If you know me at all, you’ll know I’m a crazy dog lady.
It was the early ’90s. I was at a friend’s Batmitzvah and I was sat at a table full of very pleasant girls, one of whom could not get over the outfit another of the guests was wearing.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve thought I was funny-looking.
I’m not the only one. The second she clapped eyes on me, Tutti, thought I was pretty funny-looking too. And once she realised that any criticism of her new baby sent The Goat into paroxysms of rage, my chicken-legs and I had no chance at all.
There is almost nothing as disappointing as ordering food at a restaurant, expecting it to be delicious and having those expectations smashed into a trillion unpalatable pieces the minute your tastebuds decide to protest your culinary choices.
You know how sometimes you have those days where you want to scream ‘Fuuuuuuck Youuuuuuuuuu!’ at the mundanity of life? (No? Just me? That was awkward!)
Well, you will be heartened to know that according to The Guru you are a ‘multi dimensional being’, living an experiential existence wherever you are right now, while other aspects of your personality live in different countries and centuries simultaneously.
(NB: I could not possibly imagine how I was going to illustrate this post, so I decided that on this occasion, it was probably safer for all of us if I just stuck with the words…)
Sometimes you have those days that you never forget (try as you might). This story is about one of those days. This story is about the day my manager shat her pants.
Happy Friday one and all!
Today, I’d like to introduce my sister Fluffy. I’ve explained before why my 28 year old adult sister is named after a dog (a cute, frivolous, fluffy dog) but what you probably don’t know about her is that she has a lot of other names as well:
I asked my parents for a ‘baby book’. That in itself is an ambiguous request and one that I clearly didn’t articulate well.
I can still vividly remember what I was hoping for. I must have been about 12, and Tutti’s friends were having babies. One of them had this amazing book about birth. Graphic pictures of foetuses in utero, at different stages of incubation. I was fascinated by these pale pink, beady eyed aliens. Fascinated.
I asked for a baby book.
I wanted this:
Instead, I got this:
Not quite what I had in mind. But very educational.
I haven’t always been grateful for what I have.
It pains me to say that, because appreciating the little things, is one of the things I do best. (Which is saying something, since there’s plenty I’m bad at, like geography, maths and not being judgemental).
When people ask me what I want for my birthday, I always say ‘anything’ (which is annoying for those who actually want me to say, “Oh, I’d really love this exact specific thing which you can buy here) – but I mean it. Anything.
Example: If someone gave me, say, a bit of shit on a stick (literally or figuratively, whatever), then so long as it was procured with love and thoughtfulness, I would cherish it forever. Matty has been buying me presents – often jewellery, my favourite thing – for the 12 years we’ve been together, and I can honestly say he’s never got it wrong. Not once. Besides the fact that he has incredibly good taste, I love everything he buys me, because I love Matty, and I know he puts a lot of thought into his gift-buying.
(The Guru, however, has shown room for improvement. Two of Tutti’s particularly grim birthdays involved the unwrapping of a dustbuster and a set of windchimes. Bad, Guru. Very bad.)
The first time in my life I remember feeling ungrateful, was around my 10th birthday. I had decided that what I really, really wanted from my parents was a porcelain doll. God knows why. They’re fragile for starters, and I’m a klutz on legs. But I had already imagined her; all flouncy hair and frilly dress, perfect porcelain face (utterly lacking in personality. Porcelain dolls are kind of snooty when you think about it. They’re like designer-store sales-assistants of the doll world).
Anyway, this is the sort of gift I was anticipating.
So imagine what I thought when I opened my birthday present and I was greeted by THIS:
Not only is she very, very small, she doesn’t exactly have flouncy hair. Nope. Not even one fucking ringlet. In fact, take off her bonnet, and, she has nothing but a fringe! The ABJECT HORROR!
From the back, she looks like Matty!
Of course, what I didn’t realise at the time was that Tutti and The Guru were flat broke (ignorance and innocence is bliss, when you’re 10) and yet they wanted to give me what I’d asked for so badly, because are such gorgeous and lovely parents (and because I am so spoilt) that they did their utmost very best.
The funny thing is, that if they’d given me the porcelain doll I’d imagined, I would have probably lost interest quickly, or accidentally smashed her smug porcelain face in. Instead, this strange little baldy has stuck around for good, and has become one of my most treasured possessions. Not only because she reminds me of how lucky I am to have such thoughtful, lovely, loving parents, but think about it: They bought that for me before the internet was really a thing. And even now, with all the search engines, and shopping sites and buy-anything-at-the-click-of-a-button, you’d have to look pretty long and hard to find something that weird.