Sorry I didn’t post anything last week. I was preoccupied with trying to make a website. I know nothing about website design so it was quite a difficult task and used up a lot of my time. Check out my site. I’m still working on it.
Ever since my husband borrowed my father’s copy of A People’s History Of The United States by Howard Zinn, we get to listen to atrocities while we eat. He keeps the book open at his spot at the dinner table, ready to be read.
Usually, he just reads to himself as he eats, but when what he is reading is particularly heinous, he reads it to all of us. Oh, the joy! As I eat my salad, I watch him and wonder what atrocities I might get to hear about with my main course today. Sometimes there are none, but usually they abound.
Tonight I got to hear about how early starving Virginia settlers dug up the grave of someone who had been dead for three days and ate the corpse. He also read a story of a settler who slew his wife as she slept, salted her meat and devoured every part of her but the head. He told us this while we ate spagetti. Luckily, I have a strong stomach.
He’s finished the chapter on the early settlers, Columbus, and the American Indians. Now he’s starting the chapter on the history of racism in this country. I wonder what revolting stories he’ll read to me during dinner tomorrow.
I have a confession to make. I hope I don’t disappoint you too much, but I’m addicted to Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm. I keep it on the shelf next to my bed when I sleep, so that I can re-apply in the middle of the night. I have it in my pocket or purse whenever I go out. I’ve even turned around and come back home to get it if I realized I’d forgotten it. If I can’t find it, all I have to do is say, “Where is Burt?” and my husband will help me look for it. It just feels so soothing, cool and refreshing. I love that pepperminty tinkle.
I started out as a child using Vaseline to soothe my parched lips. Chapped lips have always been a problem for me. My mother says I was born with chapped lips.
Soon I could no longer get a fix off of Vaseline. As a teenager, I wandered into a drugstore alone one day and came out with my first tube of Cherry Chapstick. Cherry to make my lips redder like I was wearing lipstick. Like marijuana leads to heroin, Vaseline led me to Chapstick.
Before I knew it Chapstick wasn’t working for me anymore either so I made a bold and dangerous leap to Blistex. Unfortunately it was too much too fast and I had to go back to the Cherry Chapstick before my lips suffered irreversible damage.
Now I’ve moved on too Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm. The bright yellow plastic tube it comes in brings me great joy. I apply and re-apply a hundred times daily. But I don’t really need it. I mean I can stop anytime.
Apartment living gives you many opportunities to meet and live around interesting people. For example, we have a next door neighbor named Jim. Jim is very talkative and outgoing. He likes to sit on a green plastic chair that he has placed between our bedroom window and his front door. He sits there and smokes and greets the other people living on this side of our apartment building as they come and go. He sits out there at all hours of the night. Sometimes, while I’m trying to get to sleep, I listen in on conversations he has with neighbors. The other night he told the new woman living upstairs, “As soon as this lease is up I’m moving into a place that I can afford. Not that I can’t afford this place. I want something smaller. Maybe a villa.” A villa? What’s that all about? Is he moving to Italy or something? I’m not a snoop. Really I’m not.
I often wonder why Jim didn’t choose to put his chair on his balcony. We all have a small balcony. It would be an ideal place to put a green plastic chair. He does use his balcony for standing and talking on his cell phone, or standing and smoking, or sometimes standing and drinking beer. One day when I came home, Jim was standing and drinking beer on his balcony. He greeted me and I greeted him in return. Before I knew it he was ranting about his job as the fish guy at a supermarket on the south side of town. “People on the south side just don’t eat seafood,” he told me. “The management doesn’t know what they’re doing. I’ve been working for this company for six years and I’m starting to loose my passion for seafood!” He told me that he was loosing his passion for seafood four more times before his rant ended.
Our new neighbor upstairs has turned my once comfortable apartment life upside down. She moved in about two weeks ago. She seemed nice and harmless enough–a young recently separated woman and he toddler. Since she moved in, however, we can hear her and her boyfriend having sex twice a day on average. They both have parking difficulties and like to park just over the white line so that they are incredibly close to the car next to them. They don’t speak to us. A friendly hello while passing in the parking lot is greeted with a cold turn of the head in the opposite direction. They have strange driving habits that involve running up way too close to you before passing you in an obnoxious manner. Other than that they seem like good people.
These are only two of the examples of people living in my apartment building. There are many other interesting people here. It makes me appreciate that we are all unique individuals. Some of us have loud sex, can’t park and have a passion for seafood.
My mother prides herself on being frugal. I’ve gone to book stores with her where she has picked up a book about how to save money and said, “This book doesn’t contain the half of it. If you want to know how to save money, I can tell you.” She is a fan of outlets and outlets of outlets. She scours dollar stores for much needed items and shops at dented can stores. She saves every last bit of leftover food, even if it is only a spoonful. She has storage containers small enough for one spoonful of food.
These are good things. Saving as much money as you can is good. Who wants to pay too much for an item? Who can resist a bargain? I like to find the sales. I like to buy marked down items. I don’t like to waste things. The problem is that sometimes my mother takes this to an extreme.
Last weekend we stopped by my parents’ house. They had company over and we were all sitting around the living room chatting when my mother offered us dessert. Only my husband and I accepted the offer. It was some sort of fruit cobbler. I have to admit that it was good. When we had finished eating my mother said proudly, “I had all this fruit in the fridge going bad and I decided that instead of throwing it out I’d make a dessert out of it.”
I was shocked and later pulled her aside and told her that the next time she makes food out of something that needs to be thrown out, she shouldn’t mention it to the guests. She seemed puzzled by my advice. Even when I asked her if I could write this blog about the incident she still seemed proud of the dessert, especially the fact that she almost threw that fruit away. The most important part to her is that she didn’t waste anything! Nevermind feeding the company trash.
I don’t really understand addiction. I probably have a few that I’m not aware of yet. There are many things in this world that people become addicted to. Some have a constant craving for alcohol, drugs, sex, power, or food. Others are addicted to computer games, television or even failure. There is something that drives us to obsess.
I once saw a woman who seemed to be addicted to tanning booths. She wandered into the laundromat the other day while my husband and I were folding our laundry. She was in her fifties, had bleached blonde hair, and skin as dark as mine with a red undertone. She was going for the leathery look. Some people like that look. She walked up to the woman folding her clothes at the front table and loudly started complaining that she had an appointment at the tanning salon next door but the doors were locked. She had already been waiting for thirty minutes. She uses their tanning booths on a regular basis and they’re always late.
“They always do this. I know people who’ve just stopped going!” she said, pulling at the elastic of her yellow shorts. The woman folding her laundry nodded at her. “Unbelievable! If they don’t show up soon, I’m never coming back. They’ll loose my business in a minute!” Her voice filled the laundromat. I could hear her clearly over the news on the television and the hum of washers and dryers.
When we left the laundromat she was still waiting. The sky was clear blue and she stood in the shade, smoking a cigarette, and occasionally glancing at her watch. She was waiting to lay in a tanning booth on a summer day in Florida.
“People can be addicted to anything,” my husband said as we drove away. I guess they can be addicted to anything, even tanning booths.
Our sofa is covered with a slipcover. I received this slipcover as a wedding present from my grandmother. I am indeed grateful for it, because we couldn’t afford to buy new furniture, and state of my husband’s sofa was appalling. While we were dating, he was always sure to cover it completely with a sheet before I came over so that he wouldn’t have to hear my comments about it. I don’t know how old it is, or what color it might have been at one time. There’s no way of knowing these things. What I do know is that it is disgusting.
So my grandmother gave me a nice, soft, brown slipcover to cover it with. When we first got it we laid it over the sofa the way it was pictured in the instructions. Then we did what the instructions told us to do which was, “Tuck, tuck, tuck!” Believe me there was a lot of tucking to do.
The problem with the slipcover is that no where in the instructions, or on the package, did it warn us that we would be tuck, tuck, tucking for the rest of our lives. The slipcover looks very good after being properly tucked in but once someone sits on it, it’s all over. What am I supposed to say to guests? “Please sit anywhere but the sofa.” “Make yourself comfortable in this straight back dining room chair.” “You can sit on the floor here, use the bottom of the sofa to rest your back against.” Sofas are made for sitting, but slipcovers are not.
Someone told me that if I put a broom handle down in the sofa it would hold the slipcover in place. This is not true. The broom handle does nothing. It just gives me extra steps to fixing the slipcover. Now I take the broom handle out, tuck, tuck, tuck, and put the broom handle back in.
Today my husband told me that the sofa is so much nicer to nap on with the slipcover. He said that the slipcover makes it soft and comfortable. He told me this while I was tuck, tuck, tucking about an hour ago. Now he’s taking a nap on it. I won’t fix it again today. I’ve limited my tuck, tuck, tucking to once a day. The slipcover will just have to be disheveled until tomorrow. I have better ways to spend my time.