All posts tagged: Family

man-toilet-paper-roll-clip-art

These Things Called Doors

This might be a bit odd, but after having spent the past several years living with my parents, my brother, my grandmother and occasionally my grandfather, the things that intrigue me the most about home ownership are: Being able to take naps whenever I want without feeling the need to explain myself. Being able to have sex anywhere I like with whomever I like. Also being able to entertain gentleman callers without my grandmother asking “Are you behaving yourself?” The European looked a bit terrified when she pulled him aside on my birthday and started her usual interrogations but as soon as we were out of earshot, I reminded him that she has Alzheimer’s and asks this of everyone, gentleman caller or not. Being able to leave the house without inviting my grandfather’s scrutiny. My grandfather is the worst. My grandmother is hardly a peach herself—she always want to know where you’re going and if she can come along, then she gets pouty when you tell her “no”—but my grandfather inspires a certain brand of …

plants

Confessions of a Plant Killer

My mom is, amongst other things, a fabulous gardener and florist. She does wedding flowers, volunteers for the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, leads workshops, judges garden contests and can grow just about anything, anywhere. I, on the other hand can kill just about anything, anywhere. My mother is very proud of me in most regards but I know, deep down, that my lack of horticultural prowess is ever-so-slightly disappointing to her. Which is why, I suppose, she cleared out some old galvanized planters and casually offered them to me for my new house. I love anything galvanized. In fact, the only thing I love more than regular galvanized stuff is free galvanized stuff so I said “Yes!” without a moment’s hesitation. In my mind, you see, I am a great gardener. In my mind I grow herbs and actually cook with them. In my mind, I have a fantastic urban container garden made of creatively “up-cycled” objects. In my mind, my patio looks so fabulous that magazine editors start calling me to do photo shoots. In …

overwhelmed-person-with-pillow-over-head1

My 2014 Hit List

I like sleeping.  A lot.  Hence the reason I want to murder people who wake me up earlier than I intend to wake up. For the past few months, TWD has been at the top of my hit list.  He gets up early—so early that it’s still dark out.  I understand that this is a perfectly normal thing for a fairly large percentage of the gainfully employed population but it is not normal for me.  And while he’s very good about setting his clothes out the night before, he’s not actually very good at waking up. He hits snooze. A lot. Sometimes two or three times.  It’s bad enough when he’s using his cell phone (which plays a nice little love song in Spanish) but when he uses the actual alarm clock, well, I start to feel a tad bit murderous. Fortunately for TWD, however, he is no longer at the top of my hit list. He’s been replaced, you see, by mother.  And my grandmother.   And my grandfather. Most of the time, I don’t …

plucking eyebrows

Just the Seven of Us…

Did I mention that TWD and I are going on another cruise?  Well, we are.  Only this time it’s going to be a bit different from last year’s trip to Bermuda. Firstly, I’m not worried about us breaking up this time.  (I was, admittedly, a bit concerned last summer—the longest we’d ever spent together was two or three days—but we got through it, didn’t kill each other in the process and rather enjoyed ourselves.) Secondly, his entire family is coming.  And yes, I do mean his entire family: kids, parents and even his maternal grandmother. I’m a bit nervous.  I don’t like traveling in groups.  In fact, I don’t really like traveling with anyone.  But this, I suppose, is one of those times when the journey is more important than the destination.  And I’ve already been to the Bahamas, so if I don’t get to check every last tourist attraction off of my to-do list, I can live with that. I’m still doing my best not to reveal the age or gender of TWDs kids …

no-chocolate

Chocolate is (not) for sharing

I know that relationships are supposed to be love and sharing and all but sometimes I don’t want to share.  Especially when it comes to chocolate.  And especially when it comes to my boyfriend who thoroughly enjoys dark chocolate but never gets around to actually buying any of his own. For the past year and a half, I’ve been the sole chocolate-provider in our relationship.  And while I don’t mind doling out a few squares between numbers when he’s been kind enough to accompany me to some wacky venue for some wacky post modern dance concert, I do mind when we’re at his place and the dessert offerings are limited to Chips Ahoy. The Chips Ahoy, of course, are for his kids.  And I understand that as a father, he needs to keep a certain amount of milk chocolate around the house (and whole milk, and Pop Tarts, and Chex Mix).  I’ve even come to tolerate the seemingly endless supply of Doritos (not that I would ever eat them, at least not more than 20 …

This is not my abuelo because my abuelo lives downstairs, but if he ever ends up in the hospital, this is what he will look like.

Wisdom from Downstairs: How Local Roads will End Gun Violence

My grandfather is a retired mechanic.  Retired for thirty years mind you, and seeing as he never had the good sense to take up golf or Sudoku or anything aside from shredding checks and building cat mobiles, he’s always itching for a good project. The only problem with his projects is that they invariably involve a lecture, and a rather condescending lecture at that.  He has very specific ideas about the way things should be done.  For instance, you should not keep your vehicle registration card inside your vehicle because then if the car gets stolen and the thief finds himself in possession of both your vehicle and the registration card, you’ve got a real problem. (“Real problems,” by the way, are the bane of my grandfather’s existence.) When I took my grandfather’s car to Hoopers Island for the Annual Black Friday Martini Bar Soiree, I had to sign over my entire life’s saving and first born son in order to be entrusted with the vehicle registration. “Get an envelope,” he told me, “because if …

ice cubes

The Great Ice Wars of 2012

If you don’t hear from me after today, it’s because The Great Ice Wars of 2012 have finally reached their inevitable conclusion and I’m lying dead on the kitchen floor. What are The Great Ice Wars of 2012?  I’m so glad you asked. You see, it’s New Years Eve which means the entire family is in party prep mode.  For my mother, this means decorating everything in sight (I’m serious: we have bedazzled ice buckets).  For my father this means making ice. Mind you, we have a perfectly nice ice warehouse across the street (actually I think it’s some kind of beer depot but as a skilled laborer, I’m never sent on beer runs) that sells bags of ice for a few dollars. They’re already frozen and ready to go, and the best part is if you don’t buy them until just before the party, you don’t have to store them until just before the party.  We have a regular sized refrigerator in the kitchen, a mini refrigerator on the 4th floor next to the …

Santa's Christmas Eve gifts for the whole family...

A Little Square Box

I’ve never had a boyfriend spend Christmas Eve before (perhaps because I’ve always ended my relationships just before the holidays) but now that I have, I’m never going back. Boyfriends make Christmas way more fun. They help with your grandmother when she passes out in church holding a lit candle.  (Not sure if it was the wine she drank with dinner or the effects of standing through three verses of Silent Night but either way, she nearly lit the sanctuary on fire.) They provide a welcome respite from family drama.  (And with Tech Support home for the holidays and just starting to comprehend what living with our grandparents entails, there’s no shortage of drama.) They help carry presents, they help take photos and if you’re very, very lucky, they even bring tears to your eyes on Christmas morning when they present you with a small square box. (Pause for dramatic effect…) … ….. ……. My very own house key!  TWD also made me a pair of customized Game of Thrones pajamas.  I was a little …