In Which Tests Are Passed, Preparations Are Made, Coffee Rituals Are Observed, and Floors Are Cleaned (But Not By Me)

25 July 2001

It was also Dumas' birthday yesterday. I like Dumas.

I'm reading Alien Taste by Wen Spencer. It's a really good book. I don't know how it's a really good book, because so much of the premise is horrible, but it manages to transcend that. The main character can smell people's DNA, and he was raised by wolves. That's pretty much what's bad about this book. Raised by wolves. And yet I swear to you that this is a good book, that, in fact, it deserves your $6 for the paperback. I wouldn't have believed it, either. But it's the truth.

Now I'm just hoping this Wen Spencer gets her hands on a good premise next time around, because she's really cool. Quite surprised me.

Today I'm going for Coffee with Heather. Scott Heath tells me that in Kansas, they do not have Coffee in its ritual form. That if you ask someone for coffee, you are to 1) go to a coffee seller; 2) buy coffee (not tea, not cocoa, not a steamer); 3) go back to the office and continue working, sipping on your coffee. If you do not drink coffee, you are to turn down invitations for coffee. Sitting and talking is not allowed.

Sitting and talking is what Coffee is all about!

I tease Timprov that the potluck is the third Presbyterian sacrament, but Coffee has to be right up there for ScanAms. But I know it's not just a ScanAm thing. I've had Coffee with some distinctly non-ScanAm people. You can go for Coffee. Or you can have people over for Coffee. (People whose phone calls are returned in a timely fashion, anyway.) But just fetching coffee and bringing it back? How barbaric. Let us never move to this Kansas place.

That is, let us never do so again.

Mark bought a mop last night when he was shopping for my birthday presents. (It was not, however, a birthday present itself. Perish the thought.) But now he doesn't want me to use it, since "Marissas shouldn't have to clean the floors the day before their birthdays." He will do it. Good. I used to think mops didn't get the floors clean enough, but now I believe they are useful for when I want clean floors but am not willing to get down on my hands and knees and scrub. My parents had a prenuptial agreement that Mother didn't have to clean the bathrooms. (Note that this did not say who did. Just that it wasn't Mom. I tried to use that when I was younger, and it didn't work.) If I'd tried to get me one of those, it would have been about washing the floors. As glamorous as scrubbing toilets makes me feel, washing floors is worse by far. So a mop is more of a big deal than it might seem on the surface.

He also got wrapping paper, so all of the presents at which I so nicely did not peek are covered in colored paper and sitting by the stereo. And my errands for the morning include buying plastic utensils for the Birthday Party and making sure we have all of the ingredients for The Chocolate Cake, which I will make on Friday. (I know, Momma, you cringe at me making my own birthday cake. But it's also Susan's and Mary Anne's birthday cake, and I volunteered because I only wanted Our Chocolate Cake. Mark and Timprov have both expressed willingness to make me birthday dessert in some form if only I'll tell them what, but I'm making cake for Saturday anyway, so we'll go out for ice cream or something.) (And besides, you mostly made your own birthday stuff. Part of being the Mommy or even the Proto-Mommy.)

Tomorrow, Timprov and I are going to meet David and Mary Anne for the A's/Twins game. It'll be Mary Anne's first time, so that'll be fun. I haven't decided yet whether I'll be asking Mark to grill steaks for my birthday supper or whether we'll be going out. We'll see.

I think that's it. Oh yeah, and it's Racheal Ann's birthday. My baby cousin, 20 years old with a baby of her own. Still doesn't make me feel old, though. Just in case some of you people who actually feel old were wondering. When I was little, we'd often meet up in Sioux Falls to see Gran and the aunties and uncles and cousins in late July, and we'd have a birthday cake for me and Rache and Uncle Vince, in one of the parks, with a picnic. For some reason, my clearest memory of this is at Terrace Park, with Dick and Barb's girls and Cindy and Cathy and my mom standing in a circle around Darcy, Rache, and me so that we could put our swimsuits on and go swimming. They gave Rache and me big ol' frosting roses on our pieces of cake, because it was our birthday time. But I never considered that my birthday time at all, so it was mildly confusing.

One last thing: Michelle, you little wretch, I have one of those poems you liked in my head, the one about, "I am not I...." Only at the end, the new last line is, "This is Michelle, leave a message." Just like it was at college. Grrr. Congratulations on passing your thesis defense, sweetie. We all knew you would.

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