December 10, 2005

Family Tales: the Not Ready For International Spy-dom Players

I have gotten cards for the Pirate. Not only a card from me, but also a card from the Vampire *and* a card from the Cat threatening to hack up a furball. Isn't that sweet?

This would have felt very efficient and clever, but as so often happens in such cases, things did not work out quite as well as one might have hoped.

We took the Pirate to Target Boutique for the supposed purpose of purchasing a new pair of slippers for him. Happy Birthday, and Congratulations on those Stylin' Homer-Simpson-Is- Swallowing-My-Feet slippers, darling man. Please never wear them in public.

While the boys were frolicking in the shoe department I was on my own, choosing what will soon be Belated Happy Holidays Cards from Yours Truly & Co. This was all plotted out carefully, the goal being that I would get a chance to surruptitiously pick out Birthday cards for tomorrow's Big Event (two Big Events, actually - see tomorrow's blog, assuming I am awake enough to report when we return home from our social rounds).

I unwisely placed my son in charge of the Pirate, handing him the aforementioned cards and directing him to tell his father that I had retreated to the Ladies Room. The plan was that he would convey the instructions that they were to pay for the slippers and the cards, and then wait in the car for my arrival. I was going to use the opportunity to find birthday cards and purchase them on the sly; he was in charge of keeping his father out of the way during this process.

I made it to the cash register.

At the point at which I had finished paying for the Birthday cards and was hunched over an empty register counter, madly scribbling brilliantly humorous comments from the cat on the appropriate card, the Pirate wandered up behind me and asked what the heck I was doing.

Apparently the cool temperature outside woke our Birthday Boy up enough for it to occur to him that I was taking more time in the bathroom than usual. I'm not a primper, so I'm generally in and out of public restrooms at a sprinter's pace; knowing this, and having reached something approaching alertness - or an advanced state of boredom - he had become uncharacteristically solicitous of my health. When he announced his intention of re-entering the store, the Vampire panicked and couldn't think of a way to keep dear old dad from coming to the rescue. He attended to his responsibilities in the matter by trailing behind his dear old dad with a vaguely distressed and yet carefully blank expression on his phiz.

I'm not entirely certain what the Pirate thought he was going to do if I was getting ill in the Ladies Room. This is a man who feels it an act of Heroic proportions to buy feminine hygiene products when I express a dire need for such items, and who nearly dies of embarrassment when I send a burned entree back to the kitchen at a restaurant. He is, in spite of the impression his sartorial tastes might give the outsider, a sensitive and retiring soul. His head would probably explode if he were to open the door to the Ladies Room and encounter an actual female there. But I digress...

I was, of course, characteristically cool under fire. Faced with a situation in which my husband was sure to see exactly what I was up to, I did what any rational woman would do.

I made shooing motions with my hands, and accompanied this performance with shrill repetitions of "Go away! Go away!!" Which he eventually did, wearing an expression perfectly balanced between bafflement and offense.

Yeah. I wonder why the Vampire never learned the gentle arts of Subterfuge and Misdirection?


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