I just learned about cleaning paint brushes in fabric softener. Works great, by the way, but what’s up with that smell? Liquid fabric softener stinks. How can people stand that smell on their clothes all day? It’s like a snuggle-bunny unicorn hamster took a giant, steaming blossom-scented-April mountain-fresh-morning-dew-jasmine-renewal dump in the house. It’s like the Snuggle bear is making sweet, thorough, tender love to a 35 year-old woman who still dots her i‘s with hearts and loves the word moist. They’re in a field of glitter where unicorns eat rainbows and leave cotton candy droppings. It’s like my house just mated with a fluffy cloud of baby powder and nougat. You get the picture. Admittedly, it’s better than the smell when we had to put mothballs in the attic to keep the critters out. But only because I think the Snuggle-Bunny Unicorn Hamster could be this year’s big Christmas toy. Stay tuned to see if I decide to take that chump Tickle-Me-Elmo to the mat.
None of that is actually what I wanted to talk about. I just wanted you to understand that I’m hallucinating soft, fluffy bunnies and kittens and that I have an uncontrollable desire to run through a field of daisies and lavender and bubble gum. I WANT TO EAT MARSHMALLOW FLUFF WHILE DANCING WITH STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE AND KNITTING TOILET PAPER COZIES FROM THE TAIL OF MY LITTLE PONY, TWILIGHT SPARKLE!!
Which brings up another point. You know what would be fun? You should come up with a game: Stripper or My Little Pony? Do that for me while I get some fresh air because I cannot for the life of me remember what I set out to talk about today.
I was just in my bedroom pretending to dust. Actually, I wasn’t. I was pretending to think about maybe dusting when I noticed the date on this marriage license. This is the marriage license of my paternal great-grandparents. They were married in Kentwood, Louisiana (my great-grandmother being one of the Kents of Kentwood on her mother’s side and one of “those Broyles girls” on her father’s.) June 7, 1911. Last week would have been their 100th anniversary.
Otto’s family came to the States from Norway when he was a baby. He ended up in the timber business for a while. He met Emily Ruth Broyles when she was about 13, if I remember correctly, although she was 18 or so by the time they married. He’d set his mind to marrying one of those Broyles girls. There were eight or so of them at the time. Edith and Mary Pope came later.
Miss Ruthie and Otto were very enamored of each other, I’m told. I do remember Granny being concerned that by the time she died, she’d be so much older than Otto was when he died (she lived another 16 years), and she was concerned he might have picked himself a sweet young thing by the time she got to heaven. I don’t know much about the afterlife, but I have a feeling he waited for his sweetie.
I knew a lot about Granny’s mother’s family. The Kents are well documented and full of frustrated writers. But I didn’t know too much about her father’s family. Before my grandmother died, she told me that Granny’s father was from Christian County, Kentucky. My husband’s father’s family is also from Christian County. It made me wonder a little: Did our families know each other? Did they go to the same church or bank? Did theBroyles and Elliott wives ever chat with each other while waiting at the butcher’s? The Broyles were merchants, did the Elliotts do business with them?
The thing about this piece of paper, is that you KNOW you’re married when you see it. There is no doubt. Not like the ugly, utilitarian license my husband and I have that was hastily filled in with cheap ballpoint pen ink. You can even seen the blotch on the “O” in “Otto” where the fountain pen didn’t quite get going. It’s a functional piece of art, not as ornate as most Jewish ketubot are, but substantial nonetheless with its Art Nouveau lettering and detailing and its dogwood blossoms.
Happy 100th Anniversary, Otto and Ruthie. As soon as I post this, I’ll raise a glass in your honor.
Oh, how I hate the mall.
I thought about ending the post with that sentence. It really says it all. I hate the mall. I hate Macy’s and Dillard’s and Journeys (Do they have an apostrophe? Is it like to take a journey or is it like owned by Steve Perry?). I hate kiosks and Rack Rooms and Claire’s. I will admit a fondness for Chic-fil-a and their delightful sandwiches made for Jesus, but what the hell is that Chinese bourbon chicken stuff next door? I avoid food establishments where the food appears shellacked.
I don’t hate the mall for political reasons, exactly. Macy’s may be known in my house as The Evil Empire, but it also employs several hundred Memphians. It’s just that I was trapped in retail for many long years. I think I have a little PTSD brought on by malls. You may just blow through the clearance rack, I make sure all the hangers face the same way and the t-shirts are sorted by size and color. It’s just too much damn work for me to shop in a mall.
The thing is that I’m painting the bathrooms and I want new shower curtains. Now this is the part where I express shock and dismay over the price of shower curtains. WHAT THE HELL? A hundred bucks for a shower curtain? Are you kidding me? But then I found two I liked and could get both for under $100. And, yes, I have looked at Target. I’ve looked at Ikea. Big Lots and I have an understanding about shower curtain liners, and I’m very loyal. I’m a bargain-savvy shopper, man. But how many times a day are you in your bathroom? Seriously. I’m at home all day and I drink a lot of tea. When I walk into my bathroom and have five yards of fabric staring me in the face, I want it to be what I want, dig? What I do not want is five yards of clear vinyl broken up by cutsie motifs such as duckies, dresses, or especially an egret. I understand there is a time and place for everything, and those first two curtains would be awesome in a kid’s or teenager’s bathroom, but that egret? It only takes one letter and $23.99 to turn that egret into regret, my friend.
My other problem is that when I make up my mind, it’s made up. Period. I have decided what shower curtains I want. And I want them now. NOW. And it’s all fun and games until you decide NOW that you want long hair and so go about sitting in some random braiding salon for six hours while you get braids and a weave. And I speak from experience on that one, okay? But it’s hawt. And not like Daniel Craig hawt. And I’m certain the mall nearest me won’t have what I need, so that means going to the suburbs, and I hate the suburbs. And I’ll need to wear shoes. SHOES! And probably a bra and maybe pants. And then while I’m out, I should go by the library. And grocery store. Oh, and I need to go pick up a couple of frames for some photos that are sitting around mocking me. And at that point I’ll probably need gas. And a Diet Dr. Pepper. Boom. I’ve just spent $200. In 90° heat and 350% humidity. And spending $200 in 90° is like spending $500 in 70°. True fact.
So, here I sit. Writing this, not painting. Not going to get a shower curtain. I write this and peruse my new time suck. A website devoted to vintage Sears, Monkey Wards, and Penny’s Christmas catalogs.