Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Nothing to Say

I have writers' block, so I figured I'd write about it.

Ok, actually, I don't have anything to say about that. But I do want to say that I really enjoy all the comments people have been making on here. Ring Bearer, that's not you or your social circle I was referring to at all, so no worries. We're still cool. Blue Shorts, thanks for the defense of Utah. All the rest, brilliant things you have to say there. And buh, when are you going to get your own blog? You always have the funniest things to say, and the coolest pictures you've made.

I have several projects in the works for my blog. One is to write short entries about all the people I know and talk about here on my blog, so you all don't feel terribly lost, but that's going to take me a long time. Another is to talk about my opinions on racial considerations in college admission practices, based on a conversation I had with my mom (is college making a democrat of you Mom? It seems like it is!), but I'm still doing research on that. A third is to bear my testimony of the gospel and explain the difficulty in doing so in a Provo context, but I'm not feeling that today. Instead I will share a little bit about my mom in Colorado and the things she's been telling me lately.

Mom amused me via phone the other day. She's back in college, and she's taking this writing class. One day in class, the issue of discrimination came up. "Um, discrimination is mostly for old people," one student asserted. Haha, that statement cracks me up. Of course Mom, the token old person in the room, saw the prejudice inherent in that remark. So what did she do? Probably what I would have done: she chewed them all out, focusing in on this one kid who's been making disparaging remarks about Mormons to other students before class had started. In the end she felt so bad that she decided to make brownies for the whole class as an apology. Way to be, Mom. I see now where I get that from. My immediate reaction is always to just tell people exactly what I think, regardless of whether it's nice, and then to reason it out later and finally grasp the reigns of the situation. Shoot now; ask questions later.

I was awakened from my nap on Sunday by a phone call from a lady with a Mexican accent that sounded pretty fake. "Heeey, what are you doooing?"

I looked at my watch (I wear a watch now!). 7:00. almost time for Latter-Day sounds. "Well, I'm going to my fireside group in just a minute."

A strange dirisive snigger carried across the wires. "Do you always tell strangers your business?"

Ha, you have no idea, lady. Instead what I said was, "Sure, when it's inconsequential."

"Do you know who this is?" Obviously someone immature, said my grouchy, groggy, garrulous brain. My mouth was more cooperative.

"No."

"This is your Auntie."

Aw, hell. "Aunt Laura?" I hate the word "auntie." "Ohntee." So pretentious and way too blue-blood for my white-trash Ant.

It was Laura, all right. Joy. I love how relatives in my family exist in cycles. They disappear for several years, either to go to prison or Mexico or oblivion, and then they show up randomly. Uncle Bob one time called us after an extended leave of absence, only to see if we wanted to join his MCI Friends and Family plan. Another time--no, this story's good enough to merit its own paragraph.

So one day my brother Ouija decided to stay home from tenth grade. He was sitting on the couch playing video games when a tattered, bearded man came into the kitchen through the garage and started going through the cupboards. When he noticed Ouija staring at him, he stopped what he was doing. "Oh, hey, is your mom home?"

"No."

"Okay, do you know who I am?" I think that should be our cue that we're talking to some relative. Turns out it was Uncle Bob, who had last been seen at Great-Grandma Kretchmar's Denver house a few years earlier. He had mowed half her lawn, collected the money from her in exchange for promises that he'd finish it the next day, and then disappeared. The next we were aware of him, his name showed up on a search of prison inmates in Arkansas, of all places. And now here he was in our kitchen. Even after Ouija figured out who he was, he made him leave. When Mom got home from work at the dentist's office, we went out into the garage and found that Uncle Bob had been storing his stuff in there and sleeping on a makeshift bed, out of view from the doorway. A few days later there were flowers on the kitchen counter with a note that said "love Bob," and he had disappeared again.

Flash Forward to last Sunday evening, and now Ant Laura is putting me on the phone with my cousin Felicia, who inherited her mother's fake Mexican accent, which Laura in turn inherited from all the Mexicans she hangs out with, not from any kind of genes or parental influences. I'm supposed to be congratulatitng Felicia on the birth of her first child. I'm sure there's no way she's old enough to be responsibly having babies, but I act excited for her anyway, playing my questions carefully to try to ascertain whether there's any father in the picture. She has named the baby "Jestiny."

"Well, that is so awesome that you have a baby!" said some enthusiasm inside me that I don't like to let out very often, because it grosses me out.

"No, it isn't," she said bluntly, obtusely.

"Oh, well, I'm sorry then."

Poor girl.

I got off the phone pretty quickly after that. They had called from Mom's house, and Ant Laura promised to come and see me when I'm in Colorado next week. Joy.

From Mom, I later learned that she and Mack had soon grown tired of the visit from Mom's half-sister, niece, and great-niece. While they were sitting around talking, mom suddenly looked panic-stricken. "Oh, Mack! What time was that meeting?!"

He tool the cue, and luckily, had just looked at his watch. "Oh, no! It's at 7:30!."

"Well, what time is it now?"

Mack looked ostentatiously at his watch. "Okay, it's 7:10."

"Okay, good," Mom lied. "That gives us a few more minutes to visit before we have to leave."

When 7:30 rolled around, Ant Laura showed no signs of leaving. Mom and Mack loaded up the Maggot into her car seat and just drove off. They drove for about fifteen miles, but when they came back, Ant Laura and her progeny were still loitering in the front yard, talking to my youngest brother. Mom went to a friend's house to call my bro, hoping he'd go inside to answer the phone and Laura and her brood would leave. He didn't answer the phone, though. Finally Mom and Mack and the Maggot ended up parked around the corner and waited in the darkness until the family left.

I'm so excited to go visit on Friday. mom is making porcupines, my favorite food. It's going to be such a good trip. That's all I have to say for now. Funny, I titled this "Nothing to Say," and then it ended up being my first major post on my family. I wonder what that means.

The End.

7 comments:

Sara Bear said...

hi. what exactly is a porcupine? I'm curious.

pinetree said...

Oh! I'll answer that. Mmmm...porcupines.

Porcupines are these big fat meatballs with rice and stuff in them that get covered with red sauce. They are super good, especially when made by Smurf's mom...who is super cool. Haha, Those stories about her were hilarious!

Sounds like your blog will pretty interesting in the next little while. I'll stay tuned.

Toasteroven said...

If it weren't for Novel, Jenny, and the fact that I indirectly experienced stuff even weirder than this (Ross/Rose) I bet I'd think you're making half this crap up.

But really, you very much probably aren't.

I'm sorry, man.

And yeah, I'm still laughing. Uncle Bob...sitting in the living room playing the family Xbox. Had to do it somewhere, didn't he?

Redoubt said...

I love how your mom totally lied to get out of that. That was awesome. I'm going to have to start using that excuse.

Given said...

Oh man, I love hearing stories about your family. I mean I feel more normal, not to say your family is odd or anything, although it is. I like to think your family is as zany as mine is dramatic.

I love when I can read a post and actually laugh out loud. I also like writing that out. Hmmm. LOL? Laugh out loud. Yeah, that is better.

Anonymous said...

Don't all families do this stuff? You all make it sound so odd! I love the picture of you and Maggot! (People in my ward are now calling her that!) Looking forward to your visit...and yes, see what 3 weeks of college does...fills your head with all kinds of mush! Maybe I am becoming a DEM. That reminds me...DNC, as in Democratic National Committee, sounds like D&C as in dilate and curetage...a medical procedure where they open you up and clean you out. Yep, Pretty much describes how I feel about the DNC! Love, Mustard

blueshorts said...

No. All families definitely do not do these sorts of things. Yours' has got to be one of the most amusing. It seriously sounds like an episode of Malcom in the Middle or Arrested Development. A Smurf Family reality show would be fantastic!