Fair is Fowl, and Fowl is Fair

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For the past few years mom and dad have driven out to my place for Turkey Lurkey, and then I’ve driven out there for Christmas. But it sucks to drive 8 hours each way if you have to turn right back around, so this year we decided to do Turkey Day separately, and they’ll be driving out here to give me presents to celebrate the birth of Christ.

The only problem with this scenario is that I can’t cook. Anytime mom and dad have visited for Thanksgiving, they’ve brought the cookware and the food with them. Or rather, mom’s brought it with. Dad can’t cook, either.

Am I a horrible daughter for making mom drive out to my place to cook? Eh… maybe she’s a horrible mother for not teaching me how to cook. She doesn’t like it, she has only herself to blame.

But that was moot this year. For a while there it was looking like I’d be nuking a teevee dinner for my Thanksgiving meal. And hey, that’s not so bad. I’m a spoiled white American. I have money to buy food, and health care, and shelter, and a PS2. I could be a starving AIDS orphan in Zaire, or I could be eating Stouffer’s Turkey Dinner and blasting zombies on Thanksgiving Day. Just gotta keep things in perspective.

Man, I love blasting zombies.

But it turns out I didn’t have to fend for myself on Thanksgiving. The Queen of Claremont invited me down to her house. It was kind of scary, since it was filled with strangers. I don’t like crowds, and I don’t like strangers, and I really, really don’t like crowds of strangers. But every situation is more tolerable with a glass or four of wine.

The Queen of Claremont didn’t like my Fair Is Fowl joke because the turkey was better than fair. And yeah, she’s right, it was an excellent sample of bird flesh, but come on, Shakespeare jokes are funny. And by the way, it could be said that we met in thunder, lightning, and in rain. The weather was lousy.

Then this evening, I got another dose of former coworkers at the 40th anniversary party of their finance director, one of my favorite human beings in the whole world.

Good grief. Forty years of marriage. The mind boggles. I have not been alive for forty years, let alone married for forty years. I haven’t been married for any years, for that matter.

So it was nice to hang with the Backwater people, and while we’re on the topic, may I mention here that Patrick Jones thinks that’s funny? The joke, see, is that the real name of the system is Blackwater Regional Library, but in keeping with my tradition of using easily-deciphered pseudonyms on the blog, I’ve chosen to refer to it as Backwater, and hoo boy, if that’s not an appropriate moniker I don’t know what is.

When I was at ALA this summer I got to meet Patrick, and take it from me, he is a god among library men. He’s written two YA novels and he does all this awesome stuff with teens. Which is all well and good, but the most impressive part is that he’s so freakin’ cool. He’s got this mane of wild long hair and he looks like he needs to be on a motorcycle. One look at him and you wanna ditch the conference to go get a beer with the guy. 

Anyway, I got to chat with him a little at ALA, and I told him about Blackwater being a typo of Backwater, and he laughed long and hard at that. I like people who laugh at my jokes.

…this story might be more impressive if I substituted "Samuel L. Jackson" or "Alan Rickman" for the celebrity, but what can I say? Library name-dropping is the best I can manage. 

Where was I? Right, the anniversary dinner. I decided to wear my maternity dress.

Eh? What’s that? Maternity? …Lesbrarian, is there something you’re not telling us?

I haven’t slept with anybody in something like two years. I’m not sure if that’s exact, but it’s been a really fucking long time, okay? (Or a really not-fucking long time, depending.)

I suspect– I cannot be sure– but I suspect I’d be a more tolerable, likeable, and better-all-around person if I got laid. I need to look into this.

In those grim college days before I became a librarian, I worked in a maternity store. It was an awful, awful job. For $7 an hour I had to deal with pregnant people. You ever wanna feel pessimistic about the future, try working with the people who are choosing to reproduce. It’s not pretty. There are some perfectly wonderful, worthwhile people who are having kids, of course– but then there are the pregnant women who shoplift clothes out in baby carriages.

Even those breeders who were not morally corrupt were still, you know, pregnant. They’ve got funky hormones, aching feet, and nine months of back pain. "Do I look fat in this?" … Well… lady, I don’t know how to tell you this, but– yeah. You’re pregnant. What did you expect?

But I got an awesome discount at the maternity store, so I purchased quite a few clothes. None of the ones that were obviously maternity, of course, but for comfy, free-flowing clothing, you just can’t beat the preggers style.

I’m digressing again. Sorry.

So I laid out my maternity holiday dress and I hopped into the shower. I was busy scrubbing and singing some Three Dog Night songs. I do sing in the shower, and loudly. Does it bother my neighbor? Don’t know, but if he doesn’t complain about my singing, then I won’t complain about his snoring.

Somewhere in the middle of "One Is The Loneliest Number," which is probably my best TDN song–there’s this part where I get to do an octave jump into the stratosphere, it’s really fun– it occured to me that mayhap I should bring a present to the anniversary party.

You might think I’m obtuse not to have realized this beforehand. But remember, I have very little experience going to parties and showers and the like. I’m not good at social etiquette. Let’s blame that on Mom, too, that and the cooking. Or maybe this is fallout from that failed birthday party from my second grade year. (Observant readers will recall this maudlin sob story from the other day. Unobservant folks can read more here.)

Whatever the reason, I was a bit late in realizing that I should bring a gift, and I didn’t have much time to get one.

I hopped out of the shower and tried to hop into my dress, but Christ Amighty if it didn’t take me five minutes to get in it. It’s one of those deals with the internal lining and the external pretty part and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out how to put it on. Gremlin tried to help, which of course only complicated matters.

I finally managed to get dressed. I might not know much about party etiquette but I do know you’re supposed to wear clothes. Then I picked up a hummingbird windchime thingy as a gift, and then I realized I’d missed the ferry. So I got across the James River late, and then of course I got lost on the way there.

Isaac Newton died several hundred years before I was born, but if he’d had the pleasure of meeting me, he would have posed the Theory of Jessica’s Directional Sense: A Jessica in Motion Will Get Lost.

But all’s well that ends well, as Shakespeare would say, albeit not in MacBeth. I can’t think of a good MacBeth quote to end with. Um… out, damned blogspot, out… ?


3 responses »

  1. The Queen of Claremont

    A turkey by another other name would smell just as sweet…or something like that.I gotcha beat. I went to a PROM (in Willemsplat, no less) in a beat up, straw-still-in-the-floorboards pickup truck in my sister’s old MATERNITY dress. We apparently have the same sense of style…how scary is that?You wanna talk confidence-busters? When I was 12, I was in this same sister’s wedding. Well, her first. Anyway, my mother made the imperitively-fancy-sky-blue-taffeta-maid-of-honor dress, and had re-used a zipper. Now, picture this – I’m a gawky 12 year old. I am wearing nylons for the first time (not panty hose;not invented yet!) and horrible black flats b/c my mother thinks I’m too young to wear heels. (Flats are ONLY superceded in the ugly category by black pumps – no ill intent to Minnie Mouse, but they’re ugly, unattractive, and should never have been invented.)The unwelcome visual here is that I am, er, was a brunette, and my mother also didn’t think I was old enough to shave, so below the below-the-knee length hem looked like a bearded guy robbing a bank. (It also hurts!) Remember, I am wearing black flats, too.Just before we get to the church, the zipper breaks. We’re in a strange town in a stranger’s house who doesn’t sew, and the only thing she has to mend my dress in a large needle and a short length of black thread.So my mother proceeds to SEW me into the dress with a miniscule amount of thread, and tells me to be very careful. (At this point, you must be made aware of the fact that I was the ultimate tomboy, hated dresses, and was as awkward -except for sports- as anyone you’ve ever met. Let me remind you that I was 12, too)Okay, so here I am, shaking like a leaf, trying to feel cool about walking down the aisle in front of a bunch of people, trying to not hyperventilate so the dress wouldn’t split wide open, while the hair on my legs follows behind me like a train.We’ve all been there. You are not alone. I can relate many other scenarios in which I looked the fool or seemed to work at being one.BTW, the King and I will celebrate our 33rd in July. You’ll be invited. Don’t bring presents – unless, of course, you find a Spatlese in a cool bottle.

  2. The Queen of Claremont

    Forgot to mention…TDN. Fond memories. When I was 17, I had gone to Newport News with some friends. I had never been to a concert in my life, and neither had most of my friends in very lowly, backward Gloucester, and, being poor, didn’t have a clue that I would ever go to one. As we were driving past one of the hotels, a limo pulled out, and we realized it was TDN going to their concert.You can’t imagine how much fun we had going back and telling everyone, "We saw Three Dog Night!" and how JEALOUS they all were until we related the actual facts of the incident………

  3. Hrm, seems to me I remember one even worse, Queen…when Charlie dog had an ‘oops’ on your dyed shoes before a big dance. ;)The husband creature has a bad one too. We were in Petersburg at Blandford Church for a wedding (pretty place, awesome Tiffany stained glass windows, but creepy in a Confederate graveyard) and he split the seat of his (undersized) pants. We didn’t notice until he bent over to pull the linen roll down the aisle for the bride’s train. No wonder everybody was snickering.At least you survived the holiday with my folks. 😉 My TDN memory: Christmas 1975, and the teacher tells us to sing "Joy To The World." Half the class goes into the hymn, the other half (baby brother included) goes, "Jeremiah was a bull frog!"Chessie >^..^<


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