Take the Short Road To the Answer

Things were different when we were kids. Everyone had to entertain him- or herself.

Pete: Remember that decorative brick wall in my house growing up?
Tata: Huh. Yes, I do.
Pete: My parents put it up one brick at a time. They made the bricks themselves. It took forever. Then some lunatic gave me a hammer.
Tata: Really?
Pete: Yeah, Ricky, the kid down the street gave me a toolbox with real tools for my third birthday. My parents took it away until I was a little older. I remember sawing the molding around the front door. Also, smashing the bricks with the hammer with my little brother.
Tata: Your Mom was the get-even type. Did Ricky’s get a bouquet of tacks for Mother’s Day?

My mother, raised by her grandmother, taught her children quaint old-fashioned traditions you simply can’t explain to teenagers, I swear to Jebus.

Tata: I don’t know if these were real eggs. They’re hollow and decorated with real flowers.
Customer Mom: This has a hole in it. Oh, and another at the bottom.
Tata: That sort of argues for real. Did you ever blow eggs?
Customer Teen: What – I –
Tata: That’s the correct term. You stick a straight pin through the shell at the top and make a slightly larger hole at the bottom and gently blow the contents of the egg out through the larger hole while making every effort to not pass out and crack the shell.
Customer Mom: What is the outcome of that?
Tata: Omelets and decorated eggs you can keep without a biohazard event. Oh, and your face feels all sparkly.

Miss Sasha plans to deliver her second child in June, which necessitates my least favorite of all life events: a baby shower. I tracked down my grandmother Edith’s cousins.

Tata: Ellie, my daughter’s having a baby. Can I send you and your sister invitations to the shower?
Ellie: No, thank you. We wouldn’t have any interest in that. My sister is nearly ninety. We hate these things.

I burst out laughing.

Tata: I wish I could skip it. I hate them, too.
Ellie: Don’t go! Why should you go?
Tata: I am the mommy. It blows, but there you have it.
Ellie: Arrive late, leave early and bring a good purse. But leave early.

The person throwing this party is the Fabulous Ex-Husband’s current wife Karen, who also loathes baby showers.

Tata: Ellie’d rather be boiled in oil than show up to a baby shower. Me, too, but I’ll be there.
Karen: I wish I could be anywhere else.
Tata: Once you answer the door, these things conduct themselves. Let’s duck out for sushi instead.
Karen: What? I wish!
Tata: Life is short. Let’s get spicy tuna.

I may yet get a bouquet of tacks.

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