All of the Words That Go Unsaid

My sister is the inspiration for this series of posts which will be a departure from my normal humour. During the brief period that she tweeted, Diana expressed multiple times that our Granddad was her favourite person. Immediately after the first time she tweeted this, her next tweet was “How do you tell a person that?” My answer- you just do.

In these next couple of posts, I want to communicate the love and gratitude I feel towards my grandparents. I’ve chosen this particular set of people in my life because at thirty-one, I know I’m running on borrowed time. I’m one of the few people my age with no less than three living grandparents and I recognize how precious and special that is. So without further ado, let’s start with my sister’s favourite person.

Granddad, this post could have been entitled all of the words that go unheard. I love you, even though my voice falls within the exact range of hearing that you’ve lost. I love you even though since you’ve gone deaf, you can’t hear my stories any more. I love you because you are the one who molded me into a storyteller. You’re the reason this blog and all of my ridiculous anecdotes exist. I learned the craft of humour and exaggeration, of careful weaving of details while sitting at the dinner table listening to you talk about gypsy children in Europe. I learned that stories change over time and become better, hyperboles grow and become their own parts of the tale; the bear that the gypsy children led around became more ferocious. You taught me the power in confessing one’s own follies, your frantic gestures conveying your panic as you reenacted tossing coins at the begging children and their “pet”. From you, I learned that every problem is an adventure, and every adventure a story and the bumps along the way only serve to make the narrative more engaging.

Since you lost your hearing, you can’t hear my stories now, but that doesn’t matter because I’m still listening to you. Just as you taught Diana and I to do, because each time you gently beckoned “Come here, I want to show you something”, although the tone was light, it was understood that we were to come now and listen carefully while we were at it. You are teased, somewhat unmercifully for this habit, but even when those explanations meant that my math homework took 80% longer because my Granddad had to explain how nautical miles were calculated even though it was a basic subtraction question which had nothing to do with the speed of ships and had merely mentioned the terminology, I still loved every minute of it. I adored your descriptions of each ingredient’s function in a loaf of bread as you carefully added the warm water, then the salt, then the butter to your delicious dough. Try as I might, my bread is never as tasty as yours.

All of those lessons are ingrained in Diana and me. Every time I mount my bike, I relive your lectures on bike safety; “Let me show you something” pointing to the various road signs, explaining their meaning. It was you and Gran who decided that eight was too old to be riding with training wheels anymore, so the two of you spirited Diana and I away for a weekend, then spent forty-eight hours gripping the backs of our bike seats, running behind us. Not to mention the countless rides we made as a family; you, Gran, Mom, Diana and I traveling along a path towards a picnic spot. To this day, I still hear your voice shouting at me as I approach a hill “Gear down”! Gear Down!” Is it any wonder that I prefer my silver Trek bicycle that you chose for me to a car any day?

I never learned how to dance well, but that didn’t prevent me from delighting in your and Gran’s skill each time that I watched the two of you dance together in the living room, the garage, at the Coyote Cave, or on television when Mom would painstakingly set the VCR to record “Club Dance”. I felt so special and grown up, attempting the steps you would repeat as we moved across the dance floor. I sometimes joke that “Baby Likes To Rock It Like A Boogie-Woogie Choo Choo Train” is the soundtrack of my childhood because I heard it so often. That lesson of life long activity and dedication to one’s passions has stayed with me.

Granddad, I love you, and you are one of my favourite people in the world for all the reasons I mentioned and hundreds more. And even though my son bearing your name probably tipped you off to that, I still wanted to write these words, because you are important; I am so grateful and blessed that you chose to take such an active role in my life.

He Said, She Said, Engineers versus Artists

She Said: Marriage According to the Great Unwashed

(Tex has added in his two cents in italics)

In a word, being married to an engineer is awesome. I love it. 

I always know where Tex is and what he’s doing; I’m kind of like Santa Claus but without the beard

Around about when we first started dating, Tex linked me to his Google Calendar. To say that it’s a comprehensive document is an understatement. It includes when to check his tire pressure (the 2nd of every month), any outings he has tickets for within the next couple of weeks and his work locations for the next year. I’m not saying I know when my hubby goes to the loo; if he starts slotting that activity in there too, it wouldn’t be shocking. After Tex sent me his schedule, I was supposed to create my own. That was a year and a half ago.

“By the way I need to borrow the car tomorrow to do this thing. Didn’t I tell you about that? Remember?”

 

The keys are always in the same place. Actually everything is in the exact same place

Or rather I should say Tex’s keys are always in the same place. It’s a crap shoot as to where I’ve stowed mine. This makes it easy to take my significant other’s keys. Please note this kind of behavior will get you into trouble on occasion. Along these same lines, Tex has routines and protocols for everything in our home, up to and including washing pots and the proper storage of baking soda. Everything is very easy to find and is grouped with like items when Tex has organized or tidied a room.

Since we’ve moved into our new place, there’s a constant litany of “Unwashed where did you put the colander/spatula/baking pan?” and she’ll respond with “It’s in the garage/shed/under the couch.” Of course it’s there. That is the obvious place for a frying pan.

 

Everything in the house is in perfect working order

Engineers love problems. They live for problems; the show “How It’s Made” is engineering porn. I’m always surprised whenever I see it on TV during the daytime, because I know there’s engineers out there, watching saying, “Oh, oh yeah, look at how well they figured out how to make paint spackle. Oh the hydraulics.”

pencil-sharpening

Somewhere, an engineer is getting worked up over belt sanders. (Photo Credit: all-that-is-interesting.com)

Along these same lines, whenever something in our house breaks, Tex launches into engineer mode, taking our tap apart, determining where the problem is and whisking Mini-Tex and me off to the local Rona to locate the necessary part. (It’s possible I’m only along for the charity popcorn that is always sold at the hardware store.)

 

Our car seat is installed properly

Remember what I said about “How It’s Made” being engineering porn? Oven manuals, car seat directions, really any kind of manual is like a dirty magazine for engineers. I’m not saying that I’ve found instructions for the lawnmower under Tex’s side of the mattress, but let’s just say I wouldn’t be surprised to find them there. Whenever we purchase anything, Tex reads the manual from cover to cover then adjusts the item so it exactly meets his specifications; our car door opens after pressing only one button and it never beeps when it locks. Afterwards he files the manual so he can always refer back to it even though he never needs to because he has an eidetic memory. (But won’t admit to it because then he would have to confess that he’s actually a super villain.) He then carefully explains to me how the item works and all of the minor changes he’s made to improve its function. I half listen because I know that if something breaks I can always call my husband in a panic and say “Tex! The dishwasher/dryer/car is broken!”

 

Everything somehow relates to science

It doesn’t matter whether the topic is weather, cooking or machinery- an in depth explanation of the science behind the subject always follows. Yet I still can’t recall the basic rules of matter.

Unwashed’s equivalent is celebrity name dropping and referencing obscure Canadian authors. For example her post about Desmond Howl “Oh you don’t know Hornjob McGee? He appeared in little known indie film “That Greasy Summer.”

 

He Said: Marriage From Tex’s Perspective

(With Unwashed’s comment in italics)

By contrast, this is what it’s like to be married to an artist- bedlam.

Nothing is ever where you left it including the car

For a period of time, Unwashed hid various pieces of mail and vital items like my phone charger. It was only after I had exhausted my own search of our apartment that I questioned her “Have you seen my ID badge for work?” “Oh” she replied nonchalantly as if she wasn’t a magpie squirrelling away my belongings and correspondence “they’re in the Very Important Place.” “The pardon?” I asked “The Very Important Place” my wife repeated “I put everything right here” and then she pointed to the most random of hiding spots in our home. It wasn’t a loose floorboard under the bathroom cabinet but it was close.

Admittedly, sometimes I do tidy Tex’s belongings away for company and then forget to move his items back. And the car wasn’t my fault; we had just moved here and I drove past the house three times before finally throwing the car into park and walking home. I will cop to forgetting that I had done this and where the car was parked though.

 

Your laundry flies stand-by and there has been an exponential increase in the number of lost socks

They say purgatory is a place between heaven and hell, currently in my house there is a laundry purgatory or one might say it flies stand by as it exists neither clean in my drawer nor dirty and obviously in need of washing in my hamper. I suspect one day I will be searching online classifieds and find a “Missed Connections” ad written by one of my socks.

In my defense, I once witnessed Tex systematically search for an hour for one lost sock. He found it in the end. I am neither that thorough, nor do I possess the memory to retrace my steps and the steps of others exactly to locate lost undergarments. As for the laundry, I’ve created a complex system that there isn’t enough time to explain, be assured that all of my and Mini-Tex’s clothes are found and cleaned on a regular basis. Tex’s shirts make it into the wash when they can hence the stand by comment.

 

I’ve been forced to take bizarre and ridiculous pictures of her

I had to take a picture of her covered in chocolate icing, holding a wad of flaming bills while riding a pig and I was supposed to not only understand the symbology of this but at the very least hold the camera steady. Not to mention catch the terrified pig.

This is a complete exaggeration. Ok not complete. There wasn’t a pig though. I did make Tex take artistic photos where I composed an image of multiple juxtaposing elements and then posed myself in awkward ways to enhance this effect.

 

Arranging a room has less to do with what will fit and more to do with the “chi” and whether it makes a room “warm” or not

I’ve moved sectionals more times than I care to count. And I had to buy a big, really expensive chair to provide her with a place to read and feel artistic or whatever it is that she does when she isn’t riding pigs.

Again, he’s totally fabricating the pig thing and what can I say? Chi is a moving target. Happily I don’t have to move it.

 Also, did anyone else notice that Tex didn’t comment about the memory thing? I expect I’ll find his blaster ray gun in the basement any day now.

Grandma Getting Arrested Was Not My Fault

It wasn’t so much that she was arrested as dropped off in the middle of the night by police. Despite what everyone will tell you, it wasn’t my doing. Really if anyone should get the blame it’s my maternal grandfather, he was the one shouting at the bouncers. But I’m getting ahead of myself here.

About a decade back, my Dad took my whole family on vacation; me, my sister, my Mom, my Dad, my Gran, my Granddad, my Dad’s mom and even my boyfriend at the time, we all went to a resort.

The vacation was exactly like this. Only substitute all the kissing and racy bits with shuffleboard. (Photo Credit : amazon.com)

The vacation was just like this. Only substitute all the kissing and racy bits with shuffleboard. (Photo Credit : amazon.com)

If you’ve ever seen “Dirty Dancing” this resort was exactly like that, only without all the interesting sexy bits and desperately attractive men lurking in every corner. Also I never once saw Patrick Swayze. Not exactly a place where a teenager would go to have fun for a good time. However Diana and I were with our family so we were happy. Though I must confess the evenings were quite slow. One night at dinner my family decided that we would all go dancing.

This was around the time that my Mom’s parents used to go out and win West Coast couples dancing competitions. My parents would also attend said competitions but didn’t podium. My boyfriend and I, inspired by watching these two couples had begun to take ballroom dance lessons as well.

Unfortunately Diana was only eighteen at the time so my parents were unsure whether she would get into the bar at the hotel. Exasperated my Gran blurted out “You MUST have a fake ID.” And not surprisingly, Diana did. It was passed around and scrutinized by every member of my family but my grandfather who was in the washroom at the time. After everyone inspected the Northwest Territories driver’s license, it was deemed an acceptable fake.

After dinner everyone returned to their respective hotel rooms, except for my sister and I who always want to spend more time with our maternal grandparents. We sat on their bed chatting merrily while my Gran and Granddad got dressed in their matching cowboy dancing outfits and my Granddad donned one of his impressive western hats. The mood in the room was jovial and excited.

Walking over to the bar with the prospect of spending an evening with his family and getting to dance with his two granddaughters, my Granddad was his extroverted self. Seeing the bouncers’ hackles go up at the sight of Diana and me, he waved cheerfully. “It’s ok boys! They’re my granddaughters.” Grabbing Diana’s shoulders he proudly added “This one’s eighteen!”

“Granddad!” Diana and I shouted indignantly in unison. “What?” My grandfather asked stopping in his tracks. In Manitoba, where my Granddad grew up, the legal drinking age is eighteen. In Ontario it’s one year older.

Kicking at the ground Diana turned on her heel and left in a huff. Walking into the bar Granddad’s shoulder were hunched “I didn’t know, I didn’t know.” He repeated sheepishly. However soon the music started and the mood lightened as the couples began to dance.

A group of three men a little older than me stood awkwardly around the bar. Thinking of my sister who was probably sitting in the hotel room bored to tears while my eighty-four year old grandma knitted an afghan, I had an idea.

“Hey do you want to keep a hot girl company?” I asked. The boys shrugged but then listened eagerly when I told them my room number. They left the bar soon after.

In the mean time, after realizing that she wasn’t going to spend the evening cha-cha-ing with her family, my sister had found another under age youth sitting on one of the resort’s rolling hills. Together they sat in the darkness and shared bottles of booze that the young man had pinched from who knows where.

The three men from the bar, having given up any hope of finding fun in a place filled with middle aged people dancing the East Coast swing, headed over to my family’s hotel room. They knocked on the door.

By this time my grandmother had changed into her nightgown and was getting ready for bed when she heard a rapping at the door. The sight of the three lumbering young men inquiring if there was a hot girl inside ( I hadn’t bothered to give them Diana’s name), spurred my elderly grandmother into action. “No. Only me.” she replied curtly, “Now please go home.” Then, strapping on her fuzzy slippers, my grandma walked off into the night in search of Diana.

This entire time, the hotel police were parked a distance from the hill that my sister and her new friend had been illegally drinking on. The officers were well aware of the illicit goings on, however the amount of flack they’d receive from the patrons of the hotel for busting the privileged teenagers for the offense was greater than the good that would come from stopping it. At any rate, my sister and the young man were not causing any harm.

Around the time that Diana and her companion packed up their bottles and headed back to their respective rooms the hotel police received word that there was an elderly woman wandering around the property in her nightgown. Off they sped in their cruiser to avert disaster.

Diana arrived back at the room just as my parents and I did. Everyone was confused as to where my grandmother had gone at twelve o’clock at night. Then for the second time that night there was a knock at the hotel room door. My father opened it to a squad car with its lights flashing and an official looking man in uniform standing next to his mother. “These nice men gave me a ride back” said Grandma as she stepped past my father into the hotel room.

Although I technically did send a group of strange young men to my family’s hotel room searching for my sister, I still contest that Grandma wandering around in the middle of the night and being dropped off by security is NOT my fault. Clearly its Granddad’s lack of awareness around Ontario’s drinking laws and his overactive bladder.

 

 

Travesty Tuesdays- I Hope Karma Isn’t Actually a “B”

Sometimes I’m a jerk, the rest of the time, I’m an almighty lassmole. The following is a card I sent to the little guy Carter that i sometimes watch and his sister Kennedy.

Dear Carter and Kennedy,

Santa is coming!!! The only way to properly prepare for his arrival is by waking up your parents every day beforehand at 5 am and remind them of this fact at top volume. I am super close byds with your elf on a shelf and was thus informed of this new Christmas protocol.

ElfOnTheShelf_Header

Clearly this chocolate fiend and I are thisclose. (Photo Credit mumsgrapevine.au.com)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Please hug your parents and repeat this message to them loudly.

-Unwashed

Dear Carter and Kennedy’s Mommy

I expect equal atrocities to eb inflicted upon me when I am a parent. Have a LEGO filled Christmas, I can’t wait for my turn to impale my feet on tiny plastic blocks as a way of heralding the holiday season.

-Unwashed

When I was finished torturing parents of young children, I decided to send some Christmas cheer to tex’s relatives.

Dear Tim and Leanne,

May your Christmas be filled with red nosed uncles who drink too much and flaming figgy puddings that scorch the ceiling. Those are the best Christmases.

-Unwashed and Tex

Dear Tex’s family members that I have met all of once,

In the words of Mariah Carey “All I want for Christmas is you”, wait shoot, I meant to quote Bing Crosby. Well this is awkward, Merry Christmas at any rate.

-Unwashed and (I can’t believe he signed this one) Tex

I of course sent cards to my family, they were no less weird though.

Dear Dad,

Merry Christmas, in lieu of a daughter because I cannot fly, you get a card this year. There are some benefits to this arrangement: you never have to tell a card to quiet down and stop offending everyone around them, also paper doesn’t need reminders to shower.

Really you might want to stick with this arrangement especially considering that you don’t need to give Christmas cards rides anywhere because they don’t own a car.

Enjoy your Unwashed-free Chrstimas and revel in the fact that I won’t be pinching your hooch to ring in the New Year.

Love Unwashed and Tex

 

 

 

 

 

My Week In A Rolling Prison

Canada is a vast and beautiful country, emphasis on the vast. Sometimes the elderly drive across it in enormous camper vans. Last summer, along with my grandparents, I decided to take part in one of these pilgrimages. The following is my record of the adventure.

Day 1: Ontario, Somewhere in the Kawarthas

7:00 AM – Whoo Hoo! Road trip with Gran and Granddad. With my grandparents, two Harry Potter books and the whole back of the RV to myself, in essence have the whole world. Also, Granddad hinted that may be able to drive the RV. Am so excited that even the sixty pound poodle half sitting on me in a territorial fight for the seat can’t dim my enthusiasm.

11:00 AM – Stopped for lunch. Was instructed to take both the standard poodles for a quick walk while Gran prepares lunch, is possible that the poodles did not receive the same instruction as both are actively pulling me back towards the RV. Perhaps am just a bad dog walker because is more like a drag.

4:20 PM – Suffering from an extreme case of numb bum. No matter, shall delve into a magical fictional world where the only concern during long trips is broomstick crotch.

5:00 PM – Have stopped for the evening. Granddad insisted on instructing me how to connect the poop hose to the site. May need to shower forever. Will never eat again.

5:20 PM – Gran’s spaghetti! Will have to live with knowledge that delicious pasta and sauce may contain poop particles. Remind self that dirt and therefore feces are good for immune system.

Day 2: Ontario, Sault St. Marie

7:00 AM – Have been told I can drive the RV! Very excited; partly for opportunity and partly because will not have to share my seat with a disgruntled poodle. Am still very excited about trip itself, is uncommon to see such savage beauty whizzing by window.

10:45 – Numb bum has returned. Harry Potter’s world only partially distracting from discomfort.

2:01 PM – Is my moment of glory! Granddad has vacated driver’s seat. Am going to drive forever, may drive all the way to Manitoba, perhaps may drive all night!

2:59 PM – Have been told to pull RV over and that my turn is finished.

3:05 PM – Notice that phone was noticeably silent and without any messages during my hour long absence. Realize that have lost signal.

4:10 PM – Made mistake of looking at GPS. Said three thousand and eight more hours of driving until arrival. Ok possibly not THAT long but was close. Cell phone a useless paperweight. Am effectively cut off from everything.

6:00 PM – Pulled into the loveliest, leafiest park ever. Hiked all of the trails while Gran made dinner. Took poodles who went willingly. Suspect they only came because saw potential for a jail break by simultaneously pulling my arms in opposite directions while dashing for the river.

Day 3 : Ontario, Thunder Bay

8:00 AM – On road again. Granddad promised to relinquish the steering wheel this morning. Have lovely fantasies of flying down the road for hours and hours until arrive at Aunty Betty’s doorstep. Am still enthused by landscape however majestic rock faces are beginning to look a bit alike.

10:02 AM – Granddad has just moved over! Perhaps will be allowed to drive all day!

10:59 AM – Was just informed my turn is up.

11:00 AM – Pulled over and took the poodles for a drag. Either my arms are becoming stronger or they are walking more willingly.

12:50 AM – Ride seeming impossibly long. Forcing myself not to look at GPS because feel as if may have to live in RV forever.

1:00 PM – Lunch! But am sadly not hungry, it seems boredom kills appetites.

2:00 PM – Fear that feeling may never return to my posterior.

3:00 PM – Must not ask when we are stopping for the night. Am an adult, will handle boredom accordingly.

3:01 PM – Poodle has sat on my foot in such a manner as to indicate that it’s looking for a fight. It seems all of the natives are restless.

3:07 PM – Do not wish to be an adult anymore, want to stop driving and run into the bush which looks exactly like the wild brush from a couple of minutes ago which is identical to the brush from a thousand kilometers ago. Screw up determination; am going to really appreciate wild beauty around me.

3:08 PM – Rock, rock, rock, rock.

3:09 PM – Tree, tree, tree, tree.

3:10 PM – Lake.

3:11 PM – Tree, tree, tree, rock, tree.

5:00 PM – Have stopped for the night. Take dogs for a walk then take advantage of Wifi which is inexplicably fast despite there being no cell phone signal to speak of.

Day 4 : Ontario, ?????? (Somewhere is the north, this province is endless- we may never get out)

5:45 AM – Wake ridiculously early and go for a stroll so legs won’t forget how to walk after spending four years in RV. Discover magical park with up ended picnic tables which look like they enjoy galloping around in the night. Pretend to be a ninja observing secret life of picnic tables.

I am one with the galloping picnic tables. (Photo Credit : Gran)

I am one with the galloping picnic tables. (Photo Credit : Gran)

7:30 AM – After Granddad disconnects poop hose, a task which was mercifully excused from helping with, we are back on road in my gigantic rolling prison.

7: 37 AM – Press face against window and think happily about a time when the world didn’t move and used to do things like run around. Turn cell phone off to save it from uselessly searching for a signal.

8:30 AM – Start to read Harry Potter but even J.K. Rowling can’t fight this much ennui.

9:30 AM – Resist urge to start marking days and hours on RV wall with butter knife.

10:30 AM – See something strange in distance, is weird and rectangular shaped, like a rock face but with ninety degree angles.

10:32 AM – Is most definitely not a rock face nor the Canadian Shield because there is nothing growing out of it.

10:34 AM – Is gigantic building! Have reached civilization. Would drop to knees but would squish poodle that has taken up residence at feet if did so.

10:44 AM – Watch as building approaches.

10:54 AM – And approaches

11:04 AM – And approaches. Had forgotten it was the prairies, the place where people watch their dog run away for three days. Fall back into despair again. May never leave the RV.

1:00 Pm – Gran says are only an hour from Aunty Betty’s! Is such good news cannot believe it. Cell phone signal returns.

2:30 PM – Difficult to say who tumbles out of the RV faster- me or the poodles. Throw self to the ground so happy to be freed from RV and not in a moving vehicle any more. Was beginning to get bedsores from seat belt.

2:35 PM – Hug Gran and Granddad goodbye, say thank you for driving and wheel my suitcase into Aunty Betty’s house. Success!

I’m Going to be Ex-Communicated From My Family Just For Writing This

Dear Grandma,

Thank you for the birthday money. I spent it on hookers and booze. Just kidding, I’m far more classy than that; I spent it on expensive hookers and booze. You should have seen Francesca’s knockers Grandma, were it not for the rock solid feel when squeezed, you would swear those babies were real. Also the thirty year aged port was amazing. Especially when consumed from Francesca’s belly button.

Happy Birthday to me indded. (Photo Credit : genius.com)

Happy Birthday to me indeed. (Photo Credit : genius.com)

Your birthday gift made turning thirty less painful. I can’t really say much for the day after though. I guess at some point one does have to pay the piper. Thanks again Big G, maybe we can make your ninety-first birthday equally memorable and invite Champagne, Francesca’s actress best friend who moonlights as a stripper.

Tylenol Consumingly yours

Unwashed

This made me giggle. My ninety year old grandmother is lovely, generous, and above all tolerant, but although she accepts my weirdness, she does not understand it. So I’m sending the thank you card that I wanted to write, to the internet. You’re welcome interwebs. By contrast, my grandmother will receive a tasteful card with flowers and a simple message about buying a ski lift ticket. Personally I prefer fabricated stories about Francesca’s voluminous breasts

Tex’s Areolas- Coming to a Mailbox Near You

I called my father yesterday “Dad I need everyone in the family’s addresses, I’ve misplaced my address book”.

“What are you sending?” he asked. “Naked pictures, Tex and I had tasteful nudes done and we want to share them.” There was a moment of silence as my father waited for me to laugh, and then another moment as he attempted to decide whether I was being serious. “Oh you just love to pull my leg” he said hopefully, anticipating my confession that I was joking. I rushed onwards “They’re very understated, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Tex’s nipples look quite so attractive. I’ll take Aunty Camelia’s and her children’s addresses first.”

My poor Dad, thrown off by my failure to admit that it is a joke and no doubt a mental image of Tex’s nipples in his head, started to blindly recite his sister’s address, hoping to get me off of the phone before I started describing other parts of Tex’s or my anatomy also likely in a hurry to find someone to open his mail for the next couple of weeks.

After giving me the eighth family member’s address, he asked again “Now what is this for?” I caved slightly and answered “In Tex’s family, they give out photos of the couple to other family members at Christmas; we’ve just put our own spin on it. As you can see I’m a little late.” At this my Dad seemed a little more hopeful that he wouldn’t be receiving a photo of my boyfriend tastefully holding a puppy over his junk in the mail. However my recent inappropriate Christmas gift to my grandmother of framed modeling photos of my cousin’s swimsuit fashion show still loomed large in his mind and gave an unsure tone to his voice as he asked “Who else do you need to send these too?”

Once I had secured every person in our family’s addresses including my elderly great aunts, I bid my father adieu. He hung up reluctantly, now unsure whether he needed to find someone to open his mail and my grandmother’s as well.

Addendum- While reading this post aloud to text to check for errors, Tex panicked and asked whether I had in fact enclosed topless photos of him. Priceless.

*Names have been changed to protect the identities of those whose naked images may have been sent to everyone I know.

Shelf Theft and A Lack of Character

I’ve found myself fantasizing about hard wood lately. Now before any of my readers get some big ideas and start sending me dirty pictures, allow me to explain. Having recently moved houses, my possessions have been dramatically rearranged. For example my books, which once called a series of shelves home are now in piles on the floor of my dining room. The plan was to put them in the giant glass front cabinet from my grandmother’s house, however there was one issue, well two if we’re being exact. The first is that I had no car. The second problem could not be solved by a trip to the local Enterprise; I have no muscles. Or rather I have insufficient muscles to move a piece of furniture that was made when people didn’t move often and shelves came from a local, swarthy carpenter and not from a machine in Sweden.

I could have acquired a bookshelf from a big box store, but as I mentioned before; I’ve been dreaming of wood. Mahogany, red, oak, I’ want them all, and the heavier the better. If only I myself had been born a large, male, swarthy carpenter, then moving such a well made shelf would not have been an issue.

I had plans, big plans. Plans that involved my father and one other large man moving the shelf from my grandmother’s house two hours away to my cozy dining room. Alas it was not to be. Despite having promised the shelf to me, my cousin, who at six foot seventeen, or some other height that is equally giant, spied the shelf in question, liked it and took it.

Two possible conclusions can be drawn, either my grandmother tired of parking her Corolla next to fifty years of exquisite workmanship while the shelf waited in the garage for me to retrieve it or somehow, without meaning to, I royally ticked my grandmother off. Seeing as my track record includes having my Grandma hauled home by the police and nearly killed (two separate incidents if you can believe it) I’m leaning towards the second option.

To better understand why there is a literary mountain piled next to my china hutch, I’ve decided to create a list of all the possible ways I could have POed my dad’s mom.

An Incomplete Collection of My Faults and Shortcomings Compared to my Enormous Perfect Cousin

I frequently appear at my church half naked or only partially dressed: If you would like to read the accounts of all of the times I’ve managed to flash the elders in my congregation they are available

Here

Here

And here

In essence getting dressed in the morning is obviously not my strong suit, whereas my monstrously tall cousin, not only suits up for Sunday morning services, but he also has been known to attend Bible study. Point for giant cousin.

I have been known to say what I’m thinking: This character trait would work better for me if I had nicer thoughts, as it is the words “Your baby looks like a homely Steve Buscemi” never go over well. By contrast, my cousin is one of the nicest most genuine people I know, book case stealing aside. Point for my cousin.

I cannot grow facial hair: Apart from the occasional absurdly long chin hair, I can neither grow a moustache nor a scraggly beard, on the other hand, at Christmas my cousin’s face did a remarkable impression of Farley Mowat’s when he emerged from a two month stay in the woods having subsisted on roasted mice.

Clearly my grandmother admires the wild-man look and lifestyle, point for my cousin.

It would seem that I am deficient in all aspects of life, from grooming to character, little wonder that my cousin is now stowing his worldly possessions in a gorgeous glass front cabinet, while I am pondering a trip to the local IKEA.

Happy Over Exposed Monday

So apparently I’m posting on Sundays and Mondays now. Strange, I know but luckily I’m not called “The Consistent Unwashed” so this will probably change by tomorrow.

At any rate, it’s time for Indistinguishable Mondays, a time where I delight your eyes and confound your senses with my lack of photography skills. Or maybe that’s backwards, or just completely untrue. One of the two.

This photograph was taken a decade ago when I went on a seniors cruise with my grandmother. It was three thousand old people and me. Well, if we’re being particular about it; three thousand old people, me and my breasts. This was around the time when I was still displaying my knockers at every possible occasion, by wearing tiny, low cut t-shirts. Somewhere around the middle of the trip, my grandmother got tired of the show and bought me a top “to cover my multitude of sins”.

I’ve since learned to hide my sins under cardigans.
img010 I took this photo in an art gallery. Obviously I didn’t really love the painting because I didn’t bother to center it or turn off my flash. Another possibility is my grandmother told me to snap the picture “Look at that girl, she’s wearing an adequate amount of clothing and still seems happy. You should use her as a role model.”

Happy Over Exposed Monday everyone; may your day be filled with post adolescent cleavage and or flashes of blinding light, whatever your preference.

To Don’t List

Normally one makes a “To Do” List and giddily checks chores off, one after another. Today I made a “Things I Didn’t Do” List. And I’m going to chronicle them for you in the same annoying manner that girls with low self esteem call up their boyfriends and detail everything they ate that day. I’d do that too but the list would be very short because I’m trying to clear out my pantry in preparation for moving and might upset my grandparents as half of it would be Bailey’s liqueur. Normally I mix Baileys with milk however going grocery shopping was one of my errands that wasn’t completed so there we are.

Things I Didn’t Do But Really Probably Should Have Because Sometimes I Call Myself A Grown-Up But I Have A Feeling My Membership To That Particular Club May Be Revoked Soon

Grocery Shopping– I really should have done this. I’m going to regret this inaction tomorrow when I have no milk for my coffee and a wicked mean hangover from drinking the remains of my pantry.

Going To The Bank– In the grand scheme of things, I’m giving myself a partial pass on this errand. Earlier this week I found important government papers that I thought I had lost hidden in with pictures of naked backs. Ostensibly I could have been searching for more mortgage related papers in my Bailey’s bottle.

Dropping Donations Off At Goodwill– Aside from the fact that a corner of my bedroom is currently being overrun with junk, I think the impoverished people of the city will be just fine even though I didn’t drop off my collection of sparkly wigs* and thirty year old hard cover books.

Vacuuming– The average temperature outside this week has been negative twenty. Inside my house it’s averaged only slightly more than that hence extra thick socks are now a part of my indoor wardrobe but even without being trod upon by shoes the carpet has taken on a fawn tinge. The situation wasn’t helped by my decision to complete one task on my actual To-Do list and shred paper with a dull Exacto knife, which had the effect of recreating the scene in “Elf” where Buddy makes it snow.

If you flip this picture upside down that's what my carpet looks like. (Photo Credit: kenward.blogspot.com)

If you flip this picture upside down that’s what my carpet looks like. (Photo Credit: kenward.blogspot.com)

Wipe Down Counters and Tabletops in the Kitchen– It looks as though the International Convention of Toast Eaters met on my kitchen table and counters then proceeded to devour hundreds of loaves of thick crusted sourdough bread. A family of mice could live off these surfaces for a year or two in their current state.

Recycle the Giant Collection of Boxes that is in a Closet for No Good Reason– If pillow forts were made of cardboard I would be the reigning queen and emperor of the home made fortress world. As such they aren’t and I just have a huge box of collapsed and unusable boxes in my closet to take up space. Also half of the cushions on the sofa are sewed in because the designers were enemies of fun.

Bathe– I rarely do this one anyway, so this isn’t actually a huge disappointment**.

*This special extra post is dedicated to my mother who is doing lots of unfun things this weekend like going to the bank and running tedious errands. Also Mom do not freak out I didn’t donate all of my sparkly wigs. I know you like to wear them to work on occasion.

** Excerpt from a conversation with my Dad:

Dad “Sweetheart, about the title of your blog “The Great Unwashed”, how do you explain that to people?

The Great Unwashed “I tell them I don’t bathe. Just tell people that.”

Dad “But that makes you sound strange.”

Dad, I included that last item just for you. To make you uncomfortable. Because that’s how I show affection and love; by publicly announcing my poor hygiene.