Mike Rees, aka the coolest guy in Utah according to me, sometimes throws parties in his backyard less than a block from my house and just makes it a public Facebook event so anyone who feels like it can show up. And he had one last week, which I figured I'd show up to just a few minutes late after I got off work at eight, so I came to work wearing my fancy tie-dyed dress shirt and with one thing each of lemonade, strawberry lemonade, raspberry lemonade, and limeade to keep in the fridge and then take with me. But Jaycee, who usually gives me a ride home on Fridays, wasn't there, so I had to jog the seven blocks or so to the bus stop with those lemonades in double-layered grocery bags digging into my arms. After I made it I was very pleased that I had been able to do this hard thing that I never want to do again. And then I wasn't able to get to the party until eight thirty-fiveish when I ran into several friendly neighbor girls going too and it was just about to start the beginning stages of getting underway, so that worked out nicely. I collapsed on one of the couches and rested instead of talking to people I didn't know, so that worked out nicely too.
I lounged on the couch for most of the evening except when I got up to get food and drink. I had mostly filled up on hot dogs already when they started grilling hamburgers that were even better. I had one. That was really good, I thought. I want another one. But I also don't want to move, so I have a bit of a dilemma here. Ah, first-world problems. I did muster up the stamina for two more. At one point I used their bathroom and took the liberty of weighing myself and discovered that I've gained seventeen pounds since the last time I weighed myself, which I think was in 2013.
On Sunday I ran into one of the high councilor guys who used to be Debbie's bishop. I first met him when she was giving me a ride home and brought me with her on a detour to his house for hot chocolate along with several other members of her ward. So he introduced himself and welcomed me into his home and it was kind of awkward because I'm awkward and he was too so there was a lot of silences and smiling and nodding. He has said on more than one occasion, "I used to be so shy I wouldn't talk to myself." But he's a stellar guy and has done quite well for himself now so that gives me some hope. I watched General Conference in his home last year and frequently see him around church doing his high council stuff and he always talks to me if he sees me. Last Sunday, after the usual checking up on my job and life he asked, "Do you have a place to eat today?" And I tried to remember if there was some kind of holiday going on, but Memorial Day was over and there wasn't anything else, was there? But he was just inviting me over out of friendliness, I guess.
One of their teenage daughters answered the door when I showed up, and I didn't recognize her because I have dementia with names and faces and she was holding a baby, so I hesitated as to whether this was the correct address, but it was and she let me in. I sat down in the living room where a toddler was watching "Sofia the First". I've seen a few Sofia the First books at work, so it was nice to finally get some clue what it actually is. The toddler started talking to me profusely and pointed out the different colors on the screen and on the little egg lip balm things she was holding. I wondered where she and the baby had come from. I didn't remember them and in any case, the heads of this household seemed just a bit chronologically advanced to have children so young. But that mystery was solved when their oldest daughter whom I'd never met came in the room and claimed them as her own. From now on I shall refer to the parties involved as Host, Hostess, Daughter 1, Daughter 2, Daughter 3, Granddaughter 1, and Granddaughter 2.
I sat at the head of the table between Daughter 2 and Daughter 3. I feel that I sort of gypped my hosts by not saying much the entire time, but I don't usually have much to say. Granddaughter 1 kept talking and engaged me in conversation the most, followed by Daughter 1 and Hostess. At one point the latter asked seemingly out of nowhere, "Are both your parents still living?" I thought she was going to end that sentence with "in New York?" or "in Indiana?" but she just ended it with a question mark. I said yes. She followed up, "Are they still married to each other?" I said yes, wondering where this was going. She said, "You just have to ask these days because you can't assume anything."
When I mentioned not being in school, Daughter 2 asked, "Do you have a job?" That was one of the few things she said to me. More notably, thrice she belched very deeply and loudly, keeping her mouth closed so that she sounded like a sando aqua monster and showing no concern about it afterward. After lunch was over and I went into the backyard she did it again with her mouth open, and now I couldn't any longer resist commenting, "You're very impressive!" Finally she seemed a little sheepish as she mumbled back, "Thank you. Sorry." Really, I'm not like a huge belching fan but anything done that well deserves recognition. I was also impressed, though I shouldn't have been, when Host and Hostess related the story (while she was sitting right there) of her leaving Relief Society early to take their van and go joyriding, and they thought it had been stolen and then they thought she had been kidnapped. I shouldn't admire that kind of irresponsible and reckless behavior, but I do. As far as I know my sisters have never done anything cool like that.
It came out at one point that Daughter 3 is a writer, so we talked about that for a couple minutes. She said she posted a book she wrote on some website and it had been read 20,000+ times. She said someone else once posted a Twilight fan-fiction there and it was so popular that she changed the names and published it and became a millionaire. Now this story sounded kind of familiar and I couldn't imagine it happening twice, so I inquired, with some hesitation as to whether it was even okay to speak these words at the dinner table, "Was that, ah, Fifty Shades of Grey?" Yes, it was. "Which you will not be reading," Hostess interjected. Good parenting. You know, I've seen a few passages from that book and they looked like they were written by a third-grader, albeit a strangely perverted one. Few things better illustrate H. L. Mencken's observation that "No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public." And that's my backup plan if all else fails.
Kids Say the Darndest Things
I tried to remember Granddaughter 1's lines that I found particularly amusing, though she was so totes adorbs that almost anything she said could provoke a smile.
Can someone say the prayer that's me?
I just burped, but I said 'scuse me, so you still love me, right?
Sometimes I be a good girl, and sometimes my people mess me up.
Already blaming society for her misbehavior. I'm so proud.
There used to be two dogs, but now there's only one dog because the other dog died. Guess what? Sometimes dogs die.
At this point her mom said, "I kind of just want to all be quiet and see what she says to you."
After Granddaughter 2 loudly soiled herself
You did it!
When she wanted to go out and play on the tire swing
I want someone besides you to push me.
While Host and I were pushing her in circles on the tire swing
"I can't see you guys anymore. I can only see your colors. And your eyes. And your faces. And your hands. And your feet."
"Sometimes, every day, I do whatever I do."
When the tire swing hit me as it was spinning
A: Hahaha! I got you!
Me: You stinker.
A: I only stink when I need to poop.
Me: Does that happen a lot?
A: It helps a lot.
When I got home, the neighbor's similarly aged daughter was out playing in the weird alleyway that divides our house in half, and I smiled and waved like usual, and then I went inside and a moment later there was a tapping on my door so faint that I wasn't sure at first if I'd heard anything. But it came again, so I opened it and she was there and she said hi. So then her mom was all "Is she knocking on your door? I'm so sorry" and I was all "It's no problem" and really it wasn't because I wish my grown-up friends were that friendly. I actually really love children when they aren't being insufferable brats.
EMF - Children
The opening track of the album "Schubert Dip" whence also came the much more famous "Unbelievable". I may like this one a bit more. I'm not sure.
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About the Author
C. Randall Nicholson is a white cisgender male and a Latter-day Saint, so you can hate him without guilt, but he's also autistic, so you can't. Unless you're an anti-vaxxer, in which case the feeling is mutual. This blog is where he periodically rants about life, the universe, and/or everything.