Monday, August 10, 2009
I can't keep it together. I found myself saying that on Friday night when my best efforts to keep the contents of a surprise package from one Eleanor Q intact for a photo were met with insurrection from the other members of the Whimsy household. This was a package that was kindly sent because I correctly identified Eleanor Q's bottle of Burberry perfume and also told her that her Freud action figure looked a little like Fidel Castro's brother. The box showed up and I tried to keep the contents together in order to take a photo. But then the Alice got her hands on the tissue paper and threw it around the living room. And then the Chip got his hands on the chocolate bars and ate one. And then the Alice saw the LIGHT UP DISCO rubber ducks (not kidding) and insisted that we play with them immediately in her bath. So that great photo op sort of faded. And this was the best I could do.
The package? Was awesome. I was blinded by sheer awesomeness, I tell you. With chocolate! And fancy soap! And pretty stationary! And a book for Alice! And the light-up rubber ducks! And a cool magnetic rolly-toy thingy (its technical name, I'm sure)! One of the best things about the package is what happened later, after Alice's disco rubber duck bath - and after she was in bed. Chip insisted that I come upstairs to see the spectacle in Alice's darkened bathroom. And what did I see? DISCO BLINKY LIGHTS, PEOPLE. The whole bathroom glowing in pink and yellow and green. I had sort of forgotten about the ducks after the bath... and let them sit in the bottom of the tub in a small little puddle of water. Enough water to still keep the blinky lights going and provide a nice terrifying lightshow for the unsuspecting Chip who had been unprepared to come up the stairs and find a bathtub nightclub. Thank you, Eleanor Q, the package was a hit with the entire household.
Something Eleanor Q wrote in the note she included with the package has stuck with me through the weekend, and it's why I'm writing this now, instead of the expected continuing story about me meeting my birth family. It was this, "It turns out that it's hard to put together a package for someone you know but don't really." I forget that you all only know me from the words you read here on the page. I forget that you don't know how cranky I can be (oh so cranky) or that I have unspeakable anxiety over driving in an unfamiliar town on unfamiliar streets. I forget that you don't know the parts of me that make me a tricky friend (I tried to tell Chip yesterday that being "prickly" is one of my charms... he was hesitant about that assessment). I forget that you know Whimsy only as she is written on these pages. It's one of the reasons that writing this series about adoption has been so difficult, and also so rewarding. It's frightening to lay yourself open in a new way, to share something that is so very personal - and also so highly subjective. You've all been fantastic and receptive, and I want to thank you for that. Even as you know me, but not really. You've still been supportive and enthusiastic and kind.
Now. Quickly let's talk FUNNY and also vaguely inappropriate.
The funny: Chip and I cleaned out the refrigerator on Saturday afternoon. Remember that we've been gone... and even though I cleaned out the front sections of the fridge before we left, there was a whole long-term tenant party going on toward the back that didn't get our attention until Saturday. It was disturbing. My husband is HILARIOUS with disturbing. (Also, when we talk about disturbing refrigerator contents, we speak in ALL CAPS.)
Whimsy (walking toward the sink holding a bowl of RAINBOW-COLORED mashed potatoes): WATCH OUT. THIS ONE HAS MOLD GROWING ON TOP... OF OTHER MOLD. MOLD IS GROWING MOLD, CHIP.
Chip: DUDE! (holds nose as Whimsy begins to pour RAINBOW mashed potatoes down disposal, meanwhile Chip has sprinted to Alice, grabbed her in his arms, and has fled to the living room, waving his hand in front of his face) SPORES! SPORES! I SAW THE SPORES! IT SMELLED LIKE WOOD.
* * *
Whimsy (hands Chip a bowl of something INCOMPREHENSIBLE as he kindly demands that he'll take care of disposing the science experiments --Whimsy has a sneaking suspicion that he's doing it to avoid more MOLD SPORES in the Whimsy household): I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT THIS ONE IS.
Chip: WOAH. (Chip stares at contents of bowl.)
Whimsy: WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
Chip: (Continues staring, cocks head to side) WOAH. THIS CULTURE IS PRAISING US.
Whimsy: WHAT? WHY?
Chip: CAN'T YOU SEE? WE CREATED THIS CULTURE. AND LOOK, THERE'S A WAR GOING ON IN THIS PINK CONTINENT... AND A WAR GOING ON IN THIS GREEN CONTINENT... (flushes entire civilization down disposal) I FEEL A LITTLE BAD, WE DIDN'T EVEN NAME IT.
* * *
Whimsy (hands Chip the last bowl of MOLD): AGAIN, I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THIS IS. SHOULDN'T WE AT LEAST KNOW WHAT IT IS? LIKE, HAVE AN INKLING OR SOMETHING?
Chip: THIS ONE IS DEGOBA. NO SIGNS OF CIVILIZATION... MASSIVE LIFE-READINGS, THOUGH.
* * *
(A little later...)
Chip: YOU KNOW, THAT SECOND ONE THAT YOU BLAMED ON ME, BECAUSE IT LOOKED LIKE MEAT?! IT WAS FRUIT, WHIMSY. FRUIT. AND IT WAS ALL YOURS. I'M THINKING STRAWBERRIES.
Whimsy: ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I DON'T EVEN REMEMBER THE LAST TIME WE BOUGHT STRAWBERRIES. DO WE EVEN LIVE HERE?
And the vaguely inappropriate:
This is some fabric from the luminous designer Nancy Wolff, whom I LOVE. LOVE, I tell you. L-O-V-E. She is a genius with color and pattern, and her fabric designs are perfect for children's anything (blankets, clothes, whatever). In the last few months her stuff has VANISHED from fabric stores. I don't know what's going on, and quite frankly, I'm starting to get a little twitchy about it... like I"m feeling this weird HOARDING compulsion about it. Does this ever happen to you? I'm thinking of writing her a letter to ask her why her distributors are toying with me. After many searches for her fabric, I found this stuff, this deliciously whimsical fabric, online. I ordered a few yards of it a couple of weeks ago and it arrived last week. The inappropriate? I've been looking at this fabric for days and days, running my fingers along its sweet fibers and it fills me with shameful lusty feelings. SHAMEFUL LUSTY FEELINGS, PEOPLE, BECAUSE I LOVE IT SO MUCH. It's just wrong how much I love it. I don't want to use it, I love it so much. Love. And now that I've shared my adoration for Nancy Wolff designs, you guys are going to now make it that much harder for me to find any. I will thank you in advance for that.
Now I'm going to get back to looking at my fabric and laughing at my hilarious husband. Let's pick up this Denver thing tomorrow.