No rhyme or reason

It’s the day before Thanksgiving here in the old United States. And under those circumstances, I don’t think I can be expected to put together a coherent post. I’m leaving work around 1pm and ‘working from the road’ thereafter. It’s the magic of the Blackberry-or should I say, the terror of the Blackberry. Heidi and Mike’s Alaskan selves will be arriving at the airport mid-afternoon, where my husband and I will converge with them. Saint Uncle Mike volunteered out of the blue to drive us from O’Hare to the Gary train station, where we pick up a car we’re borrowing from my in-laws. Then we will drive to Kentucky to my sister Erica and her husband Dave’s house, where I will demand pumpkin pie as soon as we walk in the door. Does this sound complicated? Well you haven’t even heard our original plan, which involved a taxi and a train to boot. It’s city living, and we love it–but that doesn’t mean we have to like it all the time.

I’m doing preemptive exercises in anti-crabbiness for the benefit of my co-travelers. These exercises involve eating 1 mini pumpkin muffin every 5 minutes, and at the half hour marks, alternating a piece of fudge and a lemon bar. Yes, it’s the time of year when all the vendors we use at my job send us goodies. “Thanks for your business! Seasons greetings! Here are two dozen cookies!” and so forth. Just two days ago we received a pail full of scrumptious treats, including oatmeal raisin cookies and chocolate caramel toffee bars. It sounds delightful, right? However, I’ve been concocting a plan in which I start threatening these vendors with bodily injury if they don’t stop sending sugary goods, because I just bought this new pair of corduroys, see, and they are exactly as snug as they need to be, and it just so happens that the fudge from our chemical suppliers and the cookies from our logistics companies and the brownie/blondie combo box from our label vendor are all converging in the general area of my derriere.

Yes, it’s a battle between corduroys and holidays. I’m not sure who will win and who will lose, but you’ll probably never know since realtime reporting will definitely not be provided.

A full Thanksgiving report will at some point issue forth onto this blog. But until that point, instead of writing a gorgeously appropriate and elaborate post teaching you how to make sure your dinner rolls have the perfect ‘poof’ to them, I leave you with an absolutely random list. It’s all I got.

1. When I was 16, my Mom and sisters and I went to Ibiza for a week. It’s basically a party island off the Eastern coast of Spain. There, I saw an elderly German couple wearing transparent clothes.

The night-life there is chock full of surprises. In fact, any beach in Spain will yield an amazing assortment of frightening visions, like a bright green thong on a dry, tan 65-year-old butt (Valencia, circa 1993). And yes, I’m sorry I just put that image in both your head and mine. We’ll suffer together.

2. Once, when I was young, my Dad and my sisters and I were in Barcelona at some kind of Christian conference. There were lots of Americans in attendance. We went to a McDonalds for lunch—and I have to point out that we never went to McDonald’s except on very special occasions. They sell beer in Spain at that fine establishment, and one of the prominent brands there is “Estrella Damm.” As we were perusing the menu and making our choices, we noticed that every single American at the conference–all probably Christians–has also chosen to come to McDonald’s for their afternoon meal. Dad said “So, what do you girls want to order?” Erica answered in a very loud voice–let me emphasize it was a very, very, loud voice–“I don’t want the Damm beer!”

3. I always salivate when I smell Lestoil, Noxzema, or Burts Bees. Or Vicks. Or gasoline. Any number of cleaning products, truth be told. I look forward to Fridays because that’s the day the guys at my job mop my office area with Pine Sol. My glands rejoice.

4. I never believed in Santa. Do you pity me?

5. Once, I studied abroad in Paris. My host family never served water at dinner–only wine. I began to find it quite normal that we would go through 2 bottles of red wine per night and feel no effects whatsoever. My error in judgment happened on a fateful night when, years later, I assumed I still had the tolerance of a Frenchman.

I did not.

6. The phrase “don’t get your panties in a bunch” is hideous and whoever uses it deserves to have a wedgy that they are in no position to pick out.

7. Once, back in my managing days, I fired a guy for falling asleep (twice) on his first day during the 2-hour training class. He must have been on something, because as I escorted him out amidst his cusses and threats, he bent over and attempted to light the office carpet on fire with his cigarette lighter.

I’m happy to say that not only was he unsuccessful, but the cops got there dang fast.

8. When explaining to my Mom where we had stopped for dinner on our way to Wisconsin to visit her and my dad, she said: “What? The pandex breasts??”

“No, Mom,” I said, “we went to Panda Express.” Say it fast 5 times and you’ll completely understand the confusion.

I’m not sure what a pandex breast is, but it sounds like a fakey to me.

9. My most cherished dream as a 10 and 11 year old was to ride a horse wearing a beautiful flowing dress. These dreams were fulfilled during the magical summer of 1993.

Please note the white gloves.

10. When I was 7 years old I wrote the following poem in my journal to express my sentiments towards my younger sister Erica: “Erica is stupid, Erica I hate, Erica is nothing but a little bit of bait.”

11. I used to sing in a church choir when I was in high school. One day I came to a performance early to help set up sound with my parents. I was wearing a fitted, knee-length skirt, and as I (of course) tripped down the stage steps and fell face-forward on the floor, it split it all the way up the back. Right in front of the guy that liked me at the time.

12. My brother-in-law Mike won a ‘cutest baby’ contest.

HAHAHA heeee heee hIHIHI Hoooooo!!!!! (wiping eyes)

Oh–and I am forbidden to call that contest by its other name. The name that starts with a ‘b-‘ and ends with a ‘-eauty.’ Strictly forbidden.

Please click here to view his adorable little face. Everything will become clear.

13. I have a beautiful Mom. Beautiful now, and beautiful then–and this is ‘then.’

Check out those mad earrings. I would totally wear them in a second.

14. A typical conversation:

My husband: “You’re beautiful.”

Me: “Crondootiful.”

My husband: “Do you want to watch a documentary?”

Me: “Clarkokardiac.”

My husband: “Um, I don’t know what that means.”

Me: “I think I’m going to go make some popcorn. But this time it’s going to be a small bowl.”

*my husband shakes his head–like I’m even capable of making a small bowl, which by the way I’m not*

*I spank my husband*

My husband: “Hey, now!”

And that pretty much sums up our relationship.

Cheerio friends! See you all tomorrow for a holiday-esque recipe.

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22 Responses to No rhyme or reason

  1. Wendi says:

    Hope your journey is drama free and muffintastic. Happy Thanksgiving.

  2. Wendy says:

    Do you realize just how much ammunition you just gave Dave? At least it will make your holiday interesting. We hope you have pleasant travels and a wonderful time with your siblings. Please give Erica and Dave an extra hug for us. Your random thoughts made me laugh and shake my head. And, by the way, I really appreciate the way you remind your mother of how beautiful she is. There is much more value in that than you know.

    • Jenna says:

      Hmmm . . . I never thought of this material as ammunition for Dave . . . but I’m hoping he’ll be on his best behavior for Thanksgiving and choose not to use any of it. For the sake of peace and joy and such.

    • Twinky says:

      “Ammo!! More Ammo!! Yahahahahaha!!!”, I laughed deliriously!

  3. trisha says:

    have a marvelous thanksgiving. you and your mom both are pretty. :)

    thanks for this thoroughly enjoyable post.

  4. Your list made me smile and at times laugh out loud, which I sorely needed. I am in awe of your mother and your poem to your sister is the BEST.

    I’ll never look at a Panda Express now without thinking of boobs.

  5. Wishing you safe travels, and a happy Thanksgiving!! I love the idea behind this post, and I do love the city during the Holidays.

  6. Sarah says:

    you are so random. love it :) enjoy your thanksgiving!!

  7. Jen says:

    Oh Jenna! Loved the list! Loved that Erica didn’t want the Damm beer, I never believed in Santa Claus either (but I did believe that Dad pretended to be him), my 10 yr old self would have LOVED the romance of riding a horse with a long dress and white gloves, can’t believe you wrote that poem about Erica, your mom is a beauty and all her girls take after her, and the truth is that no one in your family is able to make a small bowl of popcorn.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. Carrie says:

    HAHAHAHA! I love the story of Erica and the “Damm beer”. Classic. And I love your relationship with Adam. I honestly can’t wait till you guys bring babies into your mad love world. :)

  9. suzicate says:

    I’m trying so hard to get the vision of the dry, tan 65-year-old butt out of my head!!!!! Wow, I’d love your job a bit too much with all those goodies and I’d be so fat I wouldn’t be able to walk, I’d had to roll and waddle my way around!

  10. What FUN to read! I loved your #9…I always wanted to be riding horses when I was a kid. LOVED them. I still do love them, actually.

    Have a lovely Thanksgiving. Whereabouts in KY does Mrs. Erica live now? I’m curious since we’re just there next to Louisville.


    • Jenna says:

      She lives in Elizabethtown–I think that’s super close to Louisville.
      And I haven’t ridden a horse in ages, since i was . . . 17? I still kind of romanticize it. =)

      • alongtheohio says:

        Wow…it is super close! It is also a place I’ve wanted to visit since they filmed a movie in it & everyone around here was like “YYYYEEEAAAHHH Hollywood in the midwest” or something. It looks like a really cute little town. Happy Holidays :)

  11. brightbakes says:

    Jenna, your musings rock. Keep the randomness coming :)
    cathy b. @ brightbakes

  12. giselle says:

    Happy thanksgiving!! That was a fun post. :) I still want more of your time in Spain!

    Glad you get to see your family for Thanksgiving, I wish I could see mine. :)

  13. Circe says:

    what a great, fun post. Have a great holiday!

  14. This post cracked me up!!! I actually worked at Panda Express when I was eighteen (oh, the humiliation), so Pandex Breasts must be very small ones because mine were (and still are) tiny. Like button candy. Mmm, candy…

  15. Twinky says:

    #13: Thank you, Jenna! for your kind words at a time inlife when they really do make a difference!!
    The earrings in the picture circa 1971 are actually Christmas cactus flowers (that would always bloom around Thanksgiving time in our house…) hung from some little hoop earrigs I was wearing at the moment… it was Big Jake’s idea to put them there, delighted by the beauty of the flowers and how well they would be shown off as earrings! It may have been a Saturday evening when we always “dressed” for dinner, hence the long reddish evening gown and the appropriately elegant Christmas Cactus Earrings.

  16. Brittany says:

    I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving! I hope your sister made it to you okay from Alaska. You need to feed her lots of pineapple– that does the trick! :) Let me know if it works for ya!! Hope you all have a Thanksgiving “gift”.

  17. Holly says:

    I think my favorite was your ‘conversation’ at the end. I have a student right now who reminds me so much of Adam. He was reading a scripture today at Mass and I was looking at him and thinking- I hope he finds someone just as good as Jenna. This reminded me of why!

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