Friday, October 14, 2005

Babies Have No Laps

We all know that a plump granny has no lap. The lack of lap is in proportion to the plumpness of the granny. The plumper the granny, the less lap. Some grannies are so plump, they just have knees.

Now here’s something I bet you never considered: Babies have no laps. Have you ever seen a lap on a baby? There you go. Brand new babies can’t even sit up to make a lap, and then if they had a lap what would they do with it? There’s no room for a lap with all that diaper business.

Babies can stick their toes in their mouths, something grannies can’t do. By the time a baby gets to be a granny, she doesn’t WANT to stick her toes in her mouth even if she could still bend that way. (However, some grannies can take out their teeth and bite their own toes!)

I wonder if one day a child wakes up, comes to the breakfast table, sits down, and bang!, there’s a lap. I bet if Hallmark gets wind of this astute observation, they will come out with a card to celebrate the occasion. “Happy Getting Your Lap!” or “Congratulations on Becoming a Lap Owner.” Parents could enclose one dollar for each year it took to get a lap. Dads – and moms, too – could stride into the office, “Yep, kid got her lap today. Gotta go out tonight and celebrate.”

There’s one thing for sure about this lap business. The size of the lap is not in proportion with the love grannies give to babies. No matter how ugly a baby is (oh, stop it, your baby is not that ugly), lap or no lap, grannies always coo and fuss over those tiny people with no laps. In return, babies coo and smile and spit up on their grannies.

Okay, it’s not a perfect world. But for those of us who had grannies or later became a granny, it’s close enough.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Confessions of a Tag Ripper

I’ve carried this burden for years and now feel that it’s time to confess to my horrible deeds. It all started when I was nine and alone in the house. I saw it and read the warning and just couldn’t help myself. I felt my hands close around the tiny object and before I realized the consequences, I had scorned the warning and the law and viciously ripped the “Do Not Remove Under Penalty of the Law” tag from my mattress.

There it was, right there in plain sight, and in an instant I had removed that tag, become a pre-teen criminal, and left that poor helpless mattress adrift on the bed frame with no identity. Suddenly I was terrified that the “law” would come pounding on the door and demand that my parents turn over the culprit along with the evidence of my crime.

I wadded the tag into a small ball and hurriedly buried the evidence under the azaleas. In case anyone came looking for the proof of my dastardly deed, I thought it a good idea to add a bit of dog doo to disguise the freshly dug hole.

For weeks, every time someone came to the door or called on the phone, I was convinced it was the “law” coming to take me to prison for the rest of my life. As the days passed uneventfully, my confidence of having gotten “away with it” overrode my fear of discovery.

Several years passed. I had no uncontrollable urges to rip tags. Then it happened again. My mom bought new bed pillows and discarded the old, tags and all. The new pillows were lofty and fluffy and smelled fresh and new. That night, alone with my new pillows, I felt my hand slipping under the pillow case and as if in a trance I heard that sound – riiiiipppppp! Then the other pillow – riiiiipppppp!

I thought about running away from home. I thought about finding a support group, Tag Rippers Anonymous. I thought about wearing mittens over my hands like the nail biters did, but that would look really stupid during the day and make it really hard to write reports for class.

From then until I got married I would only snatch a tag now and then. Sometimes when visiting friends, I could make off with one or two new tags to add to my collection. Yes! I had started saving the “evidence” in an old shoe box under my bed and felt a thrill with each new tag added. I reveled in the different sizes of tags and different styles of print. I also learned the hard way to never quickly rip a large tag off a feather pillow with a loosely sewn seam. It’s not a pretty sight.

Then I became a young bride and my obsession exploded. I had my own pillows, my own mattresses and I could rip in broad daylight and toss those little jewels into the air and watch them float down to carpet.

Then one day my world crashed. No I wasn’t apprehended and forced to work in the prison kitchen. It was worse than that. The wording on the tags changed. Manufacturers announced the final consumer could indeed remove the tags. My life of crime had been a sham. I hadn’t broken any laws after all. Well, bummer.

Now the tags read something like this: “UNDER PENALTY OF LAW THIS TAG NOT TO BE REMOVED EXCEPT BY THE CONSUMER.” Except by the consumer! Me!

There, it’s over. I’m free now. I can bring home pillows and rip away. It’s not fun anymore. Unless ….. say, you wouldn’t happen to know of a job opening in a pillow factory, would you?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Class Reunion

My high school graduating class recently celebrated it’s 50th reunion. Fiftieth Reunion! Fifty years since we all graduated! Well, instead of the classmates showing up, all their grandparents came. The room was filled with old people.

I barely recognized these older folks, but many seemed to know each other and called out first names when greeting. Ironically, these grandparents had the same first names as their grandchildren – my classmates – and some bore an amazing resemblance to the kids I went to school with. Some of these folks were pretty spry, others seem to have had a few misfortunes along the way.

What?! Those old people ARE my classmates?! How did that happen? The last time I saw most of them, they still had their own hair, teeth and even their own faces. So what if that was at graduation.

Thank goodness I’ve not changed a bit. Well, okay, there is just a teensy bit more of me. And my hair has lightened considerably. And there is just a line or two here and there that I only see in my 6x magnifying mirror. I’ve also noticed I’m a bit blurry when I check my makeup in the hall mirror. The blurriness is particularly noticeable right before I put on my bifocals. Probably just the lighting. I’ve noticed, too, that when I walk past a store window at the mall, it looks like some older woman has rushed up beside me and I can’t see MY reflection. Weird though, if I wave, she waves. I bet it’s someone inside the store practicing that old Lucy routine.

Some of the classmates said it was the best reunion ever. Well, sure they would say that. They can’t remember all the previous ones. At least I think there were previous reunions. I wonder if I went? I’ll have to call and ask one of my friends. Now where did I put that number. And the phone. I’ll have to call tomorrow. Right now I have to go find my car keys. The hard part is finding the car I left the keys in. I’ll bet that woman in the mall store window knows.