Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Wear A Uniform, A Lotta Government Loan

What an exciting week it must be for young legislators. Imagine the drama, the pomp, the being called to work on the Fourth of July when you could be out prowling barbecues for deep pockets and hot dogs. John Adams wanted the Fourth to be a solemn occasion, celebrated with songs and ceremonies. In a way, Americans have not disappointed. He wanted the President to be addressed in the most florid language, which would be funny now if we hadn't elected a Connecticut good old boy to the newly created position of Imperial Potentate.

Also, I simply enjoy saying "potentate." Some words are more fun than others.

Yesterday, my phone rang. Siobhan and I were sitting in my living room, fanning ourselves in the sweltering afternoon like extras in To Kill A Mockingbird because it didn't occur to me until after Siobhan showed up that the air conditioner's ON button works during the day, too.

Voice: Laur! Hello!
Tata: Hello, this is Tata.
Voice: Tata? I...hello!
Tata: Hello, Auntie InExcelsisDeo.
Auntie I.: Hi! Happy Fourth of July to you!
Tata: And to you, as well!
Auntie I.: I called your number by accident so I have a phone call to make now.
Tata: Do me a favor and have Sandy call me?
Auntie I.: Love you, sweetheart!
Tata: Love you, too. I'm hanging up now.

Most members of my family hear things I've said when they come out of other people's mouths. For instance, last week I called asked Sandy to call me back at her earliest convenience, which after a few days was impressively late. It's okay, though, because we are family and holding grudges is bloodsport. Christmas is always coming. In any case, a few hours later, Sandy called back.

Sandy: Whaddya want?
Tata: You wanted the URL where you could read about yourself. I wanted your email address. We all got wants.
Sandy: Am I going to read all about nuzzling up to your bosom?
Tata: I'd totally forgotten that! Also: I don't have that picture. Wasn't it on one of the table cameras?
Sandy: I think Tony has it.
Tata: Wow, it is somehow endearing and disgusting to think your brother has that picture of us. Well, a wedding's full of surprising moments, isn't it? Monday's wedding story is substantially less full of swearing than Miss Sasha's.
Sandy: Can I read that too?
Tata: You bet. It's all linked up.
Sandy: I have tomorrow off. I'll spend my day reading.
Tata: Good. Then you can spend your night stalking me with something sharp.

Now that she mentions it, Sandy's right. The trip to Maryland was full of little moments I totally forgot last week when I was writing it up for horrified Posterity. A fine example:

Dad: What color is your hair?
Tata: Ya want me to read you the box?
Dad: No, I mean naturally. What color is your hair?
Tata: Oh geez, I don't know. I don't believe in repudiating the work of a lifetime.
Dad: How about you? What color is your hair?
Daria: Daddy! My hair is exactly as you see it and if my children weren't here I'd call you some very naughty words.

Perhaps you had to be there. Dad was. He was laughing so hard I thought he was having an asthma attack. The morning after the wedding, Paulie and I walked out of the hotel at 7:30, stared at a nearly flat tire on the truck and found a Sears before 8 on a Saturday morning that was just opening. Believe it or not, there was a wait. Paulie lay on the ground, removing his specialized hub cap with his a paper clip and tenacity; I stood nearby, heckling and knitting. Yes, if Catskills comedians could use round needles, what sticky afghans our grandparents would have brought back from Grossinger's. Wish I had a picture of that.

In other news, the Father's Day gift I mailed to Dad went someplace else.

Dad: I like the board and the card is funny. But they were addressed to John Heatwole's house. He's a famous Civil War writer, sculptor, painter and cetera.
Tata: My stars, a girl could start a revolution, sending Father's Day gifts to the wrong man. In fact next year, I think I'll send Candygrams to the Republican National Committee.

Imagine that pomp and drama - all the way to divorce court. And I'm just the relentless, bitchy do-gooder to fight corruption with tissue and love letters.


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