Recommended wine for today’s entry: Los Vascos Sauvignon Blanc. This Chilean wine is described on http://www.garnetwine.com/sku039446.html as well balanced and juicy, with a long, fresh, pineapple finish. It is good as an aperitif and with all types of seafood and salads with light dressings. My friend Beth and I had a glass of this before we went out to dinner last night, so that I would be less humiliated walking into a restaurant with her and her new Johnny Depp tote bag. She’s somewhere between a big fan and a stalker. But my embarrassment about her carrying the bag was NOTHING compared to the time my mother carried something odd…
OK, I’m really glad that July 10 is a Friday, because this story is truly funnier with wine. You may also choose to have bourbon, because wine and bourbon are my mother’s favorite beverages (NOT mixed together and NOT before 5 p.m.) and this little story is about my mom.
Some of my loyal readers know my mom. One of my loyal readers IS my mom. So she’ll love knowing that this story has been made public. It’s priceless.
Now, if you don’t have your TGIF drink yet, go ahead and grab it. We’ll wait. Unless the cat walks across your keyboard and coincidentally, somehow, pulls up that icky porn site you don’t ever look at.
Are you back?
OK, Well, on July 10 in 1988, my husband and I moved to Louisville, my hometown, from Texas. We had an apartment lined up through my husband’s employer, so we had somewhere to live for two months, but we were starting our quest for long-term housing.
Problem: We’d bought our little bungalow in Dallas when oil prices were astoundingly high and now they were astoundingly low. Thus, the bungalow was worth shack money. Also, no one wanted to live in it. It didn’t help that the air conditioner broke the day we moved out and it had a speckled gold linoleum kitchen floor and warped, painted brown kitchen cabinets. And it smelled like a giant litter box.
In a nutshell, we were in no position to buy. (The house didn’t actually sell for a full year.)
But we had a dog and two cats, so most apartments were out.
Then my mother had a brilliant thought: She saw an ad for a quaint carriage house for rent, behind a big, cool old mansion. Yeah, I thought, this could be just the place. We made an appointment to go see it.
The carriage house was very interesting and I was pretty much sold. The owner of The Big House was very cordial and well-bred and filthy rich. After me dropping a thousand hints, she asked if we’d like to SEE the Big House. Since I was hoping that she’d adopt me eventually, I jumped at the offer of a tour.
So we meandered through the rambling abode, rich lady and mom making small talk about friends they had in common and houses and traffic. Talk then turned to dogs and mother admitted to having “four dogs, mostly large ones, and a horse who escapes its pasture and sticks its head in the window of the house.” The woman, holding her little fru-fru dog in one arm and her strand of pearls in the other, was trying to act like we didn’t remind her of The Beverly Hillbillies.
Then we went into the solarium. What a cool room! It was octangular, with a floor of small black and white tiles and a baby grand piano. Windows all around. I was peering out at the formal gardens when, in my peripheral vision, I saw my mother lean over and pick something up off the floor. As we headed to the next room, I saw that mom had her hand cupped.
And she was holding a dog turd.
Oh my God, I whispered. Why are you holding a dog turd?
I thought it was a leaf, she whispered back.
Well, it’s not, so how about you put it back where you found it?
About this time, the woman heard us whispering, turned around and was aghast that a) little fru-fru dog had crapped on the solarium floor and b) some idiot woman was carting it through the house.
Let me get you a paper towel, she said, now clutching her chest with her pearl-holding hand.
What did mom say? She said, Oh, no, don’t bother. I do this all the time. I do this all the time??? (Remember, the lady knows that mom has big dogs – so I’m sure was picturing Mrs. Clampett here strolling through her home with a mound of big-dog doo in her bare hands).
So we continued the tour, society lady’s heels click-clicking faster on the gleaming hardwoods, trying to end the misery, me still hoping to get invited to live in The Big House, and mom, bringing up the rear, carrying the turd like it’s a baby chick.
We didn’t move into the carriage house.