Last week was stressful, kind of blurry, and made me wish I was a shire hobbit — no contact with the outside world, plenty of time to loom my own homespun linen, cheerful disposition, abundant moss for decorating projects.
I should have dealt with everything by being proactive and organized, but instead I spent all my free time making a sparkly-unicorn-collage representing my family.
It was surprisingly time-consuming.
But also incredibly important because when things are chaotic, I cope by expending huge amounts of energy to ignore whatever is on fire… It is a subcategory of my ability to avoid doing anything of actual value with my life.
I also bought a ticket to Haven — a weekend-long, DIY-home-blog conference in Georgia. (The state, not Russia.) This means I will have to leave my house and stay in a hotel… A direct violation of every principle of my comfort zone.
Comfort zone principles:
1 – there’s no place like home.
2 – hotels are disgusting pits of other people’s sloughed skin and insomnia and canned air that dries your skin out five-seconds after check-in. (The Hotel duPont where we had our wedding reception is magically exempt.)
What I most object to is the water in hotel showers. My theory is that they treat it with equal parts slime and chlorine, (to counteract the slime). So that when you get out of the shower you feel coated with a thin film of something sticky (slime), but you dry SUPERFAST (chlorine).
Whatever time I am forced to spend on earth after taking a hotel shower is a test of my sanity… I might LOOK like I am listening to you, or going to a funeral/wedding, but what I am ACTUALLY doing is thinking about how if I start itching, I will not be able to stop.
Fortunately, it is months and months away, so I can fool myself into thinking it won’t be that bad. Because, who knows? Maybe I will get a personality transplant by then.
Then, on top of the actual stress I was having, my Pinterest account got hacked… I had the most courteous hacker ever, (or maybe they actually value ideas for turning old windows into cabinets, and DIY kitchen-islands, who knows).
Either way, they did not pin anything of their own. They just locked me out of my account and changed my bio to their info… To make it up to me, they put my location as Paris.
Anyway, it is unlikely that you care about any of this but it’s all I have to offer, so now I am going to tell you about the sparkly-unicorn-Barnes-family-portrait.
I have two brothers. Matthew is much younger – I was 13 when he was born, so I experienced his life at an age when I was old enough to appreciate him. He turned 23 this month, and that math does not seem remotely possible.
Matthew is inheriting my old computer now that I upgraded… And I wanted to be sure that he was SURPRISED when he turned it on.
I knew I wanted it to be very sparkly surprise. With unicorns and other things a 23-year-old man would be excited to have on his desktop. From there, it spiraled out of control. I feel it may be my finest work yet.
This is his desktop picture.
When Matthew was little, he had two favorite things in the world – singing songs from The Jungle Book, and Barney the purple dinosaur.
His most prized possession in the entire world was a pair of Barney tube socks. They were white, and came almost to his knees and they were printed with a giant Barney. He wore them all the time.
At some point, he outgrew Barney. And he must have been sort of traumatized by the realization that his dinosaur friends weren’t real; compounded by a painful awareness of how uncool his attachment had been… and you could not even MENTION to him how much he had liked Barney without him having a complete meltdown.
So periodically Chris would say to Matt, in this super-slow, drawn-out voice – Matthew, are you wearing your Barney socks? And Matthew would turn this alarming shade of red and scream – I am not wearing my Barney socks.
It was like just the suggestion of Barney made him insane with rage.
Obviously, this was hysterical.
I will explain the finer points, so that you can appreciate the nuance.
- Unicorn-Chris is wearing his Indiana Jones hat, (his equivalent of Barney socks).
- Schmoo, (the cat) and Gretchen, (the dog) are proving the existence of an afterlife.
- Unicorn-Matthew is accompanied by Buddy the cat. (My dad walked by an abandoned, boarded-up house, and heard a cat crying. We don’t know how long Buddy was in there with no food or water.) Buddy loves my dad, but he loves Matthew even more.
- My mom is wearing her hair in a bun — it’s the same hairstyle she has had for her entire mom-life. (This sounds frumpy, but it works for her.)
- “I love you, you love me, we’re a happy family.” Is the Barney theme song.
- My father is trying to discuss the principles of morality and missing out on all the fun.
- I doubt Elvis and I require explanation.
- And, of course, Matthew is wearing his Barney socks.