WARPED HUMOR, GENERAL MAYHEM, AND A SIX-FOOT-TALL VIEW OF LIFE FROM AUTHOR SHIRLEY BAHLMANN
Sunday, January 27, 2008
The Incredible Shrinking Dress
We would have lived happily ever after, too, if I hadn't washed it.
I know, I know, it's my own fault for not reading the care label. But, see, the thing is, I 100 %, absolutely, positively, cannot stand clothing tags touching my skin. It doesn't matter if they're sewn in the neck, side, or waistline of clothing, if they're touching my skin, they're evil. So I always cut them off. Thus, I sealed the fate of the wonderful dress. It shrank.
When I discovered the laundry room disaster, I was next to desperate. I do have other clothes, it's true, but not all of them are cute and comfortable. So I carried this broom-handle skinny strip of fabric around the house, searching for some way of making it normal sized again. I tried a folding chair, I tried the back of the rocking chair, I tried pulling and stretching it with my hands, but it shriveled back to impossibly small as soon as I let go.
ARGH! If I'd only left it big before I washed it, it would probably have fit me just right once it was washed. But how's a girl to know?
I finally tugged it over the back of an upholstered chair. It didn't all fit on there, the shoulders weren't wide enough, but it was all I had and I left it overnight to dry.
The next day, voila! The skirt was wide enough again, wide enough for this woman to wear with a little bit of swish to spare! But wait... what's this? Two bumps right at hip height where the chair ended and the dress continued on. Great. Just where I don't need extra inches.
Next time I go to the fabric store, I'll just have to look for some fabric to match. I can cut some strips and sew them into the sides. After all, cute and comfortable don't come along every day.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Since we're studying Book of Mormon history history in Sunday School, it was only natural that the subject of the New York Sacred Grove came up. As our teacher talked about the miraculous feeling in the grove, my mind skittered backwards to my childhood days when I visited the grove with my family. While we were there, looking up into the heavens and wondering about the events from so long ago, my two brothers had their eyes on the ground, and each one managed to catch a small snake from those sacred grounds. I don't recall if they asked our parents or if they smuggled them in their pockets, but those snakes made it home.
My younger brother's snake was a mild gray color, and eventually had a batch of teeny little baby snakes which we discovered wrapped around the vents on the back of the old black and white TV set. (No, I don't know how they got onto the TV.) When I first saw them, I thought they were little black wires and I touched one. It was soft and it squirmed. I don't remember exactly what happened to them, but I believe my mother gathered them up into a shoe box, and then my memory fails me.
My older brother's snake was a dusky red color, and with a fiery temper to match, was aptly named, "Bad Red." My brother would hold Bad Red's mouth up to his ear and let the snake bite his earlobe, then walk around the house to show off his snake earring. I thought he was terribly brave.
Then, one day, Bad Red went missing. We looked for him, but had no luck until my mother went downstairs to get a load of laundry out of the washing machine. Her scream rose three stories, and brought my brother running. "Did you find my snake?" he asked. She had, right with the clothes flattened to the side of the tub by the spin cycle. The miracle is that Bad Red was still alive, and very much in the mood for biting earlobes. If you think a boy and his dog are a touching sight, you haven't seen a boy and his snake earring.
Friday, January 11, 2008
The Gloves of Love
We were in St. George, Utah, for First Night, a New Year's Eve celebration that involves walking down rows of vendors and performers and games on blocked-off Main Street. Even though it was St. George, Utah's "Dixie," it was cold. I'd brought a coat, and my son supplied scarves and hats. When we started down the street, my husband pushed a pair of thick camouflage gloves into my hands. I slipped them on and enjoyed their comfortable warmth. We listened to music impersonators for Billy Joel, Elton John, Willy Nelson, and Shania Twain, among others. We savored the warm, sweet smell of funnel cakes and mouth-watering Indian fry bread offered for sale. We watched the 10:00 p.m. children's fireworks display before our daughter-in-law, Jamie, took our two-year-old grandson home.
While walking toward the midnight fireworks display site, I grabbed Bob's arm. He had his hands stuffed deep in his pockets. When I slid my hand down into his, his pulled it out of the pocket for a better grip. I noticed that one of his gloves had the forefinger cut out. "That's for my trigger finger," he said, holding his naked fore finger up. (He meant the "trigger" on his camera.) I noticed that his gloves were thin. "I gave you the warm ones," he said, stuffing his hand back into his pocket. "They're nice, aren't they?"
I opened my eyes wide. "Why'd you give me the warm ones?" I asked.
"Why do you think?" he asked, giving me a grin.
I leaned against his arm as we walked. It's been a long time since Bob has given me flowers. He doesn't even say the words, "I love you." The closest I get are the words, "Luv 'em duts." But I'll tell you what, when it comes right down to it, I'll take a diaper changing, dinner cooking, glove sharing guy over lace and roses any day.
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