Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Way We Is

So, we were watching "The Way We Were" the other night and the montage of flashbacks came on with the swelling music and everything. I sighed like I usually do, he's wiping his eyes like he usually does, and I say:
Me: "That's a lot like us honey. I was a WASP from a whitebread family who fell in love with an intelligent, opinionated, slightly odd-ball ethnic type."
Him: "What?"
Me: "You know, like I was Hubbel, all-American boy who was a closet writer/intellect."
Him: "Are you saying you're Robert Redford?"
Me: "Well, I'm not gonna be Barbra Streisand!"


I'll just say that this was one of the "good ones" for me and I'll remember it fondly. We were able to have John's family over on Christmas Eve and had antipasto salad and rigatoni and his mom had wine. Or actually, the wine had her, as an hour later she was nearly asleep on the loveseat. Nothing says the holidays like getting Mommy drunk.
My parents made the rare trip to my house for the holiday so I didn't have to spend it driving in the car for hours. We got them an extremely nice room at the Sheraton Suites down the road and I suggested they leave their dachshund "Willie" in the room because our condo has a very strict "No Dogs" policy, and that includes guests. So guess who drives up with the dog in the front seat?
"Mom, I thought you were going to leave him in the room!"
"Well, I was afraid he'd start barking and crying. We'll just leave him here in the car."
"You can't do that! Not only will I have the condo board on my ass, but the SPCA will be here for leaving a dog in the car! Just carry him inside."
And so...an hour into our visit, the dog jumps up on my lap and drops a slobbery tennis ball into my hands for some fetch. And then the smell hits me. The most god-awful stinky breath I have ever smelled on an animal and now it was all over my hands.
"Oh my, I think he was licking his anal gland. You know they have to discharge that at the vet regularly. It must be bothering him."
I ran to the bathroom to wash off the offending "Eau de Willie". My mother insisted it wasn't on the couch or rug, but I had to smell anyway. Luckily, it was just his breath, but I wouldn't let the skunk-dog back on the couch again.
We had a wonderful dinner and were enjoying some coffee in the living room, admiring all the presents that scattered the floor. My dad was throwing one the dog's toys to him and he'd run down the hall and back, over, and over, and over. And then the smell hits me. Again. Only this time, it smelled like shit. I thought for a second that one of the folks had cut the cheese but then I saw the extra large Tootsie-Roll wobble over to the tree. The skunk-dog had just dumped three perfect turds on our living room carpet.
"Oh, I knew that was going to happen when he started running around. He gets his little insides all worked up and it just happens."
Fortunately, they were of the firm consistency, so clean up was a breeze. No thanks to John who threw open the door to the porch and then ran out gagging or my parents who were in tears laughing so hard. Some Lysol sprayed and wiped on the offending areas that were breached and everything was back to normal.
Mom and Dad left for their hotel room shortly afterwards, with "El Stinko" in their arms.
"I promise we'll leave him behind if we visit again. Thanks for everything, we had a lovely time."

Saturday, July 4, 2009

For You, Mom

Back when I was young, skinny and not disappointed with the rest of the world, my family and I used to go on vacation annually, somewhere on the East coast where the Atlantic ocean nipped into the state and was kept back by the intracoastal waterway. In these many harbor towns, fishing villages actually, we would appear like loud guests to a party, my brother and I still fighting from the backseat, my mother lighting another cigarette, and my father oblivious to it all except for the promise ahead of motoring his boat through the canals and into the ocean, the wind blowing back his hair and an ice cold beer never far from his fingertips.

We would pile out and immediately begin our assessment of the setup: pool...check, good, working A/C...check, other kids staying there...check. These were just the minimum requirements. If we were really lucky, there was a gameroom and restaurant/snackbar on premises. More often than not, the motel (yes, that's M-otel, we rarely stayed anywhere that had more than 2 floors) room would have a small kitchenette so that my mother could perform gymnastics while preparing a meal. I could see the disappointment on her face as she inventoried the pitiful kitchen setup: 2 old saucepans, a dirty baking sheet, percolator and a tiny, almost doll-like stove. A few cracked plates, mismatched glasses and silverware would round out the inventory. At least the refrigerator would be clean, the previous occupant only used it to keep beer cold. Usually the smell of sulfur from the water would permeate the place and we had to open the windows a while to air it out. But, all in all, the place would be clean and the cable worked on the TV.

Not long after we arrived, my brother and I would venture out to the pool. Usually, we would jump right in and I remember one time, being shocked that the water was not our beloved chlorinated spring water but some hideous, warm-like bathwater, SALT water pool. That meant no opening eyes under water and always feeling a little sticky and/or smelly. That was the worst pool, ever. Sometimes, there would be other kids there and before long, we were usually playing along with them. I remember when we were about 12 or 13 and there was a cute girl there. We spent most of the time showing off for her or just following her around. Eventually she came and talked to us. As usual, it was my brother she was interested in. Damn his blonde hair and perfect smile! I would usually shuffle away, dragging my hideous carcass with me and go inside and watch TV. Most of the day, it was just my brother and my mom and me. Dad was gone since 6:00 that morning and would be back around 1:00 or 2:00 only to take a nap until about 4:00 or 5:00 and then park himself in front of the TV with a beer. Sometimes he would come out to the pool and show off for us. His cannonball's into the deep end were legendary. And eventually, Mom would come out as well and so for a few hours, before dinnertime, it was just our little family together.