Friday, November 26, 2010

I Don't Bother Chasing Mice Around

To the lady sitting outside the bookstore with a cat in a Santa hat sitting in a stroller in front of her,

Thank you. You have given me the gift of a knowing expression for the next few weeks when I answer someone, "Oh, no. I'm not a crazy cat lady."

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Come Ye Thankful People, Come

Consort has just reminded me that he is unrepentantly male. I ask you, has any woman ever been heard to joyfully exclaim, "Yes! 'The Godfather' just started! That's how you end Thanksgiving."

So true. Because nothing says Recognition of striking out on our own and infecting native people with smallpox quite like a turkey sandwich and watching Marlon Brando talk around cotton balls.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Make Me Wanna Holler

I want credit for the not-screaming I just did. I was standing in a local pet store, buying one of the endless accessories my Nothing-more-expensive-than-a-free-cat cats require, when the door opened. First, a very large Staffordshire Terrier came barreling past me with a woman following him. I say him because well, he was very "Him-ish," if you know what I'm saying. We made small talk. I learned:

1. She found the dog running down the street that morning.
2. She intended to keep him.
3. She didn't intend to neuter him, because neutering bothers her.
4. She hoped he got along with her other dog, also a Staffordshire.
5. Who is a female.
6. And not spayed (See #3).
7. She was joyfully anticipating puppies.

I suggested through gritted teeth she go to any nearby shelter and note the rows and rows of adorable and available Staffies, most of whom will end up being euthanized. She blinked at me. I realized I might as well have this conversation with the bag of cat-food I was holding. I said sincerely, "He's a lovely boy," and then added less sincerely, "I hope it all works out well."

Now that I think of it, I meant the second part, too. My definition of "Well," however, might be slightly different than hers. And then I jammed a piece of the Halloween candy from the basket on the counter in front of me and bit down hard. Not-screaming is easier when your incisor is trapped in nougat.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lick Be a Lady Tonight

I just realized I've never told you all my favorite "Kids do the darndest things and sometimes don't die" story. Here goes;

A friend of Daughter's was born in Manhattan and lived there for the first few years of her life. One day, when she was not quite a year old, her father took her on the subway. For reasons I'm sure he kicked himself over ever after, he put her down on the floor for a second.

Just a second.

Nothing more than that.

In that second, the baby leaned over and licked the subway floor.

She developed an infection in her neck that it took a years' worth of antibiotics to knock out.

So I think we all have a new standard. Whether you just caught your child chewing gum they found under the restaurant table or you're the kind of person who sometimes wakes up next to someone whose name escapes you, I now give you permission to soothe yourself by saying could be worse, could have licked a subway floor.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Silent Night

First of all, I want to thank everyone who participated in my little trip down Elderly Lane. I thought one answer would stand out, be the obvious winner, but I'm saddened and gleeful to say that many, many of us are far more mature than I had suspected.

I do, however, hold a special warm place in my heart for "I have to go home and take my pill."

Now, on to new business. It's silent-auction season. You either just looked puzzled and murmured "Auctions have a season...?" or just sighed and thought Like you need to tell me that, Quinn. As if I haven't stood around in someone's living room twice in the last month holding a glass of oaky white wine trying to find something cheap to bid on. If it's not your kid's school, trying to cobble together a working budget one bath-salt basket at a time, it's your favorite charity, hoping to cover their fund-shortage by getting a bidding war going on the Dr. Who DVD collection. I don't go to the short of silent auctions where men in hand-tooled shoes nearly come to blows over the lifetime supply of Cuban cigars. I go to the sort of silent auctions where people try to avoid eye-contact with the woman staffing the basket-room as they ask themselves What can I bid on which is cheap but not so cheap that I look as if I resent how oaky the Chardonnay is?

Or, in my case, you bid on the thing which is ill-concieved. Yes readers, I pick my auctions items the way I pick my pets; pity. Which is where one would have found me a few weeks ago, stopped in dismay in front of a basket with a large card declaring it the "KNITTING BASKET!!!" The exclamation points just made the unbid-upon items just that much more wistful. I examined the contents. Yes, there was yarn, a Matterhorn of yarn. It was soft, yes, and thick but in colors best described as Ish; bluish, greenish, pinkish. One color was so adament to not commit to a place on the spectrum it would best have been described as being ish-ish. There was a set of size 14 needles and a knitting book which had seen several owners, at least one of whom had been of the "Eating while reading" variety. I have participated in enough silent auctions, on both sides of the basket, often enough to be able to read the semiotics of this item. Back in the 80's, someone had decided to make her male loved one a sweater of the sort Bill Cosby wore on his show. She bought herself a book; she bought herself needles; she bought yarn. And then she bought some more yarn. And then, because buying yarn is possibly the most fun you have with yarn, she bought some more yarn. On cold winter nights, she'd eat some soup or some chili and, flipping through the knitting book, dream of putting all the men in her life in matching sweaters of great comfort and no particular color.

Thirty years passed.

Then, one day, her neighbor mentioned she was the coordinator for a silent auction and wouldn't this woman like to donate something to help the children/dogs/the sinking palazzos in Venice and she thought I can finally get that closet space back! Next thing you know, it's an unloved pile of yarn and I'm writing my name next to the minimal opening bid.

"Is this Quinn?"


"I'm calling from the silent auction. You won the yarn basket!"

Of course I did.

Details to follow.