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Random Thought of the Day: Old Home Movies

So, tonight, my parents and I were watching some home movies my grandfather made of my mother when she was a baby, in 1952. Apparently, he went to her nursery school and filmed her and her friends doing nursery-school type things. I’ve seen the video before and it’s incredibly funny, but for the first time I noticed that in one bit, my mother is making up a bed for a baby doll and pretending to put it to bed.

Upon seeing her make the bed, my dad said “I guess it must have been a Tuesday.”

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Sleeping On A Couch

If you’ve been wondering where I am and what I’ve been doing for the past few days, the answers are still in Madison, and attempting to keep my parents fed, watered, and entertained while doing the grad student thing as well.

Oh, and sleeping on my couch.

My parents coming to visit me is a wonderful thing. They are two of the most wonderful people I know, and that’s not just because they made me.who I am today. 90% of the time they are agreeable and not super paranoid or weird or obsessive like some other peoples’ parents I know. Well, my dad is obsessed with baseball and my mother with talking with her friends about how great retirement is, but none of those hobbies involve criticizing me, my life choices, or asking me where their grandchildren are (Answer: In time out like all of the rest of the naughty children). Also, they trust me most of the time, which is good, because they should.

I could go on about this, but the main gist of the story is that there are also some bad things about their visit. Usually imaginary, but they’re there. I become a nervous wreck. I have to hide everything in my apartment that could be perceived as a questionable object or risk them asking about it (why do you have a rotary cutter, Jacob?). I have to make sure that they are watered and fed the appropriate amounts at the appropriate times or they get crotchety. Usually my dad more than my mom, but he is also four years older. I usually clean, but my mom cleans it better so I should just remember not to clean for next time. My mom understands, though, that when we are in Madison, we go to Target and Kohl’s and Metcalfe’s, and that we can walk places. She actually does exercise, walking every morning for at least an hour and swimming later in the day. Unlike my mom, my dad hates anything having to do with shopping and will complain whenever his legs or feet start to hurt.

Of course, since this week is the Epic company’s medical conference, just about every hotel room in Dane County is booked, and even my friend who works at a hotel could not override the system. So, when my parents told me that they would just stay with me, I was like…

And that’s why I’ve been sleeping on my couch.

Now, this is not to say I dislike my couch. I actually really like my couch, and it is quite comfortable for activities such as sitting or napping or cuddling. Sleeping one night on it, not too bad. But sleeping multiple nights on it? Yeah, not so much. I know that it’s petty and a small price to pay, but three consecutive nights on the couch is not fun for my back, which must go in weird, spasmodic positions. Two nights ago, I actually slept fairly well. Last night, I think I tried to pry my arm off in my sleep because it was getting in my way, which took a surprising amount of energy.

In general, though, I dislike sleeping on couches. I would probably rather sleep on a floor, unless it is a couch actually made for sleeping and not sitting on, like my sister’s sofa sectional in DC. That sentence had too many letter “s”es in it. I used to be much pickier about where I could and could not sleep, but somewhere along the line, I began to fall asleep in weird places. This probably merits a future entry, but started in high school (face down, sprawled out at an airport), college (under a table in a conference room at a hotel), post-college (in the waiting room of an urgent care center), and in several different hotel lobbies in Houston.

Anyway.

Two nights down, one to go.

But then my parents will go home, I’ll miss them, and my apartment will never be this clean again.

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Take Your Toddler Off the Table

One time, I was having a perfectly lovely dinner in Houston with my friend, and her friends, who are a young couple with an adorable baby girl who sat and cooed in her stroller the whole time. What happened after dinner absolutely grossed me out. It wasn’t at a particularly fancy place, but it was gross nonetheless.

They put their baby daughter on the table.

On. The. Table.

I don’t know what possessed them to do that, but they did it anyway. And not only did they put her on the table, they picked her up and put her on her feet on the table as if she was dancing. Dancing. In her shoes. Only slightly less gross than if she were in her socks, or barefoot.

I just don’t get it.

If I put my own feet on the table at any point during the meal, you’d be disgusted. Same goes for anyone putting their foot on any dining table while it is being used thusly. You don’t know what’s on the bottom of that person’s shoes, or if their shoes look nice but their feet are dust mops.

Speaking of complete slobs, I knew a girl in Amherst who was one. Well, at least on the outside. She looked like she never showered or brushed her hair, always wore grungy looking outfits which were usually baggy, monotone, and polyester, and had gigantic, oddly-shaped glasses. But appearances aren’t everything, personality is important too…and personality she had. Of a dirty dish towel. She wasn’t an awful human being, just a dull one. I tried to find something redeeming about her, so I tried to grasp at straws. She was usually barefoot, and her feet weren’t grotesque-looking at first glance, but then, I saw her sit down and put her feet up, and on the bottoms? Let’s just say that she possessed a pretty dark and disgusting sole, times two. That is the image I have in mind whenever anyone’s feet, including an adorable little girl’s, go anywhere near where I’m eating or have eaten. Then there’s the whole issue of parents thinking that everything their children do is cute, but that merits a whole different blog entry.

So don’t put your children on the table and especially his/her feet. Or your own feet for that matter. Ever.

Except if the meal is completely finished, and the table has an inset lazy Susan.

Then, it’s adorable, as seen by Figure A (just imagine the record player inset within the table):