If you’ve read my Buckwheat Poisoning post, you’ll understand the chaos that is my weekend mornings. Fortunately, this Saturday morning I was not hungover or breaking out in hives. However, that does not make the following conversations anymore bearable:
I’m sitting down at the kitchen table, trying to enjoy my breakfast. Then, my dad walks in.
“Who ate my eggs?!”
“Tommy,” my mom explains, “Tommy ate your eggs.” Tommy – the bearded dragon.
“Tommy? You gave my eggs to Tommy? He doesn’t even clean the pan.”
“Here, Rich. I just cleaned it.”
“It’s clean? You didn’t put him in it or anything?” As if baking Tommy in a sauce pan is an entirely conceivable morning activity.
“No, Rich. I did not put Tommy in the pan with his eggs.”
This is where I decide to get involved, because I’m sick and tired of Tommy’s high-maintenance nutritional demands.
“Why can’t Tommy just lay his own eggs?” I ask.
“He can, Jo. Just like you.” Yes, just like me.
“Ew, Mom. Doesn’t he need to be fertilized or whatever?”
“Thomasina!” My dad blurts out. We still haven’t actually confirmed that Tommy is indeed a male lizard, but my mom’s pretty sure he’s a boy.
“No, Jo, he doesn’t. He can lay eggs, just like you (if Tommy were a girl, she means).” Then my mom launches into a graphic and disturbing “adult version” of the Sex Ed course she teaches to her middle school students. All while I’m eating my cereal.
Clearly uncomfortable with discussing fallopian tubes over breakfast, my dad quickly changes the subject. “I can’t wait to dig up that hydrangea with you tomorrow, Jo. We’re gonna wait for a nice, cold day. Tomorrow is supposed to be in the 30s.” Awesome. Just how I imagined spending my Sunday morning.
I stand up and leave the room before they can dole out any more weekend slave work. Actually, I go straight to the computer to begin typing up everything they’ve been saying.
“Jo, look up ‘how to change a belt on a Nordic Track treadmill’. We want to get your ass skinny again (such a flatterer, my dad). Just kidding, just kidding. Oh wait! AHA! directions! Come help with this, Jo.”
I don’t respond.
“What are your plans for the day, Jo?”
I don’t respond.
“Wow, this cat has 26 toes, Jo,” my mom says while reading the paper. She knows what’s important to me.
“How many do you think Buster has?” I ask, obviously intrigued.
“Probably around 18,” she says.
A few minutes later, when my dad has taken a break from deconstructing and diagnosing our 14-year-old treadmill (I wonder what’s wrong with it?) my love life becomes the topic of discussion.
“Jo already learned that some men are pigs — not all men, just some men. I had to change my stance on that to create some openings,” my dad says. (“All men are pigs” is what my dad has been telling my sister and I for the past 23 years. My sister recently wrote a hilarious blog post about this, I highly encourage you to read it.) By “openings” my dad means potential love-interests to get my sister and I out of the house. Since the odds of me landing a full-time job are about as likely me walking barefoot through White Castle (barefootphobia), my dad has resorted to Plan B to get me out of the house: Marry me off. I told him that there’s no way I’m likely to marry before my 40th birthday, especially since when I asked him how much my dowry was, he said, “Buster. He gets Buster.”
“Won’t it be great when you move out?” My mom asks.
She has no idea.