Today is my dad’s 81st birthday.
Happy birthday, Dad! ((waving))
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD.
I forgot that I need to shout these days because Dad can’t hear as well as he used to. I keep telling him to get a hearing aid and he’s all “What?” and I’m all “You need a hearing aid, Dad” and he’s all “I have no idea. Maybe blue?” and I’m all “I’VE ALWAYS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE, HAVEN’T I, DAD?” and he’s all “For crying out loud, Andy! You know I hate coconut cream pie! Blech.”
Thank God we have my mom to translate for him because she’s excellent at repetitive speaking and has been known to say the same thing five times in a row without even being asked or breaking a sweat. And if she keeps shrinking like she has been, we might even be able to squish her down and stuff her into his ear without too much effort.
As an homage to my dad, I’ll leave you with the post I wrote last January entitled “Me, myself and my other 216 personalities” since technically, he’s responsible for at least half of them.
Happy Sunday, everyone!
My, myself and my other 216 personalities
All the Christmas decorations have been down for awhile now and our house has been completely stripped of all of its HO HO HO.
Well, we’re not completely HO-less.
I’m still here.
With yet another holiday over and the throes of winter just beginning … it was time to go spelunking in our basement. I put on my hard hat and packed a snack and ventured down into the abyss in search of the large, square, multi-colored box I bought at Target years ago. In it, wrapped up in plastic and soft blankets and nestled all comfortably together, are all of my extra personalities … the ones I switch out according to my moods, much like people switch out their comforters and pillows according to the seasons. Switching personalities isn’t nearly as costly as switching out comforters and pillows though, if we’re talking dollars and cents.
But if we were talking sense? As in mental and emotional? That has come very close to bankrupting me.
But that’s another post entirely.
I have a couple of personalities that I wear most of the year because, like my beloved Dansko shoes, they fit me perfectly and are incredibly comfortable and I can wear them anywhere.
There’s my “Freak of Nature Cloaked in Worry” one that I wear the majority of the time. This one allows me to greet Nate at the door with a “How was work? Did the company fold? Are you laid off?” I keep up the discourse throughout dinner, with topics such as: Is that a cough? Are you terminally ill? Would you tell me if you were? Are you sure? Think the roof will last through winter? What if it blows off? Are my tires OK? Are your tires OK? Should we get new tires? Have you seen the MasterCard bill? Should I sell my body to pay it? I know, but maybe it would make a dent? What do you think this spot is? Can you get bubonic plague from a shopping cart?
I know, right? You don’t have to tell me. If it weren’t for me, our family dinner conversations would be excruciatingly dull.
I accessorize my “Freak of Nature Cloaked in Worry” personality with my “Semi-Anal, Semi-Obsessive-Compulsive, Do Not Inflict Change Upon Me Lest You Want To Die A Slow, Agonizing Death” one. This one maintains order in our house and establishes a routine, which is crucial to my mental stability. It ensures the kitchen counters are clean and peanut butter and cereal are available for dinner at all times and that Helena has taken a shower in the recent past. It also keeps track of homework assignments and play dates and doctor appointments on our all-mighty calendar. These are good things. On the other hand, it causes me to stand in the middle of Wegmans squirting Benadryl and Cortizone all over my body immediately before lapsing into a stupor because the Quaker Chewy Granola Butterfinger boxes are no longer in aisle 4b. This is probably a bad thing.
Sometimes I don on my “I Am Deaf, Go Away” personality. This one is particularly useful when my girls are engrossed in screaming each other to death or when I am engrossed in yet another futile attempt to wrap my head around time travel while watching an episode of Lost.
Seriously, why do I bother? Just hit me over the head and wake me up when the series is over and tell me how it ends, for God’s sake.
By the way … who knows when the new season starts? I can’t wait!
That reminds me … I also have a personality called “Don’t Listen to What I Said! Listen to What I Mean!” This one guarantees that statements like the above will make total sense.
I’ve also got a “Luke, I Am Not Your Father” one that I am forced to wear each and every time the FedEx and UPS and USPS and DHL guys pull into our driveway, which is ALL THE TIME, causing my kids and neighbors to become suspicious about all things paternity. I wouldn’t even have this personality if I wasn’t married to a man who is on a mission to single-handedly buy up the entire world, one DSL connection at a time.
As a side note, I used to try to spice this one up by wearing a black helmet and talking in a deep, resonate voice but after overhearing one offspring say to the other “mom’s losing her mind and doing that darth thing again,” I gave up.
Then there’s the “If You Value Your Colon, Do Not Come Near Me” one. No explanation needed and quite often I wear it in conjunction with the darth one.
So anyway, after a little bit of fumbling around in the depths of our cellar, I finally found the Target box. I tore off the cover and whipped out the personality I wear scarcely ever. Seldom. Infrequently. Sparingly.
Who invented thesaurus.com anyway?
I’m talking about my personality that I like to refer to as “Hey, Can We Knock Down This Wall or Something?”
This is the only personality I have that allows me to deal with the very concept of change without freaking out. However, it comes with one small, yet vital, caveat: the change can only be relative to home decor.
When all the Christmas decorations are gone, I am simply astounded that we can live in such a barren and desolate place eleven months out of every year. What are we, sensory deprived animals? Have we no decency? No self-respect?
After the holidays, I want to completely remodel the house. Each and every room. I want new carpet. New furniture. New shelves. New paint. Knock down a wall or two. Who cares if they’re load bearing? I’m load bearing and I’ve been knocked down a few times myself so don’t tell me it can’t be done.
New wall art. New bathroom vanities. New faucet fixtures. New towels.
New decor. Period.
What’s up with the bare mantel? Nothing, that’s what.
Why do we have a corner shelving unit with four shelves of nothing? Dust doesn’t count.
It should be physically impossible to comfortably fit six huge laundry baskets full to the brim with freshly laundered towels and sheets and clothes, on our living room floor. So someone explain to me how I can fit eight, with room to spare?
Walls weren’t meant to be bare ass naked. I don’t go around bare ass naked, why should my walls be any different?
You’re welcome, by the way. About my not going around bare ass naked. Don’t lie, I heard the whoosh of relief over there.
Why can’t a closet be pretty? Instead of scary in a HOLY SHIT, WHAT IS THAT SMELL kind of way?
Why is my laundry room still lilac?
Why bother even having a dining room if we’ve never owned a dining room table in our lives? Who are we kidding?
How is it that I’m still sleeping in a bedroom whose color reminds me of suffocating under a seasick Cookie Monster? And not in a good way?
After the holidays, I want change in my house. In a strictly aesthetic sense.
This only lasts for a brief time, no more than a couple of weeks, not long enough to actually find, much less buy, any of the conduits of change that have run amuck in my imagination. Certainly not long enough to plow through a wall. Because before I can find my sledge hammer or rent a wrecking ball, my trusty old “What Are You? Delusional? Take A Xanax And Get Over Yourself Already” personality will find me and smack me upside the head and knock some sense into me.
I need to get Nate one of those. But only after he installs built-ins in the living room.