The Impromtu Family Reunion at Subway.

1979680_10152227791645862_1644103267_nMom and I ran into my Dad at the Subway on Cook Road yesterday.  We had stopped there for dinner on the way to a play in Bellingham, and while we were eating, low and behold, in walks Dave Button!
Mom gave him the other half of her sandwich, but she complained about it later when she didn’t have anything to snack on.  Dad tried to steal half of my sandwich as well, but I called him out on it as he was trying to shove it in his pocket.
Me:  “What if Mom and I weren’t here tonight?  Would you have starved?”
Dad:  “No, I would’ve taken a bite of someone else’s sandwich…”
Me:  “That’s not even funny, because you probably would!”
Dad:  “You wouldn’t believe how much food people waste!  I’m just doing my part to help the environment.”
Of course I also teased him about his hair hat that makes him look like he has doll hair on the top of his head.  I asked him why he even bought such a hideous hat, and he said, “What do you mean, ‘why’?  I’m losing my hair and I have a snaggle tooth.  When you get to be my age and start losing your teeth and your hair, then you will understand.  The top of my head gets cold!”
Me:  “First of all, most women don’t get bald spots on top of their heads, and even if I ever do, I still would never wear a hat with doll-hair on it!  I would wear my Seahawks beanie to cover my bald spot, and to keep my head warm, and where is your Seahawks beanie by the way?  I would also purchase dentures that fit my mouth; if and when I begin to lose my teeth.  I wouldn’t be like George Washington and carve a new tooth out of wood.”
As if on cue, Dad took his partial denture out of his mouth at the table, in order to remove a piece of lettuce.  With one of his front teeth missing out of his mouth he said, “I don’t wear dentures; I wear a partial and it fits my mouth fine…”
Mom and I cracked up.
Me:  “Dad, you just said yourself that you have a ‘snaggle-tooth’ and the one tooth that is a snaggle-tooth, is the only tooth in your mouth that isn’t real.  It’s bigger than your other teeth!  Did you get it in Mexico or something?  Did you steal it off of a horse?”
Dad, still missing one of his front teeth, replied, “Jeesh!  We’ve got a feisty one here tonight, Margaret…”
Mom:  “You have to be careful with what you say to Whitney, because everything you say can and will be used against you on her blog.”
Dad:  “I’ve seen some of the blogs that she’s written about you, and they’re not very flattering.  They’re not all true, are they…?”
Mom grinned sheepishly:  “Well…yes.”
Dad laughed:  “I guess you can’t blame her for writing about it then, huh?”
Mom shrugged and smiled.
Me:  “Mom you secretly love it.  I’ve practically made you famous!”
Mom:  “Yeah, famous for farting.”
Dad:  “Ladies don’t pass gas.  You don’t really pass gas that much, do you Margaret.?”
Again Mom grinned sheepishly:  “Well…yes.”
Dad and I cracked up.
When I showed Mom and Dad the pictures on my phone, Mom said, “Oh god, why didn’t you tell me how awful my hair looked!”
Dad said, “My hair looks GREAT!”
Me:  “Dad, seriously?  It looks like Davy Crocket made a coonskin cap out of possum roadkill, and now you are proudly displaying it on top of your head.”
Dad:  “My customers love it!  They say that it gives me character.”
Me:  “Dad, you ARE a Character!  You don’t need anything to give you MORE character.”
Dad:  “Well that’s about the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me!”
Me:  “Do your cats get frightened when they see you wearing your hair-hat?  They might think that you will make a hat out of them next…”
Dad:  “Have you met our new cat, Sammy?  She’s so cute!”
Me:  “You mean the one that you make me talk to over the phone?  The one that you spayed twice?”
Mom:  “You spayed her twice?!  How in the world did that happen?!”
Dad:  “Well I didn’t do it on purpose.  We adopted her, and we didn’t know that she was already spayed, so she ended up getting spay-ded twice.  Poor little thing.  She was so upset about it.”
Me:  “Of course she was upset!  She got spay-ded twice!  How would you feel if you got spay-ded twice, huh?  Never mind, don’t answer that question…”
Dad:  “Since I am a male I would have gotten neutered, and I wouldn’t have enjoyed it one bit!  You should be glad I wasn’t neutered, because where would you be right now if I had been neutered, huh?”
Me:  “…and that’s the part of the conversation that I was hoping to avoid.”
Dad:  “You should be nice to your Mom and I, because without us, where would you be…?  Also, don’t forget that you still break the record for being the youngest person to ever float down the river.  How old was she, Margaret?”
Mom:  “6 weeks.”
Dad:  “Wow, 6 weeks old.  How did you grow up so fast, Whit?”
Me:  “It’s amazing that I grew up at all, considering that you dangled me over the side of the raft when I was 6 weeks old, just like how the Crocodile Hunter dangled his baby over a giant crocodile and made everyone get all up in an uproar!”
Dad:  “I never dangled you over the side of the raft, and I sure as heck never dangled you over a crocodile!  I held you in one of those backpacks on my chest, and everyone just couldn’t believe how cute you were!  Margaret, do you remember when you were pregnant with Whitney and we all got hit by a semi truck…?”
Mom:  “How could I ever forget that?  My water broke just a few days later and I almost lost her!”
Me:  “Dad, I heard that after the crash, you got out of the Checker and your shoulder was obviously dislocated, and even though Mom kept asking you if you were okay, you just kept insisting that you were just fine.  Then you walked a couple of steps and fainted right into the ditch.”
Dad:  “I never fainted; I’m a man!  Besides, I don’t remember fainting…”
Me:  “Of course you don’t remember it; you were passed out!”
Dad:  “Well if I remember right, the semi truck had actually crashed into the side of the Checker, and parked itself on top of my mother-in-law’s feet.  You would pass out too if you saw your mother-in-law stuck under a semi truck!”
Me:  “I’m sure that you’re right about that.”
In the end, it was a very sweet little visit, and it was nice to see my Mom and Dad together and enjoying each others company.  I have absolutely no photos of the 3 of us together, and now (thanks to one of the Subway employees who was nice enough to snap a few pics for us) I have a photo that sums the 3 of us up pretty perfectly:
Dad giving the ‘thumbs up’ in his crazy hat with doll hair sticking out of the top.  Mom sporting a sweet smile while proudly wearing her Native sweatshirt.  And me, standing between the two of them, looking a little bit like both of them, with a smile that says, “I still don’t understand how the 2 of these people ever got together and made a baby, but they did, and now that I’m a (somewhat normal) grownup I get to tease the crap out of both of them, and it’s glorious!”
And that, my friends, is called Sweet Revenge…
(Go ahead and try dangling me over the side of the raft now, Dave Button!)
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A Case of Child Abuse in O Little Town of Bethlehem…

IMG_1309IMG_1306I went to Mom’s house last weekend to help her decorate for Christmas.  She had already pulled out the boxes from the garage (which she shouldn’t have done alone but she’s as stubborn as an ox) and had baked a zillion Christmas cookies.  She is planning to have everyone over to her house on the Sunday before Christmas, and so of course she wants her house to look beautiful for the special occasion.

It is sort of unbelievable how many Christmas decorations that Mom has, but she was quick to remind me for the um-teenth-thousandth time that she had been building her collection for her entire life, and for MY entire life, and that one day I would be so grateful that she had saved all of the ornaments and decorations.  Of course she also had to add that, “After Christmas, ornaments go on sale for like 90 percent off!!  They’re practically giving them away!!!”

Yes, I know, I know…

At some point during the unloading of the Christmas boxes, I was on the phone with Rea (who was home sick with a horrible cold), and suddenly I had a vivid, traumatic, childhood memory.

Me:  “Um…oh my gosh…seriously?  SERIOUSLY?!  Spun glass?  SPUN GLASS?!  MOM!  You still use spun glass with your Nativity Set?!  HOW COULD YOU?!”

Mom:  “Huh?”

Me:  “Why can’t you just use cotton like a normal person?  I’m seriously having PTSD right now.  I think I’m hyperventilating.  MOM!  I’m having a panic attack right now!!”

Mom:  “Have a cookie.”

Me:  “Don’t you remember what happened to me, Mom?  When I was like, what…?  I couldn’t have been more than four years old?”

Rea:  “Should I let you go?”

Me:  “No, it’s okay, you can hear this.  I’ll just tell you about it later anyway.  Besides Mom is barely listening to me as it is and I need to talk about it.”

Mom:  “That’s not true; I’m listening!  Hand me that box behind you.”

Me:  “I remember being like four years old and sitting on the floor, just staring up at the Nativity Scene for hours and hours, because it was so beautiful on the mantel next to the Christmas tree at our old house.  I was fascinated with the Baby Jesus.”

Mom:  “Yes, you always did love the Baby Jesus.”

Me:  “My sweet little blonde haired, blue-eyed, innocent self; I remember that you would play Amy Grant‘s Christmas albums on the record player, and I would just sit there and daydream for hours and hours…”

Mom:  “You really were such a sweet and precious little thing.”

(Of course we were listening to Amy Grant’s Christmas music on the CD player as we were decorating Mom’s house in present day as well.)

Me:  “…this may be one of my earliest memories actually.  The Christmas tree lights were shining through the “cotton” that was billowing softly beneath the Nativity Scene, and it was all that I could do to resist touching the puff of cotton that cradled the Baby Jesus.  The more that I admired the Baby Jesus, the more that the cotton beneath him shimmered, and it just looked so soft; like pure silk.  I knew that I wasn’t supposed to touch it, but I just had to.  IT JUST LOOKED SO SOFT!”

Mom:  “I think we’re going to need more lights for the tree.  It doesn’t look like we’re going to have enough.”

Me:  “Mom!  Are you even listening?!”

Rea:  “I’m still here.  I’m listening.”

Me:  “Thank you REA, I’m glad that SOMEONE is listening.”

Mom:  “Fred Meyer has lights on sale for fifty percent off right now.  I should send you to the store to get some before we start decorating the tree.”

Me:  “Looks like I lost her.  Oh well, whatever.  It’s only my most traumatic childhood memory, no big deal.  This is why I go to therapy right?”

Rea:  “So what happened?”

Me:  “So of course I couldn’t resist, and I had to reach out and not only TOUCH the shiny, puffy, cloud of cotton beneath the Baby Jesus, but I had to PET it.  Like a kitten.  Of course you’ve figured out by now that it wasn’t actually cotton.  It was SPUN GLASS.  So what happens when you PET spun glass is:  you get your poor little four year old hand all CUT UP to SH*#!  I was screaming and crying, and I was bleeding everywhere!”

Rea:  “Oh honey, that’s just terrible…”

Me:  “Mom, are you smiling right now?!  Seriously?!  Rea!  Mom is smiling.  She’s not saying anything, she’s just got this sadistic grin on her face.  Oh and now she’s chuckling about it.  MOM!  THAT WAS CHILD ABUSE!  I THOUGHT THAT THE BABY JESUS CUT ME!!

Mom (very quietly):  “I told you not to touch it ya dumb shit.

Me:  “What did you just say?  Did you just hear that Rea?”

Rea:  “No.  What did she say?”

Me:  “She said, ‘I told you not to touch it ya DUMB SHIT!’  Can you believe she said that?!  Oh and now she’s thoroughly pleased with herself…”

Rea:  “I wish I could be there with you guys.  Sounds like you’re having sooooo much fun!  Love you!”

Me:  “Yeah, you’d better run Mom!  Okay, love you too Sweetie.  I’ll call you later.”

——————

It turns out that Mom has several Nativity Sets that she has inherited over the years, and instead of using only the best piece of each of the sets to make one, Ultimate Set, Mom likes to put every single figure out on display; on top of spun glass.

Me:  “Mom, your Nativity Set is too big.”

Mom:  “No one has ever said anything before.”

Me:  “Well I’m saying something now.”

Mom:  “It’s like this every year.  You never said anything last year.  Or the year before…”

Me:  “I must’ve been too drunk to notice.”

Mom:  “They are all such beautiful pieces.  There’s no sense in NOT putting them out on display.  Oh look!  Another camel!!  Isn’t it beautiful?!”

Me:  “Oh yes.  So beautiful.  Can’t you at least pick the best Mary and the best Joseph?  For example.  Here is a blonde Mary.  Mary was Jewish.  Do you really think that she would have been blonde?”

Mom:  “Well she could have been!  Stop being so judgmental!”

Me:  “Whoa!  Okay, sorry…I didn’t realize that you were so sensitive about your blonde Mary.”

Mom:  “Well maybe she’s the next door neighbor.  These could just be like cousins and neighbors who just felt like hanging out that night.”

Me:  “They just wanted to hang out during the birth of Jesus.  No big deal.  Like, ‘Hey what’s up neighbor?  Give birth to any Messiah’s lately?’  There just happened to be a really strong resemblance between everyone is all.”

Mom:  “Well it was a really small town.  I’m sure that there was a lot of inter-marrying going on.  Oh look!  Here’s another Baby Jesus!  TWINSIES!!

Me:  “Two Baby Jesus’?  Where are you going to draw the line, Mom?!”

Mom:  “I guess I should draw the line at two Baby Jesus’…”

Me:  “Well there are some religions who believe that Jesus had a twin brother, and that his twin was Satan…”

Mom:  “Oh yeah!  Well that could work!  This Baby Jesus does look kind of evil…”

Me:  “That must have been the Baby Jesus that cut me.”

Mom:  “Yes.  It was.”

Me:  “It wasn’t Baby Jesus’ fault that I got cut up!  Stop laughing!!”

Mom:  “You’re getting a lot of good material for your blog huh?”

Me:  “Oh yes.”

Mom:  “Where should I put the other Baby Jesus?”

Me:  “Mom, seriously…one Baby Jesus is enough.  We are Christians and we don’t believe that Satan and Jesus are twin brothers, remember?”

Mom:  “Yeah, that’s true.  Okay, I’d rather have the sweet looking Baby Jesus on display if I have to choose.  We’re running out of room on the mantel anyway.”

Me:  “I think that you should probably rename this set, because it’s really not technically the Nativity Scene anymore.”

Mom:  “Let’s call it, ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’…”

Me:  “Yes, that’s perfect!  Now, will there be any kids coming to your Christmas party next Sunday?”

Mom:  “I don’t think so…not really little.”

Me:  “Well you’d better make sure.  You don’t want another Spun Glass massacre on your hands.”

Mom:  “I will just be sure to tell the kids not to touch it.”

Me:  “Oh yes, because that works so well…”

Mom:  “As long as they’re not a bunch of dumb-sh*#s it will be fine.”

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The Goose.

You know which game I always hated as a kid?  “Duck, Duck, Goose.”   Every fat kid hates that game.  Once I was picked as the Goose, the other kid had already run around the circle and had to wait for me to finish getting my fat self upright before he could claim his victory.

I would then proceed to walk around the circle acting like the most depressed Goose you ever saw, and all I could hope for is that the skinny kid that I picked as the next prospective Goose would trip and fall while he was racing me back to his spot on the floor.

So basically, “Duck, Duck, Goose” taught me to wish that bad things would happen to good people, just so that I could sit down again.