Friday, November 16, 2012

There Was An Episode. A Turkey Platter Was Involved.

Since crossing the threshold and traversing further into old age, I’ve begun having more frequent “episodes.”  These “episodes” are often unsettling and can throw me off for extended periods of time.  Generally, these episodes occur in dressing rooms with unflattering light and when I am scantily clad before full-length mirrors.  They often catch me off-guard and a sideways glance leaves me saying, “What in the hell happened to me?”  As I ponder the answer and attempt to justify my deterioration, I typically begin to shudder before collapsing into a pile of torment.  The episodes often end with medicating myself via peanut M&Ms or life-sustaining Chardonnay.  Recently however, the episodes, which have long been triggered by thigh dimpling or saggy hooters, began occurring while I was totally clothed and in no geographical relation to a full-length mirror.  While yesterday’s episode did occur in a retail outlet, there was no clothing within 200 yards and no mirrors either.  Rather than dimples or fun bag slumping sending me into trouble, yesterday’s trigger was a simple turkey platter.  I should have expected it.  The warning signs began in the wee hours of the morning, but I was oblivious.  Caught up in my adrenaline rush, I was blind sighted.  Thankfully, I lived to tell.

At about 6:00 am yesterday, as the men in my home snored through a few last glorious moments of sleep, my eyes popped open in horror.  Tablecloth.  I do not have an appropriate tablecloth.  We were exactly one week out from Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday of the year (next to Şeker Bayram – the Turkish holiday rooted in the consumption and sharing of chocolate – I think my favoritism there is, as the kids say, obvi) and all I had upon which to serve my bird were 3 different linen variations in red and green plaid.  I may be a reformed Martha devotee, but the brainwashing remains.  Without a doubt, serving a Thanksgiving feast upon a tablecloth clearly intended for Yuletide joy is simply a travesty.  This would be our first Thanksgiving in our new home, our first Thanksgiving in which no one was working or overseas in many years and I’ll be damned if I was going to destroy it all by serving up a table full of fabulousness on inappropriate linens.

Once upon a time I had appropriate linens.  Unfortunately they disappeared.  Some are still in storage in Turkey (yes, I get the irony that my Thanksgiving tablecloth could very well be trapped in Turkey) and some just seemed to get misplaced in all the moves we’ve executed over the past few years.  Regardless of what once was, now, I got nothin’.  Budgets being what they are, would not allow me to frolic off to Macy's and secure myself a matching apron and tablecloth from the Martha Stewart Collection.  As I lay in my bed, I began to panic about the impending doom facing my Thanksgiving table.  Divine goddess of large birds, guide me.

Then, as if it was a Thanksgiving miracle, the answer revealed itself.  Amid the ads for erection enhancers and news of my having inherited millions from a distant relative in Zimbabwe, I received notice of the rare 3 Hour Tablecloth Sale at World Market.  For three hours only, 5pm – 8 pm,  50% off all tablecloths and a $4.99 Turkey Platter with coupon.  I wept. 

I spent much of the day planning.  Would I hold off making dinner and hit the beginning of the sale or wait until later and go sans Midget?  Would the Midget slow me down or did he have an opinion worth hearing in the area of linens?  I went online to evaluate my options.  Prussian red or burnt orange?  Solid or a festive print?  And that platter?  Gorgeous in its simplicity.  The options were setting me a twitter.  

As the 5:00 hour neared I began to get nervous.  I decided to wait until after dinner and go sans Midget but what if it was picked over?  What if I missed the turkey platters?  Oh Lord, what if they were mobbed with other women sharing my same horror and they sold out early!!!!

The Turk and I have long shared a strange and unexplainable bond.  I attribute it to having spent years completing his sentences when he can’t find the right English word, but regardless, he and I are linked. Like the Long Island Medium, he heard my cries from the other side.  At 5:00 on the nose, my Turk in shining armor arrived home – an hour and a half ahead of schedule.  His seminar ended early and for the first time ever, he was home early.  It was an act of fate.  I met him at the door, uttered, “There is a sale.  Tablecloths!  Turkey platters!  Three hours! I have to go!  Now.  I will be back.”  Accustomed to my bouts of crazy, he nodded and with the appropriate amount of urgency said, “Take my car.  It’s warm.”  How I love that Turk.

5:07 and the place was filling up.  I b-lined to the table cloths to find only one other woman pawing through the selection.  The tall, dark-haired woman was clutching a 3 foot turkey platter as she marveled at a row of Indian inspired linens.  She looked right, then left, then leaned uncomfortably close and whispered, “You here for the turkey platter?”  Realizing the covert nature of the situation, I leaned back and whispered, 


“Better go now.  The guy in the green apron over there told me supply is low.  They’re going fast.  Don’t get left behind.”

I thanked my fellow domestic warrior and followed her directions to the booty.  Her tip-off was invaluable.  There were only 3 left.  As I secured the platter large enough to hold a 2 year old, I looked around and saw 20 other warriors in the same stance.  We were an army of middle aged moms in yoga pants and hoodies with turkey platters at our sides and a need for an ideal holiday in our hearts.  While it was comforting to be part of such an assemblage, it was unsettling.  Ten years ago, before I underwent extensive training with the real housewives of Turkey, I would have kicked a motorcycle boot at a troop like this.  I would have thumbed my nose-ring at anyone who obsessed over securing a turkey platter for 4.99, even if it was a stunning value originally priced at 19.99.  I would have suggested medicinal intervention to any friend dealing with an obsessive need for appropriate table linens.  Now? There I stood in stretch knits and sensible shoes clutching a porcelain treasure and wondering “What the hell happened to me?”

As I stood in line pondering my fate, suffering the pain of the "episode" and trying to put my finger on the moment it all changed (November 10, 2006 – Happy Anniversary, honey!), I wondered if avoiding this purchase would send me back to my former reality.  Could beating the obsession erase the damage?  

“$19.77 Maam.”
      “Excuse me?  How much for both the 90 inch, 100% cotton, Indian inspired, citrine tablecloth and fabulous, porcelain, full-bird, turkey platter?”

“$19.77 Ma’am.”

                Now I’m no math whiz.  I failed Algebra I, twice.  But I did rock Consumer Math with Mr. Bartels back in 1988 and within seconds I knew that 50% off a $37.00 tablecloth and $4.99 turkey platter, with tax, could in no way come up to $19.77.  “Are you sure about that?”

Sparky the sales boy began to get huffy.  “Yes Ma’am.  That’s the price.  I double checked.  There is a problem with the register so I did it by hand.  I know it’s right.”

Clearly Sparky didn’t take Consumer Math with Mr. Bartels back in 1988.  Who was I to argue?  The mom mob behind me was getting restless.  Ugly things can happen with an angry mom mob.  Ever been to pee wee soccer?
Isn't she beautiful, especially with the sun on her like that...

I carried my new purchases to the car with a cautiousness I no longer even use for my offspring.  I strapped my platter in the empty car seat and drove home, 5 miles below the speed limit.

Upon the grand reveal, my Turks both looked at me with raised eyebrows (which can be pretty intense when you’re talking about Turk eyebrows).  Both were unmoved by my monologue about the importance of a grand tablescape.  But I am undaunted.  I may have lost many battles in recent years- the battle of the bulge, the battle of the sag, the battle for staying cool, to name a few, but I did not lose this battle for appropriate Thanksgiving table linens.  Not only did I win, but I won with change to spare and a girth of Shopper Points to use towards my next purchase.  

But the question remains, what the hell happened to me?  Simply put, I seem to have been overcome with a change of priorities.  But just to keep things on track, I plan to crank up some old school Metallica as I froth my egg whites and brine my bird next week.  If only those leather pants still fit…

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Komando Vs. Mouse - Film at 11:00

“Honey, wake up…Honey, wake up….wake up!”

“What the hell?  It’s freakin’ 2:00 o’clock in the morning.  What do you want and it better not be some action.”  Like any mother, the moment my child breathes funny in the next room, I’m at his bedside at warp speed full of love and concern, but being awoken by my husband does not warrant the same love and concern.

“Someone in the house.”  He whispers.  “Hear that?”
                “Hear what?”

“Scrat-scrat-scrat-scrat.  You hear?”

                “Why are you still in bed?  Get out there and save us!”  Panic was taking over.  “Wait. Take these with you.” I reached over and pulled a pair of class A Ginger dressmaker shears -compete with gaffer’s tape on the thumb-hole for a nice comfort grip- from under my side of the mattress.  One plunge to any appendage could maim an intruder in milliseconds.

“What the hell are these?  Where they come from?”  A few weeks ago the Turk found my stash of steak-knives that I keep in the nightstand for protection when he travels.  After a lecture about how unsafe it was to keep a nightstand full of knives in a house with a Midget and how I was no longer allowed to watch CSI, he confiscated my stash.  I wasn’t overly dismayed as I had already determined while making a pair of fur chaps for my most recent design job that Gingers packed more of a punch per square centimeter than any dull steak knife.  Upon his last departure after watching one too many episodes of Homeland,  after checking the house for hidden surveillance equipment, I established a new weapon hidey-hole under the mattress.   “Why you have scissors in our bed?”

                “Let’s not worry about that now.  Just take them out there and stab the intruder.”  He briefly gave me that ‘Who Me?’ look that all men develop after marriage.  “Yes you.  You were in the army, not me.  I’m a delicate flower.  There could be a terrorist out there.  Go get him ‘Komando’.”

“It is not a terrorist. Maybe a chipmunk but not terrorist.”


“I didn’t say it was a guy.  I said some-thing.  Why you never listen to me?”

                “Oh for God’s sakes!  You woke me up because you think we have a mouse?  Give me those scissors!”

As I rolled over and pulled the covers over my head, I saw the Turk sneaking down the hallway clutching a pair of class A Ginger dressmaker shears to his chest in search of our intruder.  Having seen this more than once over the years, I quickly returned to slumber knowing the morning would yield a fine tale of bravery chronicling Turk against nature.

Alas, over coffee the next morning, the Turk disclosed that he was unable to get a make on the intruder and his whereabouts remained unknown.  To be safe, he and his midget sidekick spent the better part of the afternoon laying traps around the entire perimeter of our home – inside and out.  At last count there were 14 traps in a house that does not have room for 14 traps.   Having now witnessed more than a few battles between the Turk and God’s creatures, I knew the worst was yet to come.  I just hoped it wouldn’t end like it did with the hornets…or the salamanders…or the frogs.

And after a week of laying in wait, this weekend, the battle raged on.

As the Midget lay sleeping and I was hard at work shaping a giant wig into Medusa for my latest theatrical extravaganza, The Turk was busy in the next room watching a series of documentaries on the current presidential candidates because “You cannot vote for someone who does not like foreigners.”     All was calm.  I had no idea the battle was even going active again.  There were no shrieks or screams of horror witnessed in past battles, but rather the Turk simply sauntered in and said, “I got the little bastard.”
After six years, I’ve grown accustomed to living with a man who seldom uses nouns.   I’ve adjusted to a husband who picks up conversations from three days prior without use of any identifiers and expects me to understand.  I’ve come to love his lack of proper name use but I will admit, it can get confusing.  “Which bastard?  Mitt Romney?  The Midget?  Barak?”

“The intruder.  I got him.  He is squirming.  I was just sitting here and I hear him scream.  I think he scream to his friends – “Be scare of guy with funny accent!  Don’t come here!  It’s not party place.  He can get you too!””
                “How many beers have you had?”

“You want to see him?”

                “No.  I trust you. Just hide the body.”

This isn't really him - though he does have the same outfit.
The capture of the first intruder led to a 2 hour reconnaissance mission.  Where did they come from?  How did they get in?  Where were his friends?   There was a gathering of evidence and then a sterilizing of all things evidence had touched.  And then there was the process of barrier construction – duct tape flew, steel wool was stuffed and profanity was spilled.  It was on.

“There could be more.  I will get them all.  They will not party in my house anymore.  Party is over.”  Said the Turk as he struck a Patton-like stance.   His Turkish army training always returns at his least sane moments.  Thankfully, his old uniform is still at his mother’s in Turkey or he would have donned his little blue beret and camos to finish the job.

Another midget komando
 The next morning, he broke the news of the first victim to the Midget.  “Ah man!  I missed it?  That sucks.  I wanted to see him squirm.”   As The Turk began to recreate the prior evening’s capture to his protégé, they discovered victim number two ensnared.  And to the delight of my little Midget half-filled with those sadistic Turk genes, he got to see it squirm.  As a bonus, we also all got to see The Turk squirm as well.   The Turk ushered his tiny capture into the next world as he walked through warrior regret, “I am sorry little mouse.  I am sorry to make your babies orphans.”   And on to gloating victor, “But you should listen to my friend last night when he say be scare of guy with funny accent.” 

 So while other sane families spent a beautiful fall Sunday raking leaves, sipping cocoa and watching football, we spent ours reinforcing barriers and going over battle plans. -“If one come while I’m at work, do not try to get him.  Just leave him until I come.  I take care of it.” He reminded me; as if there was any chance I was going to get in on this battle.  “We will win.  I know it.”  The battle rages on.

For hundreds of years, the change of season has driven small rodents to seek refuge from the cold in the warm homes of humans and for those hundreds of years; man has battled to reclaim their territory.   Some have won.  Some have lost and later appeared on Hoarders.  This is not the first time I’ve fallen victim to this problem and each time I am utterly traumatized.  However, this time things are better.  Because, 1. Fighting a mouse problem with a Turkish Komando is probably akin to bringing a gun to a knife fight.   I am so gonna win.   And 2. Mice within 100 miles now know, “Be scare of guy with funny accent.  He will get you.”