Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The World is Going to Hell in a Handbasket

My grandfather's death left 50 years of collected parapharnelia filling an entire house, which of course, his survivors must dispense of somehow. And HOW, you may ask? Well, how else!? An estate sale!

As The Walking Guilt Trip tends to raise her nose at buying other people's used crap, she was not inclined to sell used crap to other people. She intended to pay Crap-Picker-Uppers thousands of dollars to haul away said crap.

For a few reasons - I hate seeing usable things go into the landfill, I can't stand not making money when I otherwise could have made money, and indeed, because I am a masochist - I volunteered to help dispose of heaps and heaps of crap and named myself the Very Important Person in Charge of This Estate Sale.

Now, everyone knows a garage sale is a lot of work and while you can make a couple hundred bucks, you've gotta kinda really WANT that hundred bucks... because you're going to have to deal with Garage-Salers. The ones that ask you if you'll take 75 cents instead of a buck for that brand new snow shovel that cost you 20 bucks just last year.

Everyone knows to expect this. I knew to expect this.

There are two things that I did not expect.

One: a nice looking lady who asked me the price of two chairs which were clearly labelled as $20 apiece, $30 for the pair (while "accidentally" covering the price tag with her thumb), talked me down to $20 for the pair, then LIED to The Unsupportive Louse, telling him I'd agreed to $15 for the pair, told me I simply didn't remember when I corrected her, and finally, after paying only $28 for crap we'd labelled for at least $60 and that really would have cost her $400, she picks up a 50 cent plate and asks, "Will you throw this in for free?"
Now, clearly, I wanted to yell "No, ya dumb bi-otch, pay the F-ing 50 cents- it's only 50 god damned cents!!" But, you know, it IS just 50 cents, so I didn't. But I still hated her a little bit.
Which is why what she did next shocked the shit out of me.
She gave me her real estate card, told me to give her a call when we were selling the house.
Give you a call? Give me my $32.50 and you can have my seven THOUSAND dollar commission! Think maybe it would have been worth it? Dumbass!!

But story number two may have surprised me even more. Why? Because it was a sweet, sweet little old lady.
Three of them showed up together - as several of my grandparent's friends were stopping by to say their farewells to the house and maybe pick up a Doris flower pot memento, I momentarily thought they may part of that crowd...but I sure as hell hope not now.
They picked over stuff all slow and old-lady like, and one bought a 25 cent piece of costume jewelry. Sweet, sweet little old lady had a $2 "Santa Stops Here" sign in her hand at that moment, standing at the little cash table. I ask if she's ready. She says she's going to go inside to look at the furniture first. Because you're going to actually BUY the furniture, lady? You're like 97. But sure, whatever, feel free to pretend. She ambles inside, checks out the furniture. Ambles back out just about two seconds later. I'm busy helping another cheapskate but see them out of the corner of my eye, walking to their car. Sweet, sweet little old lady STOLE a TWO DOLLAR Santa sign. Are you kidding me? And old people think it's the YOUNG people that are screwing up this world? UGH! (Oh, and don't even TRY to tell me she forgot, that malicious old devil did it on purpose without a doubt!)

No thanks to these two jerk-offs, the estate sale was quite successful. You can rest assured The Energizer Bunny will now be able to enroll for 2 college units. So long as the rate of our education fund keeps up with the rate of the rising tuition. And so long as he goes to a community college. And lives at home. And walks to school. And eats Ramen for every meal.

Definitely worth it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Curse of the Middle Child

If you’ll recall, my Grandfather died recently. For his funeral and visitations, I put together two large picture boards including dozens of pictures from my grandparent’s home, a few from my mother, and all of mine. Let me repeat that – every single picture that I had of my grandfather I pulled out of photo albums, scrap books, out of frames off my wall.

When handing the boards off to The Walking Guilt Trip to take to the funeral home, this conversation ensued:

So the funeral home is making that memory book from all of these pictures?”

That’s what they say.”

So could I have these ones after the funeral?”

Silent look of death. How could I ask such a thing of her?

I’d really like them and you’ll have the book with copies of all of them anyway, right?”

Close of eyes in disbelief.

Maybe just a couple of the ones with Papa and Grandma young then?”

Deep sigh. A look that asks - You just don’t give in, do you?

I chose to stop speaking to her altogether at this point.

It was clear to me that I would not be getting the pictures, which annoyed me and I thus needed to make sure she was aware that I was annoyed because it’s really the only way I get what I want - by making her think I don’t love her anymore - which she will of course guilt me about later, but every once in awhile, it’s worth the effort and the pain. I’ve found not talking or not smiling at all works best. Unfortunately, smiling wasn’t really expected at the funeral…

Anyway, the funeral comes and goes and we return home without once thinking of the pictures.

Theses are written, theses are defended, in-laws and Easter are come and gone, and suddenly the obnoxious empty frames on my wall start whining to me that I have not gotten my pictures back from the funeral yet.

So I ask The Walking Guilt Trip, “Could I get my pictures back from Papa’s memory boards? I keep forgetting to ask you about them.”

The pictures?” Blank stare.

I stare back because WTF. I spent HOURS on those boards. She BETTER remember them. “From the funeral?”

Oh. I gave them to the Princess. They were all in one bag, it was just easier to give them all to her.”

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lesson Learned

Let me tell you a little something about myself: I like to entertain.

When I was 12 years old, I planned a formal dinner party for my birthday – not just the menu, but the recipes to be used, the “mocktails” to be offered, the napkins to be put on the table, the timing of the dishes to be served. (I told you, I’ve always been this crazy.)

For New York Thanksgivings (when there was a huge crowd) I literally spent a month planning my menu and the timing and began making desserts a week in advance.

For the Walking Guilt Trip’s 60th birthday, I planned a whole surprise shebang at my place for OLD PEOPLE.

Let’s rephrase – I love to entertain.

So you may be surprised to hear that I planned nothing, NOTHING for the Unsupportive Louse’s post-thesis defense party.

But I was SO DAMN proud when, the first day of their stay, the Female Pill pulled out a stack of recipes and said, “I thought we’d make a couple little appetizers for the party on Saturday; we always just do the standards – chips and dips, those little mini-hot dogs, chicken wings, pizzas. Nothing special.

I could smile and say, with sincerity, “That would be great.”

And when there were enough leftovers to feed all of Djibouti for a week, I felt asbolutely vindicated for having contributed precisely nothing to my own party.

I feel a lesson has been learned here. 1 point tallied for Penney. Only 999,627 to go.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Unsupportive Louse, PhD

The Unsupportive Louse graduated!!! He is now to be known to all those who know him (or perhaps just those who care) as: Unsupportive Louse, PhD.

Of course, for his thesis defense, the Pills came to visit. (Did you really think I'd write an ENTIRE blog about something GOOD the Unsupportive Louse did???)

Please remember that I do love my in-laws even if, by some odd quirk of words, they are at times portrayed somewhat less than fantastically in this silly little blog of mine. And it IS true. Even if I am just saying it because there may be a chance that they’ve discovered this piece of my personality and may or may not stop by someday and may or may not read this very blog.

My favorite Female Pill moment of the week –

The Female Pill is in MY kitchen cooking (all sorts of implications of it’s own…but we’ll ignore those for the moment) – the Unsupportive Louse, the Male Pill and I are sitting in the living room, the Energizer Bunny is napping.

Let me remind you of a few things –
1. it’s MY kitchen
2. it’s OUR house
3. we’re ALL in the living room
4. the Male Pill does not cook

From the kitchen, the Female Pill calls out,

Hey, Male Pill, I don’t remember how to turn this oven on, do you remember?”

(P.S. – you turn the knob, just like any other oven…)