At 52, June finally plays with a full deck

“I have to blog,” I just told my mother. Not that I have a blog.

When I’m visiting her, I always emphasize how, if I’m writing, I don’t like to be interrupted. Ruins m’flow.

“I know you have you write, you’ve told me and told me,” she said from her perch in the living room. I have. I’ve tried to write all the other days she’s been here and as soon as I sit down, she’ll be all, “Where are your spoons?”

So, I said, “Okay, here I go. Really writing now.” I sat down. Stretched my claws. Poised over the keyboard.

“Did you feed Edsel?”

Mom’s here. Not that there’s photographic evidence, because my phone is still broken, and a replacement is on its way. Any photos from this weekend were because someone else took a picture after I said, “Will you take a picture of this? My not-blog is gonna be boring as shit.”

Not that shit’s really boring. And speaking of which, I start my colonoscopy prep tomorrow. This whole time that mom has been here, I’ve had to not consume beans, peas, nuts, raw vegetables and anything with pulp. Naturally all I’ve craved is beans, peas, nuts, raw vegetables and anything with pulp.

I got to the airport after work Friday five minutes before mom’s flight was to get in, found a meter with half an hour already on it right near the door, walked into baggage and the only person standing there was mom in an empty room. It’s like she’d eaten all the other passengers, just like that time one kid brought in a praying mantis for Take a Bug to School day.

“Did your flight get in early?”

“It did, and I was in the second row!” mom exclaimed. We went out to eat and then went to my house, so mom could spend 72 hours with her hands in front of her like a mime, framing everything to see where it should be moved. My stepfather says he always knows there’s trouble ahead when mom gets her mime let’s-move-shit hands like that.

So far, I have a new couch coming tomorrow (well, “new.” We went to that vintage store I like), I have my grandmother’s bed frame now, and a pretty little secretary, (not like I have Mrs. Wiggins, but a little desk), and a stately old wooden chair.

Why don’t you take a picture, June?


Yesterday, on my birthday, Ned and Marty Martin came over to move my old couch to the curb.

Photo on 7-16-17 at 1.48 PM #3Photo on 7-16-17 at 8.28 AM #2Also, I tried to show you the pretty birthday card my mother insisted on buying for me while I was standing right next to her. “What’s the point of getting me a card if I’m right here?” I kept asking. She reached for one with black high heels, where the heels had silver gems on them, and I was all, “I like this one with seafoam gems and feathers and flowers.”

You just want it cause it’s gaudy. “But this one’s so pretty,” she said. “IT’s MY CARD,” I insisted. So I got the feather one. Her name was Lola. She was a showgirl.

I forgot to tell Marty Martin that he had to come to my back room and stand around me before my desktop computer, the traditional way to celebrate turning 52, but I DID remember to force him to take a photo of the pretty cupcakes he bought me. I was all, “For fuck’s sake, don’t TEXT this to me.” Stupid phone.

cupcakes.jpgLet’s have a little game: Which one did June eat first? Also, why can’t June lose the weight?

Ned took mom and me to lunch after, where I had something without beans, peas, nuts, raw vegetables or anything with pulp. Ned got something involving grits and eggs and avocado, and mom got a hamburger. Our waitress did The Thing.

“How’s everything tasting?”

“Everything still tasting good?”

“We still good here, folks? You need refills?”

“Everything still good? Still workin’ on that?”

“How about dessert?”

“No rush, just wanted to cockblock yet another of your punchlines.”

JUST BE QUIET. Bring stuff, set it down quietly, and if, when you’re at the table, we NEED something, we will SAY something. And for the love of god don’t ask me how everything’s tasting.

Fifty-two has made me a lot more charitable. It shows in my soul. In fact, at lunch, there was an enormous painting of an old woman glowering at the room and I said she was a painting of my soul.

“Why didn’t you take a picture, June?”

Afterward, I got to decide what we did next cause it was my birthday and all. Naturally this means we went to the cemetery and looked at old-fashioned names and commented on when people died and so on. Then we got ice cream. Anyone blood related to me is nodding her head. Yes. That’s what you do to unwind.

Between you and me, all I really wanted to do was eat nectarines (they aren’t on the list so shut up) and read my Real Romance magazines Faithful Reader Paula sent me. One was from the late ’40s and one from the mid-’60s. I’ve managed to sneak in almost all the stories, and I’m sort of wondering how work would feel if I had one at my desk today.

All day, I kept reminding everyone to let me listen for my click at 4:52. I was particularly excited to listen for it this year because I was born at 4:52 and I AM 52 now.

Years ago, my grandmother told me that every year on your birthday, the exact minute you were born, if you’re really quiet and still you can hear your number click over to the next one. Now that I’m not 8 (but really, am I not?), it dawns on me she likely told me this during one overheated birthday celebration so I’d SHUT THE FUCK UP (I probably kept asking every family member, “How’s everything tasting? Can I box that up for you?”), but of course every year I still try to hear my click.

We were rearranging things and mom had Mime Hands and so on when I said, “WHAT TIME IS IT?”

“Almost 5:00,” said annoying Ned.

“HOW CLOSE TO 5:00?”



Anyway, then in the evening, my mother said Ned and I should go off and have a drink without her, so we went to the hotel that I like, near my house.

bday.jpgHey, June, drink something girly. I wish I could learn to enjoy scotch, neat or vodka rocks or something a dame would drink. “I’d like sparkling rosé, please. Because I am a walking vagina.”

Ned and I decided to split a cheeseburger while we were there, and please see weight: shedding. The waiter asked, “Do you want the lettuce and heirloom tomatoes with that?”


When it came, Ned loaded his raw vegetables on it, and halfway through, he was all, “I know this is terrible of me to say, but cheeseburgers are so much better if you have a really perfect tomato.”

I set down my drink.

“You know what’s fantastic, Ned? Is when you have an orgasm, and oh, look! Here comes another one! And oh, yay, another after that.”

I sipped my drink. Stupid Ned.

I’d have taken a photo of the perfect sunset for you, but maybe I didn’t mention I broke my phone.



P.S. Oh! I almost forgot! I almost forgot because mom stopped over here to ask if I shouldn’t be leaving for work now, and did I know there’s cat barf. Anyway, we also, with our ice cream, drove around and looked at rich people’s houses.

We saw one woman power walking, and I recognized her. I waved, and she waved tepidly back. “How do I know her?” I kept asking. Later, as I walked Edsel last night, it hit me.

It was the doctor who’d sent me the note, banning me from returning to her office. And there I was, stalking her in her neighborhood.

“Why didn’t you take a picture, June?”

Okay, bye.


42 thoughts on “At 52, June finally plays with a full deck

  1. Happy birthday! This must be a good day for birthdays –this makes six friends (or admire from afar-ees) with a birthday today. I hope the colonoscopy ….ummm…what do you do for a good wishes thing on a colonoscopy?


  2. I didn’t plan to follow the “gorgeous cupcakes!” comment with my colonoscopy comment. Ewww.


  3. I should warn you that after you drink your clean-me-out prep, you won’t have the normal I-need-to-go time to get to the bathroom. All of a sudden and without fair warning, it’s bombs away!


  4. You could always read Pulp Fiction on a pulpit. That should satisfy you.
    Good luck with the exam. And make sure Ned videotapes the after show. With volume on.


  5. I just realized that that cupcake had a quarter of a strawberry on it, WHICH HAS SEEDS. One panicked call to the doctor and they said I’d be fine. Allegedly.


  6. My first thought was like Texas Kari, that you chose the rose one. Then I tried to pick what I would have done and ended up with I would have cut a piece out of each of them. And no one else would want any of the others!

    Happy birthday June! Happy giving birth to June, to you, Mother of June. We salute you!


  7. Now that doctor knows that you are benevolent and forgiving. Or she’s afraid that you were beckoning her over so you could punch her in the neck. Either way, you have the power. I would have picked the rose cupcake because it looked like the most frosting to me. Also, the birthday girl gets the rose is a standing tradition in my family. Happy birthday!


  8. Sounds like a great birthday. I have no control, I would have eaten all four of the cupcakes. Can’t wait to see the new sofa. Happy birthday, June, hope you have many more.


  9. Happy Day! Jeez, why didn’t you tell me you wanted a secretary? I have my grandma’s that I have been dragging all over yonder for years and years it’s like 75 years old maybe 100. (the furniture, not a lady) Glad you had such a nice day. Hi mom. What’s it like having June as your daughter? Do tell!! (i think she did once in BBOJ)
    Pink rose cupcake?


    1. Hi Mother, since you have access to June’s account you should write up a little post for her.
      Also, I loved the color of that aqua couch.


  10. My mom also likes to fill the silence and writing is so hard when you are pulled out of thinking all the time. I usually had to hide. With my kids, I just snap at them. Then they leave. Your birthday sounds happy! I am happy about that!

    Lovely post, lovely June!


  11. Sounds as if you had a wonderful birthday, complete with lots of frosting and ice cream and food and headstones and drinks and a stupid doctor.


  12. Happy Birthday, June! I normally just lurk in the shadows and have since before you even had Edsel, but today I am forced to write because of the colonoscopy prep. What is wrong with your doctor? Come into the 21st century! For years the standard prep was one day of clear liquids (jello, juice, water, broth, etc.) and then one dose of magnesium prep the night before and one dose the morning of your colonoscopy. Based on pictures (not from my phone, silly), this left a very clean and pink colon.


  13. I’d say the one with the most frosting.
    What I have noticed is that I don’t get asked anymore if I want dessert. What are they trying to tell me? They seem to hurriedly shove the check at us and then kick us out the door. I had to ASK for dessert the other day as she was bringing us the check. She seemed annoyed. HH said it must have been shift change. Still, stop rushing us. By the way it was coconut cake and it was delicious.


    1. I would always stay for coconut cake. The waiter last night at the hotel said, “You can get a free birthday dessert” but I was cupcaked out. By the way, the answer was the strawberry one. It had that really light frosting I prefer.


      1. You could have gotten the free cake to go! I would have had the strawberry one too. I can’t handle that really sugary frosting.


      2. I immediately guessed the strawberry one since you love strawberries. I’m glad someone got a free sofa from your curb. I had a feeling that would happen.


  14. Happy Birthday, June! Sounds like your day was superb. I just love that polka-dot dress! I think I’ve seen it on your not-blog before – it’s so flattering. Do people really bug you about taking pictures? I like the pictures but I am here for your words – you make me smile, so thanks for that.


  15. That’s hysterical that you saw the doctor. I actually laughed out loud for that. Please show us pictures of your new furniture once your new phone arrives. I hope you enjoyed your birthday weekend with your mom!


  16. Indeed a wonderful Birthday you had. Food, ice cream, wine, cemeteries, big houses. What a nice day. I turn 53 on the 20th and will now pause to hear the click! At least Ned didn’t say he was full with his half- cheeseburger, that would have been even worse. I hate waitresses who ask me if I need a container to go when I am barely through half of a sandwich. Then I have to feel like a pig if I eat the whole thing. Said waitresses are always a size 0. Lovely post Luff-Ly June.


  17. Cemeteries, stalking and ice cream. As my 8 year old would say: Best. Birthday. Ever.
    Happy birthday!


  18. That sounds like the perfect birthday, particularly the cemetery and rich people’s houses part. I think you ate the cupcake with the rose too, and just like Texas Kari I would go for the carrot cake one as well. I adore the seafoam card you picked out. It’s fabulous! Ned was mean about the veggies on the burger! Way to rub it in.


  19. It sounds like the perfect birthday June! A full deck – bah!

    Those cupcakes look delicious! I am all about the cupcake – portion control and all.

    Happy day after your birthday – let the countdown to 53 begin!

    WordDEPressed still hates me. I hope this comment sneaks under whatever gate they have keeping me out!


  20. Had I known it was birthday, I would have baked a cake.

    You have such great people. That Marty Martin is welcome to celebrate my birthday any time as long as he brings me a cupcake. I gave up all grains, though. I guess my cheating on that is why I can’t seem to lose any weight.

    We call the neighborhoods where the rich people live The Swells. I have no idea why.


  21. Your day sounds delightful. Can’t wait to see pictures of the new furniture. You know, when you get your replacement phone.


  22. Happy Birthday, June! I hope it’s a perfectly delightful year. How nice to have Mother with you to celebrate! Did she count your birthday cards to see how many people love you?
    I think you ate the pink rose cupcake first. (I would have eaten the carrot one first.) Can’t wait for the new couch!


  23. What a lovely birthday. All the new-to-you vintage furniture sounds perfect and the cupcakes are almost too pretty to eat. Now, if you’d just tell me where you keep your measuring cups, I’ll leave you alone so you can work.


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