Monday, November 30, 2009

The puffers vs. the gamblers

Yesterday's outdoor wedding, sit-down dinner, winter hike and child’s birthday party went swimmingly, thanks to the four changes of clothing I brought.

And actually, it was such a beautiful day that I didn't feel like slitting my wrists until after we got to my nephew’s birthday party. But only because Chuck’s brother’s wife is a she-beast. I won’t get into that now, however. Instead I’d like to tell you where I've been for the last week—and not because I want to bore your pants off, but because I think I started dating someone.

It all started Tuesday night. My brother Ted called me in tears. He and his fiancee Holly were having problems. She’s getting clingy and is too eager. He needs space. They would be at our house bright and early Wednesday.


On Wednesday, Ted and Holly arrived for brunch. Chuck beat his chest and said he was going to Home Depot; Ted would help him. Holly and I spent the next two hours watching Junior push Thomas the Train around the track.

"Is Thomas puffin'?"


When Chuck and Ted got back to the house, I contemplated puffin’ myself.

Ted informed me and Holly that he was getting together with the boys to play poker; Chuck offered to sit in for someone. Holly looked forlorn and asked if I wanted company. Despite my internal noooooooooooo, I heard myself say yes. I spent the next few hours drinking wine and listening to Holly’s childhood pet stories.

The highlight: The time Holly’s guinea pig had pneumonia and she nursed it back to health with a heating pad. The lowlight: The time Holly’s guinea pig had pneumonia and she nursed it back to health with a heating pad.

On Thursday, Holly spent the day with her family. While Ted farted and enjoyed his space (all ten feet of it), we ate turkey at my mother’s house.

On Friday, Holly and Ted came over again. After lunch, Chuck and Ted "got lost" at the casino on the way to Home Depot (don't ask). Holly and I spent the next five hours watching Junior push his trains around the track.

"Is Thomas puffin?"


Somewhere in there I drank mass amounts of wine and sent Chuck threatening text messages like, “I guess u never want 2 hve sex again.”

The men came home. Chuck left for a stag (yah, I know). Holly and Ted spent the night. We played Scrabble. The only words Holly and I could come up with had to do with trains. Ted felt suspiciously like a third wheel.

On Saturday, Ted left at 8 a.m. to be to work in Boston. Holly offered to keep me company for breakfast while Chuck slept (bastard). Again, we watched Junior push his trains around the track. When Junior asked, “Is Thomas puffin'?” she answered, “Uh huh! Yes! Yep! He is! Uh huh! He is, sweetie!”

Suddenly I realized I’d become numb to her eagerness to please. I also realized I’d rather hear her sing-song voice than my brother’s toxic flatulence. When Holly left at noon, Junior and I watched her from the window. I started to feel something, something achy and sad in the stillness: separation anxiety.

If a train puffs in a playroom and Holly isn’t around to hear it, does it make a sound?

I swear, if my brother breaks off the engagement, I will date her myself. Even if she is clingy and lazy and she monitors my wine intake like a busybody. Even if she does tell too many guinea pig stories and leave lubricant everywhere she goes.

I’ve invested too much time to let her go that easily. We can make it, baby!

Holly and me, up in a tree
First goes Chuck,
Then goes Ted
Then comes Thomas in Tidmouth Shed



Leanne said...

Very weird, but it's a nice kinda weird ya know? Puffin? Is that what trains do? Who knew?

Frogs in my formula said...

What's weird? My bizarre affection for my brother's fiancee? My farting brother? My toddler's obsession with the word puffin'? My husband's absenteeism?

I must know!

SugarBritches said...

You are perhaps the most entertaining blogger I read. This post is classic.

The Mother said...

She's a keeper. But she's gonna hafta get over that wine thing.

blognut said...

If you blindfold her, she won't be able to count how many glasses of wine you drink. That will make her perfect for you.

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

If you and she start dating you're totally going to have to come to an agreement on your wine intake. In that she simply needs to keep up. ;)

Anonymous said...

I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume she doesn't read your blog. Am I right?

Dto3 said...

Am I the only one that noticed the word "HO" on the board? Something tells me it has nothing to do with Santa.

Pricilla said...

I didn't see "puffin" on your scrabble board. Were you skatin'?

It's nice you get along with a potential sister in law. I love one, tolerate one and could happily never see one again.

I guess that's fair even odds for sisters in law.

mo.stoneskin said...

What the hell is 'sni'? Had you been puffing?

Jeanne said...

Just read about Aunt Burty (I TOLD you I was going to catch up with everyone once November was over) and laughed till my belly hurt. Thanks for making my family seem normal!

Anonymous said...

After all you two had been through, it's easy to see how your relationship blossomed.

Guess she'll be sending you gifts and visiting in the upcoming holidays; her new best friend.

Lindy said...

Really? G-U-E-S is a word?

Working Mommy said...

LOL!!! Damn husbands...but on the upside - at least you are now fully versed on Holly's guinea pig!! You should think about buying one yourself...they're fun!

~Working Mommy
Come on by, stay for a while and leave a comment or two!!

Mama Badger said...

Everybody needs an in-law that counts their drinks. Ok, I have one, so it makes me feel better that soon you will, too.

And how sucky was it of your brother to dump her on you? Not fair. You'd better get a damn big piece of wedding cake.

Small Town Mommy said...

I hope things work out between Holly and Ted. It would suck if all your energy was wasted. I would like to hear more about the she-beast. By the way, why did you change your comment identity doohickey? Not all of us blog on Blogger.

Jenni said...

oh my god, is that scrabble board real? because that kills me.

Mammatalk said...

Darling, I've got sisters in law that would eat you for breakfast. This one's a keeper!, love your writing as usual. I giggled throughout!

Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy said...

Wow. And I thought I had an interesting family...

Keely said...

Yeah, those tofu trains, they're ubiquitous.

I rather like my SIL. She keeps up with my wine intake and gets almost as irritated with her mother as I do.

Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...

That is too funny. I must have missed this post when I was out of commission due to small human invasion of my house.

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