Tuesday, August 22, 2006

You've Come A Long Way Baby!

My ex-mother-in-law Joyce used to pose the spouses and significant others of her children on the outside of pictures so that if they got divorced, it would be easy to cut them out of group photographs. My friend Angela noticed this peculiar action when she went over there one day and saw that the framed pictures looked "strange." Her practice, one shared by Hitler and Stalin, didn't make much sense to me given that the you can't really ever change the past, to quote old Willy Faulkner, the past isn't ever gone no matter how many fricking exacto knives you employ. She'd sit at her table, drinking Diet Coke after Diet Coke (or so she said -- she had a huge gas station thermal mug and would exit with it to the closet to put God knows what in it) and return to smoke Virginia Slim after Virginia Slim -- You've Come A Long Way, Baby! -- and bitch about how awful her life was, how ungrateful her children were, and how her husband didn't love her anymore.

Midway into the rant, Joyce would threaten to get her gun and blow her fucking brains out, do you understand my pain, I want to die. Man, I understood and I wanted to run away. The sadness in the house radiated like a toothache, sometimes throbbing, sometimes mild, always there waiting to make you notice it. Her own mother had an innocent granny look, but I knew her to be evil as well. She did the opposite of the picture thing -- she had huge blown-up wedding pictures of her children and refused to take them down, even after nasty divorces. The wicked granny would say, You made a mistake, you old cow, and damned if I'm going to let you forget it. Nothing like a mother's love, right? I broke out into huge hives during each holiday, whether spent with Joyce or the granny and when she handed me a tooth fairy doll for whenever I had a child, I could feel the hives get more intense. The doll, hideous green-color, knitted to contain a child's tooth, went way under the bed where nobody would ever find it, not even a magical spirit that could take what you'd lost and replace it with gold.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"How many hearts have felt their world stand still?" Marvin Gaye, If I Should Die Tonight

Wake Up Little Suzy

2 ounces of vodka
a pinch of ginseng
1 ounce of lemon juice

Benedictions and Maledictions

Hope Chest for the Contemporary Single Girl

You start out hopeful, that's a given.
You dress better, say smarter things.
Hide the Prozac, the Paxil, the little
pills to take the edge off. You won't
be needing those little friends! Marvel
at how the dust on your computer sparkles.
How could you have missed this beauty?
You wait for those three words that will
change your everything, not "where's
the remote" or "get off me." The day
will come. Now someone else can plan
your elaborate yet tasteful funeral instead
of you dying alone eaten by your cats.
See -- everything does work out in the end!


Anonymous said...

The Holy Spirit can find everything. And you never have to say "'get off me'" to Him. Ah, the power of prayer is a marvelous thing, simply MARVELous, darklink.

Anonymous said...

You're far out beautiful, Michelle. You're so beautiful that you're celestially, transcendentally beautiful, as anyone can see from the amazing photo. I will always be under your Spell.

Anonymous said...

Funny post, Michelle! I remember the "picture clipping" in one of your fiction stories. Now I'll be wondering if at the next family picture-taking my mother-in-law asks me to stand on the outside! lol

paul said...

Shazam!!!!! Picture story plus poem bring more smiles. good to be awake near steam grates, indians scattered on dawn's hwy bleeding, agin R2 C2!!!!!

John Ricci said...

Dear Michelle,
What a lovely post, as always. A fun poem too. Bravo to you and yours on this pleasant Detroit eve!

trouble man said...

Dear Michellespells,
You've given helpful advice before, now another basic question. What kind of flowers should a guy send to a girl he likes, or are flowers too cliche? How do different types symbolize different things anyways?

JR's Thumbprints said...

Now I know why I always stand on the side for my wife's annual family reunion picture. But guess what? Starting this year, they volunteered me to take the picture. I don't know how to use the timer. I guess I'm out for good. Do you think this is intentional on my part? Or theirs?