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« In Which I Do Not Grow Weary of Other People's Babies, For the Most Part | Main | Happy Birthday America »

In Which I Grow Weary of Other People's Crap

I have had four different addresses since January.  Beneath every roof but one, I have been subjected to other people's crap.  I pass every night sleeping in other people's beds.

My own crap is currently in boxes in Virginia, and because that wasn't good enough, we put all of those boxes in an even bigger box, and locked it all up.  In the meantime my desk is a pantry.

The big surprise here is how much I'm able to do with so little.  I have my clothes here, minus formal wear; for some reason, there wasn't much call for a silver beaded gown in a Colorado writing commune.  I miss my sewing machine.  I regard the assembled scrapbook pieces--extending back to my sophomore year in college and currently in the Great Box-- with enormous shame.  Otherwise?  Don't miss the crap.  It's been quite the lesson in how very little a person actually needs an everyday punch bowl, a casual party punch bowl, a family-only punch bowl, and a formal punch bowl, when I could probably just get by with the everyday punch bowl, the family-only punch bowl, and the formal punch bowl.  In all things, simplicity.

In the meantime, however, I subject myself to the crap of others to get by.  At the moment, Josh The Pilot and I, doomed to live in only no-lease properties, are renting from a company which stages homes on the market.  And we live in it.  And when the realtor has a showing, we have to pretend that we don't.  The shampoo goes under the sink, the bread off the counter, and the flux capacitor on top of the refrigerator.  The entire house is pillowed and Hobby Lobbyfied, right down the creepily left-open book about Christopher Columbus on the bed in what we've taken to calling the Creepy Left-Open Book About Christopher Columbus Room.

And here's the thing:  Since we may have to vacate the premises on the notice of an hour or two, I keep the fake furniture and overstuffed pillows cleaner than I actually do my own.  As it happens, the only push my housekeeping needed was the threat of the $500 fine in the event of a misplaced toothpaste glob. 

The beds have comforters, but no sheets; there's a plant in the corner of the living room, but it's fake.  It's like living in the Showcase Showdown.

And yet, it's far preferable to the Other People's Crap I suffered at Commune Sleepover Camp.  The owners were leasing it as a vacation home, with the added bonus of everything too rusted, smelly, useless, and frightening they didn't feel like taking with them when they wisely left.  This went far beyond the Parade of the Deer Heads which greeted me in the morning:

 Let us instead discuss what was going on in the kitchen:

Here we see one of the younger spices in the pantry.  I have sent it out to be carbon dated.  As we can see from the lack of Helvetica font and its utter failure to trumpet its own ecological responsibility, however, it clearly pre-dates the 8-track.  I also draw fear from the suspiciously low price, not to mention the supposition that people make their own "Danish pastries."  No doubt allspice is also a handy garnish for lard, egg yolks, and unfiltered cigarettes.

This was below the kitchen counter:

As you can see, it sits unmoored in the drawer, because whatever this is, I was extremely loathe to touch it.  I shoved the can opener and the ladle out of the way with a spatula in order to take the picture.  It has a cord, it's called the "Lady Vanity," it was eighteen inches away from where we set food, and I don't want to talk about it anymore.

my kingdom for my crap at:  mbe@drinktothelasses.com

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Reader Comments (6)

And yet, I want to do nothing BUT talk about the Lady Vanity. What could it possibly be? My first guess was electric turkey carving knife, but I would guess that the electric turkey carving knife company wouldn't call that a Lady Vanity.

I do have good news about the allspice, though. It has a zip code on it, which means that it was packaged after 1963. So... it probably doesn't predate John Glenn's political career?

July 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLex

The antlers look familiar.

June 2010: Intrigued by a B&B overlooking a Fake Finger Lake in upstate New York, there up we went.

Bob The Owner likes collecting things. Bob collects EVERYTHING.

Only by later reading about Sarah Bernhardt were we able to discover a less discriminating human being - when it came to decorating a mansion with the spoils of Eccentric Attention Deficit Shopping Syndrome.

Bob likes the Big Game that the taxidermists have immortalized. Mounted on the walls ten feet above the lobby floor, they may have been the same jolly big-game pets who had actually wandered around the hallways of Sarah’s Paris mansion (they don’t speak French anymore, so I couldn’t ask them if an Estate Sale had been their downfall).

My, what big antlers they had.

Bob also, apparently, likes big plastic cows; one grazed on the rug in front of the door to our room on the 3rd floor (it was my responsibility as the vacationing hall monitor, in case of fire, to be able to throw it out the bay window & into the driveway so that we could safely evacuate the premises).

Bob also collects native American Indian artifacts. These include beautifully woven Indian headbands - about two inches wide & two feet long - displayed vertically on the walls of the half-story platforms that link the majestic staircases leading to the rooms upstairs.

Most of the headbands were, oddly, white. As oddly, Bob preferred to have his separate collection of headless antlers (collateral lost in Monte Carlo; elk are lousy card counters) mounted on the very same walls as the headbands, at about eye level.

And Bob mounted them so that the white bleached antlers – with their sharp prongs – blended in perfectly with the white headbands in the background.

Our last night, I was ascending the stairs. Mrs. Hearty Appetite & Hesitant Husband, also guests of the establishment, were coming down from the 3rd floor. We met, reluctantly.

My turning sideways on the landing wasn’t quite physically accommodating enough for the lady, so she executed a 45* turn & veered off at the same time that she failed to decelerate her rate of descent.

And thus was jabbed in the shoulder by one of the prongs - perfectly camouflaged by the identical background color of the headbands.

Somehow, judging by the dirty look she gave me, this was all my fault.

So I’m glad to see that YOUR resident antlers are safely positioned, so that when prospective home buyers drop by, they can do no harm.

Which was also the idea behind stashing the Lady Vanity below the kitchen counter, I guess.

July 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDon Reed

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Josh Hunter. Josh Hunter said: RT @BlondeChampagne: In Which I Grow Weary of Other People's Crap: http://blondechampagne.wordpress.com/2010/07/10/in-which-i-grow-weary ... [...]

Many thanks to Ron The Pilot-Reader for the following information about the Lady Vanity

July 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJosh The Pilot

An electric knife then , huh? That was probably the biggest marketing flop in all American kitchenware history.

July 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterred pill junkie

I did a double-take at that allspice photo. I have a container of powdered cloves in my cupboard in nearly identical packaging, down to the purple price stamp on the top. Honestly, I think it is older than I am. All I can guess is that my mother bequeathed me some spices when I moved out on my own in the 1990s.

At any rate, I've used it a few times, and I am still alive. I guess it takes cloves more than 37 years to go bad. (Can't vouch for allspice, alas.)

July 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGinny
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