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Here’s that pillow you said looks like a whorehouse.

January 24, 2013

My husband and I enjoy separate winter holidays from work: he, Presidents Day and I, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which occurred this past Monday. I decided to harness the opportunity to visit my parents and drove to their house late Sunday night after a marathon cooking session. (A post bemoaning the time necessary to devise a menu, grocery shop and prepare fresh food would belong on my former even more self-absorbed blog regarding the minutiae of my life, so I won’t digress.) Ryan watched me wheel around in the middle of our street and coast toward I-20 through the sketchy neighborhood near Turner Field. I thought nothing of my decision to take the seedy path and cranked up The Rolling Thunder Revue during the entire ride. Once I finally reached my parents’ house an hour and a half later, I noticed eight missed calls on my phone.

Hungover and paranoid, Ryan decided I got carjacked on my way to the interstate and drove around Capitol Avenue in search of my corpse and/or pilfered vehicle. He even contacted my sister Timber, igniting her worry as well. As I parked my car at the side of my parents’ home, Timber shook her finger at me shouting “Bad. BAD!” through the frost-covered glass screen door.

“If you had gotten disfigured in a horrible car accident, I know you’d be really depressed, so while I was AWAKE worrying whether you were ALIVE, I came up with an idea to help you cope with losing an eye. (Losing an eye is as far as I got.) Anyway,” Timber said, bombarding me with her morbid daydream, “I decided I would make decorative eye patches for you. Like one would have a huge feather sticking out of the top, and another feather would hang off the bottom and drape across your shoulder. Some of them would be extremely dramatic and fashionable, but don’t worry! I would make more neutral, functional eye patches for you, too. You could go jogging in one, do the dishes, you know, a variety of activities.”

I blinked, processing images of Timber’s morose yet tender gesture.

“I’m such a good sister,” she added.

“You are. You know, that’s really sweet. Would you make me a spider one for Halloween?”

“Ooo yeah! I could make you a spider eye patch, and the legs would hang all down your body,” she said, splaying her fingers across her chest.

“Girls, stop!” Mother pleaded, walking in on the conversation.

Mother taught us to appreciate the changing of the seasons and holidays by decorating for everything, hence my request for a spider eye patch. In March, a shamrock pillow sits on the sofa, leprechaun figurines dance around the wine rack, and a magnetized limerick wishes us good luck as we open the refrigerator; in July, a retro Uncle Sam piggy bank collects quarters on the dining room table, flags wave from the bookshelves, and metallic red stars on sticks spray upward from their vases; not to mention one of Mother’s favorites—Halloween—when witches, ghosts, and jack-o-lanterns creep us out from every corner.

As you might imagine, Mother goes all out for Valentine’s Day as well—a heart mobile dangles from a fan; a heart garland hangs from Timber’s bedroom ceiling; red and pink hearts peek from pretty much everywhere.

the heart pillow

“Here’s that pillow you said looks like a whorehouse,” Mother mentioned when I finally settled on the sofa.

“Huh?” I shrugged, glancing at the enormous velvet heart pillow Mother propped on the settee. “I didn’t say that!”

“Yes you did. You said it looks like a whorehouse.”

“No I didn’t! Timber must have said it. You’re CRAZY.”

“If you’re not going to be nice, I’m going to bed. Obi’s sweet to me,” Mother said, stroking her West Highland terrier.

“You’re a psycho!”

I later discovered that Timber didn’t compare the pillow to a whorehouse either. While we both admittedly love making fun of Mother, she sometimes puts taunting phrases in our mouths.

We ate dinner together the next night before I departed for Atlanta. While I excused myself to the restroom, Timber somehow brought up that she thinks Daddy has Tourette’s—which would explain his obsessive throat-clearing even though no phlegm plagues his passageway.

“What?! MOTHER. Do you think Daddy has Tourette’s?” I huffed.

“SOMETHING’S wrong,” she shrugged.

“Yer mother’s bein’ real encouragin’,” Daddy said, chomping into a piece of cornbread.

We laughed and gathered in the living room. Mother asked me to sit with them for a few minutes, as if I still lived there and we all would retire to our respective bedrooms for the night. I sank onto the sofa, savored the aftertaste of pecan pie, and stared at the settee across from me.

“You know, Mother,” I squinted. “Now that you mention it, the settee and pillow do look like something you’d find in the foyer of a vintage brothel.”

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Timber permalink
    February 10, 2013 8:50 pm

    It’s really more of a motor tic. Originally, we thought Daddy had allergies, but nothing (Zyrtec, Allegra, or Claritin) worked. Naturally, he has some psychogenic disorder…I guess!

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