Monday, March 25, 2013

Don't Put Your Pets in the Freezer and Other Advice You Shouldn't Need

Have you ever had one of those awkward moments where you’re having a fairly casual conversation with someone, and it suddenly takes a turn? Not the kind where you’re catching up with an old friend and you ask if their grandpa is still being a racist asshole to his neighbors like he was when you were kids and there’s that awful pause before they tell you he died. Or the kind where you think you’re having a pretty casual conversation about people watching in the bar and suddenly your companion has an outburst about what a slut you look like for wearing a tanktop. Those are fucking weird too, but what we MEANT was the kind where you’re talking to someone you think you know decently well, and they suddenly say something like “and we’ve always just kept our pets in the freezer after they die for long enough that my mom has time to paint their likeness, and sometimes they got a little freezer burned or moldy, so that’s why I don’t like ice cream.”

Screeching. Halt.

Best case scenario: you take a minute to compose yourself in silence before you either pretend like it never happened, or you try to address it thoughtfully. Or at least get your response down to an appropriate indoor volume. Over here it’s more likely that we’d throw out an immediate stream of “WHAT?! Your mother WHAT? WHAT. What? Just why. God, why, what? I love ice cream! What the fuck? How big is your freezer? Did you just have hamsters? Why? Paintings? Like oil paintings? Didn’t you have pictures of them?” and so on.

So many questions here! Is the ermine frozen?
Would you put your kids in the freezer too?

We don’t think we do anything that weird. But that’s the thing! You never think it’s *that* weird until you’re on the wrong end of that horrible silence, waiting for the other person’s judgment to either come pouring out of their mouth or their eyeballs. We freely admit that we spend a freakish amount of time together, so very rarely do we have a moment like that between the two of us. We would be lying if we said we had never been on the wrong end of an awkward silence together, but when the normal person is outnumbered, they just have to shut the fuck up and tell the story later, when they find a group of like minded people. We have both DEFINITELY been both the outnumbered normal one, and the entire group of like minded people. Ha. Not a great sign.

Today we’re going to talk about the subjects of some of those painful conversations, and put it to you, internet, to arbitrate. Not that we’ll ever change.

Subject 1: The Seven Hour Bath

Not too terribly long ago, Paul and Anya were spending some time in the kitchen, talking about their day. While Anya was hard at work for eight hours, Paul revealed that he had somehow managed to take a seven hour bath. Yes, he was in the bath almost the entire time you were at work, and most certainly for more time than you were actually working at work (Unless you’re not as underemployed as we are).

Classic book from Anya’s childhood, obviously one that Paul needs to read.

Anya didn’t bat an eye upon hearing the news, accustomed as she is to Paul’s borderline obsession with taking a bath at LEAST once a day. However, when Anya’s mother got wind of this, we knew it would be trouble. The woman is not shy about sharing her very strong feelings about other people's’ doings, no matter how little they impact her. Even worse, she has what she calls “eagle ears”, which we assume means ears as powerful as an eagle’s eyes? Basically she’s an eavesdropper of epic proportions. True to form, she spent the next fifteen minutes loudly expressing her outright disbelief that someone could spend so much time in the bath. You’d be a prune, how do you keep the water hot, I’d get bored, I’d get cold, you shouldn’t have electronics near the bathtub, what are you doing with your life, etc. etc. Days later she was still bringing it up. Who is the crazy one here? If you had the time would you take a seven hour bath or does Paul need to seek treatment for his addiction? Is the weirdest thing of all the fact that Anya’s mother in chiming in on Paul’s bathing habits?

Subject 2: Selling Your Eggs To Strangers

Not talking about the organic, hormone free, free range, delicious “like you can totally tell the difference, I can’t eat the store bought kind anymore” eggs your chickens lay in their cozy little nests every morning that you gather fresh at the first light of dawn and want to sell at the Farmer’s Market. We’re talking about the ones coming out of your ovaries and endangering your independence every month.

Let’s back up. Anya is a frequent peruser of Craigslist, unfortunately. She is always on the lookout for a ferret that needs rescuing or lost dog that she should be looking out for, finding, and returning to its caring owner as the patron saint of lost canines. Somehow in the mystical vortex that is Craigslist, she stumbled upon an ad offering $8,000 for Jewish eggs. As in, the ovum of a Jewish girl (in good health, young, to help out all of those poor, sad infertile Jewish parents who can’t conceive, but won’t settle for gentile), and suddenly her world turned upside down.
“Why!”, she exclaimed, “Just think of what I could do with that money! I could pay for less than twenty percent of graduate school! Or buy a whole car! Or invest in my future! I would totally sell my eggs to someone for that kind of money!” (Unfortunately not *these* someones, for she is gentile through and through.)

Yes, I’d like to keep the box please.

Swooping in again with her “eagle ears”, Anya’s mother shouts her disapproval from the rooftops. “That’s insane!”, says she, “Why would you ever do such a thing? Other people raising *my* grandchildren! It’s unthinkable! Wouldn’t you always think about your kids running around out there?!” gesticulating wildly at the great wide world.


It’s not as if you’re selling an actual child, which we hear is against the law these days. Anya foresees only ignominious death for each of the little gametes currently mooching off of her. Is it completely crazy to get something out of them? Especially when their brethren cause so much trouble! Don’t even ask Anya’s mom about paid surrogacy! Is it crazy that we’re even talking about this? Should Anya quit Craigslist (or at least the selling body parts section?)? Is it all completely unreasonable?

Subject 3: Talking about Blowjobs at the Dinner Table

And now we come to the last topic, the one we know is DEFINITELY totally weird. The one that would bring conversations with others to a halt as they stared at us incredulously, the one we really don’t think twice about until we do, and then it gets real/weird.

Dinner with Anya’s family can be a trying experience for a new guest. Lots of strong opinions (shocking!), plenty of griping, tough to get a word in edgewise. For those choosing to run this gauntlet, the reward is the occasional conversations that go in a direction that causes Anya’s mother to throw her hands up and say “where did I go wrong?!”, participating all the while. In an attempt to prove that her family can be hard to handle for a newcomer, not too long ago, Anya brought up “that time we were at Olive Garden and you told us that blowjobs can cure colds and we talked about it for like fifteen minutes in public”, and her mother developed sudden amnesia. “I would NEVER say such a thing! You must have dreamt it”.

Not really trying too hard to remember.

Apparently that one specific topic was beyond the pale for her, despite that fact that other dinner table topics worth noting include the sex life of a newly married fifty year old, the suspicious circumstances of a threesome between some local athletes, the trial of a teacher who allegedly slept with two(?) students and the evidence presented therein, etc. Even with corroboration from another witness, Anya’s mother insisted on persisting in her fantasy that her family would NEVER, EVER discuss third base or its palliative properties at the dinner table, or ANYWHERE ELSE FOR THAT MATTER.

Then last night, over some homemade Mexican food, the whole family discussed those dick pics you see in health class of various venereal diseases.

Throw your weird at us! What things do you not think twice about until someone points out that you’re batshit crazy for doing them?
[Illustration from King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub by Audrey Wood] 


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