Monday, June 27, 2016

Behind Closed Doors

Behind Closed Doors

So serious question, here: What good are parents, if you can’t make fun of them from time to time? I do love my mother, but parents in general... they’re such easy targets. See, parents are old. And, as they say on the internet, old=lol. Therefore, parents have this built-in hilarity potential. It is up to the children to exploit it. After all -- if we don’t, who will?

My mom calls me a packrat, because my room is cluttered and I like to collect things. However, I totally got this trait from my parents, so I don't know what she's complaining about.

Today my mother showed me a box of Halloween decorations and told me she was planning to get rid of them. But first she wanted to know if I had a particular attachment to any of the things within. I did, but only to one -- a rubber ghost, about an inch and a half tall. When I told her I wanted to salvage this ghost, she started in on her packrat lecture, but I did not back down. She finally said I could keep it, so I went to go put it away.

The "Halloween decorations box" (or, I should say, the box of decorations that she isn't trying to throw out) is in a cupboard in our laundry room. As I brought the box down from that high cupboard and prepared to add the ghost to its contents, I couldn’t help noticing some of the other things that were in that cupboard. There’s sure a lot of weird stuff in there.

So I did what any good daughter would do. I ran and got my camera.

So let's see what's in here...

For starters, here is a bird, possibly a seagull, resting on a stick. And its point is... what, exactly? Even if this was on our coffee table instead of in a cupboard, I can’t see it as having any real "conversation piece" potential. It’s a bird. On a stick. Whose idea was this?

Maybe someday my kids will need to make a diorama of the Oregon coast for school, and they will need this thing. Until then, uh... I’m sticking it back in the cupboard.

A really old bottle of Orange Crush. Not sure how old. They didn’t do "freshness dating" back then, go figure. It’s probably insta-poison now. Or maybe it’s the cure for cancer. We’ll never know, because I’m not about to open Pandora’s soda bottle, thank you very much.

Tinkertoys! I love these so much. They’re the wooden kind, not the dumb plastic ones. Great for poking out the eyes of your friends. My dad and I would play with these together back when I was, like, three. We’d construct ferris wheels and merry-go-rounds that would actually work when you turned a crank. Fun fun fun.

Look at those beauties. Just look at em. What could they have possibly done to deserve being banished to the cupboard to spend all eternity with the seagull sculpture?

Unopened Super Glue. This one time, I was curious about whether or not you could actually stick your fingers together with Super Glue. So I tried it. And yes, they adhere immediately and it’s really scary. And the saddest part of it all is that I wasn’t a little kid when I did this. I was 17. Moving on, now....

I haven't a friggin' clue what this is.

My mom has about a million candles. Here are four. She teaches second grade, and for some reason, she gets mounds of candles from her fellow co-workers on any given holiday. From the students, she gets mugs. She gets so many mugs that when I broke two of them last month, she didn’t even care. And this is a woman who will freak out if you spill two drops of apple juice on the hardwood floor or if you set fire to the rug. She’s protective of everything in the house.... except for the 10,000 mugs and 52,346 candles.

A toy clock. This was never my toy as a kid so I’m not sure what it’s doing in here. I’ve set it to 10:04 because I have this really ridiculous habit of setting non-working clocks to 10:04. Because it amuses me. Shut up.

So we’ve got some pieces of styrofoam in here, cuz um... cuz... okay, I got nothin'.

An ancient bottle of Coca-Cola. With grimy old Coke gunk stuck to the inside. Because we wouldn’t want that bottle of Orange Crush to be lonely or anything.

This is one of my old toys. You put the keys in the side, and they release the puzzle pieces, which can then be situated in a special spot on the top.

The green rectangle went missing a long time ago.

The box of an old electric toothbrush. It’s approved by the American Dental Association. If it’s good enough for Kevin McAllister, it’s good enough for me.

These were some water games Tomy made in the late 70’s. Did you ever notice Tomy makes the coolest products? Well, I know water games aren’t exactly original, but hell, this basketball game kept me entertained for hours.

A basket shaped like a pumpkin. This is one of the only things in this cupboard that is ever removed. My mom usually brings it out in October and fills it with candy. I like candy.

Random bottle of liquid bluing. Mrs. Stewart sure looks pissed about somethin’. Possibly her receding hairline.

So that’s our laundry room cupboard. One of them, anyway. Maybe sometime in the near future I’ll introduce you to our playroom closet. Want a sneak preview?

I don’t know what’s scarier, the fact that this dress exists... or the fact that my mom actually considered wearing it a couple of years ago.

It should be noted that every time she brings up the issue of me being a packrat, I remind her about this dress.

Now that’s a conversation piece. 

This article was originally published on my old website on December 2, 2005.

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