(this is annie)

the michigan invasion

"Your mother seems to visit you a lot," a friend remarked last week. We see each other once a month or so, which doesn't feel excessive to me, but what do I know? It's nearly impossible to compare one family's dynamics to another's. What is possible, however, is counting down the top Betty moments of the weekend.

5. chocolate
I have the hankering for hot chocolate from Hot Chocolate, so I tell Betty that I'll treat her to a cuppa. "Oh no," she says. "I've got to lose weight." I should mention that my mom is a size 8, 10 tops, and that she already looks fine. I get my hot chocolate to go, and at Wabansia I offer her a sip. "Just one sip," she says. Then: "DAMMIT." I wonder what's wrong, and ask if she's all right. "That's some damn good chocolate," she says, and then denies herself another sip.

4. the will
Ever since last year's Terri Schiavo media debacle, my mother has been hot on the topic of living wills. She and my father both created theirs because they "don't want to be vegetables," and this past summer Betty brought me a blank living will to fill out. I have not done so yet, mostly because I am still young enough to believe that I am invincible! (For the record, if I am ever in a lifeless state, pull the plug, okay?)

The older my father becomes, the more my mother begins to worry about things like living wills and Medicare and prescription drug coverage. We were set to meet my eldest brother and his wife for dinner on Saturday, and for an hour beforehand Betty wrung her hands, worrying about the best way to show them the copy of my father's living will. "I don't think you should worry," I told her. "I really don't think Scott will freak out." At dinner, Betty eventually raised the topic without seeming nervous at all. Knowing how scared she was made me love and admire her.

3. at brunch
On Sunday, we went to a restaurant to have brunch with Jen and Dave. A gent I'd dated about a year and a half ago was working. We're on pretty good terms, but still, I feel guilty for having broken things off because he's a good guy and it really wasn't his fault, I just fell crazy-like for someone else, bad timing, so on and so forth. Anyway, I introduced him to Betty. Betty and I sat down. "Now how do you know him?" she asked. I explained while she hmmed. "Well, he's quite handsome," she mused. "But he needs a haircut."

Then she began to concoct excuses to talk with him. "Maybe I should go ask him for some cream." "Why don't you go talk with him?" "He keeps looking over here..." At the end of our meal, when I said my goodbyes to the gent in question, Betty purposely left me behind and gave me nonverbal "FLIRT WITH HIM" commands through the restaurant windows.

2. dj betty
There are two things my mother loves wholly and deeply: Viggo Mortensen (who she calls Viggle and Viggu, alternately) and a good bargain. While I'm my mother's daughter, we have different opinions on what constitutes a bargain. For me, a $400 pair of shoes for $50 is a bargain. For her, $50 is too much to spend on shoes in the first place. German frugality trickles away through generations, I guess.

Anyway, while I was at work on Friday, Betty went to Sam's Wines to browse. This was a fabulous treat for her, as she found a great bargain. Back at the apartment, she showed me her treasure. "Look what I found," unwrapping an object encased in tissue paper. She produced a small glass etched with the Courvoisier logo. "What do you think?" she asked.

"I think it's fine if you're a rapper," I said.

"A rapper?" she replied.

"Yeah, a rapper."

"Like this kind of rapper?" she asked. Then she started shoving the air in front of her, much like a mime would mimic the hottest dance moves of 1992. "One and a two and a duh-nuh-dah-dah," she rapped. "Three and a four and a dah-yo-yo-dah!"

Words escaped me. I covered my eyes. Betty stopped. "Are you laughing at your mother?" she demanded. "It was a good deal! It was only 50 cents!"

50 cents. ZING!

1. the comparison
Betty and my good friend Jen had never met, so we decided to have brunch together. It was a good time. After saying our goodbyes to Jen and her boyfriend, Betty and I walked back to my car. Here is the conversation that ensued during our drive home.

Annie: Uh, well, I know I mentioned she was pretty at one time or another...
Betty: But you didn't say gorgeous! I had no idea! She is absolutely beautiful!
Annie: Yes, yes she is, but I guess I didn't really think I needed to warn you or anything.
Betty: I mean, she really is stunning. Breathtaking!
Annie: This is true. When we go out, the men always go to her first.
Betty: Well, yeah.
Annie: What does that mean?
Betty: Who would blame them? She's a very pretty girl.
Annie: Now wait, what what does that mean about me?
Betty: Oh, honey, don't be jealous. You're... you're... funny!
Annie: Um, Mom? Funny is how people describe homely girls to be polite.
Betty: But men like funny!

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winter child

Yesterday, Nate and Megumi welcomed their baby boy, Ethan Tohma. He is little, of course, and he looks a bit like Megumi and a bit like Nate. i cannot wait to meet him.

on the telly again

Thursday, Jan 12 (that's tomorrah) around 11:30 on ABC 7 Chicago. I hope that I can restrain myself from sharing my hot-for-Durbin, poop-on-Alito sentiments.

meet minou

Initially, the plan was to wait a respectable month or so before bringing a new kitty home. I felt it was important to give Mikan proper respects through an appropriate mourning period.

The problem was, I couldn't go home without being miserable. Without my glasses on, I'd think that my gold boots were actually Mikan. Or I'd look up at his old resting spot, and see nothing. And nobody was mrowling hello when I'd open the door. It was a depressing, empty existence. I'd never felt lonely at home, but without Miki, I felt achingly alone.

So I decided to adopt a new kitten. I feel kind of guilty for doing so, and I keep justifying my decision to people. I just didn't want to be lonely anymore, and my love for a new kitty wouldn't change my love for Mikan. I mean, I'll always love and miss Mikan. So I went to a few different animal shelters until I found the right kitty. We spent almost two hours together before I decided we were right for each other. It's a big decision, you know. I'm amazed by people who waltz in, choose a cat at random, and take the little devil home. For me, I have to observe the kitty's every movement and behavior to decide if it's a good match.

Now, I have a good match. He reminds me of Mikan in some ways, but he'll be his own cat. His name is Minou (French for kitty; I am so predictable). He is a fine, tiny little fellow who likes to sleep in the curve between my neck and shoulder. I promise this will be the end of the kittyposts for a while.

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say hello

    it's anniet at gmail.


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