Now that Google Reader is no longer, I can assume that the traffic on my site will now be reduced to friends of mine who are badgered by me into checking out my latest attempt at crafting a funny joke. Kind of gives me some artistic freedom though. It's the blog equivalent of 'dance like no one is watching'. No one really is watching! I can even start making fun of people if I want!
My intent is not to actually make fun of anyone here, but to detail a bizarre event I had recently with my friend's 85 year old mother in law.
I had not actually seen the elderly woman in a couple of years but while visiting this particular friend recently, her MIL was hanging out in the kitchen, waiting for us to leave so she could commence her babysitting duties. I sat and chatted with her while we waited for my friend to get ready.
The next day my phone rang. Recognizing the name on call display, I answered with trepidation, wondering why B's MIL was calling me.
She began by explaining that she didn't recognize me the other night due to her poor eyesight. It wouldn't have really mattered to me as she was pleasant enough, and I tried to assure the woman that there was no need to apologize as I never would have known.
This was not the purpose of her call though. She went on to mention that she remembers that I have two daughters. She then informed me that she makes clothing for these little 'babies' all day. (she was referring to dolls and their clothes). She explained, "I don't smoke, I don't drink, I don't go shopping, so making clothes for these babies is what I do to keep sane! Now, the problem is that I don't have any more real babies to give my babies to".
Rather than questioning whether or not making doll's clothing was in fact actually keeping her sane, I let her continue on about all the babies that she's given to children over the years, including strangers on the bus. Then of course I was invited to bring my daughters over to each pick a baby. I told her that I would set a visit up with my friend, B, the next time I was in that part of town.
"NO, you'll set it up with ME, NOW!", came the reply from the older woman. Imagine this with her South African accent and it gets funnier and scarier somehow.
Feeling bullied and somewhat like Hansel and Gretel, I explained that my kids are in camp all day so it would have to be on a weekend. She then gave me an earful about putting my kids in camp for such a long day, and how tired they must be. She eventually accepted our schedule and penned me in for an upcoming Saturday afternoon.
I begged B to join me for this upcoming adventure but she was all, "NO WAY JOSE! You're on your own!"
So I packed up the kids on a beautiful Saturday afternoon that would have been ideal for swimming, and made my way downtown to face my dreaded appointment.
The first thing I noticed was that the apartment was not air conditioned. This particular day was a scorcher too. She did have a window unit in one room, which we were led into first, as it was 'the room of dolls'.
It wasn't like a scene from Hoarders or anything. It was quite orderly. But in a 2 bedroom 700 square foot apartment, shelves and shelves of floor to ceiling dolls seemed somewhat weird.
Then the woman started going through each doll, one by one, explaining them to me. "This one was given to me by my daughter, this one is from the gift shop at the hospital, and This one...well, if Rudy Huxtable can have a black Cabbage Patch doll, well so can I! It went on for a while.
Then she suggested that we let my kids tear up the room while we go sit down (in the non-air conditioned part of the apartment). While sitting there, she decided to show me her battery powered cat collection. Yup, turn them on and they purr, and move their heads. Next came the wooden mushroom collection, and then all the 'As Seen on TV' gadgets that she uses to help herself out with mundane tasks.
Looking out on the balcony, I noticed that it was covered in birds, birdseed, and copious amounts of less pleasant evidence of birds.
All the while, the kids thought that this was great! They had so much to play with and no one was telling them what to do. I suspect that this was the highlight of the elderly woman's day too. She does have plenty of family in the city, but somehow came across as needy for company.
There is no punchline here. Except that I was really weirded out by the whole event. And oddly enough, I feel compelled to go back. On a cooler day.