Dear Mom:


Before driving to your house yesterday, I stopped at the post office and then the library, with a quick stop for contraband at the Golden Arches and THANK GOD I did because the Mustang decided it was too hot to drive and left me sitting along Route 422 in Douglassville in 95 degree heat with 90% humidity.  I risked MY LIFE to cross the highway to safety and SHADE (where it was still 96 degrees), but I felt it was far safer than sitting in that black oven with smoke (Todd insists it was notsmoke, but I was not taking any chances that the car was not on fire) pouring out of the hood.  I was sure I would die that way.  You know how much I hate being broken down on the road, and since I have taken great pains to ensure that it would never happen again – I haven’t been broken down since 1996 – I panicked, both because the car. Was. On. Fire. and because I forgot that AAA exists and we still have it.

After a brief phone call to Todd, who felt supremely bad that this happened to me and not him (for many reasons, and one in particular which you are well aware of), I was able to calm down.  And while I was sitting on a shaded curb that could well have served as the firepit for our next pig roast, I texted Joel to remind him about leaving me the key to your car and do you know what he said??  He said, oh no! I forgot and I’m halfway to Philly.  I again reminded him that I hope he chokes on his spit, and told him what happened.  

By the time I had finished my fries and the half bottle of water I was carrying, and was adequately saturated through my clothes to the skin with perspiration, I decided it really wasn’t all that bad.  Of course that was because the tow truck man pulled in right at that very moment when I was wondering YTF I didn’t leave at least one hair clip in my bag to pull my hair up, for times when the car breaks down on the hottest day of the year.
No worries though.  I got a nice air conditioned ride to your place, during which the driver regaled me with tales of locked keys in cars up at the academy and how rude they were, and then we dumped the Mustang off and I picked up the girls for their sleepover.  Joel showed me some pics of the catastrophe that befell the bar – the glass shelf fell on top of the back bar and all the single malts and vodkas were strewn all over the floor, broken glass everywhere – it was horrifying!  The sight of $1200 worth of liquor spilled all over the floor was enough to give me angina.

Joel offered to feed the girls some of the ground turkey he cooked up, but I thought it was prudent for Sabra to take the car ride on an empty stomach. I then went home to cry and the girls, clearly not as traumatized as me over a broken Mustang and lost Scotch, pranced around the backyard like happy fawns, gobbled up their ground turkey, and went promptly to sleep with nary a glance in my direction. 

To answer your earlier email, we went moonlight swimming with the kids the other night and came within inches of another ER visit for Ava after Owen upended her floating chair less than a foot away from the wall.  They have since returned to their dad for the weekend.  No, I am not keeping my departure a secret from you – Todd and I have just not decided when to leave and which shore point we want to land on.

The table linens are indoors thanks to impeccable timing on the groomer’s part – I arrived to your place with the newly fluffy girls and the linen man had just gotten there.  The landscapers too – which is a REALLY good thing – since the patio looks more like the jungle in Jumanji than a cool dining retreat after the torrential rain we had last weekend.  And Tree has not had the baby yet – and no – I am notgoing to check in on her again today…. She will unfriend me.  No Royal baby yet, either.  Too bad we don’t live in England – all babies born the same day receive a very special commemorative coin, delivered in a pink or blue bag (for obvious reasons).

The boys are doing great – they were groomed yesterday and looked divine – although if he gets even 10 minutes outside in this heat, I’m sure Zeke will undo the miracle of a bath by settling into the algae-coated fish pond. And hopefully Moses’ natural musk will hold off at least until you return from vacation in 3 days so you can enjoy an easy-breathing night at home.
As for the girls, Pi is definitely excited to be clean again, but Sabra trembled from door to door in her usual way like we were driving her to the death chamber.  This morning we rose bright and early, and I drove them to the groomer.  (You will also be pleased to know that Sabra did not vomit once on any of her car trips.)

Afterward I vacuumed about 20 pounds of dog hair out of your car, and threw out a months’ worth of trash for you.    By the way, does Moses the polar bear dog favor the left side of your car?  I’m sorry I couldn’t get the crevices – the hose was missing the attachment for that.  As for the leather, I think you’re going to need a power washer to get those stains out.  I washed the car too.  The brush hose was broken and, although it still worked, the hole in the hose was spewing blue soap all over me.   But, no worries – I’ll need another shower anyway after washing your car in 90 degrees before 8:30am.  YOU’RE WELCOME. 

If you are feeling loopy, I’m sorry.  Perhaps you should sit upwind from the Rastafarians while you’re sunbathing.  Enjoy your sojourn to the South coast – and ask David if he sees any more dead people.  (Really – I don’t care how old you guys are – lay off the natives’ ganja before you go driving.)
Love and kisses,

Your Loyal Daughter
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My Son Is Brilliant



Owen finally came home from his first airplane flight and vacation to Disney.  He loved Disney and especially the Tower of Terror, and I’m so glad to hear he had a wonderful time since he was so apprehensive about it the week before they left.

So we pull in the driveway and he walks around the back of our vehicle to help me carry in some groceries.  And proceeds to tell me what he did to dad while they were vacation. 

He says, you know how dad is always saying “I love you” to me, like a hundred times a day?  

Yes, I said, because I know how he is and I remember full well how many times he would say it, just to elicit the same response.  He is one of those people with that, you-have-to-say-it-back-to-me disease.

Well, says Owen, I did it to him.  I kept telling him like 100 times over and over every day that I loved him:  I love you!  I love you Dad!  I love you! And he started cracking up.  I had to admit, it made me crack up too.  Because he’s finally old enough to get it.

So later that day, I get a call from “Dad” who is already in crisis mode less than 24 hours after coming home and needs my immediate help.  During the course of our conversation, he tells me he’s really worried about Owen.

There’s something wrong with Owen, and I’m really worried about him.

What are you talking about?  I said, followed by something that sounded like,  how dare you say there’s something wrong with our son?

I’m telling you, there’s something really wrong with him.  He keeps saying I love you to me over and over again, like 100 times a day.

MY son is BRILLIANT.