Sedated and wearing a cone. Swaying side to side, Emily’s clear, velcro laced cone bounces off each unwanted obstacle. A wall, a chair and then her paws unknowingly dip into her turkey delight. No running, no stairs. Just an unreasonably, tight protective shield surrounding her furry, little neck and face.That sad little black and white ball of kittenhood! Each day she’s feeling a bit more herself. How do we know? In the words a child looking into her eyes,”I understand you.” The only thing this girl understands at the moment, is the discomfort that accompanies being spayed. Me….OW!
Is Barbie boredom setting in at your household this Christmas season? Maybe it’s a case of too many Barbie dolls and not enough Kens to go around? Sick of Ken being the strong silent type? Well, say welcome to Sweet Talkin’ Ken! Initially, he may appear somewhat plastic, but underneath he’s a charmer. Sweet Talkin’ Ken says what every little girl, longs to hear…..Whatever they want! A microphone is built into his chest! The user can even choose one of three voice tones settings, to hear the playback. Instant female verbal affirmation, at your fingertips.
This gift could be purchased for both girls and women alike. The girls might say one of the following phrases: “Oh, Sarah you’re my best friend forever!” “I’m going to work now.”, “Let’s get married.” Women’s take: “If you lose any more weight, we’ll just have to buy you an entirely new wardrobe from Macy’s”, “I’m done doing every home improvement project on your list and let me tell you…I had the time of my life!”, “No, I don’t think Mario Batali’s restaurants are too expensive. Pick one and we’ll go tonight.” Think of the possibilities girls…
High school just seemed like well…just the other year. After not seeing some of these faces in twenty-five years, my memory power was in overdrive. I was not alone. The phrase,”Who’s that?” was overheard throughout the course of the night, until one of those organizing the event reveled the identity of the person in question. Mingling around the room, I happily greeted my now grown, classmates. A small class of approximately 150 students, although fewer attended. Many of those present spared their mates the social anxiety of being in a room full of strangers for three to four hours. My mate lovingly subjected himself to this cruel and unusual punishment. Later I learned of his secret angst via cell phone, when I could not locate him. Finally, he had migrated out to the car. Just in time for the group shot of the attendees. Rewind….As the guests ate and interchanged, their was laughter booming and stories retold. Female Questions: kids and location. Male Interests: location / occupation. As completely cliché as it sounds, it was unanimous amongst those I spoke with that we were more than former classmates. There was a binding process, that adhered our lives together, subtly through the formative years. Most of us felt a sense of being around an extended part of our family. This is attribute this to a small class size and the fact that many of us, journeyed from kindergarten to twelfth grade together. Living out our similar adolescence experiences, in a small northern town. Identities forming, insecurities in full swing. From Brownies to dances, secret crushes to outlandish teachers. From sleep-overs to cheering to finally…..graduation. It was a pure joy to see these memories come to life again, as I savored the company of my childhood friends.
One highlight: My dear friend and neighbor Nancy relayed a message from her kind Mother: “Tell Carla hello and I that still remember cooking fried bananas, with cinnamon for breakfast for the two of you when she would sleep over.” We were, most likely the only two Ukrainians families in town at that point in time. My girlfriend and I relived our carefree days of neighborhood kickball, playing Barbies and of barefoot, summertime walks to the Dairy Queen.
The funniest moment: While in line at the buffet, a person whom never spoke to me in school, was close by. As socially distant as this person was in the past, I was willing to reach out, be brave and test the waters. Hey, people change. Could I just keep silent? Fought it, thought about it….Nope! (There was a reason I was voted, “Most Talkative Girl” of my class.) Me: “Well, Hi______! How have you been?” Ex-classmate: “Oh, good. You look completely different from your Facebook picture.” Me (talking through the laughter): “That’s funny. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. How should I take that?” Ex-classmate: “Oh, that’s a good thing.” The woman then tossed her head and proceeded to faced forward. Ouch! (Time to put that cute pic of kitty back up.) Thankfully, the kind compliments and warmth from the rest of my pals made up for this isolated, frosty interjection. Brrrrrr…….
Lots O Bears. Our very first trip to, Build a Bear Workshop. The mecca of stuffed bears. Home to Darth Vader Bear and Obi Wan Kanobie Bear. Hannah Montana Bear and all of The Disney Princess Bears were present. Biker Bear was so last year. A sweet little Italian friend of my daughters’, requested her presence at this party location. The bear skin (or other animal type) is picked, hand stuffed (via,”stuffing machine”), sewed up and “washed” by the owner in a pretend shower. Then.. the moment the miniature party goers have been up all night anticipating……COSTUME TIME! SO many costumes. First a plethora of tiny bows to choose from is provided and is guaranteed to fit over those precious fake ears. Next a child hand picks her or his favorite colored shirt. ( The Little Girl’s Book of Rules page 249 clearly states: Bows and outfits must match at all times.). Lastly, the “birth certificate” is printed. (Just in case the citizenship of the bear is in questioned or he is held up in customs, on one of his international jaunts.) Lastly, the birthday child gets a rousing, traditional rendition sang to her / him of,”Happy, Happy Birthday”, (Think of the restaurant version) sung by the enthusiastic, clapping bear consultants. A group photo of the party is taken. Finally, the custom-made friends get to escape in a nice sized “house”, impersonating a cardboard box. Clutching tightly to their boxes, the small, satisfied faces meandered out to the mall entrance. A positive experience, was had by all.
Tomorrow night is Bunko night. I am but a substitute participant. A newcomer. What is Bunko? A card game, using dice…I think. The host is in charge of making a group of 12 dinner. You just show up and play the game. This is for the love of my neighbors. Not for my love of games. Who knows, I may get a crazed enjoyment out of playing this cutting edge past-time… It may drive me to draft up a few slogans or bumper stickers. How about,”I’m bonkers for Bunko!” or “Honk if you’re bonkers for Bunko”?