Are You KIDDING Me With This???

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

New Jersey, Part The Third

So. As I was saying. Not everything about being in New Jersey sucked royally. We did have some fun moments. Like the time MOU came racing upstairs from the basement, asking if I'd made my bed, because he hadn't made his, and he had a meeting with the real estate agent later that morning. As I had not made my bed, I ran upstairs with him to get things in order very quickly. I finished before he did and calmly walked back downstairs. When I got back to the breakfast table, I looked at Mama Jo and asked, "So, do they REALLY lower the sales price if they show up and you haven't made your bed?" Seeing as she almost spit her coffee out at me, I felt validated that I was not necessarily wrong in my lack of panic over the status of the sheets in the bedroom I was using.

Not too much later, I was sitting on the couch, trying to get an internet connection. MOU walked out and announced that the real estate agent would be here any minute. "I suppose I should actually get dressed, then," I said, being as I was still in my pajamas and completely unmotivated to move. MOU said he didn't think it mattered, so I pulled out the sarcasm again. "Oh, so they drop the sales price if your bed's not made, but not if you're in your pajamas when they show up?" We all got a chuckle out of that, particularly when MOU mentioned that he thought they might actually raise the sales price if you're in your pajamas and they think you're cute. "OH," I said, "the real estate agent you've got coming over is a man?" "No," he replied, "it's a woman, but you never know...." I told him that I don't usually swing that way, but for him, I might be persuaded...particularly if I get a cut of the SHE cute? By this point, we were all laughing pretty hard. Of course, that meant that the Wicked Witch had to come in and ruin it by assuming, as she often does, that we were laughing at her and the possibility of her "kicking the bucket," but you would have been proud of me. I refrained from mentioning that I only laugh about the possibility of her kicking the bucket when I'm safe in my own home.

A few days later, after we had been through the pantry and thrown out the 6 bags of sugar (as everyone living in that house was diabetic and didn't need the damn sugar anyway) and the 20 year old food items, a letter came in the mail for my uncle. The dead one, not MOU. The return address was from a company called "Gold Medal." As I looked over my uncle's shoulder at it, I speculated that perhaps it was from the flour company. "Dear Sir, It has recently come to our attention that you have cleaned out your pantry and now only possess one bag of our flour instead of the 5 we require." I'm not quite sure what it was about that comment...whether it was the delivery, or the idea, or just the absurdity of everything we had been through over the last several days, but Mama Jo lost it. Completely lost it. To this day, if you mention the flour company to her, she starts laughing. It was a little victory, but it was mine.

To me, though, the best part of being there was watching Turtle romping through the yard and playing in the fields. We took a walk one day and I let him go wherever he wanted to go (provided where he wanted to go didn't mean "into oncoming traffic.") This, naturally, meant that we took a very winding route through the neighborhood. It was great, though, because as we walked down one of the main streets, whenever a car passed by, Turtle pointed at it and said, "THERE!" to me and then waved and yelled, "HI!" at the cars. There is nothing quite like watching your child charm the pants off of perfect strangers, and I can tell you with absolute authority that's what he was doing. I would watch their faces as they drove by. Most of them were intent on where they were going, or the conversations they were having on their cell phones, but you could tell the minute they caught sight of this little boy. They all brightened up immediately, and most of them waved and said "hi" back. And when they did, Turtle got so excited. That little victory was all his. And I wouldn't have missed that for the world.

So now we're home and life is back to normal (or as normal as it gets here in the Cymber household.) The trip was difficult and it took a lot out of all of us, Oscar included, but I did learn some valuable lessons while I was there. If I was a packrat before, I've certainly been cured now. And as much as I hated to be away from Oscar for all that time, I think I appreciate him more now that I'm back. So as much as I bitched and complained and drank a lot while I was there, it was only a week. And I think my whole family is now on board with the idea that I've done my duty so I will not be going back there again. And that is definitely something to be grateful for.


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