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You’ll Never Find the Skeleton in my Closet Because It’s Buried Under All of the Other Junk

When do real people clean out their closets? Seriously. I ask this because I have been polling my fellow teachers about what they will be doing when we get the whole week off for Thanksgiving next week, and nearly all of them said that they will be cleaning out closets. This is the same response I get when I ask what they are doing for Spring Break or the rare three-day weekend. And summers.

I, too, plan to exorcise the demons lurking in my closets during the break next week.

Which leads me, again, to the question, “When do real people clean out their closets?” ”

“Real people”, meaning “not teachers.”  Also not multimillionaires like The Man Who Must Not Be Named Because I Don’t Want You to Think I am Obsessed With Him, who probably has people to do that for him. Real people.

I mean, do you just not clean your closets out? Ever? Is it because you are so obsessively compulsively neat? Or, is it because you never buy awful-looking purple polka dot shirts that seem quite fashionable at the time, but never seem like the quite right thing to wear whenever you are getting dressed in the morning and so you have to buy more things so you don’t leave the house naked and then they don’t fit anymore and you suddenly have this traffic jam of clothing on rods in your closet which makes it easier to just throw things (clean or dirty) on the floor so you don’t get attacked by a hanger that suddenly cuts loose from the two different shirts that were entwined around it, nearly blinding you in the right eye and forcing you to question the need to actually wear anything other than yoga pants and a t-shirt for the rest of your life? Are you saying this does not happen to you?

That’s just not normal.

I know. You’re like Monica on “Friends”. You have that one locked closet where you stash everything so the rest of your place looks neat.  She wasn’t a teacher, either.


Weekend Gotaway – A Request from the Dictator

“I noticed you didn’t mention the Scrabble games at all!  So the Dictator doesn’t get the glory of winning 1 measly game…”

This was The Dictator’s response to my series about The Ranch Weekend.  I must admit that I had every intention of mentioning our Scrabble Tournament, but I was so busy whining about my sleep deprivation that I could not squeeze it into my other posts.

I don’t remember when The Dictator and I started our Scrabble Tournaments, but they are always one of the highlights of my trips to The Ranch.  Primarily because no one else will play Scrabble with me.  Even my Words with Friends games have become Words with People Who Avoid My Challenges to a New Game.

My sister, Crash, and her entire family, refuse to play Scrabble with me.  Crash was a good sport about playing with me until I told her that the dictionary was for checking a word after someone challenged it, and that you can’t just browse the dictionary for a good word before you play your tiles.  In her estimation, this defeated the whole purpose of playing the game, which I guess was to just see who was the best cheater.

The Dictator likes to accuse me of cheating – unless, of course, she is winning.  She, Nigella (our other Ranch Friend), and I are pretty evenly matched.  I think that it would be a hard call to determine who is the Scrabble Champion of The Ranch.  And, quite frankly, I would be afraid of any trophy that could be won – seeing as it would probably be taken from the Wall of Death.

During our most recent Ranch Weekend, The Dictator won the first game, and I won the second.  This win may have come at the cost of any respect that The Dictator’s mother might have had for me, as I desperately played a word for the male anatomy (which got a triple word score) right before she arrived for a visit – and the word loomed large in the bottom corner of the board the entire time she observed our game.  Though she never asked – and there were two other suspects, one of whom brought home a cat that she had named “Boner” during Spring Break when she was a teenager – I am pretty certain that Mrs. Dictator knew I was the culprit, probably aided by the fact that my face was red for the remainder of the game.

A third game, though planned, never came to fruition.  Most likely, Nigella’s luck would have turned, and she would have actually gotten some consonants during the final game, sweeping us all away, and creating yet another frustrating tie that would leave us all grumbling that one more game would have shown the true Weekend Winner.  Instead, Nigella and The Dictator played “Chickenfoot Dominoes” with the younger generation for the remainder of our visit, a game far too dependent on my non-existent luck for my taste.

And, so I end my seemingly endless series of posts about our 3-day Weekend Gotaway, with a tribute to my Scrabble Colleagues.  I love your chutzpah and hope that we will continue our games way past the time when we wheezily roll our wheelchairs up to the table in our jaunty jacquard pantsuits, spreading a single game over an entire three-day weekend to make time for our frequent naps and breaks for medication.

photo credit: knittinandnoodlin via photo pin cc

I Hope It’s Not Too Late

I seem to have made a typical parental rookie error in the area of friend-choosing with respect to Dimples.

Just about when I started to notice with alarm that she was advancing from the Spend-Time-with-the-Children-of-Mommy’s-Friends phase to the Scare-Your-Mom-with-Your-Newfound-Independence-By-Choosing-Your-Own-Friends-Who-Have-Parents-Mom-Has-Never-Met-Who-Might-Keep-Guns-in-the-House phase, Dimples haphazardly walked into a friendship with a young lady who happens to be a Parent’s Dream.

Well-mannered, calm, and enthusiastic about any activity we suggest, Dimples’ Perfect Friend is a joy to have as a guest.  And Perfect Friend’s parents seem to be as equally happy to have Dimples over to their house.  Or else they have some other reasons yet to be determined for continuously inviting her to spend the night.

It was only after the friendship had been firmly established that I realized my mistake.

“Mom, at Perfect Friend’s house they have an appetizer before dinner.”

“Really?  I didn’t know they took you to Olive Garden last time.”

“No, Mom.  At their house.  The dinner we ate at their house.  It was going to be sushi, but when they found out I didn’t like that, they offered warm bread.”

Uh oh.  Alarm bells start to go off in my head.

And they serve fresh peaches, not the slimy kind you get out of the can.”

So, allow me to pause here before you People start thinking we serve our child Ramen soup and canned fruit every night for dinner.  We do, actually, serve quite a bit of fresh fruit that’s IN SEASON mixed with some canned fruit sometimes that isn’t.  We don’t serve appetizers in our house because Dimples takes 90 minutes to eat every meal, and we just don’t have time in the day to offer her Spinach Artichoke Dip in addition to the main event, plus veggies, plus fruit, plus dessert.  I have, numerous times, offered to  take her to a sushi restaurant for some taste testing and she looks at me like I have sprouted a second head that just happens to look a lot like Wonderbutt.

They DO Say Owners Start to Look Like Their Pets

Speaking of –

And they can leave their shoes anywhere because there isn’t a Wonderbutt to chew them up.”

And that’s when I realized, People, that I should have approached this whole friendship thing a completely different way.  I have been way too overprotective.  A couple of sleepovers at a crack house guarded by a pit bull in the middle of a gang war zone never killed anyone.  At least not anyone who I personally know.  And it might make her appreciate our house once again.  Wonderbutt might have made it look like a war zone, but there aren’t any bullet holes in the windows.  Yet.

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