Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I Guess That Does Sound Pretty Fun

The New York Times has a cute wee story about the unusually cold temperatures we're having down here.  It starts with how dumb Georgians are (we have to be told to dress warmly--we're like turkeys who drown looking up at the rain) and then it meanders through a conversation with someone improbably named "Stooksbury" and then it ends with a man who has made a machine called the South Georgia Redneck Snowmaker.  

I shit thee not.

We can't have an entire discussion of the issues surrounding the drought and probable cold winter in the Southeast without paying a visit to the South Georgia Redneck Snowmaker.  

It is made of "spare septic tank parts."  

Now I'm thinking that the South Georgia Redneck Snowmaker sounds like a cocktail we need to invent, stat. I bet it has Kahlua in it.

So yes, cold.  Yet today I chaperoned Laura's class field trip to a historic farm. Farming, it seems, happens outdoors, and even the parts that happen inside are not what you would call toasty.  When I greeted Laura at the history center, she yelled, "Guess how many pairs of pants I'm wearing?"  Answer: 3. But it was sunny and calm, so no problem, except now that I think of pants, I was visually assaulted by one of the most terrible pairs of mom jeans you can imagine.  

The kids didn't need much chaperoning, you see, so while they were making candles the moms just stood around and eyed each other's outfits. 

Going on the field trip meant I had to drive down to Buckhead in rush hour traffic.  My, everyone on the road at that hour is so busy and important!  It's in the way they drive, they simply ooze importance, ooze it all over the road.  But I was busy too.  I was busy trying to open the little containers of half-and-half with one hand and add them to my drive-thru coffee, and then I was busy dribbling the half-and-half down the touch screen of my iPhone, and then I was busy wiping the phone with a sock I found between the front seats.  It wasn't a child's sock, it was Matt's.  Mysterious, helpful sock.

And goodness, here it is almost Thursday and I'm just sticking my head in to say hi.  I had a birthday this week! Matt said, "What do you want for your birthday?"  I said, "Well, I kind of want an iPhone 4 but I don't know if this is the best time to get one." (This was before the half-and-half and the sock.) And he said, "Hmm, what would you like that is, you know, cheaper than that?"  So he got me a plant.  A Norfolk Island Pine, which you can only find in nurseries this time of year because they're sold as "Living Christmas Trees."    

I had said, "I would like a Norfolk Island Pine to go in that corner." And I pointed at the spot where the yucca had just finally died.  He said, "What happened to that plant?"  I said, "It died."  He said, and I'm serious, he said, "Why did it die?"  

It seems I'd wandered into an interrogation of my plant-nurturing abilities wrapped in a discussion of my birthday.

I said, "Why did it die? It got old."

We talked about it and I realized, as I told him, that what I want for my birthday isn't really stuff, because I tend to buy stuff for myself. I said, "What I really want is a surprising gesture of love."

I am making myself sound impossible to live with, but you know what I mean. A surprising gesture of love. Something you don't plan and execute yourself.  You know you want it, ladies.

So last night after the kids were in bed, he cooked us a little dinner for two, with wine and flowers.  And cheese.  (We had already had a cake and karaoke evening over the weekend.) And then the two of us watched Midnight Run. There were so many moments between Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin that reminded me of our love.  Like when Charles Grodin insists that he is afraid of flying and he makes such a ruckus that they get kicked off the plane, and then as De Niro leads him away in handcuffs, he smiles.


Sjn said...

happy belated Becky!
I would love a surprising gesture of love! For a non event, a non holiday, for a just-because kind of celebration.
But right now I can't complain. I'm the patient and he's the nursemaid, and he's rather patient and good about it. So maybe it's his turn for the above mentioned, hmmm, what? You've got me thinking girl.

chnault said...

"I couldn't hear the sirens cause papaw had the Wheel of Fortune on full blast, next thing ya know memaw was flung clear up in that tree over yonder".

That's inevitably the toothless wonder they will find to interview for any news worthy event/crisis below the Mason-Dixon line.

PS: Happy Birthday from Sasstown

Amy said...

Hilarious! Yes, there are many parallels between Midnight Run and your love. If I had a nickel for every time I've had that thought.

And yes on the surprising gesture. Totally know what you mean.

Star said...

Happy Birthday, and thank you for enriching my days.

Michele said...

Thank you for reminding me what a surprising gesture of love was. I had forgotten. It's been a really long dry spell around these parts for that kind of thing.

Jenni said...

I need to go click on the NYT article, but it sounds obnoxious.

Happiest of birthdays to you, m'dear. Sounds like you had two lovely celebrations. Nelson is pretty good about gestures of love. When he asks what I want for my birthday/Christmas, I say things like, "Something from the heart" or "Something handmade by you and the kids." How's that for insufferable?

By the way, I clicked on one of the little "you might also enjoy" links a the bottom of the post because it had a photo of Hank and Laura and they were just babies in it. BABIES. It was only a year and a half ago. Here's the one:


janimal said...

Happy Happy Birthday!
I am SO with you on the surprising gesture of love gifts.
Although if we were rich, I might change my mind and answer "diamonds".

Megan said...

Happy Birthday, Becky! Sorry you had to deal with Buckhead drivers (drivers = *bleep!*) at rush hour so near to such a celebretory day.

If you don't mind, I'm going to steal your birthday gift request and re-tweet it to my husband. I don't think he's thought about the fact that he has mere days left... you and Jenni are both brilliant with your gift requests. You are now my birthday heroes. Heroines?

P.S. chnault, did you bug my house or something? You almost directly quoted me from last night. Eerie.

Beth said...

I cannot count the number of times I LOLed at this. OK, maybe I could. It was definitely more than three. I didn't want you thinking I was mathphobic or something.

You NAILED it, with the birthday thing. I didn't know we had such close birthdays... mine's next week. I'm running into the other room to tell my husband that what I want is a surprising gesture of love.

Oh wait, I already got an iPad. Crap.

Becky said...

iPad! What I meant to say was that I wanted a surprising gesture of love or an ipad. Or diamonds.

Sasstown, Matt and I cracked up at your comment. Exactly. Meemaw and Papaw!

Sandy, let that man wait on you.

Thank you for the birthday wishes, guys!

Becky said...

And Jenni, I know. Babies! It makes me sad 'cause when Hank was born, I thought Laura was such a big kid. She was five! I just needed her to be the big kid. Where are those babies now?

Kori said...

Don't ALL plants of any kind just get old and die? And wing their way up to plant heaven? That's ALWAYS what I tell my kids!

I wouldn't even know what to do with one of those surprising gestures of love. Probably fall over dead with a heart attack and it would all be wasted!

Happy belated birthday.

Hootie said...

So great. Now any surprising gesture of love I might have been planning for the holidays will now be attributed to this blog post. (Or perhaps this comment is merely a ploy to make it look like I was planning something...)

Keely said...

I can't count how many times I've been the beneficiary of mysterious, helpful socks.

I hope your surprising gesture of love is grand!

Jen said...

Happy birthday (a bit late, sorry)! Funny, I was telling Peter that I want something similar for Christmas ;-)

Rebekah said...

Happy Birthday!!!! I'm glad you enjoyed your surprising gesture of love. I'm always asking for those too. Oh, and we have a local snowmaker too who uses his pressure washer and hose to work his magic. Enjoy the mountains soon! They're already have schools close for wintry weather.

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

There's nothing better than a "surprising gesture of love." Glad you got one!

Elle said...

When I saw that fountain, I thought, "Jesus, who didn't know to turn that off?" so I would indeed presume people might need to be reminded to do other, basic things. My own child could not find her coat yesterday, and I said, Then I guess you won't wear one, we have to go. It was 34 degrees. We weren't going camping, she was fine.

We did have to walk 9 blocks from our parking space, but live & learn. She was definitely cold: she did not let on & I did not taunt. I'm sure she will evermore know where her coat is. Garrison Keillor has a bit in one of his monologues about standing, waiting for the school bus, back huddled against the wind, tears freezing on yr face & this is where you learn that Life Is Not About Comfort. Garrison Keillor is like our pastor, Becky. You see?

Elizabeth said...

I want a surprising gesture of love. That's it, exactly.

Any happy birthday. I'm so glad that I've "met" you on this here blog.