Dec 26, 2010

he wants to talk about what?!

the other day over lunch, my sister and i attempted to get caught up on a recent episode of "desperate housewives" while the kids were glued to cartoons in the other room.  they had finished their lunches and were absorbed in whatever was happening on cbeebies, so we took the chance to put an episode on the computer and enjoy it while we ate.  not far into the show, my niece came sneaking in the room, wanting to be with the girls and watch mummy's tv, not cartoons.  giving in to her sweet desire to hang out with us, we let her stay and she climbed into my lap. 

not 2 minutes later a certain scene came on during which one of the male characters is arguing with his wife and says "why don't you ever talk about my penis?!" in indignation and frustration.  as soon as the words were out of his mouth, it was like slow motion - i looked over at my sister who was already looking wide-eyed at me and my niece piped up and said, "well, why would he want to talk about his penis?!" as if it were the most asinine thing in the world. 

thank god she was sitting on my lap and not facing me because i started laughing so hard, i wouldn't have wanted her to see my reaction.  it wasn't normal, amused chuckling, it was that silent, heaving laughter that makes your whole body shake, especially when you're trying not to do it.  credit to my sister for smothering her own giggles and answering rather calmly and nonchalantly, "i don't know.  that's pretty silly, isn't it?"  my niece agreed and started giggling.  at that point neither my sister nor i could contain ourselves and erupted with cackles, tears welling in our eyes.  

needless to say, the show was turned off and my niece returned to more child-friendly programming, but it sure made for a good laugh.

Dec 23, 2010

the truth about christmas

after multiple years of visiting my sister and fam in the london area, i've finally worked out why they keep inviting me back each christmas.  last night as i stepped back and surveyed the dining room table loaded with presents i had just spend the better part of two hours wrapping, i realized i've been recruited each year to fly over and act as bartender/sweatshop present wrapper.  they don't even pay me!  i have to work in terrible conditions - big table upon which to wrap, unlimited paper and supplies, constantly filled wine glass with music playing in the background.  if i'm very good and don't ask for bandages for my bleeding papercuts, they may throw me a scrap of chocolate or a bailey's and coffee.  sometimes my sister or brother-in-law actually pops in to check my progress and has a word or two with me, usually cracking the proverbial whip to ensure i'm not slacking off.  my parents are even in on the deal, sending loads of unwrapped gifts over here, knowing i'll do all the wrapping for them.  jeez.

and the bartending!  man, oh man.  the nerve of them to think i'll just swoop in, fight through my jetlag and produce perfect cocktails on demand.  i tell you, being supplied with cases of wine, ingredients for cosmos and other drinks, bubbly and beer is just terrible.  terrible and inhumane, i tell you.  i mean, who can be expected to drink night after night while enjoying delicious dinner after delicious dinner, all prepared for me?  really, they should look into better treatment of their guests.  i mean, they only keep the kids from jumping on me until about 9am - don't they know i sleep til 10?  ugh.  i really must complain to management about these conditions.

until then, i'll put on my elf hat, mix a drink and wrap away.  maybe next year they'll look into getting me an assistant.

Dec 21, 2010

you say tomato....

the other day, my niece was pulling things out of her school bag, showing me the cards she had received from classmates, the christmas art projects she had made and the treats and small gifts she had been given by her teachers.  as she produced various things from the bag she announced to me what each item was.

her:  "and this is a santa card i made with cotton and paper"

me:  "oooh, lovely! well done!"

her:  "and these are cards from sam, nancy and olivia"

me:  "very nice of your friends to give you holiday cards!"

her:  "and this is a reindeer notebook.  and a rubber."

me:  "oh, how nice - wait, what?!"

her:  "i said it's a rubber.  anyway, here's another--"

me:  "hold on.  one second.  what is that last one again?"

her: (sighing with exasperation and annoyance)  "IT. IS. A. RUBBER."

me:  "i'm going to need to see this."

and she proceeded to toss me the item in question.  a rubber, indeed.  apparently here in england a rubber is what the kids call rubber erasers.  dirty, dirty tia get your mind out of the gutter!

Dec 17, 2010

say it like it is

over dinner wednesday night, my first evening here in the UK with my sister and her family....

me:  so i heard all about my niece's new boyfriend after she got home from school today

my sister: she's four. there's no way he could be her boyfriend.

me:  well, she said he was.  not sure what that means to a four-year-old exactly.

my brother-in-law:  well, aren't you glad you managed to get a boyfriend before your four-year-old niece?  that would have been embarrassing.

me:  yeah.... thanks for that.  more wine please.