Laughing With A Friend About Her Peeping Mom Problem

HERE’S the dealio. Friend and her husband live in a house on a country road, with an acre front yard, situated on the top of a steep hill.

This is rural. Very rural.

Directly across the way on the other side of the road on top of another hill is Friend’s husband’s parents’ house.

From their front doors they can see each other’s houses in general, but not the specifics, such as what’s going on inside the house or who’s sitting on the front porch.

Because they’re isolated up on their hills, it is private.

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Antique wire-rim spectacles

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EXCEPT that Mother-in-Law recently retired from a full-time job and bought a pair of binoculars to watch the birds in the trees that surround her house on a hill in the middle of freaking nowhere.

However birdwatching has not been enough to keep MIL entertained.  She is bored. And clever.  

In fact, MIL has figured out that by sitting just so in her living room she can use her birding binoculars to look inside Friend’s house.

Or to see who’s sitting on Friend’s front porch.

To spy, in other words.

This new turn of events has put a strain on Friend and MIL’s relationship.  MIL sees nothing wrong with peeping in on her son & wife’s daily life, and despite being asked to, will not stop her peeping.

Friend is peeved.

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Bowl of plastic eyeballs

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BEING a pragmatic soul I asked Friend why she didn’t shut the blinds on the windows on the front of the house. She told me she didn’t want to do that because it was unfair for her to have to do something she didn’t want to do because of her MIL’s interference in her life.

Uh huh.

So I suggested that Friend needed to do something to get MIL’s blood pressure up and offend her enough so that she’ll stop being a peeping mom.

“Amuck, amuck, amuck…”

To wit, I suggested that Friend could join a coven, dress like the witches in Hocus Pocus, and have a witches meeting in her front yard, complete with dancing, spells, and a big cauldron of boiling something, like the witches of Macbeth.

“Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and caldron bubble.”

And you know what, my gentle readers?  Friend told me that I was being silly, unsympathetic to her plight, and that I was: “NOT TAKING THIS SERIOUSLY.”

To which, between giggles, I managed to say: “You’re right, because this is not a problem. This is an opportunity to EITHER get over MIL’s interference & shut your dang blinds OR cause some mayhem.”

The choice is hers.

Question of the Day

With a peeping mom directly across the street from your house, would you buckle under and shut the blinds?

OR

Would you stir the pot and cause some trouble to make a “mind your own bidness” point to peeping mom?

I await your insightful answers in the comments below.

The Tale Of The Nosy Robin + Reading Material For Your Edification

ONCE UPON A TIME the Lady of the House was minding her own bidness, standing in her kitchen pouring some granola into a bowl, when she was startled, almost out of her skin, by an obnoxious bird.

THIS BIRD, A ROBIN, made himself known by peering into the kitchen as if he wanted into the house.  Which wasn’t going to happen.

THE LADY OF THE HOUSE, in a Tippi Hedren moment, had a sudden horrifying flashback to The Birds, a creepy movie the Lady of the House saw at an impressionable age.

UPON REGAINING HER COMPOSURE the Lady of the House watched as the nosy robin stalked her, boldly staring at her and the bowl of granola that she was eating.

NOT WANTING TO RUFFLE any feathers the Lady of the House, a charitable woman, decided to give the nosy robin some granola.  Hence she bravely went outside onto her deck, and put a small handful of granola on the railing.

HOWEVER, THE UNGRATEFUL ROBIN flew away when the Lady of the House walked onto the deck, leaving the granola untouched.

WHILE YOU MIGHT THINK that’d be a good thing, it turns out that what the Lady of the House inadvertently did was chase the nosy robin to the front of the house where he dive-bombed the outside of the window in the foyer for hours.  The end.

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Learn More About Robins AND OTHER BIRDS

Birds Attacking Windows

How to Stop Birds Attacking Window Glass

Birds as Omens and Signs

Has The Mystery Behind Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds Been Solved?

When The Red Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbin’ Along

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Happy Spring!

“Live, Love, Laugh and Be Happy”

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How To Turn A Bully Into A Fool [Part 2 of 2]

[Part 1 of this childhood story is here.]

The next time Karl started hassling me was in class a few days later.

He sat a row in front of me and turned around to torment me, the quiet girl named Alice, by mocking my name in a sing-song fashion: “Alice in Wonderland, Alice in Wonderland.”

I was mad.

Following my father’s advice I turned to Karl and said loudly: “So who are you? The March Hare?”

As fate would have it, our teacher, Miss Thomas, a maiden lady [as they used to say to describe unmarried women over 50], was standing at the end of my row.

She was a known disciplinarian, seemingly devoid of whimsy.

However, my adult putdown of a kid who she knew was going to be trouble for years to come caught her off guard, and she burst out laughing.  At which point the rest of my class joined her in laughing at red-faced Karl, former bully turned class buffoon, thanks to a few well said words at the right time.

Thank you, Daddy.

From this experience I learned three valuable lessons that have stayed with me to this day:

  1. Words have power;
  2. If you can make people laugh, you can make a point;  and
  3. Bullies are weaklings who you can take down, one way or another, if you just apply yourself to making them look like fools in front of their peers.

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R Is For Rhubarb, Rightly So

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 11.01.10 AM“Lady, you know what happens at a sale, when two women get hold of the same dress? THAT’s a Rhubarb!”

~ Rhubarb, a 1951 baseball movie

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I chose rhubarb as my letter “R” because, beyond knowing that it’s a tart vegetable with great health benefits, I knew there was a cute old movie about baseball and a cat named Rhubarb.

I remember seeing the movie somewhere along the line, and from that movie I knew that rhubarb was a slang term in baseball meaning a disagreement or a fight.

What I did not know when I started researching rhubarb is that the word is sometimes defined as nonsense.  As in you might say: “Jane is talking rhubarb.”

I also did not know that “rhubarb” is the word that extras in a play say while onstage to create background noise.

I also did not know that “on a rhubarb” was WWII fighter pilot slang for being on a strafing mission on enemy ground.

Finally, I also did not know that “hitting the rhubarb” is slang for getting so drunk that you can’t drive without going off the road.

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And that, kids, is today’s installment of my A To Z Challenge theme, FOOD: Talking The Talk. 

Shopping For Tile: A Tale Of Snobbery & Comeuppance

In and of itself what happened when I went shopping at the fancy tile store, where we bought all of our tile for this house when we had it built years ago, was no big deal.

I’m not unfamiliar with snobby sales clerks in the big city.

But this particular indifferent, snobby sales clerk, who I shall call Gumdrop, was sixty years old, if a day, and she went out of her way to ignore me.  She said “hello” when I walked into the store, then before I could reply she went back to looking at her smart phone.

I did not exist.

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I started walking around the lovely, well-organized, upscale tile store, hoping that when Gumdrop finished not helping me, she’d help me.

I dream.  What can I say?

Eventually, after I’d explored the drawers, shelves, and wall displays of tiles on my own, I went over to Gumdrop and forced her to listen to me.  I told her we were going to replace the tile around our fireplace in the family room, a room that is open into the kitchen.

Did she have some suggestions?

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Without a single word, and this is where it gets interesting, Gumdrop took me to one small display of khaki/tan ceramic tiles, and said “this.”

She didn’t ask about our color scheme, the size of the room, the scale of the fireplace.  She didn’t ask about our style preferences.

She just told me to buy what she was pointing at.

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In what I can only describe as a delightful irony of ironies, the inexpensive ho-hum tile that Gumdrop pointed to is what we have on the floor in the laundry room.

The floor, people.  THAT’S THE TYPE OF TILE SHE ASSUMED WAS APPROPRIATE FOR ME TO HAVE AROUND THE FIREPLACE IN MY HOME.

I mentioned that I was familiar with the tile she was pointing at because I walk on it every day.  Then I asked her to show me something else.

She did this while grumbling that I could easily pull out any of the tile displays from the wall.  And I agreed that I could, but I wasn’t going to.  That was her job.

So do it, Gumdrop.

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I believe it is at this point that it began to dawn on Gumdrop, who works on commission, that she might have screwed the pooch with me.  Suddenly she was inquiring about the details of our project, but I was no longer interested in dealing with her.

So, mentioning that money was no object but obviously there was nothing in this store for me, I politely left the store, discouraged that I’d bothered to drive to a fancy tile store in the middle of an industrial district on a snowy afternoon, to be snubbed.

Humph.

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But ultimately the joke is on Gumdrop and the fancy tile store because my small little fireplace project was just the beginning.  Yep, we’re going to be redoing our 14′ x 12′ master bathroom sometime in the next few years and there’ll be lots of tile involved.

Oodles of it, which up until this incident I would have purchased at the fancy tile store.  But now?  Not going to happen.

Big mistake, Gumdrop.  Big mistake.

Sharing My World, As One Does When One Keeps A Blog

Thanks to joey of Joeyfully Stated I’ve become aware of Cee’s Photography’s Weekly Share Your World Questions.

I’ve decided to answer them this week because I like to keep things fresh and vibrant around here. No same old, same old for me.

Variety rocks.

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Q1: Have you done something you truly want to do today?

A1: Yes, I have.  I started sorting through my clothes, accessories, shoes, focusing on getting rid of things I don’t like and/or things that don’t fit properly.

I’m not a clothes horse and would enjoy having less stuff to deal with every time I need to get dressed.  Which is to say, every day.  So this is a step in the right direction for me.

Q2: What can you help the world with?

A2: I’m better than the average bear at figuring out solutions to problems involving, but not limited to: understanding family dynamics;  planning for any event;  and decorating your home in a way that reflects your personality.

Yep, that’s what I can do for the world.  Facilitate understanding about what makes people tick;  get things done in an organized way;  and support you as you make things pretty.

Q3: If life was “just a bowl of cherries”… which fruit other than a cherry would you be…?

A3:  Difficult question.  I’m torn between being a blueberry which would snuggle up smoothly against the cherries, OR a slice of kiwi which would contrast in color, shape and texture with the cherries.

Probably going with kiwi, but here’s an idea: we could kick the fruit salad up a notch by putting it in a carafe and pouring white wine sangria on top of it.  Then it wouldn’t matter what kind of fruit any of us were.

Happy fruit is the best fruit, you know.

Q4: Quotes List: At least three of your favorite quotes?

A4: Thinking about funny movies I like…

ONE

“The world is made for people who aren’t cursed with self-awareness.”  ~ Annie [Susan Sarandon], Bull Durham

TWO

“Laugh while you can monkey boy.”  ~ Dr. Emilio Lizardo [John Lithgow], The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension

THREE

“I just find it amusing that you came from somewhere.”  ~ Marcella [Joan Cusack], Grosse Pointe Blank

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Bonus Q: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Bonus A: Last week we finished taking unwanted household items, formerly stashed in our basement, to Habitat for Humanity.

This coming week I’ve arranged for St. Vincent de Paul to come to the house to pick up used furniture, also formerly in our basement.

Those two events combined translate into a tidier basement, and a sense of relief about getting the right things to the right place.

Hallelujah!

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