April 13, 2009

The Monster(s) in the Closet

Yesterday, I took the day off to celebrate Easter by an AWESOME and rousing celebratory church service, followed by a slightly less joyful attempt to deep fry a pack of blue rabbit marshmallow Peeps.

It did not go well. Fried Peeps, if you must know, taste like warm, oversweetened phlegm coated in burned sugars. YOU ARE WELCOME! Maybe if the Peeps had been traditional chicks? In yellow instead of blue? But we used the chicks for epic Peep-on-Peep toothpick-sword battles in the microwave. We also tried another Peep-based culinary enterprise that was a MAJOR hit with the 12 and under set (and even Scott) ---peanut butter and Peep sandwiches. On whole grain bread. Because I am all about the nutrition.


TODAY I went back to spring cleaning --- While my child-laborers were gone, I abandoned it entirely to work on the book. But NOW…If you look under my bed, the carpet glows up, virtuous and unmolested by the presence of flotsam, and even jetsam is nobbut a memory. As the great clean continues, let my under-bed stand as a testament to my industry and ruthlessness.

The closet, however…. My closet is a an unbreachable horror.

Demons have infested it. DEMONS, I tell you! Tireless, priapic, writhing REPRODUCTIVE ORGY demons. Since pigs were PROBABLY not available in my closet (although I make no promises – a couple hundred pigs could well be back buried in there SOMEWHERE) the demons chose to hurl themselves into my herd of shoes. They were wildly indiscriminate in their pairings and matings.

They have caused the shoes to combine and reproduce in haphazard and prolific ways. There is not another explanation I will accept for the rampant proliferation of high heeled black sling backs, some with toes peeped, some with toes pointy, that have manifested in the general chaos. A MILLIPEDE going to a wedding would not need this many black sling back heels.

I fled the closet with the bulk of its horrid corners unexplored this morning and am currently ensconced virtuously doing more edits in Starbucks. I am MOST of the way through with edits and may well STAY here in Starbucks until I am ready to turn Backseat Saints in. A good four days, I would say. I don’t think the barristas will mind as long as I keep buying lattes and perfect oatmeals, do you?

JUST PLEASE don’t make go back home and face the SHOES.

How did I end up with umpty thousand pairs? Why are so MANY of them so UGLY? DO I SERIOUSLY still have DYED ELECTRIC BLUE SIZE 7 ½ BRIDESMAID SHOES in there, even though the equally hideous electric blue bow-on-the-tush dress they were dyed to match was dropped off at the Goodwill a decade ago, where it no doubt STILL is hanging, waiting for someone colorblind, tasteless, and on a two dollar budget to pick it out for a Prom? Or perhaps someone’s mother will buy it for them, believing, and rightly so, that the dress is hideous enough to serve as birth control---a butt-bowed bulwark against sin, promoting chastity by removing all chance of male attraction?

And by the way – what irony to inflict something so heinous on a place called GOODwill, as if there was actual kindness behind me dumping it there, instead of a self-preserveatory desperation to poke from my brain (with a lobotomy needle if necessary) the butt-clenchingly SHAMEFUL memories of bouncing rhythmlessly with a groomsman around a parquet dance floor at some reception hall, squidgy on champagne, while a cover band murdered the mortal remains of Wooly Bully.

I have seen at least ONE of those shoes, so there is one left at a minimum. It was peering out at me from beneath a chest of HIDEOUS crew neck pastel cable knit sweaters circa 1992 which also seem to have been demonically multiplying.

The good part: I found another MAISY written bestseller on the floor. It is AWESOME. The child is brilliant. The book is called, “MOMMY DO YOU LOVE ME WRIITEN BY MAISY ILLUSTRATED BY MAISY.”

On the first page is a picture of a little girl who would be pretty if she wasn’t handicapped by the weight of eyelashes as long and thick and heavy as lengths of garden hose. This must be the titular Anna. She is blinking up at her equally long-eyelashed but sadly armless mother.

The text reads:

“Mommy, do you love me?” said Anna.
“Oh Anna! Of course I do!” said Mommy.

The next page, Anna sits with a stick figure daddy, and it reads:

“Daddy, do you love me?” said Anna.
“Oh Anna! Of course I do!” said Daddy.

On the last page, a pious Anna kneels beneath the rolling clouds of heaven, her hands folded in prayer. Her disfiguring lashes have dragged her lids closed.

“God, do you love me?” said Anna.
“Oh Anna! Of course I do!” said God. “More than I love the rest!!!!!!”

God says that last bit in HUGE letters with a lot of exclamation points.
My children (like my closet) may have their little flaws, but never let it be said that they lack self esteem.

Posted by joshilyn at April 13, 2009 11:08 AM

Sounds like a prom dress for Maisy when she hits highschool !! :P

Posted by: Lia at April 13, 2009 11:25 AM

I need to get some magically reproducing black slingbacks in my closet. All my black shoes look like they have been through a war and every time I go to buy new ones I get distracted by something in a pretty color (generally orange) that is far too on sale to pass up.

Posted by: Dani at April 13, 2009 11:30 AM

That blue dress reminds me of something my sister-in-law received at a bridal shower. It was the most hideous bile-green nightgown you could ever imagine. We named it "the prophylactic nightie".

Posted by: catherino at April 13, 2009 11:38 AM

I'm going to try peep and peanut butter sandwiches! Sounds awesome...

And I think cable knit sweaters are making a comeback. I learned this just after I donated all of mine from 2 decades ago.

I'm thinking that I should be inspired by all of your cleaning to get to work in my own house, but so far have only gotten so far as perusing my favorite blogs and facebook, while nibbling on Easter chocolates.

Posted by: Carol at April 13, 2009 12:50 PM

Can I just say that I love Maisy? She is too
adorable for words!

Posted by: Michelle at April 13, 2009 1:26 PM

I'm impressed by Maisy's skill at plot development.

Posted by: Jan in Norman, OK at April 13, 2009 4:32 PM

The best use for a horrendous bridesmaid's ensemble I ever saw was years ago. A local newspaper was having one of their buy-a-newspaper, make-a-donation-to-charity days and one of the volunteer paper vendors was wearing a satin dress and dyed-to-match pumps she'd obviously worn to be in someone's wedding. It's always cold when they do those fund drives (makes you buy a paper simply out of pity), so I hope she had long underwear under it, but damn, she sure stuck out from the rest of the crowd!

Posted by: Eleanor at April 13, 2009 4:37 PM

Okay. I've been a reader here a long time, right? Are you seriously telling me that you're not sure how you got a lot of SHOES? Hmmm... let me think. Think, think, thinkthinkthink.

Shoes and Joss, sittin' in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G.

Posted by: Aimee at April 13, 2009 5:58 PM

Maybe the DEMONS in the closet made the blue peep sandwich? LOLOLOL YUCK - I have to say that is beyond not appetizing LOLOLOL

Posted by: Jill Cooper at April 13, 2009 7:46 PM

Ahh. I would much rather read about you Not Cleaning than finish my own cleaning. Thank you.
I had an electric blue dress for Homecoming, 1982. I made my mom proud, yes I did.

Posted by: JulieB at April 13, 2009 8:34 PM

Okay, things got really, really funny as the post progressed, and I almost forgot to ask the question that popped into my head at the beginning: Why, oh why, would you try to deep fry a peep? Eeeewwww. (I mean this in the most non-judgmental way, of course.) But really. Why? ;>)

Posted by: Sandra Leigh at April 13, 2009 11:22 PM

That Maisy story should SO go into a box marked "things to bring up at Maisy's rehearsal dinner." Just sayin'.

Posted by: Amy-Go at April 14, 2009 9:39 AM

Love Maisy. Love you. HATE that sandwich--sorry. Ugh. Maybe you could use it to kill a character in your next novel? You know, slip some arsenic into the pb & peeps. . .

Posted by: Roxanne at April 14, 2009 11:19 AM

Hah! I love the Peep sandwich. I used my little kitchen torch on some Peeps to give them a bit of a "creme brulee" effect. It was a bit disappointing.

Posted by: Lindsey at April 14, 2009 12:07 PM

A pb and peep sandwich doesn't sound all that different from a "Fluffernutter"--pb and marshmallow Fluff--sandwich; we've been eating them for years at my house! Ya got yer whole-grain bread fer carbs, yer pb for protein, and yer dessert (sweet, squooshy Fluff!); it's almost an entire balanced meal, right in your hand! All you need to add is the vegetables! Asparagus, anyone?

Maisy instinctively understands the "Rule of Threes," which is also revered in comedy. She must get her smarts from you.

Aaand, I prolonged "gods in Alabama" for as long as I could, but I have now finished it. I am so disappointed for it to be over!! I forced myself to read only small bits at a time, the same way I consume a Fudge Torte, but the rich, chocolatey ending had to happen sometime. And the days in-between, while I was at work, were delicious torment. What if....?? What will...?? How...?? Will...?? (Okay, I really CAN'T be more circumspect than that!:-))

Please, oh please--write faster!


Posted by: Jennifer at April 14, 2009 1:27 PM

Never fear, pretty Joss. Your Goodwilled dress has doubtless been picked up by a college student attending an '80s themed party.

And your Best Beloveds are SO DAMNED FUNNY in the comments! PROPHYLACTIC NIGHTIE!!! Hysterical.

Posted by: Erin at April 14, 2009 1:43 PM

So when do we get to see the illustrations to Maisy's masterpiece?

My son loves the PB & blue peeps sandwich idea. I suspect there may be one in his lunch tomorrow.

Posted by: Terri at April 14, 2009 6:13 PM

Yes, can we please see Anna's garden-hose lashes (they must look like that because poor Mommy has no arms to wash Anna's face)??

Posted by: Jennifer at April 15, 2009 9:21 AM

I am seriously worried about you my friend. Fried blue dyed peeps has clogged your synapes so badly you ask (in all seriousness)"How did I end up with umpty thousand pairs?"

Seriously - Karen, Amy, Mir, and a bushel of Georgia peaches can tell you and everyone else how Joss (yeah you) can wax rapturously poetic over a pair of Jimmy Choo's, just before you swoon from deprivation of suede wedgies.

On the other hand, Maisy will soon be on the NY Best sellers list for children's literature and keep you happily in shoes and the personal stylist to over see and inventory your addiction, err I mean passion.

Posted by: Cele at April 17, 2009 1:20 AM