All Navel, All the Time
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we will dispense with our usual peppy opening paragraph!
Snobville High School Prom 2008
The Heir wore a black cocktail dress, splashed with color, sporting a swishy chiffon skirt. She enjoyed the company of her escort. His name is really John.
Snobville High actually has an old-fashioned promenade. Each couple comes out the high school door into a courtyard and walks down a sidewalk through a phalanx of parents (and half the rest of the town as well, everyone comes to this thing).
It's right out of Jane Austen, and you get to see everyone's attire. For my money The Heir had the prettiest dress of all, and best of all it's re-usable, doesn't look like a prom dress.
I would love to post a picture, but The Heir wishes to remain anonymous.
Heir & Spare Graduation Party, Today!
The first two hours consisted of poor Spare and her boyfriend having to chat endlessly with self and Mr. Johnson. How an 8th grade boy bore up under this I cannot tell you. But he is a swell kid. Then Mr. Johnson's family arrived, and my mother-in-law lost no time in telling 8th grade boyfriend that he was so pretty, no wonder there are pedophiles in the world!
(Spare looked like a slug that had just gotten hit with a dash of salt. Can't say I blamed her, but you've gotta make concessions for grandmothers, they are a special breed.)
Once Mr. Johnson's lively family came in, all the rest of the guests started to show up. My blessed Seitou, faerie artist, came in and disappeared upstairs with The Heir for awhile, and sure enough, weird music started floating down the stairwell. Then several of The Heir's co-workers arrived with their children, and my best friend Celeste, and my editor at The Smart Set with his two darling little boys.
The boys plus my peerless nephew Vincent, all under age 10, were quite taken with Decibel the Parrot, so I entertained them by giving Decibel a hose-down on the front porch. Who says kids need computers for amusement?
The Spare's boyfriend had to leave. The Heir gave him a little light listening: The Velvet Underground. Nothing like loading a little Lou Reed into an 8th grader's brain. So off toddled Spare's bf, and in came Heir's bf, who really is more like a bff.
We were anxiously awaiting Grandma's pronouncement on Heir's bff, but Grandma was chatting with Celeste. (Sigh of relief.)
By 5:00 the guests had mostly eaten, chatted, and said their polite toodle-oos. Heir's bff had to mosey along to another party. He was no sooner out the door than I looked out the window and said, "Here comes someone with orange hair. It must be one of our party guests."
It was the Monkey Man, resplendent in a torn t-shirt and curly silver wig. (The orange hair turned out to be his jester hat.) With him came my favorite of his puppets, the Crying Crow.
Nephew Vincent lives in Baltimore and thus was totally ignorant of Monkey Man and the wealth of urban legends clinging to him. But within moments, Vincent and Monkey Man were best of friends, shoving jewel weed into a bowl of water to watch its leaves turn silver. (Did you know that happens, Nettle? I didn't.)
Monkey Man had prepared a special puppet show for Heir and had written a poem in her honor. The highlight of the puppet show was the return of the Monkey after a long year of absence! And I must say the Monkey had a better year than the rest of us, he looked brand new. I've gotta find that damn spa and spend a year there myself.
Monkey Man's poem had us all crying, because it was about both Heir and Spare, and how much they mean to him. And then he gave Heir a Jackson Pollack-inspired scribble drawing done by his students in Camden. They had signed it on the reverse with special greetings, so it's hard to know which side to display.
The Heir then entertained us with a few ditties on the musical saw. Enough said about that.
I had to run the Monkey Man up to the El, and kiss my dear niece and nephew farewell, and when I returned our neighbors had come in for a late sandwich -- including the boy The Heir played with throughout her childhood until they were pre-teens. Said boy is now the captain of the Snobville varsity basketball team, about ten feet tall and chiseled like a statue. Seeing him made me feel how the years melt into one another, how two little toddlers playing on a swing set become adults going out into the world.
We Johnsons have compared notes just now. We determined this was one of the, if not the single weirdest day in the history of this household. The sheer variety of guests, all coming in and going out, boggled the mind.
Not a single piece of furniture was stained, and The Spare is doing the dishes. I think I'll take a walk on the wild side!
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS
faerie image by Seitou