Am I the Only One Who Notices? and Final Send Off Faux Pas

The other day I commented that I don’t consider items that feature either Dale Earnhardt or Elvis to be art.  That reminded me of Dad’s buddy who used to own the Certified station in Marion.  This guy lived alone, but for a dude he had a rather bizarre decor.  Most of Dad’s single male friends’  homes  were decorated in the “Late 70’s Flea Market Meets Soft Porn” mode.  Many automotive supply companies (since they were marketing to almost exclusively men back then) gave out free nudie calendars and posters.  These freebie nudies made perfect wall hangings for these guys, and they also doubled to cover up the holes in the walls from their drunk and stupid adventures with dart games, beer bottle tossing, or target practice with the BB gun gone terribly awry.  But this guy was different.  His house was spotlessly clean and by some unnatural miracle of nature, it was actually color coordinated.  The fact that it didn’t smell like a barroom and there was a strange absence of filled up ashtrays, beer cans all over the floor, and various filth and detritus everywhere as is found in a typical man-cave, did not mean this place was in any way aesthetically pleasing.

Elvis was pictured on almost every item in his house- including the toilet seat.  The only difference between the one pictured above and Dad’s buddy’s Elvis toilet seat is that his Elvis was surrounded with powder blue instead of powder pink.

His lamps were ceramic Elvis busts, also poorly airbrushed.

If only I’d had a camera with me (photography was not nearly as quick and easy before the days of the digital camera and the USB cable) the pictures could have said it all.  Deep blue shag carpet in every room (including the kitchen!)  Elvis decals affixed to each of the kitchen cabinet doors and to the front of the fridge.  All the clocks had Elvis on them.  The pillows and throws on the couch had Elvis on them.  His drinking glasses and coffee mugs had Elvis on them. This place could have been confused with the Church of the High Holy Elvis- and it probably had more badly made, tawdry Elvis kitsch in it than Graceland.  Elvis was the King in this joint, alright- King of the potholders, the crapper, the Kleenex cover on the toilet tank, the lamps and the curtains, ad nauseam.  My retinas were so traumatized that I can never view an object with Elvis on it without either laughing my ass off or wanting to retch.

I had to speculate that perhaps this guy inherited the house with all the Elvis junk. I thought perhaps it was his Mom’s, and then maybe his Mom died and he just left the place the way she left it.  But I soon learned that his Mom lived a few houses down and (though I never got the opportunity to peruse it) legend had it that she had even more Elvis crud in her house.  Then I thought perhaps the Elvis decor was the doing of an ex-wife or ex-girlfriend, but his girlfriend had been in prison in Arizona for the past four years.  So this guy was decorating his home in this bizarre fashion on purpose. 

Maybe I’m being  a bit critical, but I don’t think I can afford to be a big enough fan of anything to decorate my entire house with it.  Maybe when I am old and live alone I can get away with painting every room pink and filling my home with as much Hello Kitty kitsch as I can possibly find.  My friends (the few I have) know how weird I am so it won’t matter.  But I am not a big fan of all the home improvement type stuff.  If it doesn’t need replacing or painting, etc. I am not going to replace stuff just to replace it. 

One thing I did observe yesterday that I thought was kind of cool was as I drove by the beauty academy I saw one of the girls leaving with what looked like one of those Barbie makeover heads you used to be able to buy for little girls so they could learn to put makeup on them and do their hair.  “Angelica” (my sadistic oldest sister) had one of these.  I inherited it from the dog when she (the dog) was done with it, but the dog’s attempts at beautification left Barbie Head snatched nearly bald and rather toothmarked. 

Anyway, for a split second I thought I’d like to have one of these, only with short black hair and a pale white complexion, so I can experiment with makeup before I actually try it on my own face.  Then I realized that it would just be easier to cut out the middleman.  I only wear makeup to keep people from trying to bury me anyway.

Ironically my poor Aunt Ellen never wore makeup until she was dead. 

The whole business of dolling up a deceased loved one for the viewing reminds me of my poor Aunt Ellen.  She was my great-grandmother’s sister, and was 84 when she died back in the late ’80’s.  Unlike my great-grandmother, she was one of those very conservative old ladies who belonged to one of those Pentecostal churches that forbade women to wear makeup or even to wear pants. I think when funeral people dolled her up for the Final Ride, either death had not done her appearance any favors, and/or they really got confused.  Her face was so heavily orangey-pancaked and rouged that it looked as if they were making her up to look like one of the Oompa-Loompas in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. 


To make it even worse, they put some sort of orange day-glo lipstick on her that I swear was so bright it would have fluoresced if someone would have turned on a black lite. (This was a woman who never even wore lipstick until she was dead!)  And she was decked out in one of those Horrible Pink Nighties that funeral homes typically put on old women- the ones that look like someone’s prom dress gone seriously wrong, to boot.  I’m just glad they didn’t try to dye her hair green.

The icing on the cake (and as potentially disrespectful as it was, I could barely keep from explosive laughter by this time) was when my remaining elderly relatives filed by the coffin and remarked, “Doesn’t Ellen look goooood?”  All I could think was – “Have you guys been to LensCrafters lately?”  Ellen looks pretty dead to me!

I’m thinking at best, Ellen looked like an escapee from the Oompa-Loompa Prom, but what do I know?  There’s only so much that mortuary science can do. 

That’s one of the reasons why I want to be cremated.  I don’t want anyone filing past my coffin and commenting, “She looks better dead.”

Please, Reattach Body Parts Should They Fall Off, and Other Things I Should Never Have to Request

I’ve been a sort-of fan of impressionist art. I can appreciate Van Gogh and Monet, but then I can also appreciate cats playing poker. I certainly wouldn’t call myself an art snob.  My tastes in art are varied and eclectic for what it’s worth.

 About the only “art” I draw the line on involves the use of bodily effluvia (snot, poo, pee, etc. are not artistic, sorry) and/or the portrayal of Elvis and/or Dale Earnhardt.

It seems that Jerry must have mistaken himself for Van Gogh last night.  He made another poor decision to go the hell hole to get hammered (what’s so unusual about that?) and managed to inflict bodily injury on himself (again.)  This time it was his ear lobe.  He didn’t come close to actually ripping it off but he fell into something and managed to get about  a 1/2″ cut in it.  It’s not a life threatening cut, and it’s not even in a place that can be stitched, but every time he so much as brushed against it this morning it would bleed.  The pillowcase looks like Freddy Krueger had actually gotten to him in his sleep from the amount of bloodstains on it.  Remember what they said about not going to sleep or Freddy will get you? (Man, I loved the 80’s slasher flicks back in the day…just couldn’t get enough of that slashtastic action.)   

I should have really freaked him out with that observation, but I was busy enough trying to get him to let me put a band-aid on it or something.  One would  have thought from the drama that Freddy really did come in and slash him last night.

I put a little note in his lunch for the guys to read.  Today’s should be very funny.

Dear Guys:

Please be extra nice to Jerry today.  Last night he was so confused and distraught he mistook himself for Vincent Van Gogh and tried to cut his ear off.  Should it actually fall off, please take him to the ER so it can be reattached.  Thank you for your patience and understanding.

I thought it was weird when I had to leave messages with Steve-o’s sitter such as:

Please do not allow Stephan to eat all five boxes of Pop-Tarts I sent in one day.  He is permitted one package of two Pop-Tarts per day.  Thanks!  (This was actually a note to my mother, who for some reason thought it was OK to let a six year old free-forage in the kitchen.)

Please do not allow Stephan to eat more than two (2) Fig Newtons with any given meal.  Figs give him Montezuma’s Revenge.

Please do not allow Stephan to chew on your dog’s toys unless you sanitize them.  I wouldn’t want your dog getting any diseases.

Of course, I still think that my request directly to Steve-o to just put the dirty pants in the wash without sniffing the crotch as a “freshness” test, takes the prize.   I never imagined I would ever have to say this to a 17 year old.

I’ve had to request some strange things in my lifetime, but I’m used to it.  Not too many things shock me anymore. 

I’m sure I’ll think of some though.

Woman to Woman Cruelty and Other Wedding Insanity

Woof.  I don’t see any bridesmaids though, which means this chick either a. Didn’t have any female friends, or b. Was kind enough to her female friends to refrain from asking them to be bridesmaids.

The cruelest thing that one woman can do to another (and believe me, we bitches can be sadistic) is to ask a “friend” or unfortunate relative to be a bridesmaid at her wedding.  There are many reasons for this.

Traditionally the bridesmaids have to pay for their own dresses.  Now if I had the audacity to ask someone to be in my wedding, I really can’t justify requiring her to buy something that she probably can’t afford and probably will never wear again.   Considering what some bridezillas expect their “friends” or unfortunate female relatives to wear, just having to wear it one time is punishment enough without the pain of actually having to buy it.

Give me a break.  One would think you wouldn’t want your wedding pictures marred by Big Fat Bertha’s meaty arms and that overall overstuffed sausage casing look that large women lend to slinky no-sleeve dresses.  It’s no crime to be large, but if you want large girls in your wedding, please find dresses that will flatter ALL your bridesmaids’ figures.  Dresses with sleeves!!! Dresses that will restrain the “puppies” at least enough so that they don’t fly out the top of the dress every time the wearer bends over!

I like pink.  I really do, including hot pink.  However, this dress is only suitable if you are four years old and playing with Barbie dolls.  It will only fit properly on those with the proportions of a Barbie doll too, so please remember, Big Fat Bertha is going to look like a tarred and feathered giant pink whale in this monstrosity.

This is the absolute WORST dress on the planet for many reasons. I didn’t think in all my trolling that I could find a dress this bad, but I did.  I don’t think I’d like it even if the President pictured on it were to be the late, esteemed Ronald Reagan.  I particularly abhor sleeveless dresses of any kind because they are only flattering to the Calista Flockhart set.  Women like me who are all upper body and are proportioned like mutant trolls look really horrible in sleeveless dresses of any sort.   They bring attention to our meaty arms and ample chests.   However, the worst thing about this dress is the most obvious.  Anyone who would even think for one minute that I would wear, much less buy, a dress with Obama’s picture on it, can shove it where the sun don’t shine.  ACCK!

Thankfully I am old enough now that it is highly unlikely anyone would want me to be one of their bridesmaids (given that most of my female friends and acquaintances are either married or happily divorced already) and I would have to vehemently (though politely) refuse due to poverty anyway.  The last time I was strongarmed into doing the bridesmaid thing was when my oldest sister got married, and that was only because Dad wanted her to shut up.  That cost me $300 for a dress I never wore again, and $800 in car repairs from damage inflicted to my suspension on the road trips to and from the lovely Detroit area.  I don’t think there are shittier freeways than in the Detroit area anywhere. Never again.  My sister got her last sadistic laugh on that one.  I don’t understand why she just didn’t substitute a far prettier, more affluent and more photogenic friend.  That was pretty stupid on her part, but I think she got a certain satisfaction just in getting her way, and in the delicious knowledge that it was a major hardship for me to play her game.  When she got married I was in the process of arranging my divorce and needed every dime I could save to get away from my ex. 

There is, however, no arguing with a bridezilla.  My pleas of poverty and desperation fell upon deaf ears.  I expected my Dad to defend me, but even he couldn’t stand up to her incessant whining about it, so I got roped in and acquiesed to keep the peace with my Dad.  I will NEVER allow anyone to do something like that to me again.  It would have been different if I could have afforded it and/or my situation in life would have been different, but it’s pretty damned cruel to expect a woman in an abusive marriage who is trying to get out and get a divorce, to take her freedom fund and blow money to be in someone else’s wedding.  It may have been a happy occasion for her, but to me it was just another pointed reminder of what a dismal failure my life up to that point was.  I know I should forgive and forget, and I do try, but the sheer insensitivity and cruelty of  it made me feel like a bad puppy getting her nose rubbed in shit.  Having to pay for that fugly dress was hard enough, but having to deal with all the car repairs on top of it really added insult to injury.

Then again, asking someone who is on the brink of divorce to be in your wedding is pretty damned callous to begin with, and I don’t care who you think you are.

The things that bridezillas will do. 

I can’t see the logic in the big behemoth weddings anyway.  I see it as a huge waste of money and time.  I am grateful for one thing about Jerry and my wedding- we simply went to the courthouse, paid the county their $50 fee and got married by the justice of the peace du jour who was a Methodist pastor filling in for one of the judges.  No special clothes, no extensive travel, no fanfare, and it was just fine by me.  Of course we did not make any mention of it until after the deed was done so my mother couldn’t barge in and turn a wedding into an all-you-can-eat free for all for all her friends, most of whom I don’t know from Adam’s housecat.  Jerry does have his good points, and in this his frugality was a huge advantage.

Admittedly most women are not as minimalist as I am, and most women have more female friends than I do.  Even so, expecting one’s “friends” and female relatives to put up huge outlays of cash just so they can be there for you on your “big day” is a bit much.  It’s different if they are invited and can decline gracefully if circumstances don’t allow them to participate. 

I think people should remember that marriage isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.  There’s no such thing as a knight in shining armor or a woman who is perpetually a celestial vision, even if you plow through thousands of dollars to maintain that illusion for one day.  I say you might as well jump into reality.  Prince Charming he ain’t, she’s no prize either, so you either want to deal with that or not.  Romance is dead, and there is no such thing as true love.  If you can get by from day to day without throttling the son of a bitch, you’re doing good.

Of course it is always possible to simply live alone with the dogs.