Posts Tagged ‘Cali


The conversation

Before Cali left to go back to the Motherland, she left me one little responsibility: A sack of financial records that she asked me to burn for her, so that any dumpster divers wouldn’t get a hold of her identity. So, being the type of guy that I am, I agreed.

Fast forward to December. It’s finally cold enough to run the woodburner, and I decide now is as good of a time as any to start burning that sack of paperwork that she left me.

I shoot her a text saying, “Just letting you know that I’m burning those records you left me.”

She shoots back, “That’s great. I’m in Hawaii.”

Somehow, I think I got the short end of the stick.



So a decision was made last night that defies all of my sensibilities.

We’re going to put up my Christmas tree this weekend.

Stop with the name calling. Stop gasping. No, I haven’t gone more insane. No, I’m not buckling to the store pressure (since they’ve had Xmas stuff out since September).

Normally I wait for the first weekend in December to put anything up. Or, rather, my first day off in December. That’s when I have a few beers, break out the Rudolph DVDs or 1940s Christmas music, turn on the gas fireplace  and get busy. (This also explains why my decorating skills rapidly erode as time goes on.) I may go a tad earlier than that because of work, etc., but the golden rule is NEVER, EVER BEFORE Thanksgiving. EVER. There are certain things in this world that ought not be leapfrogged, and these two holidays are among them.

But this year is different, because Cali is going back to California next week for like 2 months.

*Cue the Matrix music

Without getting into too much detail, Cali wasn’t raised with Christmas. Unlike those of us who were, she doesn’t associate Christmas with grandma making warm cookies, stockings stuffed with candy or oranges, gaudy presents under the tree, luminescent pine trees and Santa with mutant flying reindeer. She associates it with bad music and bad movies. You know George (Jimmy Stewart) from “It’s a Wonderful Life”? She wants to punch him in the face for being such a gigantic pussy. And that’s her words, not mine.

So, the other night, I told her I was thinking about having her helping me put up the tree and decorate it … and the interior of the house … for Christmas. My feeling was that this could be a really unique experience for her, and besides, with the right blend of music, food and booze, it can be a trip. She was rather “Meh” about the idea initially (“Will they even have trees out already?” “Hun, I have a fake one.” “Oh.”) … but then I got an e-mail from her, saying that she’s never done that before, and would like to give it a try.

This is how I envision most of you reacting to this bit of news. "NO TREE?! GAAAAH!"

Now, the really funny part comes up. This will be the first year I actually have a tree to put up. I bought myself a 7-foot faux tree last year after Christmas, because after reading Burgh Baby’s blogs about going “Christmas Crazy,” I figured I should, at the very least, own a tree — even if it is fake. My previous tree is a like a 2-foot one that was my grandma’s — she sent it to me years ago because she didn’t think it was right for me not to have one. So, that one came complete with bad, goofy ornaments that my sister and I would buy at the school fairs and give to her, and all the memories that accompany them. And that misfit tree was all I needed. It’s awesome. I love it. (I also have a hand knit stocking that my grandmother [dad’s side] made me while I was in college. I love that thing, too. )

"Santa, he didn't buy ornaments when he bought his tree. What a cheap fuck."

However, after I bought the big tree, I didn’t bother to buy ornaments, tinsel or any other decor for it. I guess that means I’ll be going shopping for the ornaments and such on my days off — which should be a trip and a half. See, I can’t buy a “uniform” set of ornaments. I grew up with patchwork decorations. That misfit tree’s ornaments have dates painted on them (and some are almost as old as Cali). It’s like seeing old friends every time that little tree goes up. So I’ll be looking for memorable ornaments — something that reminds me of good times and good memories. And that pile will grow as I add more over the years.

And this is exactly the type of feelings/memories that I want to impart to Cali. This year’s Christmas will be memorable for me for many reasons — this year’s ornaments will always remind me of her, and her first time decorating for  it. It’s also the first year that I had my own big Christmas tree, and the first (and hopefully ONLY) time I put my tree up before Thanksgiving. And those memories are the kind I love to keep in the back of my mind, and smile stupidly about, when I start decorating again next year.


Out from the depths

Years ago, when I first bought my house … I hadn’t even completely moved all of my stuff in when my mom called me up and told me I had forgotten some stuff at her place. I told her that there was no way that could be, because the attic (where I stayed with her for a year when I first moved back –make liberal use of the “Children of Attic” jokes) was completely cleared out. I checked it several times to make sure nothing was left behind.

“No, not that stuff. The stuff in the basement,” she said.

“What stuff in the basement?”

“The stuff you left when you moved to Florida. I don’t know what it is, I don’t look at it.”

Despite my pleas of “It’s only been there for like 15 years, one more day won’t hurt,” mom insisted that I come and get it NOW … it being several boxes. So, I took time out of setting up the house and got them, and promptly shoved them in my dining room where they would be out of the way.

Never looked at them after that.

Until today.

See, I told Cali that I wanted to have the dining room cleaned out so that we could actually use it for something other than a place to store my bikes, tools, and random boxes. For example, we want to try our hand at making homemade pies — but we have no place to do it since the dining room just has tons of stuff in it. In fact, my dining room table is just covered with all kinds of nonsense (as I’m finding out), so it’s been kind of funny finding all kinds of stuff and saying to myself, “Why didn’t I just pitch this?”

Among the things that I found in the boxes:

    Oh yeah.

    Oh yeah.

  1. A taun taun. Children of the ’80s either had one, or had a friend that had one. And like most children, I was irresponsible and don’t have the garbage harness that always seemed to interfere with the madcap shenanigans that my Star Wars adventures would inevitably take. My figures rode their taun tauns bareback, cause they were cool like that. He is now resting comfortably next to my Jay and Silent Bob bobbleheads in the Geekatorium.
  2. Dungeons and Dragons stuff. Dear Lord, I was (am) a giant nerd. Old issues of Dragon magazine, a notebook filled with adventure ideas, scary bad guys and random character sheets. I’ll have to go through this stuff more thoroughly and see if there’s anything worth mentioning in there.
  3. I still dont know what Grimace is.

    I still don't know what Grimace is.

    Art class stuff. Back in the day, I used to be a decent artist. Not God’s gift by any means, but if I took 5 seconds to draw a penguin, you’d know it’s  a penguin and not Grimace. But I found a bunch of stuff that I drew in 11th grade for class. It’s not great, it’s not bad. I think I managed to get an A in the class. But it brings to light another Cali reference … we were folding laundry at my house, and I pulled out an old shirt that I had designed. She asked me why I don’t draw anymore, and I really couldn’t give her an answer. I’ve asked myself that same question several times, but I think the main thing is is that I always seem to have something else to do other than draw. And I’m not nearly as imaginative anymore. But it is something I should start doing again. Maybe I will while watching TV (like I used to). I guess I’ll just have to see.

  4. Old Letters: Yep, to complete the trifecta of nerdom, I found letters from the days of being a pen pal. I used to write to an Aussie girl probably from the time I was 15 until maybe sophomore year of college. That seems like such a quaint thing to do — like kids today couldn’t even conceive of such a thing. “Why not just e-mail?” But there was always something really cool about having pen pals and getting real letters in the mail. I would love to get the mail just cause of the letters. Now, nothing but bills, special offers and advertisements. There’s been times I haven’t gotten the mail for a week because, well, why?

This has been a pretty comical experience so far. Nothing like a trip down memory lane to kinda shake up the day to day grind. It’s giving me ideas of new paths to take, and a reason to take them. Let’s see where this road goes.


She, me and they

A lot of stuff has been happening in my little world, so instead of blogging on basically 3 separate incidents that are all interconnected, it’s gonna be one entry.

So, here’s some funny things that I’ve recently been a part of:

  1. OMG, what will I do!?

    OMG, what will I do!?

    Cali is gone: Well, not gone, as is in we parted ways — but gone, as in she’s gone to Arizona for a month to work on a Navajo Reservation to knock some dinero from her student loans. It also gives her a chance to see her family and do some stuff on her side of the world. But what’s entirely too funny to me is all the people who have sent me private mails and such, offering me a shoulder, as such. OK, this may sound harsh — but it’s only a month, people.

    Obviously, I’ll miss her …  but I’m not going to be all “Oh boo hoo! What will I do now that she is gone for a whole month?” Of course, at the same time, I told these same folks to check back with me in May, when she graduates and moves back to LA for good. That will be more on the rough side, but I’m still unlikely to be a weepy chimp in public. Just not how I roll.

  2. The actual shot glasses

    The actual shot glasses

    We have met the jackholes, and they are us: So, Cali had a little “good-bye” fiesta. There was great Mexican food involved (Emilianos on the South Side … across the street from Excuses … check it out if you haven’t been there), karaoke at a different place (no, I didn’t sing), and a lot of drinking. And by a lot of drinking, I mean  PPJ and I were chatting with folks and downing beers and shots. PPJ also stands for “Philly Personality Jen” — which is what happens when she drinks.

    So, a bachelorette party meanders into the bar and sits next to the DJ, poring over the book to see what songs they wanted to sing. And no, there was no SQUEEEEEing involved. They were calm, polite … and I’m assuming, not drunk.

    Image altered to protect the jackholes

    Image altered to protect the identities of the jackholes, especially the one throwing up gang signs.

    PPJ was mysteriously antagonized by the group, which, in turn, brought on all kinds of  jackholish behavior directed at them. I won’t get into details, but basically, it consisted of a lot of bird flipping, PPJ saying naughty things into the microphone and other shenanigans that I thought for sure would lead to a fight. And it was all on us. No doubt in my mind. However, even now that we’re sober, PPJ still insists that somehow, they had it coming. I kinda almost feel guilty, and I didn’t even flip them off or do anything to them. I think this is the  one time in the history of mankind that a bachelorette party got mocked and did absolutely nothing to deserve it.

  3. Friend v. Pimp. Now, here’s the other thing about PPJ … she’s a really cute girl, and guys are always interested in her. However, what I don’t get is why they come up to me to get info … like her
    Yo, ding dong, man, ding dong. Ding dong, yo.

    Yo, ding dong, man, ding dong. Ding dong, yo.

    number, for instance. (I don’t pass that shit out, sorry. That’s a breach of confidentiality rules.) I can understand the “Is she dating anyone?” question, because a guy could generally not want to tread on anyone’s toes. But somehow, it always falls into “You have to put in a good word for me.” Actually, I don’t. Whether she dates a guy or not is all about his behavior … I have nothing to do with it. And how does it look when a guy doesn’t have the confidence to stand on his own, and can’t take the hit should he be rejected?

    The only time I interfere in PPJ’s life is if I know that the guy is already dating someone, the guy is flat out lying to her, keeps sheep skulls in his fridge or does something that sets off my “danger” alarm. Otherwise, I make it a point NOT to be involved in her personal life. It’s not my business unless she shares it with me. I’m her friend, not her pimp, thanks.


I hate these things: Cali version

In yesterday’s entry, I mentioned how I loathed the list of things Guys should ALWAYS do for girls. Period., which is a group on Facebook.

Well, I mentioned it to Cali, and mentioned my disdain for it. I mailed her a link … and here’s what I got back. (Please note, some answers will be edited because they are inside jokes.) Obviously, her reactions to the items are in bold.


I figured that as a male, you might have a hard time understanding what they’re trying to say. So I translated some and offered critiques on others. Let me know if it makes more sense.

1. Open doors when possible – we’re lazy, do everything for us, mah!

2. When in a place of worship- yadda yadda yadda, you always come last in regards to women.

3. A man should tolerate the occasional chick flick, musical, opera, or ballet – whatever her preference is – *without* complaining about it!…Do as we say and no one will get hurt,…and we’re more likely to put out, especially if you bought us popcorn. Mr Pibb and Redvines= crazy delicious!

4. Play one of the songs that would make any woman weep like the little girl she once was (but in a good way). A brief list includes, but certainly isn’t limited, to: THESE ARE PUSSY SONGS AND YOU’D BE A PUSSY FOR PLAYING THEM. PLUS, I’VE NEVER HEARD OF THEM, SO PASS.
“You & Me” by Lifehouse
Anything by Frank Sinatra
Any rendition of “Everything I Do, I Do it for You” – Douche
“Collide” by Howie Day
“Out Of My League” by Steven Speaks
And MOST IMPORTANTLY “Question” by the Old 97’s (if you propose to a girl with this song, she is putty in your hands).
(“Putty in your hands” is not meant to promote “using women” in any way. This group does not encourage guys to be polite in order to get her into bed.) Oh, shut up, bitch!

5. Talk! The strong & silent bit goes from intriguing to boring quite fast…but only about things we want to hear, otherwise, shut the hell up.

6. Find out what her favorite flower is and buy them for her randomly (regardless of the situation you might be in). A simple yet profound truth: a single rose says more than dozens of anything else. (I encourage the women to not allow a guy to “prove himself worthy” through gifts and flowers and such. Trust is a precious thing and it should take a good chunk of time before he gains it back in your heart.)…but she won’t hold it against him if he keeps buying her stuff. Plus, she’ll tend to look the other way and tell herself, he’s not screwing that other woman, he just bought me a rose, so he must only have eyes/penis for me.

7. If you miss her, or love her, TELL HER! Even your friends like to hear it every now & again. But don’t be a pussy about it. And don’t tell her on the second date how much you can’t live without her…grow some! Yeah, and tell the guys at the bar how much you miss them, they’ll love that.

8. Re-enact Zales commercials (the ice is nice but certainly not mandatory). Fuck that, what they really mean to say is, you best have some big, shiny rocks in yo pocket.

9. Remember: the best gifts you can give are usually food.

10. Leave a note (or send a message) just to say “hi”. Ok this one is fine

11. Ask her questions about herself. Cuz Bitch, you don’t know her life.

12. Dress nice every once & a while. Any girl likes to see her brother/friend/boyfriend/etc. in a well-ironed button-up with some nice slacks. Unless you look like a tool in these things. Then she should just dump your ass, cuz she can’t take you anywhere.

13. PRIDE & PREJUDICE …that’s all I have to say about that (I mean, that should speak for itself). (It’s even more impressive if he has read the book.) Wait, what did I miss? I have no idea what they’re alluding to here.

14. Tolerate small children as best you can. Meaning, put up with the things that can get annoying. They’re children, after all. Show them love and care, teach them how to become a better man than you. (You were once extremely irritating. Get over the obnoxious kids and enjoy getting down to their level – not “for her”, but for the good of yourself and others.) Unless they’re annoying brats, then do your part and remember to bring the condoms. Kids are the little blessings that remind us of birth control.

15. Learn to dance! There is nothing sexier than a man who can dance really well. If God did not bless you with the grace of Fred Astaire, at least put forth the effort, it will be greatly appreciated. Always slow dance (even if it’s just like you danced in middle school). Also, men, sing to a lady. Even if you’re terrible, suck it up! They love to listen to it and will not care what you sound like. It’s the thought that counts on this one. Unless you’re just downright terrible, nothing sexy about that. Haha, thanks, Jade! No, if you’re terrible, then just sit your ass down. And she’ll want you to just sit there, while she goes off and dances with some other guy. Oh, and don’t even think of talking, let alone looking in another girl’s direction, unless you want all kinds of crazy unleashed on your ass.

16. Kiss her on the forehead (in public). (in private) And her boobs and neck and back, etc. Her grandma kisses her on the forehead. Use that testosterone.

17. When she’s sick, stay up with her. If you can cook (which is *always* a plus), make her some soup. If you can’t cook, there’s Campbell’s soup at hand for you. Go ahead, kiss her like in “Hot Shots.”

18. Pretend to throw her in the pool (or fountain/pond). If you really do throw her in, you’d better jump in yourself. **NOTE** There are some women who just hate this apparently, so you had better do two things: 1) Never allow your buddies be a part of it if you’re unsure of how she feels about getting thrown in and 2) You had better know how she feels about it! You best not throw her in the pool, cuz that bitch will go state penn on your ass, especially if she’s black and she just done did her hair. Be prepared to get suplexed into that water, I don’t care how little she is.

19. Hold her hand while you talk, drive, or just for the heck of it (it’s the small things that win you big points). Unless it gets sweaty.

20. LOOK IN HER EYES, NOT AT HER CHEST!!!!! But make sure you look at that chest and ass or that’ll cause havic if you ignore her best ass-ests.

21. Stupid jokes = awkwardly adorable moments. Come on now, everyone knows that the only jokes guys know how to make are stupid.

22. Tickle her, tease her, let her tease you back without getting all bent out of shape about it. Then when it gets out of hand and the smiles turn to pierced lips, don’t be surprised when you get steamrolled or a boot to the head.

23. Don’t call her hot, or pretty, or cute; call her beautiful, because that’s what she is. (I don’t think cute is that bad, but definitely stay away from “hot” [it’s so overused and superficial] and step “pretty” up to beautiful or gorgeous or stunning or captivating or…). Just kidding, call her hot

24. Offer her your jacket/sweatshirt. (Note: you may not see that particular item of clothing for a while, if ever again)…this way, she has something to give her next boyfriend when he sleeps over and didn’t bring extra clothes. She’ll just say it was her dad’s

25. Don’t be too proud to apologize. You’re always gonna be wrong. Accept it or get nagged at for the next 6 months or FOREVER.

26. It’s not stalking to watch her sleep if you fall asleep watching a movie. It is stalking to watch her sleep if you’re standing outside her window with night vision goggles. Just don’t do any freaky shit while she’s sleeping.

27. When she feels at her worst, tell her she looks her best. Afterall, we like it when you lie to us…haven’t you learned anything?

28. If you’re trying to get more than friendship out of the relationship, take it slow and never rush her. [inside joke]

29. Just because you’re a guy doesn’t mean you are completely incapable of calling when you say you will, it just means you are highly incapable of it. There are few acceptable answers to, “Why didn’t you call?”, & being male is not one of them. Don’t be a chump.

30. Don’t check out other girls in front of your female friends/sisters/mother, unless you are sincere when you later ask them if you think she could introduce the two of you for more reasons than you “want to get some”. But if she fucks, go for it.

31. Guys – always offer to pay for the date. No matter how expensive it gets, especially if YOU asked HER on the date. [if she is willing to pay now and again, don’t let your “man pride” get in the way of her wanting to give back to you. she should understand money can be tight – especially when you’re always buying] Heiffer’s must’ve wrote this one. Notice it says “no matter how expensive it gets”

32. Always do everything in your power to keep her as happy as you can. And cheer her up in any way possible. [if she isn’t always happy – and i’ve never met a girl who is – don’t be afraid of her and don’t be stupid and always, unquestioningly, blame it on PMS. be there WITH her when times are tough and she wants you there.] No, be afraid…be very afraid. Whether it’s PMS or not, you will ignite the devil in that bitch if you mention those 3 letters. Just offer food, food always works.

33. When walking on the sidewalk, always walk on the outside near traffic. (So everyone has a different opinion for how this started. For some, it’s because of the human waste that was getting thrown out the windows when this was happening a century ago. The woman walked under the overhangings extending from the buildings with the guy in the open to take the mess if need be. Others say it’s from the guy’s scabbard/sword being on his left with the woman walking on the right. As for today, it’s the traffic and puddles and what-not. Whatever it is. It’s just a courtesy thing, if it seems necessary.) Yeah, we want you to get hit by the car first.

34. At least do everything in your power to keep cursing to a minimum while around her. If you can, cut it out period while around her, or cut it out of your vocabulary. Women don’t want to hear it, guys don’t care about it, adults don’t want to hear it, it doesn’t impress employers, and you sure won’t want your children or someone else’s to hear it! Mothafucking shit, how many times do I have to tell you to keep your fucking mouth shit when the chilrins are present. That’s right, I said chilrins.

35. Sometimes you have to take the initiative. Don’t always wait for her to come to you, because if that’s how it always is, you’re going to lose her. In other words, don’t be a little bitch. If you want it, take it. See question 16 about using your testosterone.

36. If any lady is walking alone to her car in a dark parking lot/garage, or is carrying a heavy load, always offer to help walk her to her destination and carry things, if not the entire load. Yeah, but don’t be surprised if you get a boot to the head.

37. If a woman says no, she really means yes…unless she means no. And no, choking won’t change her mind.

38. Always be honest with her. No woman wants or likes a dishonest man. If you can’t be honest with her, she can’t trust you, and shows you don’t trust her enough to be honest. Trust, honesty and integrity are just as an integral part of a relationship and just as important as love. Yeah, we only like you to lie when it keeps the theme of our own perfection alive.

39. A man should always genuinely listen to women; no matter how bored or busy the man is. Actively listening to the woman will keep him from pain (and bring the man and woman closer together). This works best, of course, when both the man and the woman actively and equally engage in conversation (this includes listening). For the ladies reading this, please talk – always talk – especially if you are having problems with the relationship and to also avoid making bigger problems. Shut up, bring us food offerings and put out. Haven’t you learned anything from Animal Planet?


The meeting

I had every reason to fear Easter this year.

Cali was coming over for Easter dinner to meet the fam for the first time.

Mom had already flashed signs that she would do something incredibly embarassing. For example, in one of the pre-Easter interrogations,  I mentioned that Cali has Mexican ancestry. Mom’s first question? “Is she dark?”  Upon clutching my brow to that question, mom said something like:

“Part Mexican? How does that happen?”
“She’s from LA, mom.”
“You said she was from California.”
“Cause there are no Mexicans elsewhere in California?”
“Well, I don’t know!”

Yeah, I think I had reason to be a little afraid.

So the fateful day came, and  Cali came over. This was her first time at my house, and she was a bit disappointed that I didn’t actually live in a forest. (I kept telling her I didn’t, but she didn’t believe me.)  We then drove out to mom’s. On the way out, I showed her the sights that marked my childhood — the house we lived in when we first moved up from Florida, the pool we used to frequent in our youth, the various towns and places where relatives lived. Since she’s rarely crossed a bridge, this was a side of Western PA she hasn’t seen, so she kinda soaked it all in.

But as soon as we got there, we went to pet the dogs. Right then, my sister and her family showed up, and things went from 0 to 60 in 1.2 seconds.

And what followed was actually … pleasant.

Like my and Cali’s first date, I was expecting some bomb to drop. I figured mom would just blurt out “Mexican” at random intervals, or one of the younger nephews would do something that would result in migraine-inducing wailing.

But nope, nothing happened.

The fam dug Cali. Her reaction to the fam was “They’re normal. So where did YOU come from?”

She didn’t even flinch when my sister and I began talking about our childhood (I didn’t think Cali really believed me that my dad had a pig that he had slaughtered and fed to us until my sister and I tried to remember his name — Harry the Hog).

Nope. Everything went well. She enjoyed the patches. (Which I’ll post pictures of and the recipe for soon, for all you foodies.) We went for a short walk in Roaring Run afterward, since it was so nice out.

And, as you would expect, mom called me the next day to inform me that she “approved” of Cali, and that she was welcome over any time.

Of course, we all know what this will lead to next:

“So, when are you two going to get married?”


Chicken Lady uncaged

My mother is a marvelous woman. Truly. When I sit back and look at what she’s done — going from a housewife to a nurse to having more degree initials after her last name than in her last name (and there’s 6 letters there, folks) — that’s impressive. But on top of that, she was a single mom raising 2 kids while she did it. And my sister and I were both honor roll, non-troublemaking kids.

But while mom may be the embodiment of Superwoman, she does have a kryptonite — and it shows when I bring a woman home to meet her. Or actually, even if I just mention a woman that I’m dating. When I do that, she falls from confident grace and knowledge and suddenly develops the voice of the Chicken Lady from “Kids in the Hall.”

(If you’ve never seen it, here’s a clip.)

Now, see, the truth of the matter is my mom has been trying to marry me off since I was 18. If I mention a female name within earshot of her (and it’s not my sister’s name), it’s rapidly a Chicken Lady “oooOOOOOOhh! Is that someone I need to kNOOOOw about?”

For that reason, bringing a woman home is a move that I can’t consider lightly. And truth be told, I’ve only brought 2 women home to meet mom.

The first person is my good friend Purplecar, back in the early 1990s. She didn’t have a schwanky online handle then, but did have ongoing problems with her fiance and problems at school and just needed to get away from it all. Break was coming up, so I asked mom if she could come out to the house (which was in the sticks). “Oooooooh! Sure ThiIIIINg.” I was doomed.

So, at dinner, they were chatting, and Purple said jokingly, “Well, yeah, if things fall through, I’ll just marry [Three].” Mom replied, “That’d be fine. You’d make a great daughter in law.” Purple had no idea of what hell she had just unleashed upon me. For the next few months, anytime that I spoke to mom, it was “So how’s [Purple]? Is there anything happening between you two?” “No mom, she was just kidding with you.” “OoooooooH!”

The next was Coroner Girl, who I dated for about a year in the 2001-02 era. There was no real mom drama that time around, but grandma, on the other hand, remarked on her job (forensic photographer) by saying, “Your job is easy. The people don’t move.” Thanks Grams. Oh, and the Nephew No. 2 jammed his hands in her pockets, for whatever reason. Smooove.

So here we are, in 2009. Cali and I have been getting along swimmingly. It feels very natural between us. The other day, she remarked that she was going to have to go to a surgery on Easter night (she’s in med school, and has to watch these things when she can). My family eats Easter Dinner around noon, so I asked her if she wanted to come along. We are going to have a family meal called “Patches,” which is basically Shanty Irish depression-era food. (Ham, potatoes, and dough rolled flat, boiled and cut into square “patches” — served almost like a stew. I’ll take pics and post later.)

But I gave Cali the warning before she answered: “Mom will think of you as her daughter-in-law as soon as you step foot on the property. And she will turn into the Chicken Lady when she talks to you.”

I think this piqued Cali’s curiousity — surely he’s joking. Surely, it won’t be as bad as he’s describing. Surely, he’s just overexaggerating.

No, I’m not.

In fact, I told Cali that I wasn’t even going to tell mom about her existence until about 2 weeks before Easter, because otherwise, anytime I spoke to mom until Easter, I would receive the Spanish Inquisition.

But mom called today, and brought up Easter plans. I was tired. I wasn’t thinking.

I told her that I was bringing a guest.

Here’s how that went down.

Mom: OooooooH! Is this someone I need to kNOOOOOOW about?
Me: She’s a girl I’m dating. Don’t get all worked up.
Mom: OooooooH! I wONNNNNn’t. So tell me about hEEEER.
Me: She’s younger than me. In med school. From California.
Mom: OooooooH! Have you really METTTT her?
Me: What? Uh, yeah. She’s going to med school HERE, mom.
Mom: OooooooH! That’s nIIIIICe.
Mom: Does she know I used to be a nUUUUURse?
Me: Yes mother, she knows.
Mom: Well, this is exCIIIIIIIITing! I can’t wait to tell your sIIIIIIISter.
Me: Jesus, mom, it’s just dinner. Don’t freak.
Mom: OooooooH! I’m gonna have to really clean the hOOOOOOUSe now that [Cali] is coming oVVVEr.
(and for the record, mom’s house on a bad day destroys 90-percent of America’s houses on a good day. She cleans from top to bottom daily.)
Me: Mom, don’t worry about it. She’s very laid back. She won’t care.
Mom: Got aLOOOOT of work to do. Yes. Yes. A lot of wOOOOORRRRk to do!
Me: Well, on that note, I’ll talk to you later.

*hangs up phone*
*Pause to reflect on what just happened*

Me to self: What the fuck did I just do?

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