Friday, January 13, 2012
The holidays are over and it’s back to the grindstone. We only had Small Son here for the week between Christmas and New Year’s and it was weird. Good, but weird. First of all, it was cheap. He had been here for about three days, when I finally said, “Gentlemen, we need to stop at that ATM (Bancomat) across the street because I am out of money”.
I was chuckling to myself while pulling my euros out of the machine because, when all 9 or 10 (depending upon the girlfriend/boyfriend situation at any given time) of us are together, I go to the ATM at least twice a day. Here it had been three days until I finally ran out of euros. Little Dude! You need to start spending some money or else your father is going to get used to this “thrifty vacation” crap! You need to start pointing at random shop windows and saying, “Hey, Pops, I NEED that”. He was letting down the team!
One can’t let Mr. Big get too complacent or it could get to be a habit. And then where would Charming Daughter, Mrs. Domestic Son and Grand One be next time they came to visit? In the bread line, begging for centimes, or at the “Grand Magazin” at the January sales? No, I tell you, this needed to be nipped in the bud.
ME: Small Son, what is that you are wearing on your hands?
SS: I can’t find my snowboarder gloves.
ME: Really? (With an evil twinkle in my eye.) Well, why didn’t you say something, son? I think we need to walk down to the shops right this very second and buy you some INCREDIBLY EXPENSIVE gloves.
SS: Um, OK, maybe later. These are good for now.
AAAARGH! Kid! What am I going to do with you? You come for an entire week and your father only shells out 381 euros all week which includes the tube of toothpaste you forgot to bring. Do you see the dangerous precedent you are setting? Then, when the girls come to visit and we spend 381 euros in ONE STORE in FIVE MINUTES, he will have a stroke and all the good work I’ve been doing for the last 25 years will have been for naught.
Maaaa! Where’s the Coke?
We’re out. Drink water.
NOOO! Mom, seriously, where’s the Coke? Stop trying to be funny, Mom, because you’re no good at it. Now, where’s the Coke?
Anyway, it was nice to spend time alone with just Small Son. I really hadn’t done that since the “gap year” after his sister went away to college and he was still in high school. We did enjoy, during that year, going out to dinner, just he and I, (remember, Mr. Big travels Monday-Friday), and doing crossword puzzles in the restaurant with no one else bothering us. He is my retro-geeky-whiz-kid and I just love him to death. (Right now, I’m sure he is reading this and texting his brother and sister—“Favorite Child, blog alert, Favorite Child!”)
What is Crepi, you ask? Well, let me tell you. CREPI is the stuff that all Americans wish they had when they want that “Tuscan” finish. Yeah. That stuff. This is how Europe does it, America. And they are keeping it a deep, dark secret and quietly enjoying watching you pay MAJOR dollars to a “faux finisher” to get the same “look”.
So, with a soggy dog clutched in your fist, you schmear it on your house. And, voila, after three days of this, you have magically turned your pink basement-level floor into something that vaguely resembles a 200-year old French barn. If you squint. And have a couple bottles of wine. Whatever. It looks BETTER, and that’s all I’ve got to say about that, except that I was rockin’ some serious biceps there for about a week.
This is how I found myself lugging 65 (not an exaggeration) Hefty bags of rock out of the living room, out onto the deck, across the lawn, down the hill and chunking it up under the house. Mr. Big was like, “What in the HELL are you doing, woman?” Well, snookums, I am TRYING to make everything look pretty for our future barbeque guests. Y’all, I was actually STRATEGICALLY trying to place these rocks in some random order so that they looked NATURAL and not like what they actually were, which was chunks of concrete from inside an imploded fireplace. I think the magic Crepi ate away at whatever little bits of sanity I was still operating with. Seriously.
Anyway, all of it is now under 5 feet of snow and no one will see it until May, so it really doesn’t matter. What does matter is that I DID clear out the old, ugly fireplace and we now have a new, ugly 18-inch deep pit in the middle of the living room, which is a story for another day.