ME?

(WHS Pimp begins to giggle.)

“Helen”: …I JUST DON’T KNOW.  THEY WON’T TELL ME…

Me: …MA’AM.  IS THERE SOMEONE THERE I CAN SPEAK WITH WHO–

“Helen”: –WHAT?!  ARE YOU TALKING TO ME?!

Me: MA’AM, HAVE YOU PURCHASED A [BLAH-BLAH?] WE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO BUILD THEM.  DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE INSTALL DATE?

“Helen”: SPEAK! UP! I CAN’T HEAR YOU!

Me: (Veins popping out on neck.) OK. CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

“Helen”: WELL IT’S ABOUT TIME!  NOW.  WHAT DO YOU WANT?

(WHS Pimp giggles harder. We begin the process of confirmation and build dates. It is a longer process for having to scream and re-scream every sentence of it. Finally:)

Me: …SO YOU HAVE THAT ALL DOWN, THEN? ALL THE REQUIREMENTS?  AND DATE?

“Helen”: WHAT?

Me: YOU HAVE THE DATE?

“Helen”: THE DATE?  IT’S WEDNESDAY. JUNE SOMETHING…

Me: YES.  I MEAN THE DATE OF THE “INSTALL.”

“Helen”: THE WHAT?

Me: YOUR INSTALL.

“Helen”: 14TH.

Me: NO, THAT’S THE 10TH.  WEDNESDAY THE 10TH.

“Helen”: WHEN?

Me: WEDNESDAY.  THE 10TH.

“Helen”:  TODAY?

Me: NO, YOUR BUILD DATE.

“Helen”: 14, JULY.

Me: NO, THE 10TH OF JULY…WEDNESDAY.

“Helen”: WEDNESDAY.  THAT’S *NOT* THE 14TH!

Me: 10th.  10th.  WEDNESDAY THE 10TH.

“Helen”: THAT’S WHAT I SAID!

Me: OK. WEDNESDAY THE 10TH.

“Helen”: …AND WHAT WAS THAT ONE THING CALLED AGAIN?

Me: THE BLOCKS? OR THE DRIP EDGE?

“Helen:” YES.

Me: BLOCKS OR DRIP EDGE?

“Helen”: YES! ARE YOU HAVING PROBLEMS HEARING TOO? DO YOU NEED ME TO SPEAK UP?

(WHS Pimp snickers louder.)

Me: NO, THANK YOU. NO. I’M JUST TRYING TO FIND OUT IF YOU MEAN THE BLOCKS OR DRIP EDGE?

“Helen”: YES.

(WHS Pimp snorkles.)

Me: WELL…THE BLOCKS ARE JUST…”BLOCKS”…FOR UNDER THE BUILDING.  THE DRIP EDGE IS FOR THE ROOFING…HELPS GUIDE WATER AWAY FROM THE–

“Helen”: –SHIP EDGE?!

Me: NO, “DRIP.”  “DRIP” EDGE.

“Helen”:  SHIP?! SHIP?! THAT CAN’T BE RIGHT.  WHAT DOES IT HAVE TO DO WITH A SHIP?

(Whs Pimp starts getting tummy giggles.)

Me: NO, “DRIP.” “DRIP” EDGE.  “D” AS IN “DOG.”

“Helen”: WHAT?! 

Me:  “DOG!” “DOG!”

“Helen”:  WHAT?! DOG?!?

Me: “D” AS IN “DOG”…”DUH-RIP EDGE.

“Helen”:  WELL I DON’T KNOW.  BUT YOU’RE COMING ON THE 14TH, SO I GUESS I’LL SEE WHAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT, THEN.

Me: THE 10TH.  WE ARE COMING ON THE 10TH.  WEDNESDAY.

“Helen”: WELL, I WROTE IT DOWN *SOMEWHERE.*  ONLY I CAN’T SEE.  MY GLASSES ARE…WELL…I DON’T KNOW WHERE THEY ARE.  BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE THEM, YOU SEE.

Me: AH. YES.  THAT MAKES IT ROUGH.

“Helen”: WHAT?!

Me: THAT’S ROUGH!

“Helen:” SO.  YOU ARE COMING TO MY HOUSE.

Me: WEDNESDAY THE 10TH.

“Helen:” : …TO DO WHAT, NOW?

Me:  TO BUILD THE [BLAH-BLAH] YOU BOUGHT.  FROM [YA-DE-YA-DUH.]

“Helen:”  OK, DEAR.  WHATEVER THAT MEANS.

(She promptly hangs up.  WHS pimp busts a gut.  I glare at him.)

Me: Thanks for that.

(About thirty seconds later, the phone rings.)

WHS Pimp:  [Blah-blah] this is [Who-de-ha], how can I help you?

“Helen:” WHAT?! WHAT?! WHO IS THIS? WHO ARE YOU?  SOMEONE CALLED ME FROM HERE.

Me: (With a grin.) Ahhh…sweet, sweet karma.  The instant fast-food gratification kind….

WHS Pimp: YES, MA’AM.  I REMEMBER YOU.  “HELEN”, RIGHT…?

“Helen”:  HOW DO YOU KNOW MY NAME?! WHO ARE YOU?!  WHAT DO YOU WANT?!

(A near carbon copy of the identical conversation I just had, takes place.  The longer it goes, the harder I giggle…eventually necessitating a bathroom visit so as to not literally mess myself with laughter.  By the time I return, we are at:)

WHS Pimp: …LEVEL.  NO, “LEVEL.”  THE GROUND.  “EVEN.”  “EVEN.” SO IT’S…”EVEN.”

“Helen”: WITH WHAT?

WHS Pimp:  WITH…THE “GROUND.”  SO WE CAN BUILD.  WE CAN BUILD ON ANYTHING AS LONG AS IT’S LEVEL.  DIRT, GRAVEL…

“Helen”: –WHAT?!

(I immediately start snickering again.)

WHS Pimp: DIRT. OR GRAVEL…LIKE PEA GRAVEL…?

“Helen”: T-GAVEL? WHAT?!

WHS Pimp: NO, “PEA.” “PEA!” PEA GRA–

“Helen:” —I CAN’T HEAR YOU?  WHAT ARE YOU SAYING?  SHIP EDGE AND T-GAVEL???

(I laugh harder. WHS Pimp with quivering voice tries *not* to.)

“Helen”:  …NEWFANGLE WAYS. I DON’T KNOW…

WHS Pimp: “PEA!”  “PEA!” AS IN…”PEAS IN A POD!” PEA! GRAVEL!  GA-RAAAAA-VEL!!!!!

(I am crying and holding onto the desk, open-mouth drooling on it, freely. No sound at this point is even coming out.  I am sincerely glad I have already peed. “Peed.”  “P”…as in “Piss myself silly”…)

“Helen”: P-GAVEL?!?

WHS Pimp: NO.  “PEA.” “GRRRRRAVEL.”

“Helen”: …WELL I DON’T KNOW.  IF YOU WANT TO. 

(I whoop a belly laugh.  WHS Pimp smiles and shakes his head.)

“Helen”:…I GUESS I’LL SEE WHEN YOU GET HERE ON THE 14TH.

WHS Pimp & Me:  THE 10TH!

“Helen”: …WELL, I KNOW I WROTE IT DOWN. SOMEWHERE…

WHS Pimp: THANK YOU!

(He hangs up. We totally bust a gut, crying all over ourselves.)

WHS Pimp: I bet she calls every day until the day we build it, wondering who the fuck we are and what we want from her.

Me: No takers.  Too easy.

(Long pause as we calm to silence.  Staring into the depressing abyss, after the one bright spot of our day.)

Me: You know? I’ll prob’ly end up just exactly like that. And this is just karma having a good premonition fuck with me right now.

WHS Pimp: …Yep.

The End.

~D

Izzy

2 May

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(Or: The Importance of Being a Shop Dog)

We have had several Shop Dogs in our past, builder-owned buddies who wander about the yard from time to time as their peoples turn in paperwork, build yard models, and load up for new jobs the following day. 

…The Shop Dog responsibilities are varied, depending on their particular personality, including help with painting, yard-mousing, quality-control checking all the load-ups, general supervising of builds, tail-chasing, announcing new arrivals and container loads, eating free biscuits from the mailman, and taking breaks (Boss style) by falling asleep mid-day.

I think you will agree, these are all terribly important jobs that need to be tended to, and we’ve been without a Shop Dog for some time now, since one of our main Builder Bunnies moved on to greener pastures.

…But now, we have Izzy.

(Aka: Isabella von Vandersnoot.)

The WHS Pimp’s spotted new buddy.

She is joining us now as a full-time installation, because of anxiety issues stemming with being alone at home.

…A terribly quiet and polite species of animalia, she has added “Doorman” to her new job title listing…as she likes to open them, frequently…for any and all in need, and we don’t even know how she manages to do it. 

…Also, she has replaced the vacuum cleaner for “bits and pieces of foodage” clean-up, and (I’m told) will wildly announce any visitors we have, though I’ve yet to hear even so much as a whimper from her since she first arrived yesterday…including the announcing of myself and the mailman…so the jury is still out on that.

…Meanwhile, as she makes her rounds, familiarizing herself with the new job-digs, and monitoring her person to make sure he’s doing what he’s supposed to be doing…I very occasionally will only remember her existence from time to time, as she calmly opens the office door, and jingles (her collar tags) from one office to the other…eventually, coming back through again. 

I am usually adverse to working with other women in an office environment, but I think Iz n’ I are gonna get along just fine.

…Though I AM a little jealous of her.

…As she is currently taking siesta in the back office, and I am about to turn back to more ongoing paperwork hell.

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…Such is life.

~D
 

Reportus Maximus

5 Apr

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Our newest contract seller is a paper-working Drama Queen. 

…At least twice per day, I am instigating report updates for their accounts at a Corporate level, which no one actually reads or ever even looks at.  That is, unless a customer gets pissed off for some reason, and then the entire fleet goes to work in a mass email-sending frenzy that would equal those in the final planning stages of D-Day, had all the generals in all the countries involved, shared a cloud network system.

…Everyone starts yelling, tagging everyone else, but no one reads what the others have responded, so you end up answering the same question ten times…the same question that would have been answered Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as well, had any of them seen fit to read the multiple reports they are constantly forcing us to run, compute, and send in.

Why everyone in this company gets off on sheer fucking panic, is totally beyond me.

…They must though.  Otherwise, why in the hell do they insist on doing this to themselves?

One or two slight changes, actually OPENING original emails sent, answering questions the first time instead of the 26th…these are all simple, simple solutions that would make their lives infinitely easier. 

…But then, we are talking about Corporate here.  The people who sell something for two weeks on the main market before the final manufacturing blue prints have even been stamped, let ALONE, the product assembled for shipping in the warehouse. 

…These are the same people who have an Accounts Department for a National Company, which doesn’t actually DO “accounts” they just “facilitate” them…a word that no one seems to be able to define clearly, least of all, the Accounts Department.

…These are the same people who spend entire weeks in Vegas at a Corporate Convention, getting pissed out of their minds and trying to figure out how to write off a stripper on their expense account.

…The same people who will spend $10 to Fedex a single check on next-day Saturday delivery, for three weeks running, because the sorting office keeps putting it in the wrong branch’s fucking envelope, but will NOT allow you to purchase a Bic ballpoint pen from Staples, because it is a costly name-brand.

…I don’t understand these people, and have long since given up even trying to.

All I know is that it is Friday, the paychecks have just come in, and as I complete sorting them against the 18th report this week, and updating my 19th, all I can say is:

“You have me for five more hours, assholes. Only just five. So get those final last-minutes emails out of your systems now, so I can finish babysitting you for the week and get on to more important matters. Like reading, and buying new show underwear.”

~D

Pant Wars

6 Mar

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Ladies, get together with me on this:

Much like when they decided to go “universal” with cellphone chargers…allowing for ONE, standard connection needed for ONE standard of Droid phone and ONE standard (now erroneous) of the iPhones…so that instead of having to schlep and save 45 different chords, one could simply arrive at ones destination with, “hey, anyone have a charger…my phone is dying,” and one would readily be supplied with it; Much like this, I would like to argue for the same system to be implemented to pants.

…Pants, specifically…I don’t need to go all Nazi on every version of every clothing line from here to Europe…but surely…SURELY we could get together on some kind of universal pant-sizing.

…Because, as any woman will tell you: purchasing a single pair of those bastards takes far too much work, requiring us to get naked in a dressing room far too many times, in far too many departments of the store, with far too many brand-to-size-ratio differences, and often makes us far too depressed in the end to buy anything at all.

Ever since the skinny-pant revolution, I’ve been on pant-purchasing strike.

…On the off-chance that I find a decent pair of boot-cut that also fit over and thus balance out my thigh’s and butt, but don’t have me hula-hooping the waist…I buy the FUCK out of those bastards.  3…5…however many pairs I can manage financially at the time.  Because (for those new here), I’m a Latina, who is forever buying too-long shirts to cover my butt-crack popping out of low-rise jeans…even when I’m standing up.  And the skinny-jeans (aka “denim leggings” for those of us who lived through the 80’s the first time), are a fantastical and disgusting joke on a body build with any curve at all.

…Which is why I’d flatly refused to buy any more pants at all. Because, thanks to whatever “fashion” sets as the “new thing,” is what every one of us is harbored with. Whether our body type flatly refuses to conform or not. Listen: I’m still dealing with the last one, where belt loops and the top buttons end at somewhere five inches below your belly button, requiring belt-cinching hugging the bejesus out of halfway around your butt, squeezing for all it’s worth, just to stay up…while producing a mass of muffin top that looks like you’re wearing an inner tube under your shirt.

…I’ll be damned if I lower myself to the legging phase.

…Despite all that, though…I found myself having to face reality the other day, while staring in my closet.

Due to weight loss, (and general usage), of the line-up of pants before me, only three of them were ones I could actually physically wear at the moment. And did you know, there are 7 days to the week? That doesn’t add up. Something was gonna have to be done. And so, I girded my loins, and with a gigantic, melodramatic sigh, made way for the mall.

…Perhaps if I had been gifted the girl-shopping gene, I wouldn’t have hated the process so much. But I somehow doubt it. No sooner was I in the store, facing said pantage, than I realized: I had no fucking idea what size I was even looking for. I hadn’t purchased pants since well before the elections…and this was therefore going to require math to even come up with a doable guesstimate…not because of the time-lapse, but because of the amount of weight I had gained, and lost since that point in time.

…And after that, it was dealing with literal size label differences. This one is a 10, that one is a 32 x 31…and after that: the brand name game.

Everyone knows that “this” brand runs small, “that” one runs big…I’ve never actually physically gotten the brand right there over my thighs no matter WHAT size I’ve ever picked…and don’t even get me started about how the style of “straight leg,” “boot cut,” “flair,” “relaxed fit,” “skinny,” “petite, ” “curvy” and “regulars” do to the overall size adjustments as well.

…The long and short of it, had me naked three times in three different dressing room sections of the store, trying on up to five size ranges, ending in only uber frustration.

Tell me how it is that I wore a size 10 that was too big, into the store, but couldn’t even button that one label’s size 12’s? How does my inseam length change no matter WHAT pair of pants I put on…thus making me walk like a penguin with this one, and dragging 3 inches of pant below my feet with another? Why do they assume that “curvy fit” means your ass, hips and waist all equal one another in a cylindrical tube, so that in order to get something that doesn’t sausage or suck the life out of one part, leaves all the others with enough excess material (once belted), to accordion around you…feeling like a waist-version of an Elizabethan ruffle collar…or a tutu? Do they really still not understand how ethnic bodies of a certain robustness work in the clothing industry? I mean, pull one of my people off the assembly line, and fit it to fit her…it’s really not that difficult, you guys. It’s not like we’re exactly the minority anymore…neither in heft nor curve. We’re kinda everywhere…go to a Mall, I swear it to you!

…Anyway…roughly an hour in, I just gave up. I was tired. Tired of wandering around flipping through denim and Dockers. Tired of looking at my naked, dimpled skin staring back at me from the horror-lights of the dressing rooms. Tired of graduating in sizes after all the work I’ve done to lose this damn weight. I was just plain, “tired.” Period.

…So I stopped.

Three pairs of pants were just gonna have to do me. I’d made it work this long, I’d have to just keep at it until such time as I finally lose enough to downgrade from the current “tweener” size of not fitting into anything quite right, and my next-size-down wardrobe I have just hanging there, waiting for me to fit back into it again.

Enough is enough.

…And yet, this morning, as I ruffled through the same closet, looking at the same set-up as I always do: I picked out (due to curiosity and the desperate need for some variety) one of my other pairs on a hanger.

…I held them up.

…I gauged the width, and my current frame.

…I looked at the label at the waste, shrugged, and gave it a shot anyway.

…And the fucker buttoned and zipped.

Just like that.

A size 8.

What the hell, you guys?!

…Even with delirious cravings I’ve managed to smack down for the past three weeks, there is just no way, with monthly water gain, I lost up to 4 pant sizes in 4 days. It’s scientifically impossible. I know it didn’t happen.

…And this is all to say:

Dear pant-makers of the world,

Get your shit together. Get organized. Get some kind of through-line system going. Then please, get it out there into the fucking mass-market so we can finally, finally, FINALLY know what the hell size we are wearing!

Sincerely,

~D

Loud & Joyeous

22 Nov

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I come from a large family.

…Holidays in our house meant no less than 27 people…with just the one side of Mom’s gene pool, and their immediate families. 

…Kids had their own tables and counter seating arrangements, because there just wasn’t room at the main one for all.  Even with the extender put in, and the extra leg props pushing the main table out, well into the living room…with chairs brought in from the patio and stacks in the garage, we would still sometimes have to squeeze in standing-room-only spaces.

…The kitchen would be stifling before ten A.M. with turkey-cooking and general capacity…with Mom and the aunts stirring things on the stove and fresh baked pies and side dishes arriving more and more by the moment. Two refrigerators full of fixings yet to be cooked and baked…cousins running around, playing games outside, wrapped in layers of coats and scarves, so our red, flushed faces glowed as our breath panted out in clouds of white in the crisp fall air.

In time, all the men, arguing over football plays in the living room, with beers-in-hand, could be heard in bear-like booms of laughter and anxious defeat.  Babies suckling from the newest Moms as they conduct instructions to their sisters, buzzing about in recipe over-drive.  Gram, being everywhere at once, completely in her element…someone losing the stuffing ingredients again, and scouts sent through the house to look in overnight suitcases, and diaper bags to find them. 

…An infusion of noise as the kids break in to thaw out a bit, shoo’d from the kitchen by their mothers.  Infants laid down to nap. New shifts in the kitchen as seating places are being set, and food comes to final bake and boil and plate. Gramps seated at the table’s end, watching all the work, with wry commentaries he gets a kick out of, and to act as official taste-tester on certain sauces and the rutabagas.

…And everywhere, in every room of the house, for all of the day long…loud, loud conversations taking place…only magnified as the day grows longer, by heat and wine and food…excitement, and general people-excess.

…So loud at times, with the men screaming at the TV screen, play-by-play, of the women laughing and telling jokes while cooking, of babies chattering,  the cousins “Haloo-ing” to one another, in hide-and-seek places up and down the hallways…that a moment of solitary in the bathroom during pee breaks, would make your ears ring with it’s silence. 

It felt so removed, those moments. 

…Like a wormhole where you were on one side and everyone else, at the other end…faintly heard in the distance, in gregarious employments, you were only annoyed that mere natural bodily function, was making you miss out on. 

Holidays with our family always made me feel badly for all those three and four-people families. Small, quiet, respectful, classy people…in their formal go-to-chapel best…Holidays like the kind they have in romantic comedy movies.  None of which we are an example of.  We were more of the family Griswold, “National Lampoon” stream, without a doubt…with all the curiosities, eccentricities, dramas and ridiculiousnesses that go with it.  Ask me then, or now: I never in a million years would have changed that, for anything.

As time has passed, spreading our family’s large number, like seeds on the wind, to new corners of the world…some to new corners now, in Heaven…Holidays seem to be more a time of reflection and thankfulness than they ever were before.  Because I can spend a quiet Holiday feast with four people today with the memories and history of those other’s behind it.

…Sometimes, a little sadly, yes.  Because I miss that loud, brazen, bellowing, laughing, arguing, baby-crawling, cousin-playing, surrounding of the truly peculiar breed of humanity that I hail from.  All those frustrating, brilliant, weird bastards, who I love more than anything, and miss like nothing else of bestness, on earth.

On quiet Holidays like today…which I am still so thankful for…I can’t help but remember those we once had in the past.  For all the world, I could swear eight or nine times today…faintly in the distance of my childhood, I could hear it all again.  A wormhole to our family past.  And I wish, more than anything, I could rejoin it, even just one more time…even just for a moment…in all it’s loud, joyous, wonderfulness…with all the people who are of my people, and who I belong to.

…Then, I remember: I can. In memory.  Any time I want to.

…And I’m thankful for that.

I’m thankful for that, and them, and even (reluctantly), the fact that time has passed and things have been forced to change.

The BFF is home again…even for just a little bit, back in her place at my stove, and me at my place at table: chopping and prepping as we gossip and sing and play on. Last night, after hours of loud joking, and shopping, and laughing, and winking insults, and spur-of-the-moment hugs…(just because we can), because we are here together now…was a many-moment deja vu.

…Later plating and feasting, The Fella and Marty adding to the family, by-turn, as the clock struck further into the night…squealing loud peals of delights over newly uncorked wine, and homemade eats…with everyone telling stories at once, and nobody listening, and bad jokes being played on one another, a tattling of the most embarrassing of stories we have to share…with the TV blaring in the background, and spontaneous bursts of laughter….with new infusions of energy and more friend arrivals as the night went on…well into the early hours of this morning.

…This loudness of epic proportions!

…So persistent and present! So joyous, and irreverent! And so…”my family.”

I realized, the coming of full circle, not once but many, many times across the night.

…Which, to me, is sorta like a wink from above, by those who’ve gone on before, and know me best.

A long story to say: I hope you and yours…be they family of your blood and bones, or of your soul and spirit…had a happy Holiday today.

…Cuz I know me and mine did 🙂

~D

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