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January 31st, 2006

In a week and a half, we will be hosting spaghetti night for the swim team. #1 son is already mortified at the prospect. Possibly because he is a teenager and everything about his family is bound to embarrass him. It’s our job.

But also because he’s noticed that, compared to other people, his family is crazy. We’re going to be the last family to host, since it’s near the end of the season. And #1 son is noticing the lack of big screen TVs, adequate game systems, decent cooking, and…uh…housekeeping.

I told him there was nothing I could do to remedy the TV screen size. But would do my best to cover cooking and cleaning, even if it meant that I had to hire the whole thing out.

And I am going to try to be normal, at least for a night.

This will be a bit of a stretch for me. I’ve pretty much given up on normal. But I’ve made some concessions, recently. We no longer have the life size, glow-in-the-dark skull as part of the living room decor.

A word of warning to brides: Never say to your husband on the honeymoon in DisneyWorld, “I haven’t gotten you a wedding gift, and I have no money. Why don’t you get something you’ve always wanted, but would never buy for yourself and it will be from me.”

At least, do not say it while standing next to a joke shop full of glow-in-the dark skulls.

But, after 20+ years, the skull is out of the living room. I’ve moved it to an office book case, along with a mini-treasure chest and a fake palm tree. Because it looks better there.

Of course, we still have the folk art, dead crow in the living room. He’s not going anywhere.

And if I wasn’t supposed to display a plastic vulture covered with white marabou and black turkey feathers? Then I never should have inherited a grandfather clock. He looks perfect up there.

so, as long as I can be normal without moving any vultures or crows, or my collection of little statues of “Death” from the Discworld stories? Like the one in the kitchen with death carrying a fry pan and wearing an apron? I can be totally normal.

Which means that I still have quite a ways to go. I was cleaning yesterday before the electrician got to the house. Trying to open my eyes to the things that I no longer notice, that really really have to go, if I want to look normal.

Which means the tooth in the living room will have to go. #2 son lost a baby tooth. My kids, if they believed in the tooth fairy at all, assumed that all he ever gave them was IOUs, or that occasionally, he would put some money in Mom’s wallet, when an important purchase needed to be made. The TF was certainly not as reliable as Santa or the Easter Bunny.

Possibly, because someone in the house, who is left in charge of teeth (namely me) tends to set them down, meaning to ‘do something’ with them later. This was the case with this particular molar. When it was dropped into my hand, shortly before Christmas, it was a reminder that there is only one tooth remaining before the next round of orthodontia. Unless the TF can guarantee about $3000 under Sean’s pillow, I’m not giving up the tooth.

But I will be moving it out of the living room. I put it in the office, instead. Next to a pile of chicken bones.

Don’t ask.