I was decorating for Christmas and couldn’t find gramma’s tablecloth.
And by “gramma,” I mean the nice grandma, not the difficult one I’ve turned into.
And by “tablecloth,” I mean not at all a lovely fine Irish lace thing that’s been passed down through the generations or something.
Gramma never had “fine” anything. In fact, if you ever tried to give her something fancy, like let’s aim high and say a housecoat from a department store, she’d declare it “too nice” and keep it in its box, never to come out again. It’d stay pristine at the bottom of the drawer.
So when I say her tablecloth, I don’t mean the dainty linens she used at Christmas under some fine china and silver. I mean a fairly busy Christmas-themed tablecloth she probably got on sale the day after Christmas 1968, a tablecloth that for all the Christmases after she placed food she made from scratch on unbreakable no-nonsense Corelle plates.
I had my gramma for 20 Christmases and can’t remember one Christmas present she ever gave me, except for those Life Saver books that for some reason we all loved.
But I remember hauling her fake tree out the basement with her. Watching her put up the blinking lights to really fancy up the tree. Gramma was never one for white lights.
I remember the cardboard fireplace she’d set out, and the leather reindeer,
the angels with perfectly round, singing mouths. Every year she’d trot out the same decorations and it was like seeing old friends.
Michigan Christmases are cold, and gramma’s house was always warm. She had this stairway (decorated in tinsel) that led up to the bedrooms no one used anymore, because her kids had all married. But it was never lonely there. Even though she lived alone, gramma was never by herself. There wasn’t one day one of us didn’t walk in without knocking.
If I’m ever really sad, I squeeze my eyes shut and pretend I’m at gramma’s. I can hear the cuckoo clock getting ready to go off over the Days of Our Lives’ theme song. I can smell the coffee and see the Cremora on her kitchen table. I can feel the knotty pine of her walls and the velvet of her couch.
But most of all I can feel the love.
When I feel blue and unloved, I squeeze my eyes shut and remember gramma’s house and I know I was loved.
And now I couldn’t find her damn Christmas tablecloth.
Did I lose it in the move? The thought of that panicked me. I have a lot of y’all’s grandmothers’ linens, because you all know I like that sort of thing. I dug through the peach linens and the yellow, the cream with baby-blue needlepoint napkins.
I’d stored all the Christmas tubs in my ancient garage. I walked back to that garage probably five times, hoping another tub was hidden in the shadows.
Finally, in utter desperation, I looked in the closets. One of the movers had filled one closet with boxes, a gesture that baffled me at the time and still does.
There? In the depths of a closet filled with empty suitcases and old papers? Was one of my Christmas tubs. And at the very top was gramma’s tablecloth. That busy, 1960s tablecloth.
I don’t remember one present gramma ever got me for 20 Christmases, but it doesn’t matter. I remember the cozy house. I remember the joy. I remember the love. Gramma was Christmas.
And now she’s sort of here to celebrate it with me.
I honestly don’t even know where to start describing my trip to Michigan, so I’ll just comb through my photos and tell you everything that way. Does anyone have a comb in her back pocket I could use, a comb that you got at CVS (in 1979) that has your name on it?
…Thanks, Jill. Or Laurie. Or Tammy. No one from this generation is named Tammy. Or Karen. Our now-defunct names are the Mildreds of our generation.
I was at Hallmark on my trip. It was my mother’s birthday while I was there, and I know an organized person would have purchased a card beforehand, maybe even gotten a gift and wrapped it all up nicely or had it in a gift bag as you real women seem so wont to have on hand. What’s with y’all and the gift bags? Do you buy them in bulk, LaurieJillTammyKaren?
Anyway, I was lucky I remembered pants and did not have to Porky Pig it to the Hallmark, there, to get my mother a card ON her actual birthday. I had to leave her in her high chair with her cake all over her to get a card. I had to leave her at Chucky Cheese. I had to blindfold her during pin the tail on the donkey and rush out while she couldn’t see me.
The point is, they had…something for sale there on display. The fact that I can no longer recall what is a good sign I didn’t even need to consider buying it. Anyway, whatever it was was personalized. Maybe…necklaces? Let’s say they were necklaces. Or mugs. Maybe giant thick marital aids with your name on them. I forget.
The point is, and I know I already said “the point is” and at this juncture, you’re telling me you really have to go,
but the point is I swirled that display around to the Ks, and instead of my name, they had names like “Kaylen” and “Kafir” and “Krackajawa” but no…well, no NotJune.
Is there anyone out there who still thinks my name is June in real life? Let me get you some tea, Jill.
Oh my god, anyway. My trip.
So as you know, from your Big Book of June Events, I traveled with the dog to Michigan this week, a now-12-hour drive that I broke up into two nights each way.
I’ve never understood people, mostly men, who want to know “which way did you take?” Why? Why do they wish to know this info? Also, I really never know. I’m just lucky I got here. In pants.
But I been living in North Carolina 11 years now, and I been driving home all that time. It always took 13 hours. This time it was less than 12. Or it would have been, had I not hit a terrifying rainstorm in the damn mountains. The Blue Ridge Mountains can suck it.
In the past, what happened was, you leave North Carolina, which doesn’t take long — like an hour. And then you’re in Virginia and sure to get a ticket and FUCK YOU, VIRGINIA. YES, VIRGINIA, THERE IS A FUCK YOU CLAUS.
Anyway, at some point up there past North Carolina, you got you a road called 77, and your phone would say to you, “Take this road for 6,020 miles” and you were golden. I mean, you just drove straight ahead for a day.
But THIS time, my phone kept telling me to take this one road for 19 miles then this one other road for 30 then this road for…and imagine how insane my grandmothers would find me, my grandmothers Evelyn and Nita, who are the KarenJillTammys of their time. Imagine how insane I’d sound saying over and over again that my phone told me what to do. And also that I can’t remember pants.
So there must be a new route to Michigan or something, but to tell you the truth, I’d rather just take one road the whole way and be an hour later. It’s too stressful to be all, Wait. Do I need to be paying attention? Did MY PHONE not TELL me I need to take an exit soon? And is it on the damn right or the damn left?
Anyway, I got there, in record time with 200 different freeways behind me. And then the moment I got there, it started to snow.
It was pretty, actually. And Edsel liked it. He was a perfect dog the whole trip. I don’t even know what he was up to. He didn’t woof ever, and didn’t act the fool, and I worried he wouldn’t poop the whole trip because he’s shy about dropping the Brown Lab off at the pool. But he pooped like a good poop boy!
I realize there isn’t a breed called “Brown Lab.” Now I’m like those people who say Golden Lab. If you ever want to get on my nerves, say “Golden Lab,” or also just exist.
Anyway, I feel like I didn’t really cover much in the way of details, but as you know details are my strong suit, and what’s my job again? Speaking of which, I ought to get off this machine and into a shower, so I can attend said job and find the devil in the deets.
Talk to you tomorrow, when possibly I might make more sense, but let’s not bank on that.
There’s a weird smell in my house, and I took out the trash hoping that was it, but I just noticed it again as I came in here, and I can’t help but think, What did a cat murder and bring in here? Like, somewhere the circle of life has circled, and I’ve yet to discover it.
Steely Dan leaps into the attic whenever he can. My theory is there is a rotting mastodon upstairs.
Also, please keep calling the attic “upstairs,” June. You’re not a bit delusional. Say, what are those faded feathers in your hair?
The ’70s had two songs about faded insane women, women who were both probably younger than I am today. Delta Dawn was only 41. No wonder her daddy still called her baby. Whippersnapper.
And I feel like when they were talking about Lola the showgirl, hadn’t 30 years passed since she’d lost her youth and she’d lost her Tony? So girlfriend was likely 50s.
I also recall being 15, listening to Bob Seger telling us how Sweet 16 had turned 31, and I remember thinking, God how pathetic. You’re 31. Don’t go out. Then I spent every night of being 31 out on the town, pretty much. So.
You shoulda known me in my 30s. Although I was basically this with a smaller living space and hips. And a lot more action. Act-shun. I had a roommate who’d go to work and fill everyone in on the latest with my love life, because it was forever changing. I was 31 when I finally settled on Marvin, and she told me she went to work, and someone asked, and she said, “Oh, she finally met someone she really likes” and they were all, “Oh.” All disappointed.
THANKS, STRANGERS WHO JUST WANTED THE DRAMA.
So anyway, strangers who want the drama, here I am.
I’m icing my arm, a thing that Faithful Reader Paula envisions as me applying frosting to said arm, and harrrrrr-dy harrrrr, FR Paula. In the meantime, I am in extreme pain. As my grandma would say, I can hardly stand the pain.
My grandmother, the one I’m NOT turning into except for this, was a trifle…dramatic about her aches and pains. She had the arthritis really bad, though, and I hear that hurts like a bitch.
There was a nightclub across the street from her house, eventually. It had been some sort of hall, and then there was an actual, like, dance club or something. One night my poor grandmother walked over there, because she had arthritis in her hands and couldn’t open the new childproof caps to take her medicine. Had a bouncer or whatever open it.
Poor grandma. Sweet 16 had turned 61, and she was at the club. With her aspirin.
It was in her knees, too, the arthritis, and I have knee pain all the time now. What the fuck with the being old bullshit? And I don’t know if you’re online-dating, but as you know I took it back up last week like an
all you see out there are 55-year-old men finishing a mud run, which pisses me off, because stop. Embrace your old age. Says the woman who just got laser beams in her face for two painful hours.
The point is, how can they do all that stuff? Doesn’t everything hurt? Everything hurts on me.
And do you recall a time when you didn’t have to search for
GODDAMN READING GLASSES all the time?
I have a giant jar of reading glasses here AND at work, and yet I always need reading glasses.
I can’t shop for cosmetics without reading glasses (can’t read labels), I can’t go to restaurants without them (had to have the waiter read me the menu once), I can’t do anything in the kitchen (HOW long do you microwave this particular Lean Cuisine?). I can’t look at my phone when I’m sitting in the car possibly waiting to get a Burrito Supreme.
So I’ve got them everywhere. Those old ladies with glasses on a chain had the right idea.
And yet? Two hundred times a day, “Where are my reading glasses?” Can’t they fix this shit? Can’t they make it so this doesn’t happen? What did people do in the olden days when they needed to read and had zero Rite Aids in which to purchase the readers?
Did they just up and not see things? I guess they did. They also fell over with croup all the time, so.
I’ve gotta go. I’ve gotta take my creaky ancient self into the shower, and creak over to work, where everyone is 19 and I’m the dowager, all of a sudden. I remember when I used to be the cute person at work. I mean, you know. I was a solid 6.
Also, while I’ve been writing this, with ice on m’arm, Iris asked to go out. Now she’s mowing to come in. Lily has been doing that purr/meow thing where she wants my attention, and is rubbing her teeth against the chair, my leg, the desk, the air, the world.
Finally, I resorted to putting her on my lap and typing around the football that is her figure. She’s been pushing her stupid needy head into my typing hand, and my one good not-being-iced arm, ever since.
Edsel has gone in and out and in and out and in and out through the screen door and barked at Jackie the personality-free greyhound so many times that I finally yelled at him and now he’s Vitamin C.
Also, that floor is stained. Is there a way to remove DOG MUD from linoleum? Or am I screwed? This floor has been here for 10 years. Maybe I should replace.
The point is, it’s a sad day when Steely Dan is the good pet. I’ve no idea where he is, which means he’s feasting on the mastodon upstairs or he’s on the neighbor’s roof. Knocking down nests or what have you.
I realize the best part of life is the thinner slice, and it don’t count for much.
What is wrong with me?
I realize I was supposed to write you Sunday for two–yes, TWO!!–special June weekend posts, but on Sunday I got into a weird cleaning frenzy and never did it.
The good news is, my floors are gleaming. The bad news is, you were bereft all Sunday. Then it was Sunday night, and your mom was spraying Hair So New on your wet hair while you watched Wonderful World of Disney
and ate a pot pie,
knowing you had school the next day and the weekend was over, and NO JUNE POST.
What is wrong with me?
Anyway, we can still have a …banquet this morning, so dry your tears. And your hair! It’s So New!
The reason I was going to write you Sunday is that my iPhotos had presented me with this weird grid the other day, a grid titled “People.” And indeed, it showed me people. Why these people, I don’t know.
But seeing as I’ve blogged at you for 11 years, give or take times I’ve allegedly FLOUNCED, it occurred to me that while I recognize all these folks, scarily, you might too. So I asked you: Who ARE these people?
And you answered. Often wrongly. So without further ado, because your ‘do is wet and it has Hair So New on it, let’s look at who’s on m’grid.
First person on the grid? Ned. That’s back when I liked him, when he still lived in his apartment. That’s all I have to say about grid number one.
That’s my stepfather, Harry, in the second place on said grid. He’s a saint. I remember that picture. My mother said, “Take a picture of Harry to put on Facebook, so his nieces can see him.” Then she photobombed.
Aunt Kathy. I couldn’t believe people didn’t know right away who this one was. I mean, how many times have I featured Aunt Kathy? And her Paul McCartney video?
Okay, up next?
Aunt Kathy’s husband, Uncle Bill. He is very handy. Also, he never, like, relaxes. Like, he’ll fly to China, which he does a lot, then come home and replace the roof all weekend, then get on a plane to Germany.
I’ve no idea what he does. Maybe he’s an international handyman.
Most of you knew my youthful coworker Ryan. What a buncha Mrs. Robinsons you all are.
This is my coworker, fmr., Alex. Her name is actually Alex, so she got offended when I started calling everyone ELSE at work “Alex.” To be fair, there really used to be like 12 of them at once. Anyway, you know her from coming to my house to do yoga, and also being one of the youthful people I would drink with.
Cantankerous coworker Griff. Of Thus Saith Griff fame. I like how someone was all, “Your coworker Gif or whoever.” Gif. Dying.
One of the Alexes from work. She doesn’t work there anymore. She helped me make my brick house costume when I had that Dress as a Character From a Song party. She lives a mile away and we never see each other, despite several tepid, “Let’s get together” texts.
Wedding Alex. Been on this blog approximately one frillion times. I took credit for every nuance of her wedding, from claiming I sewed her dress to building the church brick by brick. I forget why. Oh, right. I’m an asshole.
The Other Copy Editor, fmr. We worked on the same team, but then she left to edit poetry for a living, a job I do not understand. How do you edit poetry? Anyway, she also owns the B&B where I drink, as they have Come Drink at Our B&B Wednesdays, she and her husband do.
Aw. Another one of the Alexes. She left to take a very fancy job. She has a single dad my age who is hot hot hot, a thing I never let drop, and I wonder why I rarely hear from her. Hunh.
This Alex was in my blog also 21 frillion times, when she worked with me. She’s gone, too. She and I got pedicures, we had dinner together, I forced her to go to the psychic with me. I mean, we did it all. I also talked her into going on OK Cupid after her breakup, and she met her boyfriend on there, and is still with him, so get ready for another June Takes the Credit Wedding coming to a blog near you.
Dick Whitman. First person I dated once I was single. We dated for I think two terrible months, then we became friends, and then I got mad at him because when Ned and I broke up, he wasn’t what you’d call around. I felt bad. I felt abandoned. I felt all sorts of things. Anyway, when his mom, Dick Whitman’s Mom, died, we did have a nice chat about how great his mom was, so it’s not a terrible or anything, between us.
Camilo, of the banana Camilos. Like, we just talked about him LAST POST, so don’t be giving me any, “Who’s that.”
TinaDoris. We worked together; now she works with OKCupid Alex. I went to her wedding, I saged her haunty house, I blog-named her baby Borbala Rut. She’s having another baby, and I am the father.
I just want you to know, whomever called Austin, “Jerome or whoever,” I have called him nothing but Jerome ever since. I went to his house this Christmas Eve, he has the really good wallpaper in the kitchen, with the measuring cups and so on. He’s my favorite person at work.
Marty Martin. Friend in real life. Boyfriend of Kayeeeee. Marty is good people.
See. I already said Austin was my favorite person at work, but The Poet is also my favorite person at work. She is the other white meat. The Poet is being flown to London for a week, to read her poems, as she is The Poet. I’d be such an asshole if I were as fabulous as she is. Look at what an asshole I am at THIS level.
This is my coworker Molly. I go see her perform sometimes, as she swallows swords. No. She sings and plays guitar, and I like all of her songs. All of them.
Yet another Alex who was actually named Alex. She works with OKCupid Alex and TinaDoris now, in some new place where I don’t actually understand what they do. Anyway, she’s British, this Alex is, and she used to live in TinyTown, which you don’t see every day.
Faithful Reader LaUral. She wrote me and said, “I read your blog, and I’m not crazy but I can tell we work right near each other.” This was when I would do things like meet someone who read my blog. Now I’m wary. Too many creepy things have happened. But LaUral slipped in under the wire.
My tenant, fmr. She became my tenant, then got a job where I work, worked there for a few years, and Friday was her last day. I’m, like, the Last Woman Standing. I feel like some wizened old veteran there, with my seven years going on.
Aw. My boss, fmr. I miss him. I miss him more than I thought I would. He was always good for amusing conversation. And he and Griff would bicker like two old married people.
Kayeeeeee. Marty Martin’s girlfriend. Let me move in with her for those six weeks after Ned and I broke up and my tenant, fmr., was moving out. Kayeeee. Not a fan of Tracy Anderson workout videos.
And finally, none of you were right. This is Ned’s mom. I think I’ve only had her in my blog maybe five times in six years. So you’d have to be a careful, careful, possibly even obsessed reader to catch that one.
So there it is. My grid. And now I’m fairly exhausted.
“I’m just calling to let you know the Russell Stover eggs are available,” I said to my mother, although in truth it was more: “Uh ussel oer eggs are aaailul.” As I was, of course, already eating mine as I pulled out the Rite Aid, there.
“I have four in my cupboard already,” said my mother, and it must be genetics that make those stubborn pounds stay on.
I’d gone to Rite Aid because I’m a glamor girl whose real-life adventures are not to be believed, but also because my coworker, Lottie Blanco, had brought me some soup that her wife, Lottie Blanco, had made, and
and I wanted to put something in the soup container when I returned it, to be a nice person. Yes, I did just feel that shift in the universe. Anyway, I thought candy would be sweet
so I went to the Rite Aid. Which takes fewer steps for the parking and the hobbling to the door, because in case you forgot, my toe is broken.
Oh, and speaking of which, speaking of my major injury, the doctor told me I had to wear hard-soled shoes, and this is where we left off yesterday, promising to write and leaving each other with framed photos of ourselves. “To Reader. Love always, June.”
The cute pottery-making-lesbian-folk-dancer shoes I’d planned to buy, that I showed you yesterday as you slipped your 8×10 colorized photo into a frame for me, were, in fact, not going to be available till MARCH FUCKING 8, and by then I will be over the novelty of my broken toe and onto something else.
So I got these Doc Martens instead. Aren’t they MAGNIFICENT? They will be here tomorrow. Oh my god, I will never be sad again.
…Good lord. Here I am, tryina have my morning and write to you about all the pressing news of the day, and I keep getting “Can you do this today?!?” emails from work. I worked last night, as well. What’s with the busy all of a sudden?
So I guess I’d better wrap this up early, so I can hobble to work, but I wanted to mention something that dawned on me: My grandmother–the nice one, not the one I turned into–was widowed when she was my age.
And she never dated again.
Maybe that’s me. Maybe I’m gramma. Maybe my days will be filled with having my grandchildren over, sewing and crocheting. Making big dinners that involve boiling potatoes.
…Oh. Well, crap. Hey, I can at least boil potatoes.
Anyway, it’s weird to think about, because at the time it never dawned on me that she’d want to get on a 1969 version of Match dot…well, there was no com. What the fuck does “com” mean, anyway? Communications? Commoner? Composed? Book of June dot commoner. No, I have NOT taken my Ritalin yet. Why?
The point is, maybe if there’d been online dating, she’d have been all over that.
“Five-two, brown hair that won’t go gray and why didn’t my granddaughter inherit THAT, loves Days of Our Lives, Cremora and covers for the Kleenex.”
But I don’t think so. I think she was pretty much over men. And maybe I’m following in her arthritic footsteps. See, I DID inherit her knee arthritis.
Speaking of which, my elbow hurts like a motherfucker all the time now. I know I have a trapped ulnar nerve. I mean, I say I know that because I am a medical professional, and by “medical professional” I mean I Googled it.
And I do the exercises I find online, but I don’t see much change. You’d think with all the solid scientifically proven medical attention I’ve paid to this injury that it would be improving. I guess I could phone my beleaguered doctor, who’s probably already worried sick about how many ToeGate phone calls he’s going to receive.
All right, I’m out of here. Off to copy edit something.
I’ve been thinking about the shit I ate when I was a kid. Not at home, since if one is at my mother’s, the conversation goes like this:
Me: I’m hungry. Mom: Eat an apple.
Has there ever been a more depressing answer in the history of time beyond, “Eat an apple”?
Me: I’m hungry. Mom: Eat an apple. Also, an anvil is about to crash onto your head.
But I can’t be sure. The latter might be preferable.
I detest apples. Which, by the way, every time I say this to my mother, she says, “No, you don’t” as if I have no concept of what I do or don’t like. Or she expresses surprise, as if I used to be Johnny Appleseed.
I have always hated apples.
The only apple I can stomach is a Granny Smith, and by the way, whoever came up with that name really went to town. Are the green apples in the Witness Protection Program? Granny Smith. Why not Granny Schwinkendorf? Granny Rose Blossom? Granny Horkheimer?
Mild cheddar was the only other readily available snack at my mother’s house, the only other thing that you didn’t have to heat up the oven and get the mixer out to have. It was your only choice beyond the mealy-mouthed red apple.
Mild cheddar. The Melanie Hamilton of cheese.
It’s no wonder I was so thin in my youth. Sally Struthers should have been standing tearfully in front of our house, begging someone to send me some sharp white cheddar.
So, no. I’m talking about the sugar mecca that was gramma’s. If she saw a commercial for something bad for you, you didn’t even have to ask. She’d stampede for it. I remember when I was older, and my cousin Katie the Lesbian was a child, gramma said, “We’re going out to eat. Katie says she’s Wendy’s kind of people.”
That was all it took. Katie knew how she wanted it: hot off the grill.
But that’s ’80s food. I’m talking ’70s food. Back when food was fantastic.
For example, Snack Packs didn’t have any namby-pamby foil lid. It was a real can, and you could cut your lips off with the lid. But oh, it was worth it.
That’s the problem with kids today. Everything’s too safe. We’re raising a generation of mild cheddars. They don’t have to worry about getting shards of their Click-Clack in their eye,
or or doing a unicorn impression with a jart.
My gramma had her Snack Packs in the bottom of a narrow cupboard between the stove and the sink. There was also a mousetrap down there, so you had the possibility of dinner and a show. And it was a real, cartoon, SNAP mousetrap. It didn’t really dawn on me to be appalled by it. I’d just shout, “GRAMMA!” when a mouse was in there.
“Oh, shit. Okay. I’m coming,” she’d say.
This orange juice came in individual-servings cans, as well, and I believe you had to actually puncture the top of the can with the pointy part of a can opener. I mean, it took some work. You were practically a cave woman, hunting a mastodon.
I always admired the orange women; I thought they were pretty. They seem sort of in on a secret, don’t they? They’re wrong. YOU’RE ALL GETTING JUICED TO DEATH, BITCHES.
Also, in All in the Family, which was on around the time my gramma diet consisted of pudding and orange juice, Archie Bunker was often holding a can, and I thought, man, he drinks a lotta orange juice.
I never said I was a gifted child.
This was a cereal I insisted gramma get, and then I hated. I don’t know how to tell you this, but it was too sweet. But it had 100% of my minimum requirements of vitamins and iron.
That can’t possibly be true. What, did it have kale in it? How is that possible? Also, this cereal was emoji cereal. No wonder I hated it.
I was just looking at all the other Google images of cereal from the ’70s, and came across this. Oh, FUCK YEAH. Why is this not available right now?
I know a lot of why I loved this stuff was because it was at gramma’s. Her overly warm house, the cuckoo clock, people coming in and out the front door, bringing the Michigan cold in with them. Her mostly empty upstairs, because all the kids had moved out, that housed her Real Romance magazines and my Uncle Jim’s drums that I never, ever touched for fear he would actually break my bones.
You can’t help but enjoy something served to you by a person who thinks you hung the moon, when really all you are is a riby midwestern 8-year-old. You can’t help but enjoy something when you know your arthritic grandmother saw that brightly colored box in the store aisle and bought it, knowing she’d never be eating it and saw no reason for it other than it delighted her granddaughter.
So, bad food equals love. I know that.
But if you served me some Snack Pack Butterscotch at Tarantula Fest, over at the tent where everyone is vomiting cilantro, I’d still stop everything and say, “Goddammit, this is marvelous.”
Welp. Christmas. We got through it, and now my throat hurts, so the one holiday I can kind of get behind, New Year’s, will be rooooooooned.
Do you know people who pronounce ruined like that? “Rooooooned.” I think Marvin did. The memory is starting to escape me, like Kate Winslet and Jim Carey on the ice that cracks in two during Eternal Sunshine.
Anyway, Christmas. I let myself open one gift on Xmas Eve, and the fine people of Summer’s Eve ought to consider making special, like, pine and berry feminine products for Christmas, call it Christmas’s Eve.
I’m an idea woman.
The gift, and you can tell already we’re in for a long haul today, was two of my vintage romance magazines from Faithful Reader Paula, who knows what I like. This time they were Christmas themed, like m’douche.
If you didn’t tune in to my last post, I spent Christmas, you know, Eve at my coworker Austin’s, and I got his family a game–it’s just Concentration, but with Eames furniture and designs instead of shitty flowers that you come across on a …summer’s eve.
Oh, June, remove the nozzle and continue.
The point is, they sent me this photo. “We’re playing the game you got us, but because we know how you hate this holiday, we’re playing it joylessly.”
I flow into everyone, leaving you refreshed and bitter.
See what I did, there? More feminine humor. MERRY CHRISTMAS!
June, it’s not even Christmas morning yet.
Christmas morning arrived (oh thank GOD) and that damn kitten was a pain in my ass. Before it was even dawn, she started pounce pounce pouncing on the bed, and whose idea was it to foster a goddamn kitten? Finally, after like TWO HOURS of just drifting off again only to POUNCE awake, I threw her into the hall, stuffed a quilt under the door so she couldn’t just slither under the door like she does, and WAS JUST DRIFTING OFF AGAIN when
I knew that ring. Do you ever do that? You know who it is even though it isn’t a special ringtone? You know that ring? It was my mother, of the Obsessed with Christmas mothers, AND I KNEW IT.
“Ima Jon-Benet Ramsey your ass,” I said, Christmas cheerily.
My mother made me stay on the phone with her while I opened my gifts, so I couldn’t photograph my every item like I usually do, and I CAN HEAR YOUR FAKE “I’m so disappointed” groans, all of you, and shut up.
But you must trust me. Chaos ensued. It was like having real children there. And do you like my method? I used the laundry basket to hold all the wrapping paper and other stuff that could be recycled. At the end of the festivities (“festivities”), I just dumped the laundry basket in the recycle bin outside.
Home Hacks from Hune. Maybe I should change my name to Hune and start a whole homemaking blog. Hone Your Home With Hune.
I had cat litter on the lapel of my robe this morning. So I think it’s a given that you all want my home hacks.
I believe I said to you all the other day that this back room where I write is a cold room, much like my heart at Xmas, and that I really needed socks. So I went on Amazon, through my own link, and got me three or four pair of fuzzy, slouchy socks.
Then guess what everyone sent me for Christmas.
(This seems as good a time as any to remind people that sentences that start with “Guess what” or “I wonder” do NOT NEED A QUESTION MARK AT THE END. They are STATEMENTS. A statement is a declarative sentence, such as, “Hune has a stick up her ass.”)
Anyway, I got up yesterday and walked around with cold feet and didn’t marry anyone, till I remembered, “Hey, Hune’s got socks comin’ out her …hass!” So I got me some socks on. I rocked out with my socks out.
It wouldn’t be the most…wonderful time of the year without me putting a ribbon or bow on a pet, and this would be an excellent time for me to offer a retrospective of all the years of pets with bows, but I have to get to work, needy.
The point is, this year Edsel got Hune’s Holiday Humiliation, Now With Claws!
As I pen this, Steely Dan and Jodie Foster have been stampeding around the house as they do, and just now I heard the broom in the laundry room topple over, followed by two very different-sized, ears-back cats dashing out of there.
I wonder what happened. See? That was a statement. You do not need to write, “I wonder what happened?” It’s not a question. You are wondering what happened.
Do you know what I’ve noticed? When people who aren’t, you know, English teachers or editors ponder sentence structure, they say the weirdest stuff, as if they know a rule, a grammar rule, that in fact isn’t anything at all.
“Well, but it’s stating a question, and it’s emphasizing the…”
Grammar isn’t that hard. Punctuation isn’t that hard. And spelling? You can look that up, you know. M-W dot com. I’m on there about 400 times a day.
I know you want to say “object of the preposition” and sound brilliant, but you don’t need to. There are a few really simple rules, and a lot of them are going away, which is what happens with language. If we didn’t let it flow, we’d all still be speaking Olde Englishe. See what I did, there? We’d all be talking like Chaucer.
Anyway, it’s easier than you’re making it, is my point. And what you learned in third grade, there, Menopause, is not a hard-and-fast rule that is still definitely right.
June. It’s like not NOON yet on December 25. We have to get to work.
My favorite gift was one I picked out myself but forgot I picked out. My mother and I saw this at that little boutique we went to the day after Thanksgiving, but then we ran into my cousin Katie and my Aunt Kathy, who once again is not that woman drinking at the top of my blog, and anyway I was so excited that I
I wanted that mailbox. Am small child.
Anyway, after I opened my gifts, I went outside and screwed a mailbox.
Here is the next Clinique color in our Chune Checks out Chubby Sticks Even on Christmas project…
It’s some kind of way-too-orange color, which I cannot find in the bowels of my purse to tell you what the color is called, but I think we can all agree it’s not a keeper for anyone, unless you are Doris Day.
You’ll note, however, that I’m in the car, here, and that is because I was headed to Chris and Lilly’s to have dinner with them, because they felt sorry for Old Lady June having–
Geeez. Steely Dan is kicking that kitten’s ASS right now, and they break it up too fast for me to take a photo, but just now he was grabbing her whole kitten body and she was saying,
Do not worry about that kitten. For she is an asshole, and also they are deeply in love, and yes, I do already feel bad for him when she goes and no I am not keeping her.
Chris cooked for us, cause it’s his thing, and it was all DELICIOUS. They roasted a chicken, and by “they” I mean Chris. There were vegetables, and he even cooks those so they’re delicious. And also, red velvet cake, a thing that obsessed Z, who I think was totally in it just for cake.
At dinner, we discussed our favorite Christmas gift, ever.
For Chris, it was his Easy Bake Oven, which kills me. But really, I had one, too, and they were cool as shit.
For me, for some reason my little greenhouse stands out. It was see-through, shaped just like a greenhouse, and divided into three. It came with seeds, and little tools, and you could watch your seeds’ roots and sprouts and it turned me into the plant expert I am today.
Really, I’m not good at anything, am I?
Then it was Lilly’s turn.
“Well,” she hemmed. “I guess it has to be, um, when I, um, got a pony.”
Chris and I exchanged a glance.
Lilly went on to tell us how her parents did the whole Presentation of the Pony on Christmas morning, and no, it wasn’t sleeping under the tree, which is what I immediately envisioned, but there it was, in the barn, with a banner announcing it was Lilly’s.
“So, yeah, I was that girl. The girl who got a pony, for real, on Christmas.”
And that is when I helped Chris gather a few of his things, and we took the kids and left Lilly there at the table. Forever.
A pony for Christmas.
After dinner and resentment, we headed over to the barn to feed the horses, which you can imagine did not delight me in the slightest. Also there: BARN KITTIES!
I took them all home. I probably should have lead with the fact that two horses live here now. Hey, maybe THEY knocked over the broom.
While Lilly busied herself with horse things, her son G decided the cats did not have enough food. So…
We also visited the chickens, and that was the day June was complete.
After, we made a bonfire, and I’m happy to tell you I got a shot of my jowls by the fire. Hune’s howls.
Have a holly jowly Christmas. We need to take up a collection to fix that shit, y’all. Go. Fund me.
For no reason whatsoever other than she is a poor judge of character, Z is a Fan o’June. She is a Junello.
Anyway, that sums up Christmas, and what annoys me is Z said about 109 funny things that I was going to repeat to you and I forgot them all like I did my mailbox. Everything just sieves out my brain now, and oh!
At one point this week, I was on the phone to my mother and reported to her that I was streaming Long Island Medium, because that is a really good show and you are wrong. IT IS.
The point is, at the end of the conversation, she said, “Okay, then, go back to watching Long Island Madame.” So that’s where I get it.
If you’re just getting back from your Thanksgiving holiday, and I say “holiday” like we’re all British, there are several days of my posts for you to catch up on and I wish you luck. I wish you luck mucking through all my ins and outs.
For the rest of you, who kept up with me like good readers, here’s the rest of my trip back to Michigan…
When we left each other yesterday, saying, “No, YOU hang up,” Gus had been doing tricks in my mother’s yard, fmr., and then I might have kissed him with my red lipstick. I remember back in the ’90s, kissing my mother’s fluffy white Samoyed with my then-fushia lipstick, and my poor beleaguered stepfather in the kitchen, patiently washing it off that dog’s head.
Oooo, speaking of lipstick…
Both on the way to Michigan and on the way back, I may have looked with rapt interest in the Mac store at Chicago airport, noting these lipsticks were all for sale as one unit, a unit someone might like, if someone were trying to determine what June Would Like For Christmas, a query that’s burning in the brains of just er’one.
I’d look like an asshole in the second-from-the-left one. That burnt orange look does not appeal. But speaking of needless purchases, isn’t it Cyber Monday? Wouldn’t this be an excellent time to link to Amazon, so you can purchase like a mo?
Oh, look! A book about how we shouldn’t consume, that if we click on it takes us to Amazon so we can consume. Oh, June, you’re so ironic. Don’tcha think. A little too ironic. Yeah, I really do think.
But I digress.
On Friday night of my trip to Michigan, my Aunt Kathy had us over for tacos, and by “my Aunt Kathy,” I mean my Uncle Bill made tacos.
Some families form a conga line. We form a taco line. [Insert taco/Katie-the-lesbian joke here]
My Aunt Kathy, who is a Virgo, had already decorated for Christmas. Like, that day. She started the day with no Christmas, and by the end of the day she was swinging on her North Pole.
Do you remember that guy Ward who I went out with like three times or something, and then it didn’t work out? He texted me over the holiday (British), and I answered him, telling him how all the women in my family prattle endlessly and all the men are sort of quiet and introspective. Okay, not my Uncle Leo. But the other men. Anyway, below is yet another piano-playing video, this time not horrific like the last one, where one of the men is being deep and yet you can hear women prattling in the background. I recorded this for his listening pleasure. I think it was around then that he stopped texting.
After dinner, my cousin Big June and her husband Hill came to surprise me, and it was so cute to see them. She gets migraines, too. Is plagued by them, actually.
Maybe had I not been named after her I wouldn’t have migraines. Maybe they could have named me after a tennis star or something instead. Step one: Get tennis star in family.
Also, here is my aunt’s cat, Tom Thumbs. Did not at all follow Tom Thumbs around like an idiot, scooting across floor with phone out like a moron. That would not be fittin’. Did not at all call him kitty head or sweet kitten or kitty hitchhiker kitten face wif thumbses.
Finally, it was Saturday and time for me to go, but not before Hulk rejected me for sports. Also, Dear June: *of.
I returned home without incident, late Saturday night. It was too late to get Edsel from daycare, so I slept with Lily, who was beside herself that I’d returned, and if you look carefully, you can see an extremely indifferent Steely Dan down the hall.
The other, more normal, cats were happy to see me, in their cat way. “wee not say hi, but we sleep on you a lots.”
The cat-sitter told me that every day, SD and Lily would come blinking down the hall, like, O, do someone bee heer? And every time, Iris was asleep in the dog bed.
Speaking of my cats, I was writing you in my regular fashion, not that I’m pooping, when I saw this shadow…
Here’s the annoying part: I’ve already let him in today. But there he is, mysteriously on the other side of the door, as he is wont to be. And yet, he still wishes for me to get up and let him in the traditional way right now. Sneak out whatever way he’s figured out? Sure. But inconveniencing me to come back in? Oh, HELL, sure. So many sures.
And he wasn’t hungry; he’d already eaten. He wasn’t sleepy. Evil rarely sleeps. He just wanted to be sure to remind me that my coffee repels him. My coffee should be stopped. As soon as he can gather funds, he’s going to bribe a lobbyist to get coffee outlawed.
Asshole. Why do I love him so? This sums up all my relationships.
I’d better get to work, which I am actually looking forward to doing. Tomorrow is my mammogram, which has not haunted and terrified me since I made the appointment or anything. Do you all know from EMDR? It’s a kind of therapy they do for trauma. I really think I should get EMDR so I’m not so
during mammogram week. Am considering.
Meanwhile, here’s an Amazon link again, in case it inconveniences you to scroll up. I want to make it was easy as I can for you, so that I will become a millionaire. Also, I got my new credit score today, and it’s in the high 700s.
You know, at the beginning of the year, I made the New Year’s resolution to fix my finances, and I actually did it. I worked freelance jobs ALL YEAR LONG. And I got my debt cleared. And I upped my contribution to my four oh wonk.
I still don’t make a lot of money, but at least I don’t have debt haunting me. Just mammograms.
Anyway, here’s your second Amazon link.
Resent. Also, wish Crazy Cat Lady ornament did not look so much like self.
P.S. Someone will ask, so I will assure you I got the Eds from daycare Sunday, and he was…enthused about seeing me.
I had a migraine (thanks, world), so he spent the entire day with his snout up on my berobed self. No, seriously. THE ENTIRE DAY.
Steely Dan made barf sounds from across the room and rolled his orange cat eyes.
Do you like how I keep using “blog” as a verb? You’re welcome.
When we were last together, promising to write while Mister pulled us apart (“NOTHING BUT DEATH COULD KEEP ME FROM IT”),
Dear June: Watch new movies. You’re killing us. Also, “blog” is a noun. Love, All 10 Readers.
I think it was Thanksgiving, or maybe the day after. It’s all a blur, man. A blur of carbs. So I’ll start up where we left off, except for the tiny detail that I can’t recall where we left off.
Dear June: SCROLL DOWN. God. Signed, Nine readers, because one of us got sick of you.
Here are some other things I did on my trip to Michigan other than have Thanksgiving…
Walked with mom. It really wasn’t that cold out, and yet mom was ready to climb Everest with her outdoor garb. She kept texting my stepfather about which base camp we were at.
Shopped with women. I feel like we were super original in this regard, as no other women in the country ventured out to stores on the Friday after Thanksgiving. You will see that my cousin Katie the Lesbian joined us–she hadn’t been at Thanksgiving because she is a nurse and was scheduled to work. I’d be all, fuck that. People can wait. Have you MET stuffing?
It’s funny, I keep thinking the Pope will write me about that sainthood, but he keeps writing back New phone, who dis.
Is it sainthood? Is that what it’s called when someone besaints you? It would appear that I don’t know.
Anyway, my mother and I popped into this vintage/resale/some new stuff store she likes, and careful readers will note that all I ever do is go to vintage/some new/resale stores and what genetics? Anyway, we’d been there awhile, exclaiming over these incredibly bad purses, that had gems and leopard spots and big diamonds for clasps, and wondering what kind of asshole would buy them, when lo and behold who was at the store but my Aunt Kathy and my lesbian cousin Katie.
Uncareful readers will note that Katie is not a lesbian at all, but her niece, as a very small child, asked her if she were a lesbian, assuring her it’s okay to be gay, because she felt Aunt Katie dressed like a lesbian, which continues to be my favorite thing anyone has ever said, other than Ozzy Osbourne saying, “Things could be worse. I could be Sting.”
Say, short sentence. How’re your short sentences treatin’ ya?
The point is, we shopped the store again, as Katie was looking for a chest of drawers, and maybe a chest of a woman, given her wardrobe choices. And HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED. We got up to one of the terrible purses, each one more gaudy than the next, and Katie said, “June, do you not love these? I could so see you with one of these purses.”
SHE WAS SERIOUS.
“What? You like gaudy!”
There’s gaudy and there’s middle-aged, look-how-whimiscal, when-I-am-old-I-shall-wear-purple-at-Olive-Garden-with-20-other-friends gaudy.
My mother and I kept presenting Katie with lovely old chests, and we garnered a few Mardi Gras beads for our efforts. BAH. No. We found midcentury, curvy, painted-pale-green, just lovely dressers, and Katie would be all, “Oh, uh-huh, yeah” with this FEIGNED interest, till she’d come across a jet black dresser with rabbit skulls for drawer pulls. “Oh, this one’s nice,” she’d say. Or the unvarnished one that’d been beaten with Micky’s Big Mouth 40-ouncers for character. “This one’s great.”
Aunt Katie, you dresser like a lesbian.
Aunt Kathy got large sunglasses, and I got this poncho WHAT DO YOU MEAN WHIMSICAL MIDDLE AGE? We tried to pose like fashionable mannequins, but had no dignity.
After, mom and I went to her old house. A sale is pending, but in the meantime, it’s still hers. If I had time, I’d find old photos and compare them to her blank house, but I like to stay active.
The only picture I could find is this shot with Ned in it, and I hope you’re happy that I put this up and then felt physically ill and had to poop. I pooped for you people.
Dear June, Thanks. Signed, Eight of us, because one of us was all, oh good. Bowel talk. And then left.
The good news is that Gus’s obstacle course equipment was still back there, and despite his being 104 and never hearing me when I talked to him this time, he was up in his playground. Gus likes to stay active. He also likes brunch and walks on the beach, and is looking for a partner in crime.
(I hate online dating. In case anyone wonders how that’s going.)
Also in my mother’s basement is an old piano, that is sadly out of tune, and I’m sorry to tell you there are four–FOUR–sad videos of us trying to play heart and soul.
I see that I have droned on for nearly a thousand words already, and I ONLY GOT THROUGH FRIDAY and not even FRIDAY NIGHT, and you know how I love the nightlife. How I’ve got to boogie. Because who’s 52?
So I will report back tomorrow with more riveting highlights of my trip. However, I can’t leave without giving you a convenient Amazon link with which to shop shop shop, because it’s almost Christmas, and it’s time to spend way too much to fill the hollow blackness that lies inside us.
Or maybe that’s just me.
Up there is a link to Amazon, which happens to be more than $500 worth of Mac cosmetics, and talk about filling your empty blackness. I feel like that would do it. For, you know, like an hour!
Pink Uggs would also quiet the unrest.
If you shop using June, you will make a mom happy at Christmas. AND I DO NOT HAVE DEBT ANYMORE. I do need a new dishwasher, however. Oooo, wait…
Okay, seriously? You can get a DISHWASHER on Amazon?
“So where all have you gone since you’ve been back in Saginaw? Which bars?”
I’m 52. People keep asking me all about the nightlife I’m experiencing here in the mecca of nightlife that is Saginaw, Michigan, and so far my answer continues to be, I’m 52. Show me that bar scene! Fifty-two-year-old, tearin’ up mid-Michigan!
So it appears that it’s Thanksgiving, or it was, anyway. My Uncle Bill, seen here kibitzing with my stepfather who is a saint, got here early to bring a roaster and also too the turkey, which was convenient. Then it was ready before everything else and every time I looked over at my Uncle Bill, he was eating that damn turkey. By the time dinner was served, there were merely the picked-clean bones left by Uncle Vulture.
Speaking of people my Aunt Kathy has been married to, my Uncle Leo also arrived, with sweet potatoes. My mother somehow scammed all the men into cooking, with her ERA bumper stickers and her consciousness raising and so on. We were all very Free to be You and Me at House of Family of June today.
Dooooods. I so totally wanted to insert an Amazon link right here (for Free to be You and Me, of course), because it’s Thanksgiving, and you’ll be shopping soon, and what a fine time to remind everyone I have an Amazon link. But apparently I can’t do that from my phone. Remember there are links to Amazon on the sides and bottom of my page. I am a terrible marketer.
You really are.
Aunt Kathy made pie, and also a salad with walnuts and apples in it, which was delicious. Mostly my part was I ate things, and got in the way, and kissed Gus.
Finally, it was time to eat, and my mother and I had to sit at the kid table while the adults talked stock markets and war. I’ve really no idea what adults talk about.
I took selfies after we ate, like I was Kim Kardashian. Kim Kar-sit-ian.
Uncle Leo and me.
Aunt K and mom and, you know, me.
Mom’s friend Gwen and oh look. Me.
Gwen is an excellent audience. She laughs at all my lines, whereas the rest of my family is over me.
After dinner, my Uncle Leo and Gwen and I were in the kitchen, and my Uncle Leo set up the scene for what looked to be a very long story. He started talking about his family history, and who begat whom, starting from when his family were cave people and so on, and then he paused and asked, “What story was I going to tell?”
And that sums up my family.
Gus not no you peeple.
The evening was drawing to a close and everybody was getting their coats off of my bed, because God forbid I have a room of my own, and someone asked, “So, you going out dancing tonight?”
I’M 52!!!! I’d break a hip. Going out dancing. Who am I, Lola the Showgirl?
Dood get lyfe
So that was Thanksgiving ’78 or whatever year this is. I’d stay and talk but I gotta pop a coupla mollies and hit a rave.