Monday, January 28, 2008


I had a talk with myself before they showed up. I was going to be positive and i was not going to try and smooth the way for my dad, so that my mom wouldn't be nasty to him. I was just going to be cheerful and have a pleasant lunch.

Then, within 20 seconds of the doorbell ringing, i was pissed off. I see my dad out in the driveway while i greet my mother at the door. He's struggling to pull a large piece of lawn furniture out of the car.

"Oh, you gave this to us before you left for Colorado (19 years ago), and so i brought it back to you so you could use it."

It's a filthy, broken lawn chair. Great, just great.

Am i supposed to say "Thanks, now i have to take it to the dump instead of you?"

My annoyance was out of proportion to the act, i know. But this is not the first time, or even the tenth time she has unloaded some crap on me that i then have to deal with, under the guise of doing me a favor. I can do without these kinds of favors, thanks.

I did some deep breathing in the car on the way to lunch and looked for my sense of hunor. It took a few minutes, but find it i did.

Anyone want a filthy, broken, twenty year old lawn chair? Cheap?


furiousBall said...

I have a 22 pound cat you can borrow to crush it.

Allison Horner said...

There's always Craig's List...

Bob said...

use it as the beginning of a lawn sculpture? I'll send by brother-in-law, he's adept at that sort of thing.

Tink said...

Oh my God, Hoop's Mom does the same thing to us. Only it's stuff we NEVER owned and is usually horribly broken. "It'll be really nice once you fix it," she says. Yeah, oh-kay.

Anonymous said...

another reason I'm glad my husband does not read blogs.

After all the possibly-but-probably-never-useful crap we moved from our other house, after all the unexpected decontamination required to move into this house, there is a disgusting old left behind lawn chair that he insists is a treasure.

Yours would make for a matched set.

flutter said...

Oh, what a sweet offer! *nods and walks away slowly*

meno said...

furious, I could just put my two 15 pound cats on it.

alli, who the hell would want it? It's broken. Plus that would be work. :)

bob, just give me your BILs address, i'll mail it to him.

tink, i actually tossed something she gave us right into the garbage can when she handed it to me. Did this stop her? NO! You have my sympathy.

de, i'll send you mine post-haste.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm sounds like your parents and mine would get along just fine!

Diane Mandy said...

This guy traded a red paper clip for a house using the Internet. Just imagine what you could parlay a rusty lawn chair for!

Stucco said...

On the one hand, I guess I could use a little more of that "make the most of your things" mindset that older folks have. I consume a lot of crap and probably have a disproportionate number of things in a landfill.

On the other hand- it's a lawn chair. I'm not one for sitting on the lawn. Even for tea.

Perhaps you could pull a Larry Walters?

Oh, and for what it's worth- I've been getting gifts lately that cost money to realize (trips where the hotel is paid but nothing else...). Could be worse.

Anonymous said...

Meno, I would like to introduce you to my friend, Twisty. Twisty, this is my friend Meno.

With much love and trembling.

Lynnea said...

Perhaps this could be worked in to that get back at the SIL prank for the whole case of wine caper. Because really, if you're going to drink (or receive) disgusting wine, you really need a broken down chair to sit in too don't you?

Anonymous said...


I, myself, am not able to imbibe wine---sulfites, I guess. But I would never presume to call it disgusting.

How dare you!

Anonymous said...

I'll take it, Meno, if you agree to call into the Sunday Vagapocalypse and keep Vulgar Wizard from getting lonely. *G*

meno said...

flutter, while you were walking away i put it in the back of YOUR car.

maddy, we should introduce them and they could exchange crap.

diane, i used to follow his blog. What a cool social experiment.

stucco, if i weren't BROKEN i might be able to fly in it. I am all about reusing, if possible, but i have lawn chairs, i don't need another one.

invisible, okay??

maggie, now THERE's an idea, you sneaky wench.

invisible, she was referring to a specific wine. I have seen with mine own eyes that Miss Maggie does not find wine disgusting.

irrelephant, no one wants to hear my whiny voice, especially at that hour. Maybe i'll get up and chat though. Will you still take it? Oh please oh please.

Gordo said...

Meno, we were all awaiting your promised arrival with great expectation last Sunday. We were crushed when you didn't join the fun. :-(

QT said...

I will start the formal process of canonization for you.....jeez louise...I don't know how you didn't start wailing. Why do they do that??

tt said...

Ummm, are you sure it was YOUR parents?? Mine do that to me every-fuckin-day-of-the-month. They do it under the guise of" If we don't get rid of it now you'll have to do it later after were'gone'"Ummmmmm...But don't you want to save some ummm'treasures for Sister?..........Geesh....I bring it home and promptly throw it away. For some reason they think I want their old date books??? why??

Joan said...

Hmmm...let's think if there's anyone in your circle of acquaintances that might need this "vintage" treasure. Just call it re-gifting a re-gift.

Anonymous said...

I wonder why she does that.

Lynn said...

Are you sure that it wouldn't qualify as "Lawn Art"?

Liv said...

okay, the party is totally in the comments to the point that i don't even remember wtf your post was about.

fb's cat would indeed crush that chair. (OH! the post was about the lawn chair, right!)

i'm secretly(?) worried about invisible.

on good authority i know that mags lurves her wine.

and really, i'd like bob's BIL to come and make something weird for my front yard.

SUEB0B said...

OMG I can NEVER give anything to my mom without her trying to give it back every time I see her. She gave me back real maple syrup saying "Oh, I don't know when we would ever use it." She uses Log Cabin instead. Makes me nuts.

AC said...

I thought I'd heard pretty much everything but I had to read this twice! That is really, well, odd. I'm going to have to comb your archives for the parental backstories.

Now my mother-in-law (visiting her oddnesses on those cosmically elsewhere now) would come in to our house and demand we give HER something of ours - chairs, dishes, cars, porch furniture - She never gave us anything, rusty or new.

Anonymous said...

My stepmother puts all her old household stuff in our Christmas grab bag. Dishtowels, serving utensils, pitchers. It's weird.

jaded said...

It's a shame you can't use it for firewood. I will burn my lawn furniture in the chiminea soon. As luck would have it shorea is sturdy and weather resistant, however those ghetto ass domestic hardwood dowels that hold it together are not.

meno said...

gordo, you liar. I'll try to get up and see if i can figure out how to get into a chat room.

qt, i did wail in the car, with only the Mister to listen. I think he was secretly laughing at me.

tt, yes, i am SURE! I wouldn't mind if it was small enough to throw away, but i will have to rent a pick up to dispose of this little bit of trash.

joan, what's your address? :)

deb, two reasons; 1) It's easier than dealing with it herself and 2) She gets to feel good about herself by convincing herself it it a useful gift.

lynn, yes, i am sure, dammit!

send the cat over.
me too.
she does, i've seen it.
i bet he would.

suebob, i guess the secret is to only give her things that you would like. She prefers chemicals and sugar over real Maple syrup? Oy Vey!

ac, did you ever have to give her anything? Bet you don't miss her.

capacious, it is weird. Like throwing out your trash on someone else's lawn.

patches, i wish i could burn it. But it's made of plastic and metal. Sigh.

Unknown said...

I've recently mastered the art of telling my mom, "No." It took a lot of practice and a lot of courage, but she's not unloading junk on me right now (but she still tries).

Gina said...

My mother is a real piece of work, too and I totally understand the "getting way more upset" over what seems like little things. It's hard for other people to understand sometimes, but it's like every time they do something bitchy, it's not just the current bitchy, but the years of previous bitchy that get you riled.

amusing said...

My parents do that with things that have emotional attachment they can't bear to get rid of.

With tears in her eyes, she hands me a wooden box with a picture of some lady from the 1860s.. "I remember I used to dust this on my mother's dresser every week..." She looks at me.


"Sure. I'll take it...."

I could go on and on. But I won't.

(Well, I will -- my dad emptied his dad's barn and shipped to my house things like the mousetraps that were in the barn, an old sitz bath, branches from the orchard, keys to nothing...etc.)

Cheesy said...

Got a planter pot with dead greens in it? Put it on the seat and place it at the curb with a "free" sign on it... bet its gone in a week!

TTQ said...

My mom gave me a outdoor bistro set,two chairs and the table. The heavy wrought iron kind. I thought it would look better blue so I painted it. And she got pissed.

Next time you talk to your mom tellher that old lawn chair had a sharp edge that you used to slit your wrists. Then decided it wasn't worth it over a lawn chair, so you had to go get stitches and a tetnus shot.

Princess in Galoshes said...

My mother AND The Funasarus' mother are both guilty of this. Mostly with magazines and articles they've clipped for us, but also with larger items.

I have taken a f*ck you approach, and now firmly say, "No thanks, we don't want it/we don't have space for it." And force them to take it back with them.

I am practicing saying "NO." It's good for the soul.

Mermaid Melanie said...

how funny... i say you put a sign "free" on it and leave it on the curb.

luckyzmom said...

You could create a large map with directions from their home to the dump. Send them one and keep a few copies on hand next for the next time they come bearing unwanted treasures.

meno said...

andrea, what is it with the moms anyway? I usually say no, but my dad has already unloaded it. I felt sorry for him.

gina, very good. That's exactly it. How many times do i have to tell her no?

amusing, he SHIPPED them to you??? Can't even say no to that. I dread when she tries to give me the old photo albums.

cheesy, i like that idea. We don't exactly live where ther are curbs though, but i could still try it on the main road.

ttq, I bet it looked better blue. My mom likes to give me gifts and then get upset when i don't use it how she thinks i should too.

princess, will you come and give me lessons in hard-assery?

melanie, i'm sure thinking about doing that. Or maybe the goodwill.

luckyzmom, that's probably too indirect for my mom. I've decided that the next time, before she comes over, i am going to ask her if she's bringing anything for me so i can stop her.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

My brother once gave me a car he didn't need anymore. My mother was utterly thrilled at his kindness. It caught fire a few weeks later while I was driving it and exploded after I turned it off and jumped out. I learned by chance that his mechanic had told him the car was not safe enough to give his son.

At least I didn't have to haul it to the dump. The police did that.

Mother of Invention said...

At least she's filling the quota for filling up the landfill sites with junk! (Or maybe it's recycable, I don't know.)How bizarre.

Antonia Cornwell said...

I'll trade you for the junk my mother brings me. She's sneakily trying to turn my house into as cluttered a crapheap as hers.

Our local charity shop is doing very nicely out of my mother's junk, which is good, but I wish she'd save me the bother of having to take it all there in the first place.

On a happier note, I was thinking the other day about Chicago and how nice it was to spend time with you. I hope it happens again one day.

Antonia Cornwell said...

I've just read amusing's comment. I can't stop laughing at "keys to nothing" and I'm comforted that some people have even more sentimental packrats for parents than I do.

I can't write about my parents on my blog because the bastards both read it. But when I come here, it makes it all okay.

Anonymous said...

Here's a great new perspective for glad she's not saving all that crap for you to deal with after she dies (my father in law left 3 huge dumpsters full). I'm just sayin'....