Monday, January 11, 2016


Today’s theme is “apples..and trees…and the expectation that there will only be only a short distance between them when the fruit drops off”. (Also, “the deliberate mangling of traditional adages for my own amusement”. Just because I can…)

First up: Derek. Yesterday's plan included the boys and me attending church. However, Riley confessed that he had a sore throat and a stuffy head, which sounded suspiciously like the beginning brewing of a cold. I decided to err on the side of caution and not take him to a crowded place where he could “share” his potentially contagious germies with the congregation. I figured God would understand—possibly even applaud--and give us a pass on this one. When I informed Derek of the…agenda cancellation…his reaction was not at all what I anticipated. His eyes grew wide and he stared at me with an expression akin to…I can only say “horror”. Taken aback, I asked him what was wrong. He replied in an aggrieved tone, “But Mom…I need to GET OUT of the house!”

Oh. My. Goodness…is this my kid, or WHAT? Now, I grant you that most of the time he’s the epitome of his father’s child: laid-back, zero-drama, go-with-the-flow. But occasionally he lets fly with some sort I can tell that I’ve influenced his personality in at least a minor way. (For better or worse!) What makes this even funnier is that, since he began working from home 18 months ago, Husband regularly will admit in bemusement that he hasn’t left our neighborhood for days on end—unless it’s to drive Derek to soccer practice, that is. The first time he inserted this little tidbit into conversation I reacted with utter shock. “How is that even possible?” I gasped, adding “Sometimes I make up stuff to do…just to have someplace to go!”

So, yeah, Derek was clearly feeling a smidgen of cabin-fever, and needed an airing, somewhere outside of his own 4 walls. “Well, you could come with me on my errand,” I offered tentatively. He glanced at me cautiously and replied, “Oh-kaaay…what is it?” Fairly sure this wouldn’t be appealing to him in the slightest, I nevertheless explained, “I have to go to the furniture store, test out chairs, and pick one for the guest bedroom/office.” So, just how bored and/or desperate WAS he? He accepted the mission immediately, and we agreed upon a time to storm the castle—um “Rooms 2 Go”.

And guess what? It ended up being a very companionable mother/son shopping trip. (Yes, I realize those words don't seem like they should be strung together in the same sentence...but it turns out that oxymorons do sometimes occur in nature..albeit verrrry rarely. Who knew?) Anyway, we chatted…we planted ourselves in a whole bunch of potential armchairs…we judged them unmercifully. (Hey, I spend hours composing…er, "creative masterpieces"…such as this one. Therefore I need my…throne…to embody that most beneficial of balanced combinations—both supportive AND comfortable. What can I say? I have a sensitive…tushie….or what have you…) 

Heck, Derek even got immersed enough in the process to seriously discuss the relative merits of “arms” vs “armless”, and to mime the position I would be in with my computer on my lap, to determine whether it felt like it would work for me. (Yeah, it was adorable. He was like my own Design Team…of one…) In the end we were able to select a reasonably priced, acceptably attractive, sufficiently cozy small recliner for the corner of the room in question. Derek got his field trip, I got my seat (pending delivery, of course)--that's what I'd call successful goal-completion all around!

Next: a small Riley incident. He came downstairs to say goodnight yesterday, and flopped himself on the sofa to catch a few moments of TV. I happened to be enjoying NCIS: LA. (The show I’m currently binge-watching since they started playing it in syndication on Esquire Network. It’s a total guilty pleasure…and I'm totally okay with that....) After only about a second of viewing the screen, his face took on a thoughtful cast and he slowly said, “Hmm…that looks like Pelant.” Now, I’m sure this makes no sense to most people, but I understood him perfectly: Pelant was the name of a sociopathic serial-killer who appeared on several episodes of Bones a few years ago. I turned to him in astonishment and sputtered, “Yeah, it’s the same actor. But how did you know that?” He casually stated, “Last Summer Derek and I found out that Bones is always on at lunchtime…so we’d watch it while we ate.

Okay, probably NOT the guy I’d most want to stick in Riley’s memory, but he comes by this...talent?... naturally. You see, for years I’ve been regaling Husband with my own…um…Television Character Savantism. (It’s better if I give it an official-sounding title, instead of just calling it a "weird brain glitch", right?) I mean, I’ll see an actor whose face is familiar and—although it might take me a while—eventually I’ll be able to place where I’ve seen them before. A typical conversation might go something like this:
Me: “You know the girl who played a Crossroads Demon in the third season of Supernatural? Well, she was on Castle this week.”
Husband: (Complete silence and uncomprehending expression)
Me: (encouragingly) “You remember, when Dean was trying to save someone’s soul from being dragged off into Hell, so he tricked the demon and forced her to negate the contract? That lady.
Husband (shaking his head in a manner that suggests he’s more…disturbed…than impressed) “That’s really quite a…freaky ability you’ve got, there.

This happens to me All. The. Time…which suggests that A) I may watch more television than is strictly necessary and B) It would be sooo much more helpful if I could recall other, more useful bits of trivia—such as “we’re out of milk” or “time to make the kids’ dentist appointments”. But hey, you can’t have everything, right?

So there you have it, a not-necessarily-typical Sunday with Team WestEnders. And now, since I've already had my own "opportunity to interact with the big, wide world" today, I think I'll go settle into the couch...and see if I can find some NCIS: LA. Who knows, maybe one of the guest-stars will be that guy, from that other thing, you know what I'm talking about...don't you?

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