Huh? (A Valentine’s Day Post)

We’re leaving for work, going out of the house through the garage. It’s cold. CC is wearing a ski cap that covers his ears. I have on the purple fox earmuffs he gave me for Christmas, a gift selection he made without fully considering the ramifications of having to appear next to me in public when I wear them.

The button that opens the garage door is mounted high on the wall. My hands are full and I’ve been having physical therapy on my shoulder since before Christmas and still can’t reach overhead some days.

Me: I can’t hit the button.

CC: Do you want a water?

Me: Do I have a flyswatter?

CC: A water! Do you want a water?

Me: I have a water right here.

I wiggle my water bottle at him. But only at waist level, cause I can’t lift it higher. At this point he practically runs into the garage door, realizes I didn’t hit the button and goes back to push it. We get in the car.

Me: I have a water and I would be willing to share it with you.

CC: You’re in love with the shipwreck of me?

Me: No! I have a water and I would be willing to share it with you!

CC: Oh, good. ‘Cause that was sounding like a Loudin Wainwright song right there.

Me: A Tom Waits bong in midair? Huh, I guess it does kind of sound like Tom Waits. I like that house.

CC: A light mouse?

I point to a house we’re passing in our neighborhood.

CC: Yeah, I like that one too. I really like that tudor behind it though. I’ve always had a fondness for tudors.

I look at him sideways.

Me: Does this mean you’re sleeping with Lucia Roga?

CC: What? No, I’m not sleeping with My Sharona.

Me: No, Lucia Roga! The math tutor?

CC: Why, does she live there?

Me: Tudor? Tutor?

CC: I didn’t know she lives there. That’s ironic.

He smirks. I smack him. I hate it when he turns my own joke back on me.

I flip on the seatwarmers and, as I always do, I sing their theme song. Which I made up. Which goes to the tune of the orginal Transformers cartoon theme song. And also steals most of its lyrics from it.

Me: Ass-warmers! More than meets the eye!

CC: That doesn’t make any sense.

Me: What?

CC: You always sing that song and it doesn’t make any sense.

Me: I’ve been singing the seat warmer theme song since we got this car four years ago and you’ve never known what it is?

CC: Yeah. Because it doesn’t make any sense.

Me, incredulous: It’s the Transformers theme song. You know, the cartoon?

CC: Oh. Now I get it.

Me: I can’t believe you’re just now telling me you never got that. Is this part of your newfound commitment to us improving our communication?

CC: Yeah. Remember when you said back there in the bathroom, ‘I look crazy!’ and I agreed with you? That saved me like twenty minutes trying to argue with you that you don’t look crazy. And you do look crazy, so it’s honest.

Me: Asswarmers! More than meets the eye!

CC: I can see the monkeys, jumping from tree to tree in your eyes.

I adjust my earmuffs.

Me: I can’t hear you. I have foxes in my ears.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

image by cellar_door_films via WANA commons
image by cellar_door_films via WANA commons

The Best Idea He Ever Had

Monday is pizza lunch day at the elementary school, the only school without a cafeteria where one could buy lunch in a pinch. . . if, say, one overslept or forgot to get lunch meat, or just couldn’t fricking deal with the prospect of making that many goddamn sandwiches again. Therefore, Monday has long been our throw-money-at-the-kids-and-let-them eat-crap-at-school day.

When school started up again after the holidays, CC issued a mandate: each of the four kids who have not yet graduated will be responsible for making school lunches one day each week.

Monday plus 4 kids making lunches each one day a week translates into both of us getting a whole extra thirty minutes’ sleep in the morning. That’s almost better than sex.


It had to be a rule laid down by him. I never would have been able to make it stick. First off, they wouldn’t have believed me. Then, when they realized that I meant business, they would have been stuffing fistfuls of dry cereal (if there was any left) into sandwich bags and hurling them at each other on the way out the door going, “Here’s your lunch!”.

But now, the night before their allotted day, they make the sandwiches. They gather the snacks. They label the bags and put the cold things in the fridge. There have been some interesting but predictable occurrences. Like the lunchmaker gets the most coveted snacks. And how the day that we were nearly out of bread, #4 equally dispersed the hateful heels from two loaves of bread so that everyone got only one, and no one got stuck with two. Except for herself; she was exempted from heels and got the last two regular pieces of bread. She left one heel for CC and I to share for toast.

The bread hates you too.
The bread hates you too.

Last night #2 came into the living room full of angst.

#2: I would like to state for the record that I HATE that wheat bread for sandwiches!

Me: That’s what you said when I bought white bread! What do you want?

#2: Well, I like that OTHER white bread!

CC: I bought a loaf of that- it’s on the counter!

#2: I KNOW! That’s why I used it for my sandwich.

Me: And you used the hateful wheat bread for everyone else’s sandwich?

#2: Well, yeah. That way there will be more of the good white bread for my sandwiches later.

Me: When has that concept ever worked at any time for anything in this family?

#2: We’re out of goldfish.

My favorite part of this whole thing, maybe even better than the extra sleep, is what they’re writing on each other’s lunch bags.

In retrospect, it should have been obvious but we didn’t see it coming: My darling baby brother, Fart Face, Booger.

But #5, having Friday as his lunch-making day, has the entire week to think up retaliations for what his sisters write on his bag.

The girls underestimated him. My favorite last week was Don’t forget your ointment!


We have a time-honored tradition in my house of going to great lengths to keep treats to ourselves.

It goes with the territory in a family of this size. Some boxes of goodies don’t have enough for everyone to get even one.

Often we hide things we like, in the pantry, in the fridge, in the freezer. We hope they won’t be found; we hope we won’t hide them so well we forget about them.

Sometimes we hide them in our rooms. Usually the dogs find the treats then. It’s a real bummer when your dog manages to climb to the top of your desk, smash one of two wedding china tea cups that you own, and pulls your purse down from the highest shelf only to dump it upside down and root out your Godiva stash. Bummer for you and the dog. And then you again, after the vet bill and the carpet cleaning and the sad, sad fact that you are, once more, out of chocolate.

Marking treats as one’s own by licking them and posting a warning regarding said licking happens in my house. That’s usually pretty effective at keeping the poachers at bay.

Lately, they’re resorting to threats.

It’s a total set-up. Leaving your fund raiser cupcakes on the counter where everyone can see them, with a very clearly written, expressly detailed threat on the box.


Simple. Clear. To the point. Of dubious plausibility.

But everybody is afraid to risk it.

They think, Will she know if I just lick the frosting? Does she really have them counted? Would she really, really really cut my hair off in my sleep? Well, if she did, she’d get in trouble! Except my hair would still be cut off.

They think, No, she wouldn’t follow through. Would she?


They wonder, Is a cupcake really worth it? Do I feel lucky?

One member of the family does.

Score one for Dad.