Mom's House

This post is dedicated to my sister Lacy, who has been judging my mother since birth.

I love my mom. She's the best. She's pretty, which was oddly very important to me as a 1st grader. She's funny, which I realized as a teenager. i.e. Yesterday my sister and I spied the following quote from a conversation between my mom and her best friend via facebook (I'm dealing with the fact that she's on facebook), "No, I didn't fall off the map . . . just down the stairs" Ha. That's funny because she really did fall down the stairs during Christmas. So, the point is, I have a good mom. The following does not pertain to her abilities in that area.

My mother is a widow. Unlike the widows on my street (there are lots), she does not have any pets, and she certainly doesn't participate in neighborhood gossip, but in all honesty her house is weird. I guess the question for me is, when did it get so weird? Was I a child when this started happening or has her solitude brought on this idiosynchratic lifestyle? I think it's a little of both.

She keeps things.
I know all mothers are collectors in their own right. I am not bothered by the pictures of me as a child framed at every corner. . .I was adorable. Rather, there are artifacts left around from childhood that are now no longer usuable. The garage is full of Cabbage Patch dolls stuffed in garbage sacks. Most of them however, did not belong to her seven children, instead they were purchased by my aunt at garage sales and thrift stores in my teens. These ownerless dolls are now taking on the smell that only an abandoned naked toy can.

The other day, I picked up a magazine in her bathroom. A magazine in which I have the contents memorized. Not because I am thoroughly interested in "Country Living," but because it's been there forever. How long you say? February 1995.
She doesn't hang everything.
The house is cluttered with pictures. That's fine, that's her life. Of course, it is a little bothersome walking up the stairs, only to see a picture framed at the height of your ankle. Or, while turning on a light switch, inevitably knocking down another picture. But, at least it's hung. At the same time, every room is still full of pictures, in frames propped against walls or lying on a bench in the kitchen. This is such a problem that a few years ago at Christmas time, a plea was made among her children that no one give her anything that needs wall space. Like an intervention for a heroin addict, we can no longer be enablers.
She buys discount.
Now this is not a new behavior. Every year, we went back-to-school shopping at the Goodwill or other thrift stores. In recent years, my mom has turned to other kinds of discount shopping. Currently, her mecca is the local Big Lots. What a great store? Unfortunately it causes her to buy things that really should never be purchased. Quickly expiring cereal written in Japanese. DVDs that never reached theatres or Blockbuster. Popular candy, with an unpopular flavoring. i.e. bags of only Coffee-flavored Jelly Bellys. A real treat for the grandkids.

At the moment, she is obsessed with Pottery Barn items engraved with names of other people's children. The Down East Outfitters located near her house is the culprit. Recently they have been selling items that were created for someone else, but somehow were never picked up. The prayer stool by her bed reads, "Landon." The robe in her closet belongs to "Claudia." "Mariah" and "Madison" are certainly missing their Christmas stockings. None of the aforementioned names belongs to anyone in our family.

Truly, the list goes on. For now, I will leave it at that. The question is, do all mom's have quirky homes? Is my mom the only one draping sheepskins on the back of her couch? Will I one day inherit these peculiar aspects in my life? Am I already becoming this person?

I'm basically famous

Here are some pictures of famous people I saw up at the Sundance Film Festival this weekend. Of course, I did not snap any shots with them because I know how bothersome it can be whenever lots of people want to get their picture with you. Hello, the last day of school is always a paparazzi frenzy for me.

1st Celeb: Amy Poelher
Setting: The bottom of Main Street in Park City
Interaction: Me thinks that is Amy Poehler, "Hey Amy!" She turns around with a smile. "We're big fans of yours!" (Of course referring to my multiple personalities) She responds, "Well thank you for that." Basically, I could have gone home right then. Mission accomplished. And yes, she does have a bit of a baby bump left over from the recent birth of her child with Job. She looked great, and we were wearing the same sunglasses. Obviously.

2nd Celeb: Elijah Wood
Setting: The Foundry Grill at Sundance Resort
Interaction: Really none. It was just him and a couple of friends and us standing near the deli. No boyfriends from what I could observe. The only clever comments I could think of were about his early work in "Radio Flyer" and "The Good Son," back when I considered him a heart throb. So, I refrained from speaking. Not so star struck, and I think that is because I realized that he was type cast for his work in "Lord of the Rings." He stood about 5'5" from what I could tell, with impish features. Exactly the image of a hobbit. No, he wasn't wearing anything around his neck.

3rd Celeb: Wynonna Judd

Setting: Back at the bottom of Main Street, being ushered into the Music Cafe.
Interation: None. I was completely overwhelmed by the color of her hair. ORANGE. I did get to hear her sing, which was a thrill since I have always been a huge fan of the Judds. If you haven't heard of them, just ask Grandpa to tell you "'bout the good old days."

4th Celeb: Jay from "The City," boyfriend of Whitney, downtown boy.

Setting: Mid-Main Street
Interaction: First listening to him speak with a few other Australians. Intoxicating. I will admit that I have been known to say that he is not all that good looking. This is a formal apology. Not bad at all. As for speaking to him, I did say, "Hey Jay!" He looked up with a smile and said, "Yeah?" I so smoothly responded, "It's good to see you." He smiled and waved and we shared a moment. Thank you MTV.

Coming soon . . .

Keep checking the blog. There is more to come this week about how I don't have kids, so I have time to do really cool things. Good thing there aren't any significant others filling up my time with obligatory dinner dates!

TV teachers make me uncomfortable

Most of you have the pleasure of watching fictional teachers on screen and getting a good laugh. Unfortunately for me, the gnawing self-awareness that the media brings to my profession is often unbearable. Not because they got it all wrong, rather they got it just right. Uhhh. Many high-school-centered shows know that a good laugh is a given if it pokes fun at a teacher. Another sigh. I generally find myself letting out a nervous giggle/snort as they depict a frustrated teacher jumping to reach a projector screen that has been recoiled above their grasp. Or, as the interested and busy English teacher battles her bra-strap in a rather pathetic way.

For me, I'm sent questioning each day, "Is this something that my students can relate to an episode from the WB?" When a student tries to get me to date the thrice divorced Math teacher, is this just another Miss Geist/Mr. Hall moment from "Clueless?" Do I appear lonely and stuck in a rather rigid grading scale in need of a relationship? Is this what my 50 in. flat screen is telling me (yep)?

At the end of the day, I wander to the movies like any other single professional. Of course, while I'm there, I will in no doubt be greeted by a group of 9th grade mall rats. They say hi and we chat for a moment about how this is their 7th time seeing "Twilight." I feel cool, I feel with it. (Because I said "with it," does that cancel out my coolness?? I digress.) However, as confident as I feel about that interaction, I can't help but think, "Was their sighting me outside of school like watching a dog walk on its hind legs?"

Ruff, ruff.

The holidays are over. Yay!

Tear down the tinsel and burn the tree, it's time to celebrate. Honestly, there is no better feeling than cleaning up Christmas decorations post January 1. I'll admit, looking at all that red and green can be a daunting task, but tearing it down is like unto popping a zit. Now that my house has been de-Christmased, it has never looked cleaner and more void of cheer. Yes!

Unfortunately, with the end of the holidays come a return to the hum drum. By hum drum I really mean the violation of all things I enjoy, work. Monday morning as I rubbed the gravel from my eyes at 6 AM, I found myself thinking, "Really, I mean really? This is my life?" Me and the milkman are hitting the pavement by 7 AM, while the rest of America realizes that nothing important should begin before 9. I have a passion for biographies about famous and successful people. Often, the author finds it peculiar enough to point out that said individual woke up early each morning, by 6 AM usually. I'm no George Washington and I never plan to make any kind of significant difference (except for some kind of drinking water empire, which is still in the works), so why must I wake up with the babies and billionaires???

While I am still ranting about waking up, let me point out the fiction of television. Nothing makes me more upset than seeing a TV family enjoy breakfast at an alternate location, i.e. a diner or coffee shop, before school. This is a myth. I don't know of any human being who has their act together enough to go "catch a bite to eat" (TV phrase, not mine, or any other actual person) before 7:45 AM. My grandparents maybe, but not those of us who can actually sleep a solid 8 hours. Plus, they always have the sun out during this time. Hmmm, apparently the winter solstice does not affect TV land.

So, it's all over. Great. But now I have to work. Boo. But, I guess I can tough it out another 4 months and really enjoy my sleep during my 3 month break this summer. A major perk of educating the rising generation of mouth breathers.

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