Life is About Using the Whole Box of Crayons ~ RuPaul

The other day while driving on the interstate amongst millions (okay maybe thousands) of placidly colored silver, white and blue minivans travelling to and/or from Spring Break I was lucky enough to have the monotony broken by a big bright burnt orange-colored RV.

As I was getting on the interstate it was happily driving itself north and of course it caught my eye.  It was HUGE! And it was BURNT ORANGE!  And it looked like it was from the 70’s!  I quickly increased my speed to catch up with it.  It reminded me of the yellow Barbie motor home I had growing up.  I finally caught up to it and it was even better – it had a giant mural of the mountains on the driver’s side. The mountains were colored in purples and pinks and blues.   I would have taken a picture, but I figured texting while driving is illegal so I’m pretty sure photographing while driving is also frowned upon.  Here is the closest thing I could find on Google images:

gmc motorhome

Upon further research I have learned that it is a 1973-1978 GMC Motorhome.  No fancy name like our camper the “Pioneer 18T.”  Pioneer suggesting that you are somehow roughing it while sitting inside your air-conditioned camper fixing microwave popcorn.  No quirky names like Pioneer or Windjammer or Surveyor – not for this gem, it’s just “GMC Motorhome.”

As I passed it on the interstate I dreamed of retiring and driving coast to coast in a similar vehicle.  Maybe just not the mural of the mountains…. That was a bit over the top given the stand out orange color.  But as soon as I said to myself “I want that when I’m retired.”  The rational voice came into my head that said “Dave would never even step inside something that bright let alone drive it.”

This is where my husband and I differ.  I love bright vivid colors.  I wanted to paint our family room purple – our living room is a pleasingly aesthetic light mint green.  This matches our light light blue dining room and light almond hallway and slightly darker than the dining room blue in our bedroom.  The kitchen is painted red white and blue – this was my one area I won the paint war.  And it was ridiculed by one of our realtors who stopped by to see our home improvements one day as he disgustingly said “When are you going to repaint this kitchen?”

I am going to repaint the kitchen soon.  Not because I don’t like the American Flag look or because I’m intimidated by the realtors obvious displeasure but because it’s too dark and there is limited sunlight.  I wanted orange – which was over ruled.  I’m settling for yellow – which is a more “kitchen-y” color.  I let Teagan pick the paint chip.  Teagan – who thinks that neon green and Christmas red matches.  I think it’s called Sunday Buttercup or something along those lines.

I guess that’s just me.  I need the box 64 crayons where most people only need the box of 8.  I don’t like some of the “suburbia” rules which call for fire stations to match the homes in the area or fast food restaurants to all be tan-colored brick with limited signage.  I hate going to places like that – luckily my special little utopian community hasn’t managed to pass ordinances like that.  In a row of 5 nondescript tan-colored brick buildings how are you supposed to know if you are walking into McDonald’s or KFC or Taco Bell??  I need the big red KFC building with Col. Sander’s smiling face.  I need the bright red roof with yellow supports and giant golden arches or the bright orange taco bell with purple and green trim.  Fire stations are supposed to be red brick with big glass doors and ugly black roofs – not white stucco because it has to “blend in” with the neighboring condos.

I blame my mother.  Sort of.  It’s not like I haven’t always preferred big bright bold colors but she further solidified this by giving me this poem shortly after my grandmother passed away.

WARNING
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens . . .

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

–         Jenny Joseph, 1961

I didn’t quite have the full understanding of the poem when I was 25.  But now, being slightly over the age of 25 and living in the suburbs with my 2 kids 2 dogs and white picket fence (well it’s actually a tan picket fence) – I get it.

 

Maybe, just maybe I’ll be able to find 1973-1978 GMC Motorhome when I retire.  And maybe, just maybe I’ll convince Dave to drive me coast to coast in it.  Yes I know, I will have a white camper with a pleasingly colored blue or green stripe down one side that is named Wildwood or Forrester or Navigator or something else giving you the feeling you are really “roughing” it in the woods.

I will end with my other favorite “color” poem:

“Colors”

My skin is kind of sort of brownish
Pinkish yellowish white.
My eyes are greyish blueish green,
But I’m told they look orange in the night.
My hair is reddish blondish brown,
But it’s silver when it’s wet.
And all the colors I am inside
Have not been invented yet.
~Shel Silverstein

barbie motorhome

*** Note:  Upon further further research the Yellow 1970’s Star Traveler Barbie Motorhome design was based on the 1973-1978 GMC Motorhome.  Maybe Dave would let me buy a yellow GMC like the one above and paint the hot pink and purple stripe down the side!  Yeah I know… I’ll be cruising coast to coast in the white (or maybe eggshell) “Forrester” with the (yawn) green stripe.

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How to Destroy the Easter Bunny & Ruin a Holiday

Spoiler Alert:  This blog contains graphic details about the existence of the Easter Bunny…. Only continue reading if you are over the age of 12 and if you are an adult you should only continue reading if you are not squeamish as this contains details of Peep massacre as well.

blamingyou_b

I effectively “ruined” Easter for my daughter.  Her words, not mine. 

But before I begin the story of how I ruined Easter I should back up a few weeks.  My daughter is ten, she’s in the fourth grade and she rides the school bus every day to school so my guess is she had been having doubts about the existence of the Easter Bunny, Santa, and the Tooth Fairy.  Add to that a few weeks ago my husband was arguing with my son over control of the Xbox and blurted “That’s why we got you one for your room.”  Bad mistake as the Xbox for his room had come from Santa.  Teagan then jumped out of her chair and said “You just admitted you ARE Santa!”  Some slick back talking somewhat seemed to pacify her, but I’m pretty sure she was just waiting on something like that to confirm her worst fears.

She then admitted that she knew her dad was the Tooth Fairy because she caught him one morning putting money under her pillow.  One mythical creature down, one in limbo and still clinging tobelief in the Easter Bunny.  That is until Easter morning.  Now on Good Friday the bulldog had found the Easter Bunny’s stash of candy and there was a massacre of Peeps in the living room but somehow this didn’t seem out of place to her.  She never asked where the Peeps had come from which would have been a logical question since there was no visible candy in the house Friday morning.  Side note:  blue sugar marshmallow dog slobber is disgusting and marshmallow Peep bulldog farts are lethal.

Easter morning – 5am – the scene of the crime.  I had to work and Dave was not home from the fire station yet.  I shut my alarm off, got up and was greeted by a puppy doing the potty dance so I went to let her out.  As I was opening the back door I heard the pitter-patter of little feet scampering behind me.  That was followed by crying and “The Easter Bunny didn’t come!”

Why are you awake?” I asked, hoping for a distraction, but I knew from Christmas when she followed me out to the living room at 2am she was just simply not going to make this easy on anyone.  She was crying and still rambling about the Easter Bunny not coming and the logical explanation would have been “The bunny just hasn’t been here yet.”  But as always when faced with a parenting decision I chose the wrong answer which was “It’s 5am and the Easter Bunny still has to take a shower before work.”

This was met with more tears and the accusation, “You just admitted you are the Easter Bunny.”  I shuffled her back to bed, assured her when she woke up there would be a basket full of candy but she had to go back to sleep.  Still sniffling she was dismayed “I can’t believe everyone lied to me.”  A few kind words from the otherwise evil creature known as MOM seemed to pacify her enough to go back to sleep.

Feeling guilty at work I wrote her this letter:

Dear Teagan,

I know you were disappointed this morning to find out that there is no Easter Bunny — at least not some mythical creature who hops around the world in one night hiding Easter eggs and candy for kids.  And I know recently you have been upset because you think that Dad and I are also Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.  The truth is…. neither Dad nor I are any of these people.

Dad and I are the people who leave money for lost teeth, fill Easter baskets full of candy, hide eggs, wrap presents at Christmas and fill stockings – just like our parents did for us when we were young.  And someday you will do for your family.

But leaving dollars for lost teeth, and candy at Easter and filling stockings on Christmas could never make either of us the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny or Santa.  Even though the Easter Bunny isn’t one person (or mythical creature) there is a little bit of Easter Bunny in everyone because we all keep the Easter Bunny in our hearts.  Same thing with Santa.  “Santa” is lots and lots of people who keep the spirit of Christmas alive in our hearts – not a jolly fat man at the North Pole.  Santa is the magic and love and spirit of giving to others.  You are probably the best “Santa” I know because you love doing things for other people and giving things to other people.  It’s important for kids to believe in something or someone that they can’t see or touch because it teaches them to believe in themselves.

Don’t stop believing just because you now know the secret about how Santa gets millions of toys delivered in one night and how the Easter Bunny hides millions of eggs and how the Tooth Fairy always knows when you lose a tooth.  Like I said Santa or the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy may not be one single person…. but they do exist….. in everyones hearts. 

I love you!

Mommy 

Even though she liked the letter I was still told in no uncertain terms that I ruined Easter.  I’m not sure how it was ruined as it didn’t stop her from the egg hunt or gobbling down pounds of chocolate.  I don’t remember this being so difficult with Dawson.  Actually he seemed somewhat excited – like I had just given him the key that unlocked the biggest mystery in the world. And now he was in on “the secret.”  No tears, no accusations of being lied to and no ‘ruining’ of a holiday for him.

So that is how you destroy the Easter Bunny and ruin Easter.

I’m still not sure how to describe the Bulldog Peep Massacre – other than it was just gross.  And I’m amazed he only got out the Peeps! Why he didn’t attack the peanut butter filled chocolate eggs or chocolate bunny ears I will never know.  Maybe he read on the package “Chocolate is not safe for dogs.”  Maybe he’s smarter than he looks — yeah no — I think we just caught him before he found the chocolate.