Before I forget, because you know I always do, here is my latest Purple Clover article. It's full of fire and brilliance. Do you remember the early '80s commercials for the Blue Star Counterfeit diamond ring? "Full of fire and brilliance. And it comes in a man's style, too!" The man in that commercial was a magnificent actor. He was full of fire and brilliance.
That commercial was ALWAYS on during General Hospital. Always. Did anyone ever actually order themselves up a fabulous Blue Star Counterfeit Diamond Ring? If so, can I have it?
I have no idea how I got off on that tangent, which is the motto for my life, really. I came here to tell you about my weekend, because I know you're riveted by my every move, is what you are.
First of all, I took Friday off, because, sadly, Ned's grandmother died, and her funeral was then. We met up with his family at 10:00 in the morning for the graveside service. Then after that, we went to the church, where there was a kind of lunch before the church part, and I tried to help but you know I'm useless. I took out plates and filled ice, and Ned's mother said, "Will you pay attention to the lettuce for the sandwiches? If we run low, can you take out more?" I said of course I could and then never thought about it again. Probably the whole crowd was talking about how everything would have been perfect if only there'd been more lettuce, and there I was, oblivious.
Then was the actual service part, and Ned and I brought our reading glasses so we could sing the hymns, and that is sad. Ned went to see this band the other night, and I stayed home. He texted me from it. "This is the first rock concert in which I brought reading glasses," he kvetched.
Neutral Milk Hotel. For whatever annoying person is gonna ask me, "Oh, who'd Ned see when he went to see a band? Tell me, June. Tell me. Who?" That is who. Ya happy now?
Ned's niece, brother, mom and aunt. There were small children to photograph. Or perhaps they're photographing the empty lettuce bowl.
Afterward, we ate cookies and cake and brownies and I met relatives of Ned's that I had heard of these past three years but hadn't met yet. Then, after all that, Ned's sister and her family came to our house. I did not know people were coming to our house, and you know what a neatnik I am.
Everyone was nice to us anyway, even though our house looked like Sanford and Son's only with more dust. Ned's sister has large dogs, so my dogs dashing around like idiots fazed everyone not an iota. Ned has a nephew who is, you know, somewhere between 7 and 12, and I'd yell down there and ask Ned right now how old his nephew is, but Ned is on the phone. My point is, that kid started playing with Edsel, and I don't know if you remember when Ned's OTHER nephew, who is between 13 and 25, came over, and similarly played with Edsel, and my entire point is that I should never get a job guessing ages at the fair, and also that Edsel desperately needs a boy to play with.
You have never seen a happier expression on that dog's face. He was fetching Blu, and running around, and smiling, and just generally being a dog for a whole hour. I should hire some boy between 7 and 25 to come over and just play with that creature.
Ned also has a niece who is between the ages of 18 months and 8 years old or something, and she is a muffin. She is, like, the world's most charming child. You would love her. My dogs meant nothing to her, but what she wanted to do is meet all the cats. She does not have cats at home, and is therefore riveted by them.
And here is the best part. Her name is Lilly, and HERE SHE IS MEETING LILY! I know! And look how she has the whole I-know-how-to-meet-dogs-sniff-my-hand thing going, and Lily the cat is all, "?"
They got along great, whereas Iris had seven heart attacks and could not dash under things fast enough to get away. Lilly the person kept looking under everywhere Iris had gone, and as soon as Iris knew she'd been spotted, she'd do that low terrified run cats do, till finally she was able to make herself disappear altogether, a thing that vexed Lilly the human quite a bit. "But where's the other one?" she kept asking me, and I had to tell her how cats can make themselves invisible should the need arise. And by "need" we usually mean "small child present." I didn't touch my grandmother's cat till I was 15 and the cat was 16 and too crippled up to get away.
During CatFest 2015, NedKitty glared at us from atop the wardrobe, as she is wont to do.
"I'm worried about that one," Lilly the human said to me. "I'm worried she'll break her leg." So then I had to explain how cats can not only disappear, they can also jump up on and down from great heights without any effort. Really, when you start explaining cats to someone, you realize how cool cats really are. They're fascinating, cats do be. I have no idea why I just turned into one of my dogs just now. It turn out, catz do be delish uss.
We went back to look for Iris again, and I did not tell Lilly the human that there was zero point in that endeavor, then we petted Lily the cat again, and in all it was a fine time.
As they got ready to leave, Ned walked everyone to their car, and Lilly the human said, "Uncle…I want to say Uncle Pedro but I know that's not right."
Pedro is Ned's brother, who by the way is not remotely named Pedro, but I never asked Ned's brother if I could use his real name, so I ran him through the random name generator just now, and you find a lot of people born in the South named Pedro.
The point is, she said, "I want to say Uncle Pedro, but that's not right." She mulled this over for a minute. "Oh, well. Just, could you tell June I love her?"
You know, Lilly the human can also never remember Ned's sister-in-law's name, either, who is first of all a teacher with three kids of her own, so she's great with kids, not to mention she outdoes herself at Christmas for everyone, and is fun and hilarious. But still, all Lilly can ever remember is that's the aunt who always wears black, so Lilly calls her The Black Lady.
It is so gonna bug The Black Lady when she hears Lilly remembered my name AND she loves me. And I'm not even an aunt! I'm not even an uncle named Pedro! But I do have cats.
That night, after everyone had gone, Ned and I walked to the store and got snacks. We got a bag of Pirate's Booty, and guess who has a pirate's bootie now, plus also we got a bag of chocolate chip cookies. All of Saturday day, we helped move stuff out of Ned's grandmother's place, then at night we came home, made a fire, and finished off the snacks we'd bought the night before. I mean, all the snacks.
As the bags of food sat between us, getting lower and lower on the old totem pole, getting pirate-ier and pirate-ier on my bootie, I said to Ned, "We're gonna be one of those chubby couples, like on Roseanne or whatever."
"No, you know who we're gonna be? We're gonna be those twins on the bikes." Ned crumpled the empty cookie bag.
Ned and I shared a childhood fascination with the Guinness Book of World Records. As soon as he said that, this very picture above popped into my head, of Guinness's World's Heaviest Twins. I was similarly riveted by the long nails guy, who was Indian, oh! And the tall man with his mother. I just tried to Google those images from our old book and had no luck. Ned and I both pored over that book in our respective youths, and we both know just what picture the other is talking about whenever we reference that thing.
We were also strictly forbidden to listen to our parents' Cheech and Chong record, and can both recite the whole thing word for word. What Ned can do that I cannot is name every Playboy playmate from about 1974 to the mid-'80s.
On the other hand, I had a freak book that my grandfather gave me–that my grandmother refused to have anything to do with so it was strictly from him–and man did I love that book. No one gave Ned that one, so I have to tell him about the Lion Man and the Caterpillar Guy and so forth.
He knew about Eng and Cheng, because they lived in North Carolina, so everyone here is all proud they housed Siamese twins. But for ME, my favorites in the book were Daisy and Violet.
I loved their names, and I thought they were pretty. …I just looked it up, and they ended up moving here, too. Geez! North Carolina was the land of Siamese twins! Join me, won't you?
Anyway, that's sort of what Ned and I did this weekend, told to you in a linear, brief fashion. We also went to the movies, and saw this one movie where Al Pacino is an old rock star who finds out John Lennon wrote him a letter in 1971, only Al Pacino didn't know it and once he finds out it changes his life. It was good and I have no idea what it was called. But oh! At the movie, I opened the damn door and the BOTTOM of the DOOR caught on my FOOT and ripped my shoe, not to mention amputated my toe, practically, which was horrifically painful.
"You COULD say it hurts but it doesn't matter," Ned reminded me.
Ned's niece Lilly had been playing with this very spoon, above, when it splintered into a million pieces and landed in her brain. I mean, it really did impale her a little. Everyone stopped and gasped as she pulled shards from her.
"You know, it hurts, but it's okay. It doesn't matter," she said. She is the youngest. Apparently when you're the youngest, you're encouraged to walk it off. So she did.
As an only, I made the theater get me ice, and I moaned, and I sweated, and I limped like I was playing the fife in the Revolutionary War, and generally made a scene. No one point out to me that an 18-month to nine-year-old child was more mature than me.
Okay, really going now. I've told you everything. -ish.