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February 12, 2009

Flashback Friday: Love, Look At The 2 Of Us

Love, Look At The 2 of Them.

This is how I remember my grandparents.  The picture is from the 1980’s.

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These are my mother’s parents. We were much closer to them than to my father’s parents. We called them Nana and Papa, although everyone else called them Florence and Robert.

Since my mom died, I’ve been the keeper of the boxes of family history. A peek into my grandmother’s boxes revealed that Nana and Papa had a long-lasting romance. Frankly, the letters and pictures are hard to reconcile with my image of them.

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Florence had no brothers or sisters, and she fit the stereotype of the indulged only child. She grew up in Montgomery and was a talented pianist. When she gave a music recital, the paper noted that she was “an accomplished musician and extremely popular.” Nana would cling to that latter phrase throughout the rest of her life. She expected people to wait on her. She often talked about her college days, and how well-loved she was by her friends. I’ve known people like that, who brag about how popular they are, but the only one I loved was my grandmother.

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We don’t know as much about my grandfather, except that he had a brother and a sister.  Robert spent time in the army, traveling the world. This picture was taken around 1927. The ship he’s on is called the USS Meanticut. He was tall and slender and kept that shape throughout his life.

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Robert and Florence were courting by 1934, when they posed for this picture on the deserted beaches of Panama City, Florida. PCB has changed a lot since then. Some of you may call it the Redneck Riviera. It actually looks romantic here, although the bathing attire probably has a lot to do with it.

My grandparents married in 1937. Their engagement notice reveals another of Nana’s obsessions: her lineage.

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She and her mother, referred to as “Big Momma” in an intimidating way, not a snuggly one, wrote about Florence that “paternally and maternally she is of distinguished ancestry.” They pointed out that one of her ancestors had owned a castle and had a statue erected in his memory in Yorktown, Virginia. She was descended from George Washington’s sister. Another forebear, the great Lord Ashley, had written the well-known Shaftesbury Papers. He was also known as the Earl of Shaftesbury, and the Ashley and Cooper rivers in South Carolina were named after him. The engagement notice included the names of all her dead relatives who had fought in the Revolutionary war and a couple who’d fought for the Confederacy.

Nana and Big Momma tried mightily to conjure up some aristocratic relatives for Papa, but the best they could do was to say that he came from the “Beards, Drysdales and Dowies,” who settled in New Jersey, and some French Huguenots who settled in Virginia on land grants. I feel sure that didn’t bother Papa at all.

Regardless of his ancestral shortcomings, Florence and Robert were married, and my mother was born in 1941.

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Florence and Robert tried desperately to have another child, but were unsuccessful. In her later years, each time I was pregnant, Nana would tell me about her miscarriages in excruciating detail. Well into her 80’s, every time she saw a person having a baby, she took it as a personal reminder of her inability to have more than one child. But that’s how she was. She considered how things affected her first.

My grandfather adored my grandmother. At times they were separated while he was in the army. He wrote her letters so gushing they make your heart flutter just to read them, even when you know they are written to another woman.

He writes to  “My adorable wife” and ends with “My Florence, I think of you all during the day and night and am so completely yours. Your devoted husband, Robert.” In between he says things like, “Florence, I miss you greatly. You are worth the world to me.” He thanks her for each letter she sends, worries about her health, asks about my mother – is she talking? Can Florence send pictures?- and dreams of the next time they’ll be together.

In every picture I have of them together, he is gripping her tightly, so she won’t slip away.

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They lived long enough to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Papa died in 1991, when I was in law school, and Nana lived another twelve years, miserable without him.

That’s the story of their romance.

Of course, there’s a different story, and that’s the story of my relationship with them.

Of all my grandparents, and my parents as well, Papa was the most effusive. He didn’t hesitate to express his feelings and tell you how much he loved you. Even as a child I could see that Nana could be a hypochondriac and that she was spoiled, but he delighted in her every move, catered to her, and assured her that she was the most wonderful creature on the planet.

He was devoted to us as well. He rode a bike most days, and would often ride to our house. He’d slip rubber-bands around the cuffs of his pants so they wouldn’t get caught in the chains, and I thought that was the smartest idea I’d ever heard. He outfitted the bike in other ways, too. He added a basket so he could bring us National Geographic magazines, word puzzles he’d found, or vegetables from the farmer’s market. Because dogs roamed the neighborhood, he cut off a broom handle and attached it with springs to the underside of his handlebars so he could brandish it if a mutt got too aggressive.

After he retired, he didn’t slow down. For years he volunteered for the Red Cross, driving the truck to pick up blood donations.  He taught us how to make his famous peanut brittle and gave it to neighbors or dropped it off at the Red Cross.

Papa believed that the key to success was having plenty of sharp pencils on hand. He installed a pencil sharpener on the inside of our upstairs closet door and made sure we were well-supplied with pencils. He always had plenty himself, which he used until they were shorter than his pinky. When I think of Papa, I smell pencil shavings.

Papa always had something nifty to show us. He taught us how to sit in the sun with a magnifying glass and focus it on a leaf just so, and soon the leaf would smolder and burn.  He explained tic-tac-toe strategies. He’d take apart his hearing aids and demonstrate how they worked.

I included this picture because this is how I remember Papa. When he saw you, he’d bend down to your level and grasp your hand and pat pat pat it hard while he asked about your latest adventure. When you talked to him you felt like you were the only person in the world. I can see why Nana fell apart after he died.

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Nana remained obsessed with popularity and lineage. I might be dating a long-haired pot smoker, but if he could produce papers showing he was descended from George Washington’s sister and that they came from the same people, Nana would have been thrilled about it.

She believed that high-class people had to uphold certain standards. Women should wear their hair off their foreheads so their eyebrows were clearly visible. She’d often say, “You’d be so much more becoming if your hair was shorter in the front.”

Chewing gum was “common.”

My mother hadn’t been asked to join the Birmingham Junior League, as she’d grown up in Montgomery. When I got an invitation and turned it down, Nana took to her bed. She was stunned that a young lady would practice law rather than join a club with the Junior League’s cachet.

I redeemed myself when the twins were born and we named Drew after my grandfather. Nana was ecstatic. She’d smile at the other boys, but she wanted her picture taken with Drew, because he was “her people.”

There was a Western grocery store a mile from my grandmother’s house. She wouldn’t go near it. Instead she drove all the way to the Western grocery store in the heart of the Tiny Kingdom, because that’s where all the people who were somebody went.

When it was time for her to go to a nursing home, she flat-out refused to go to one convenient to my mom’s house, and insisted on a different one miles away, because it attracted “a better class of people.”

My mom managed her well after my grandfather’s death. She was essentially parenting her mother, as so many of us do later in life, but it was impossible for anyone to treat my grandmother with the attention that Big Momma and Papa had lavished on her. My mom was trying to hold a marriage together and spend time with her grandchildren as well. It wasn’t until after my mom died that I realized just how hard it was for her to manage day by day.

My mom and my grandmother died just a couple of years apart.

I think my grandmother would like to be remembered as she is in this picture, or perhaps the one above where she’s in the pink dress. Her hair is swept off her forehead, revealing her eyebrows. She’s happy and smiling, clearly the center of attention, where she was meant to be.

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1. Jo@Mylestones
2. Ladybird (First Timer!!)
3. Misagracie; Love, love, love, love, crazy love…
4. catnip – some wedding pics!
5. Marissa (Wedding Day)
6. Rebecca (Engaged)
7. TheChickadeefeeder (We Met)
8. TheChickadeefeeder (Parents)
9. Andi (how we met)
10. Sir Nottaguy-Imadad
11. Sir Nottaguy-Imadad
12. Brandy
13. pendy (after the blind date)
14. doni@RainbowCreek@Home 30th Anniversary Card
15. bea
16. Observations of an Earthroamer (Kim)

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Posted by Anne Glamore @ 9:26 pmBlast From the Past,Flashback Friday,Mom33 comments  

January 29, 2009

Flashback Friday: Best Bathing Suit Ever!

I’ve seen some wild bathing suits in my time, but I never expected to see one on my mom.  So when I found this picture, I was delighted.

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(click to enlarge)

This was taken in April 1971, and I had just turned 4. More impressively for my mom, Aunt Su had just turned 1. She didn’t get to party with my mom in her chain bikini, although I did.

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I’m calling it a chain bikini, but I bet the purpose of the chains was so that she could tell my very Southern grandmother that of course she was wearing a one piece bathing suit at the beach, and why would she think otherwise?

My sisters and I worshiped the Jackie O glasses so much that I still have them.  They’ve traveled to 70’s parties around the country.  They may not be worth much money, but they are full of memories.

The hat though, looks like a refurbished pinata.

I published some thoughts and pictures of my mother when she died.  I don’t know if I mentioned it then, but one thing people said, and still say, is that she was such a classy lady.  It’s good to know that she let her wild side show through when she got away at the beach.  I bet people would pay good money for a view of that get-up from the rear.

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Three years ago in My Tiny Kingdom: Operation Acne Attack
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Join in with your flashback!


1. Pendy (beach 1984)
2. Andi (my friend Tracy)
3. Headless Mom-Not so funny
4. JanMary, N Ireland
5. Kim (Observations from an Earthroamer)
6. Wake Forest Mama (Beach)
7. Holly (In My Overactive Head)
8. Christina
9. Pyzahn
10. Rebecca (Steelers)
11. Marissa (Family Pictures from the 80\’s)
12. Quirky is a Compliment (on high school hair)
13. Sir Nottaguy-Imadad

Powered by… Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets.

Posted by Anne Glamore @ 9:09 pmBlast From the Past,Flashback Friday,Mom17 comments  

January 7, 2009

New York City Adventures: Chicken Feet & Myachi

Now that I’ve eaten chicken feet I’m worried that there’s not much left for me to experience in life.   But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself, so I’ll back up to the days before I indulged in this delicacy.

Just after Christmas the five of us left for our annual trip to New York City to visit Aunt Lulu and Uncle P.  In true Glamore fashion the week ended up being a series of exotic meals punctuated by other activities, some successful, some not.  The first order of business was to arrange ourselves in the studio apartment, which was markedly easier a couple of years ago when the boys were smaller.

The apartment has a bed, which Bill and I share, and we’ve purchased a blowup mattress that Porter adores.   Finn commandeers the sleeper sofa.  You’d think that Drew could join him there, but both of them reject that idea. Apparently boys can’t sleep in the same bed after the age of six.

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Sleeper sofa extended taking up the entire floor

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Blow-up mattress arranged “rocketship” style; design by Porter Glamore (sofa cushions not included)

Fortunately, Drew has an affinity for small spaces, and sleeps on the floor in the space between the front and back of the sofa where the mattress and cushions stay when the sofa is in its usual state.

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He claims it’s warm and snuggley down there.
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We don’t know how he wedges himself in there, especially after a meal, but he does and we don’t hear from him again until morning.

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Unless I bug him by trying to take a picture.

We can tell we’re aging, as this is what the bathroom has come to:
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Deodorant and retainers galore.

One day I took our teenager downtown to look for cool threads while Bill took Drew and Porter to the Apple store and FAO Schwartz.  They returned with some “new” toys they couldn’t get enough of.   You heard it here first– the Rubik’s Cube is making a comeback, but now you can get on the computer and watch a YouTube video to learn how to solve it.

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Meanwhile, the folks who thought up the hackysack have refashioned it by changing its shape and the rules.  Voila, the myachi!  Instead of gathering in a circle and listening to “Sugar Magnolia” while passing the hackysack, kids today hop on the subway and toss the myachi under their legs or across the seats to each other, being careful not to touch it with their palms.  Setting your iPod on “I Kissed A Girl” is optional.

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Crowd at FAO Schwartz watching the myachi dudes

Metrodad had given me some restaurant recommendations that we were thrilled to receive because I only let the boys repeat one restaurant from a previous trip.  If you’re in the city and need a romantic spot to take a date, Alta would be a wonderful choice.  Unfortunately, we had three boys with us, so Bill and I had to sneak in a romantic moment by sending them to the restroom to wash their hands and smooching at the table while they were gone.  Although we had a good time with them, we would have had a better time at this particular restaurant without them, given its glowing candlelight, lovely wine list, and overall atmosphere that was more conducive to googly eyes than to breaking up paper football contests.

Alta is a tapas restaurant, and one of the weirder yet delicious dishes was Spaghetti Pepperoncini, Bottarga Di Muggine, dried bonito and shrimp oil and peppercress.  We ordered it only because the waitress seemed like she might cry if we didn’t.  We didn’t know what Bottarga Di Muggine was, and it sounded menacing,  like the head of a crime family, not something you want to twirl on your fork and slurp with noodles.  Now, with the benefit of google, I can tell you that it’s dried gray mullet roe, and it looked like thin slices of pink bubble gum perched atop the spaghetti.  We loved it so much we ordered another serving.  The spicy lamb meatballs were yummy, too.

Some things must be replaced from time to time, and underwear is one of them.  The boys sat calmly inside Bloomingdale’s, eating pretzels and playing myachi while Bill and I bought him new underwear and undershirts.  We had scarcely set foot in Victoria’s Secret, however, when they engaged in a group freakout, during which Porter slapped his hand over his face and said, “I can’t look while I’m in this store.  This is maximum weirdness.”  The teenager complained that he wouldn’t be caught dead in a panty shop, and only Drew tried to sneak a peek of the mannequins as we marched the boys to a quiet corner between the elevators and the flannel pajamas (lucky us–who knew?) and instructed them to face the wall and give us five minutes.

“Mom means give her five minutes, because I’m like you.  I don’t know what we’re doing in this panty store,” Bill said.

He sat with the boys and discreetly pointed out underthings that caught his fancy, and I snatched them up and paid in record time.  That didn’t prevent the guys from complaining about this particular stop for far longer than necessary.

One snowy morning we headed down to the lower east side and were captivated by Guss Pickles on Orchard Street.  They had barrels of pickles of all varieties, quarter-sour, half-sour, and so forth.  Bill was amused when a woman came up and ordered as if she were at Starbucks.

“I need a quart of half-sour with half half-sour juice and half full-sour juice,” she said.

“That’s quite a pickle order,” Bill said.

“Yeah, my dad loves them this way, and it’s his birthday, so I get them for him as a present,” she said.

We could only think of one person we know who’d be satisfied with a variety of pickles as a gift.

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I looked down the street and saw a familiar sign that said “Kaufman,” and something stirred in the back of my mind, and I told the guys to continue eating pickles while I checked it out.  Sure enough, it was A.W. Kaufman, a lingerie shop, and I had been there several times with my mom, years and years ago.  I walked in and it was as if time had stopped. It’s a narrow space lined with plastic storage bins marked in black writing with brands and sizes: “La Perla 36 C.” I remembered sitting in the one folding chair while my mom tried on nightgowns and it was too much for me, and I cried hard by the counter near the robes. Miriam, who was running the store, got me water and claimed to remember my mom, but she was probably just being nice.

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Everything else on the block was posh. Miriam said Fine & Klein, one of my mom’s purse stops, had gone out of business, and she was one of the oldest stores left.

We had other good meals– Italian, sushi, and pizzas.   Pam Real Thai was a budget-friendly pre-theater restaurant, where we had crispy duck and crab fried rice, which was one of the highlights of the week. Appetizers, three entrees and drinks for all (including wine) was under $90.

I also insisted on picking up some food off the street one night, for reasons both budgetary and adventurous.  That’s how Bill and I ended up leaving the boys in the apartment and walking to 53rd and 6th to pick up some chicken and lamb with rice.  I’d read that this particular stand had some of the best street food in the city, and I was determined to sample it.   As it turned out, the line down 53rd Street was over 100 people long when we arrived, so we didn’t just “pick it up.”  Bill waited for over an hour, making calls and sending emails, while I walked around the block to stave off hypothermia.

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That yellow umbrella in the distance is the Holy Grail.

We bought a bottle of wine and brought it all home and chowed down.

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We ordered a mixture of lamb (the darker meat) and chicken. It came with rice (it looks like cheese here) and each container had one small piece of pita bread. We also got red and white sauce. It was yummy, although I preferred the lamb to the chicken. I’d recommend that someone purchasing this also buy some pita bread. We bought four containers of chicken and rice and that fed five of us for dinner, three of us for lunch and Porter for breakfast for two days. We still had some left over. At $6 per container, it was a deal.

I may have the only boys in Alabama who are enamored with chopsticks.  I cook enough Asian meals that I figured we could invest in something nicer than the wooden ones they’ve stolen from the Japanese steakhouse.  That’s how we ended up at Pearl River Mart, where each boy got to pick out his own pair of chopsticks.  Porter’s are light blue, and Drew’s are black with a red stripe, and I haven’t washed the others yet.  We’ll be using them tonight, though, as I’m whipping up Elise’s Sweet & Sour Chicken so they’re coming in handy already.

Every trip has its pitfalls, and sadly, ours was one we had been quite excited about.  Metrodad suggested dim sum at Jing Fong, and we made our way to Chinatown and gave it a go.  It was the boys’ first experience with dim sum, and they found some shrimp dumplings and fish balls and pork rolls, but everything was cold and tired.  I think we hit the restaurant as they were transitioning from lunch to dinner, or else we didn’t know how to order, or maybe it just really isn’t very good.  However, Jing Fong had some impressive chicken feet which were apparently fried and seasoned with five-spice powder.  They looked exactly like you would think chicken feet would look:

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I remember hearing that maybe chicken don’t have teeth, and I guess I was thinking that meant they’re short on all kinds of bones but I’m here to tell you that’s not the case with their feet. Those toes were crunchy and after I ate one I concluded I’d had enough roughage for an entire week even though I’ll be forty-two in less than two months.  On the up side, the meal gave us good reason to say “Dim sum bad eats” for the rest of the day and giggle like maniacs.

New Year’s Eve was the high point.  We cooked dinner at Aunt Lulu’s and hung out with her boys, one two and one two weeks old.  A cold snap had settled over the city, and Bill and the boys were determined to run in the race sponsored by Emerald Nuts at midnight at Central Park.  They’ve run the last two years, when it was relatively balmy out.  Cheers to Bill, Finn and Drew for running four miles at midnight with a wind chill of 6.  They reported that the champagne at mile two was the consistency of a slushy.  Porter and I got in bed and ate chocolate.  I didn’t photograph the runners because I didn’t want to lose my shutter finger to frostbite.

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And that’s it.  I apologize for the inadvertent blog silence.  Both computers broke, the refrigerator broke, and I cannot blog on a Blackberry.  I’m back up and running now.

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Two years ago in My Tiny Kingdom: The Glamores Hit The Big City

Posted by Anne Glamore @ 5:58 pmBlast From the Past,Glamorous Escapades,Inventions, Creations, Experiments,Let's Eat: Meals and Recipes,Wanderlust: Travel Tales22 comments  

December 8, 2008

Blast From The Past: Keep Your Elves To Yourselves

The boys are still asking for elves, and I’m still not budging.  Here’s the column from December 2005:

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Throughout the year, we parents go to elaborate lengths to ensure that our children believe in magical beings. We enable Santa to visit. We make it possible for the Easter Bunny to leave jelly beans and chocolate eggs. We’re aware of the Tooth Fairy’s duties, and although she doesn’t always perform them perfectly at our house, teeth have been exchanged for quarters and dollars fairly regularly. Over the years, our children have gotten a nice dose of fantasy and we have kept our sanity.

Until now.

The talk of elves started slowly. “Some people have their very own elves,” Drew remarked in the car one day.

Several weeks later he mused, “If I had my very own elf, I’d ask him to bring me a horse and a saddle so I could ride my horse to school.”

In the last month, the talk of elves increased exponentially. Apparently elf-owners at school were bragging about their creatures. Drew quickly decided that he wanted one, too. He talked about it nonstop while I nodded absentmindedly, the way I do when he says, “For Christmas, I want thirteen gazillion dollars, a real submarine and a stuffed pig.”

I was forced to confront the issue one afternoon when I came into the den and saw Drew and Porter at the coffee table, busily writing. Later they were at the fireplace, setting up a shrine. They’d put out crackers, water, candy, and two notes.

“We’re getting ready to get our elves,” Drew said excitedly. I peered at the letters.

Porter’s read: Dear santa can I plese have a elf. Love, Porter

Drew’s was a little more eloquent: Dear Santa i wunt a elf. I will take carr of it love Drew I Love You santa!!!

“Boys, Santa doesn’t come for three more weeks,” I said. “Those crackers are going to get really raunchy by the time he comes down the chimney and sees them.”

“No, Santa comes by before Christmas and drops off elves to people who want one for just a little while,” Porter said.

“Then he takes them home with him when he comes back on Christmas,”
Drew explained. “I think he’ll come tonight since we put out these crackers and Nerds. Santa will leave us an elf and then get him later.”

I called up Chatty Mom to find out what was up with the elves.

“Oh, God,” she said. “Are your boys talking about elves, too? It’s the damnedest thing.”

“You’ve got to tell me what is going on,” I said. “Are parents involved in this?”

“Oh yes,” she said. “The parents are encouraging it! Here’s how it goes. The parents buy a cheap stuffed toy elf, which the kids think is real. The kids are convinced the elves move and eat when no one is watching.”

“So what’s the point?” I asked. I could see buying a cheap green toy if it was just going to sit there, especially if it would stop Drew’s incessant elf talk.

“That’s where it gets nuts,” Chatty Mom said. “The story is that the elves do two things. First of all, they bring the kids presents just out of the blue.”

“What kind of presents?” I asked cautiously.

“It can be anything. Most people do something small, like a toy or some candy, but I heard that one kid’s elf brought a set of bunk beds,” Chatty Mom said. “I mean, have you ever heard of such?”

“No, especially not so close to Christmas,” I said. “What am I, made of money?”

“Well, there’s more, and it’s worse,” Chatty Mom continued. “The presents from the elves are the least of it. The other thing the elves do is mess up the house.”

“So the kids have someone to blame when their rooms are messy?” I asked.

“No, no no!” Chatty Mom said. “It has nothing to do with the messes that are already in your house everyday. The elves make mischievous types of messes on top of all the shit that your boys normally generate during the course of a day.”

“Like what?” I asked, puzzled.

“Like one elf took all the socks from everyone’s drawers in the whole family and tossed them around the den. Another elf stole the toilet paper and rolled the Christmas tree.”

I was astounded. “And you are telling me that there are parents out there purposely creating extra messes, of their own volition, to make their children believe in elves?” I asked incredulously.

“That’s exactly what I’m saying,” Chatty Mom said. “But you probably ought to call someone across town and see what the story is over there. I think elves are a much bigger deal at the other elementary schools. And maybe call someone with girls. Maybe girls aren’t as messy as boys, so the idea isn’t as nutty for them.”

I was mystified as to why anyone would dream up a scheme with so many downsides, and no redeeming value that I could see. Clearly the matter needed further investigation, so I called up The Voice of Reason. Her kids go to a different elementary school, and she has a girl Finn’s age, a boy the twins’ age, and a younger girl.

“Oh, we know all about the elves,” she said. “Some people go overboard with the concept, but we don’t do that at our house. We started because I like the kids to have new matching pajamas for Christmas so they look good in pictures on Christmas morning. Then, even though their hair is all ratty and everything, you don’t really notice because they all match and look festive.”

“That is so something your mother would do,” I commented.

“I know,” The Voice admitted. “Anyway, when the elf thing got popular, I just went out and bought a couple of cheap place card holders shaped like elves and set them by the pajamas the next year, and the kids went nuts. Now they can’t wait for the elves to come. They come out the first Sunday of Advent and they disappear on Christmas. It’s really sweet to see them making beds for their elves.”

“I can’t see my boys wearing matching Christmas pajamas for more than one second, so I really can’t see the benefit of introducing elves to the Glamore house,” I said. “What else do they do?”

“Nothing much,” The Voice said. “They just magically move around. Like you might have left your elf on your bed when you left for school, but when you get home and open the refrigerator to get a snack, he might be sitting on the shelf next to the milk.”

“So you have to be moving the elves around all day?” I asked skeptically.

“Yes, but it’s no big deal. You take the dirty clothes to the washer, grab an elf and stick him on the piano.”

“That’s no biggie for you, but we have a hard time keeping up with the tooth fairy here,” I commented.

“I was just remembering that,” The Voice said. “Maybe you aren’t cut out for elves. I mean, it’s touching to see your kids carrying around the elves and getting excited when they magically move from one spot to the other, but no one wants an elf that just sits there.”

“That’s probably what would happen in our house,” I agreed. “Does your elf mess up the house?”

“Absolutely not!” The Voice responded. “I have heard of elves who do, and I think that is extremely counterproductive. Ours just bring pj’s, travel around the house a little, then disappear. I keep them in my underwear drawer during the year because that’s the only place I’ll be sure to see them and remember that elves are supposed to come out at Christmas time.”

When I hung up, I felt defeated. On one hand, The Voice is right. Children are young for only a short time, and believing in magic is an important part of childhood. Once that belief is gone, it’s gone forever.

On the other hand, I’ve turned out fine, and I never carried an elf around and waited for it to move from one spot to the other. Santa was enough for me.

I spent the day thinking up ways to break it to the twins that we would not be getting any elves. I finally decided to tell them that I was allergic to elves, and they’d have to choose between a mother for life or an elf for two weeks. I hoped they’d choose prudently.

As it happened, I was spared the talk.

Porter and Drew rushed in from school and ran to the pantry to grab a snack. “Guess what?” Drew said, with a mouthful of graham cracker crumbs.

“I can’t possibly guess,” I said truthfully.

“We’re going to tell Santa that we don’t want an elf. Anna’s elf took all her toys out of her closet and her mom made her clean them up. That elf was trouble,” Drew said.

“Yeah, some elves are bad elves. They are,” Porter added. “And you might set the table and then the elf would mess it all up and that would be bad.”

“And they don’t bring good presents,” Drew said. “Cole only got a Reese’s Cup. I don’t like Reese’s Cups. I only like Nerds.”

“Well, if you’re sure,” I said, faux-reluctantly. “It sure would be cute to have a furry little elf around for a while, but not if he’s going to make you have to do extra work.”

“No, we don’t want one,” Drew said. “We’re going to build a science lab instead. Can we have some bowls and mustard and ketchup? We’re going to make some mixtures.”

“Yes, we’re going to see what colors they turn and if they freeze. We are,” Porter said. “We’re going to be scientists. An elf would probably mess up our experiments.”

And just like that, my boys turned into young Einsteins, merrily mixing condiments, free from interference from wayward elves. I was off the hook.

Posted by Anne Glamore @ 9:12 pmBlast From the Past11 comments  

November 4, 2008

A Sexy Outfit For You!

At a recent football game, a neighboring high school performed a halftime dance routine at a football game that “stunned and appalled” one Tiny Kingdom woman.  She found the routine inappropriate for public viewing, as the girls wore mens’ button down shirts and ties and proceeded to “suggestively shake and shimmy.”  Later they tore off the shirts and revealed dance costumes underneath.

I have not seen the routine in question, but I’m an expert in both football dance routines and shimmying in a button down shirt, so I have a little something to say about this topic.

From 1982 through 1985 I was a member of the Dorians, the Tiny Kingdom’s dance team.  In keeping with our mostly Republican, all white demographic, we performed routines so conservative that we might as well have been the toy soldiers in The Nutcracker.  There was nary a wiggle or waggle to be found.  Then we’d march off the field and watch while the other teams shook their asses and laid it down.  I found it highly frustrating.

We scored a coup in the fall of 1985, when the band played “Thriller” and our choreography called for us to turn our backs to the stands and shake our fannies from side to side, using our hands to accentuate the motion.  For a few seconds during each show I felt like a Solid Gold dancer, but it was a small reward for two years of marching with the occasional kick-ball-change.  At least our high-kick line rocked.

Here’s a picture of me performing an exceptionally sexy move for us:
dorian1
and a picture of the kick-line in motion.  I should totally have been pointing my toe.
dorian2

But what does this have to do with the current situation?  Well, as it turns out, the other high school disagreed that their costume and routine was suggestive of a striptease.  Again, I didn’t witness it.

But about three years ago, when Bill and I decided to add some pizzazz to our sex life, I bought a book that was full of ideas besides hopping in the bed and going at it.  I wrote all about it here.  The book promised that if I walked around in one of Bill’s button downs and a pair of high heels, he’d appreciate the show.  The tip was so successful that I shared it with my Bible Study, all of whom have reported amazing results.  (One attendee recommends inviting your husband home for lunch, where he finds you vacuuming in this getup.  They never made it to the bedroom, and she suffered rug burns that she says were totally worth it.)

Unless you have actually worked as a French maid in the past and held on to your uniform, the button down shirt is the thriftiest provocative outfit you can wear if you’re getting ready to make googly eyes with your lover.  Sexier even than the Garden of Eden costume, because in my experience, a man likes to rip a little something off a woman and fling it on the ground.

So I’m thinking that the idea that the dancers’ costume had no sexual overtones was a bit naive.  My scientific experimentation has proven the outfit to be titillating and seductive, and that’s exactly what I intend each time I put it on.  If you were a Dorian and saved your seamed fishnet pantyhose, well, that just adds an extra layer of entertainment.

Of course, if you wear this outfit too often, you may end up with one of these:
dorian3

Let’s all take a vote. You can try out the shirt and hip shake to gauge its effect before voting if you need to.  In fact, I encourage you to do so.

******************
Three years ago in My Tiny Kingdom: All About You

Posted by Anne Glamore @ 6:49 pmBlast From the Past,Googly Eyes: Make Love Not War,School Today: Eraserboard Jungle21 comments  


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I'm Anne Glamore, wife, mother, lawyer and blogger. I have three boys, and I'm desperately trying to train them to become Southern gentlemen, but that may be an unrealistic goal. At this point I'd be ecstatic if they'd quit farting at the dinner table. If you're new here, check out the Readers' Favorite Posts below or browse through the Categories. I write about my attempts to teach the boys about peckers and sex (which we call "making googly eyes"), my struggles with hepatitis C and spine surgery, the boys' adventures with fire and pets, my mom's death from ovarian cancer, my love of cooking (with plenty of recipes) and anything else that crosses my mind. Join me on Twitter or StumbleUpon or Email me. I'm happy to speak to your group or club.

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