Thursday, October 12, 2006

Now I'm Just Cutting and Pasting Emails From Dad

This email was in my inbox yesterday, subject line "luggage", no salutation:

While preparing for my trip to Atlantic City I discovered that I do not have a
suitcase that I can use. I had to go out and buy a suitcase for the trip. We had
so many cases at the old house. Do you and [Little Brother's full name] have 3 or 4 suitcases each at your apartments?? What happened to our cases?????? This is only one question out of many concerning missing items from my belongings. Do you remember the missing food processor. It just disappeared.

A confused father.

To begin, I have three suitcases at my apartment. The two red ones I purchased from when I moved to Brooklyn in anticipation of my first business trip. I also have one suitcase of dubious quality, I must say, that my father purchased me when I was in high school and I was going to Germany for the first time. I also own one LL Bean duffle bag that I purchased in college. These suitcases mostly come in handy for moving apartments. So if I have one piece of the family's prized luggage collection, this is the time where naturally all heads swivel in the direction of LittleBrother. LittleBrother was not copied on this email. This is typical. This is how communication works is my family, which is to say, it doesn't.

And let's not forget the food processor, shall we? My father insists that a small food processor went missing from his home sometime within the last five years. This was not a large, high quality Cuisinart, but something small that was good for mincing and dicing that my father most likely purchased from a television infomercial. Anyway, one day he couldn't find it and suspicion was naturally cast on his two children. I started getting calls in Brooklyn about the food processor. Then, when I went back to Rhode Island, I was confronted face to face. Now, I have acknowledged that there is an outside chance I took it. I don't remember it, and I haven't seen it since, but when I was packing to move to New York, it could have ended up in a box. That was January 2004. At that time, I was running around my father's house with about 3 days to pack up everything I own and co-ordinate a move to the Upper West side of Manhattan. My father stood there picking up things saying, "What about this? What about these brass candle sticks? You're going to need candle sticks." as I tried to figure out how I was going to cram everything into an Enterprise rental minivan. The whole thing is kind of a blur. However my father insists that he would not have offered me his beloved mini-food processor and I really don't think I took it.

[neck swivel] Little Brother? Now here is a far more likely candidate. LittleBrother lived in apartments his last two years of college and he lives on his own now. Also, this is sad, he does way more cooking than I do. And while I only had that one shot with the van to pack up everything and go, go, go LittleBrother has a car and travels home frequently. He could be loading up the car under the cover of night and be smuggling things out since 2003 and we would be none the wiser. His apartment is already decorated with half of my father's stuff anyway and MY LAVA LAMP and so on and so on. Still, he also maintains that he does NOT have the food processor. "Okay," says Pop. "If my children tell me they did not steal my food processor, then I believe them, because my children would never lie to me." Then he gives us a look that tells us he believes the exact opposite is true.

If I had to guess, I would say that my father has the following has the following fantasy surrounding his own death: My brother and I will be in the funeral home, saying a tearful goodbye over the open casket and then after we give the okay to the funeral director to close the lid, my brother will turn to me and say "Hit it." I will reach into my big purse, pull out the food processor, plug it into the nearest outlet, plunk it down on top of the coffin and we will gleefully begin pulverizing carrots chanting, "Sucker!" and "We really got the Old Man good!"

Still, like OJ pursuing the "real killers" my father must make a show of attempting to track down the food processor. Did he offer it to another family member, I suggest? What about the cleaning woman? No! That's nonsense! Why would Pop do that? He loved that little chopper! He used it all the time! Am I trying to trick him? Am I trying to make him think he's going crazy? The money is safe from me, I won't get a dime!

I'd like to believe Dad, but he makes it kind of difficult when we have phone conversations like this:

Pop: Where are you?

Cupcake: I'm in a cab. I'm on my way home from the airport.

Pop: The airport? Where did you go?

Cupcake: The wedding! Smarty's wedding was this weekend! [...] It's nice to have a day off to relax.

Pop: You're not going to work tomorrow?

Cupcake: Tomorrow is a holiday?

Pop: It's a holiday? What holiday is it?

Cupcake: Listen. Tomorrow is Columbus Day.

Pop: Tomorrow is Columbus Day?

Cupcake: Look, I know you're retired, but are you also retarded?

Pop: When you're retired, every day is Columbus Day.

Cupcake: Well, when's the last time you turned on the radio, or opened a newspaper?

Pop: Why don't you shut up, Nancy?

Cupcake: Are you the Unibomber?

Have fun in Atlantic City, Pop. Hope you win big!


acaligurl said...

totally had a vision of the funeral! LOL

NancyPearlWannabe said...

Consider yourself lucky. My Dad tries to give me everything he owns- broken Skil Saws, old bicycle tires, boxes of stale raisin bran- then gets mad when I don't take it. I've learned to accept, say thank you, and stop at the first rest area to throw that ish away.

monquito said...

I too am always beset by everything my parents are trying to get rid of. Also, my father sounds exactly like that, only he isn't retired. There are no excuses.