Family Heirlooms Made By Mythical Creatures


Two days of my nine days off work have passed by already. All I did was blink.

Randy and I were eating lunch and I considered how nice it was to fix lunch and not worry about how many more seconds I could sit at my table before bolting out the door and going back to my cubicle. We had BBQ Friday night. I remembered this, because I put my arm in a blob of congealed sauce while complaining that my homemade potato salad is too bland.

My first thought: You can’t put this off anymore. The table cloth has to go in the washer.

My second thought: Why would anyone ever buy a white table cloth? I mean, the sauce looks bad on a red table cloth, but white?

We’re not good at having fancy things in my house. They don’t mean much to us and we’re just as likely to have a rubber cat on a shelf in our living room as a fancy vase of flowers.

That’s a lie. We are way more likely to have a rubber cat in the living room.

It’s possible there’s a rubber cat in my living room.

This is one reason why I don’t like attending dinner parties. It’s not that I don’t know how to act. I can be goddamn fancy. It’s that my fine motor control is that of a toddler and it’s possible that something will come out of my mouth that I think is hilarious that polite society might consider ‘inappropriate’ or ‘horrifying’.

Pretend dinner party hostess:  Oh, Michelle…you MUST see my table cloth. It’s a special shade of white that is very nearly impossible. See how the gauzy layers and layers of white give the illusion of ocean waves with just a hint of shimmer? That’s because the material was woven by wood fairies before they became extinct 1500 years ago. It’s really a one of a kind piece. There is your seat there, by the delicate rosebud embroidery. Interesting story about that embroidery. It was embroidered in the 1880s in a village in France. A young blind woman who lived next door to Vincent Van Gogh did the work. She couldn’t see, but if he was painting, then she could embroider. Very little known story there. Now, can I get you some red wine? Or perhaps some 17 layer nacho dip?

Me:  How about I just projectile spew bile from my stomach onto your table cloth and you can watch your priceless, one of a kind, hand made by mythical creatures family heirloom get digested right before your eyes? Seriously, it will be just like The Fly. You know, Seth Brundle? No? Okay, wine would be great.

Pretend dinner party host: I’ll get the special wine glasses out. Family lore is they were made specifically for Queen Victoria for her coronation. It’s a complete set as well. Amazing that nearly two centuries have passed and not a single one has ever been broken. Oh dear, this is odd. They appear to be trembling. 

Me: Perhaps you have some little Dixie cups in your bathroom I could use instead?

Okay, that was just silly, that would never happen. I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever been invited to a dinner party.

You know, as I sit here and continue to pretend my table cloth is not likely a science project by now, I’m thinking that I quite like the way we are. I don’t want to worry about water marks on my tables or stains on my couch.

On the other other hand, someone really needs to clean these bathrooms.

I know how to rock a stay at home vacation.

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  • Ha ha ha ha, we are definitely related somehow
    Yep, the old cracked mugs and dishes I own could survive a nuclear holocaust, but if I should dare to own something nice, it’s stay in my home will be short and end badly.
    I had a beautiful hand painted linen teacloth, it was destroyed by a mouse that got in and took me three days to catch.

    I’m down to inherited crystal wine glasses now as I’ve managed to break all the others.

    I’ve totally given up wearing anything white as I will instantly pour my coffee down the front of it.
    There’s a reason I wear black most of the time, and it’s not entirely my goth tendencies.

    No, I cannot understand why anyone would choose a white tablecloth, bed linen or pretty much anything else that you can spill things on. People with white carpets are a different kind of crazy.

    Now put your feet up and enjoy your vacation

    • Yeah, white carpets are just hilarious. WTF? And my wardrobe is mostly black as well. Or bright tight patterns..that works good as camo.

      I do plan on having my feet up quite a bit this week. Yay.

  • I look at pictures in catalogs of rooms with pretty vases on shelves and think “those people don’t have cats.”

    There are advantages to staycations like not having to worry about not getting through airport security because I forgot to take something pointy out of my purse.

    I enjoy a good trip but sometimes it’s way more relaxing to be home.

  • I have the same problem – not the tablecloth problem, the horrifying and inappropriate problem. Oh well. I don’t mind not being fit for polite society.

    • Yeah…it looks stuffy and I’m pretty sure the clothes are terribly uncomfortable. I much prefer my ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ pajama pants that are barely fit for cleaning rags and a grey tank top with unidentified stains on it. Which is what I am wearing.

  • I’m pretty graceful, too. You can’t find a white shirt in my closet that doesn’t have some sort of stain on it. I don’t buy white shirts any more, coincidentally.

  • True story: The dining room table in my house is an original mid-century Warren Platner piece (look it up). It’s a family heirloom, and unlike anything else in the house, it’s worth a good bit of money. The Siamese kitten eats her kibble on it. Every human meal is eaten off a small table in the kitchen that I bought at an unfinished furniture place. Priorities.

  • Just yesterday we bought some nice ceramic snack bowls (and by “nice” I mean they actually cost $6, which is way above the mean). We bought two extras to account for the inevitable breakage to come. Which is to say, I hear you.

  • OMG, hilarious! I’m so over dinner parties. It seemed I was in a never ending dinner party the 18 years I was married. I always inevitably would say the wrong thing or have too much wine. I have no family heirlooms, only my kids which are sad replicas of their ancestors. I joke. They’re fabulous children! <3

  • I didn’t really want the responsibility of having nice things, but my husband’s Italian family got mad about stuff on our wedding gift registry not costing enough (I was not aware that was a kind of problem that existed, but I guess you learn something every day) so we ended up with a bunch of fancy cut crystal glasses and dinnerware that’s not microwave safe and now I’m afraid to touch anything in the kitchen.

    • You could invite me over, I bet I could accidentally break it all in an evening…then you’d have someone to blame and not have to be afraid of your kitchen anymore!

  • All I will add is that red wine and I are not friends. In fact, we’re not even on speaking terms. No rubber cats here, but I do have a grinning felted sheep. And a beaver wearing a red scarf and beret.

  • Ugh…all these people wearing black. I’d LOVE to but I have two yellow labs, a white and calico patched cat, and a brown tiger tabby that live (rule) at my house. If I wore black everyone would know that I only vacuum when the hair has formed tumbled weeds that gather in the corners and under chairs. If I wear lighter coloured clothes they can guess at the truth but they can’t be sure.
    Here’s a true party story-I have gravity heating in my house so warm air and light things float up. Last winter we had some people over after a night out. We were in the kitchen because that’s where the food and drinks are. It was getting warm so my husband flipped on the ceiling fan which hadn’t been used for a couple of months. It rained dog hair. Twas classy to say the least.

  • Don’t have any rubber cats (although there might be a little glass one packed away somewhere) but my friend Zsuzs gave me a Brenda Bender for Christmas, and a little barrel of plastic monkeys to hang in a chain from one of her arms. I never displayed them out of fear of their destruction, and now they seem to be MIA. They’ll probably show up when we move, which should be soon.
    I’m glad you’re enjoying your time off. You deserve it.

    • ohhh, I hope they show up! Good luck on the move, Doug.

      I’m starting to relax a little…by that I mean, my anxiety peaked today. I feel off when I’m not at work…and I hate to be at work. It’s very difficult to be me, sometimes.

  • dude, you have a tablecloth! pretty freaking fancy in my book. We eat on t.v. trays cause the table holds all the pots and pans that we don’t have cabinet space for. I’m sure at the bottom there are place mats. That’s really fancy in my house. Did you set goals to accomplish during vacation? Is it a vacation if you do them?

    • My only goal is to paint my toenails. I haven’t done it yet.

      Yeah, we DO have a table cloth because the table is pretty gnarly from me getting paint on it. We use the coat closet in the living room as a pantry for all the extra kitchen stuff…

  • Hahahaha! You were about to go all Brundle-fly on that snooty hostess!
    My aunt & uncle belonged to a yacht club in Long Island (I could not for FUCK’S SAKE tell you WHY since they did NOT own any kind of boat & they live in an apartment in Queens) and I used to plot subversive ways of embarrassing them. Like I’d act overtly Puerto Rican (that club was a tad too Caucasian-dress-code for me & the husband), or I’d wear a denim skirt with thong sandals (frowned upon) or I’d laugh really, really loud in the dining room during brunch (frowned upon) or I’d wear something sleeveless to expose my tattoos (frowned upon but they really couldn’t say anything since there were no clear rules about it). I know it doesn’t sound very exciting or imaginative but that place was super snobbish.

  • I don’t have rubber cats but I do have gargoyles in various places around the house. We do have things that were made by the mythical wood sprites and the blind girl who was Van Gogh’s neighbor. They gather dust in an antique china closet that holds the over-flow from the boxes of carefully packed holiday themed china that I never would have purchased but was given to us when my in-laws divorced. I hate all of this shit but don’t know how to get rid of it. Can I have a glass of wine now? Thanks.

  • This post has me rolling with laughter. I can totally relate! I love that our home is one where anyone can come in and just sit down without formality. I’ve never been invited to a dinner party and never hosted one either. Our lives seem very similar and I hope you have the same peaceful energy running through your home (it seems you do), that I do. Great post!!

  • The Boyfran has basically forbidden me from ever taking time off work. I always make these lofty plans to be incredibly productive but then end up with writers block, sitting in my unwashed filth, cursing my existence and dreaming of the day I go back to work. By the end, I need to be hosed down.

    Also, I’m not very good at being fancy either. I think I used to own nice things, but I sold/donated/threw everything away when I went to Asia and I haven’t been very good at replacing them in the last 3 years since I’ve been back. For example, I only own one bowl. It’s from Halloween and says “poison” on it.

  • I have:
    A Golden Retriever
    A Chocolate Lab mix
    A black Chi-weenie
    A Gray cat
    Two mostly white cats
    A Silver tabby

    All of my possessions. ALL. Are covered in animal hair. And since I have the full color spectrum of beastlies…it always shows. Always.

  • Wait..there was something wrong in that (fantasy) exchange?
    My folks on my Dad’s side were a bit…well, they would have tablecloths like that. Probably with the matching napkins. And I am just not. I would usually find a way to, I dunno, ruin whatever priceless slash timeless object d’art they were currently curating displaying. Maybe accidentally setting it ablaze or drawing on it with 1960’s era red lipstick* to give it some color.

    * – true story, only it was an antique quilted bedspread. Even as a child I had a gift.

  • It was decided long ago that I was not appropriate enough to be invited to dinner parties nor am I allowed to throw them (that would be if you could call what I throw “dinner parties”.

    Because I will inevitably have a Theme, something will get broken and someone, somewhere will be mostly naked and passed out somewhere inappropriate.

    And that’s just when I’m the GUEST at the dinner party.

    (Disclosure: The mostly naked and passed out person may or may not be me.)

  • All of my tablecloths and cloth napkins are navy. I still had a FIT when my little brother (who is in his 20’s) took a cloth napkin and tried to wipe GRAVY and food off a plate into the trash. (I say tried bc I totally stopped him in time. There was yelling involved and it did feel like slow motion.)
    WTF. Rinse the gravy off the plate into the sink. He was raised in the same house I should and should know better. If someone spills something on accident, fine, but don’t intentionally get something dirty. He’s such a dork.

  • If I wear something with a stain, I tell people who notice it that “it JUST happened on the way to work! Can you believe my luck?” Unless of course it’s red wine. Hard to explain that one. ; )

  • You need to just come on over to my house for dinner….you’d fit right in! It’s not dinner at our house unless someone does something inappropriate. So next time you find yourself in central Florida, look me up!

  • I would TOTALLY invite you to a dinner party – if I was fancy enough to throw one. When we bought our table, I purposely went with the “distressed” look – now every water stain, flick of paint, scratch or gouge mark just adds to it. Of course, by this time it is looking less “distressed” and more “distraught”.

  • Maybe it’s the fancy dinner people who are abnormal. Everything I own is covered in dog hair. And the fabulously comfortable 16-year-old couch and chair are shiny from dog drool.


  • I totally grew up on tv tables and this suckers a,ways collapsed mis meal on me. I’m like jenny now. TV. FoodOnLap. Except I push away a doodle 🙂

By Michelle


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