April's Real Blog

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Wake up, Liz, yr story mite B coming after all

Yeah, so there's more 2 tell abt Mike and the junk from the crawl space, apparently:

Formerly little sis. There comes a time in a man's life when you simply have to agree with your wife’s intuition about things, even though you know full well she is probably wrong. Such is the case with my Deanna and her tendency to “know” things which happened, that she could not possibly know happened.

After finding the stuff in the crawl space I told you about yesterday, my lovely wife, Deanna started going through the things in the crawl space and coming into the room where I was doing research for my next novel Breaking the Windjammer to show them to me. Did you know that encyclopedias, even the really cheap ones which come in 3-ring binders, are a veritable fount of information? I have learned so much about real windjammers with our set of 3-ring binder encyclopedias. What they do not explain though, is why my wife was so fascinated with declaring how each item she found was some kind of valuable item.

You see, April, you may find that after you are married; you may want to keep your dress so that your children and grandchildren can wear it too. In fact, you may invest in one of those vacuum-sealing dress boxes, which will keep the dress like new for decades. Or, you could store your wedding dress in a shoebox and put it in a crawl space and not let anyone know about it. I am sure you can tell the relative difference in attention to proper dress storage between the two methods, as I did when became an expert in the matter from my research on it for one of my weekly columns entitled, “So You Only Thought Your Mom Was Fat When She Got Married.”

When Deanna came up to me with this dress in a shoe box, and said, “Remember that old stuff of your mom’s that I pulled out of the crawl space?...Check this out! I think it’s your Grandma Marian’s wedding dress,” it was all I could do to restrain myself from exclaiming about proper dress storage. In fact, when Deanna pulled the dress out and put it up to her body as if to try it on for size, it was even more difficult to restrain myself from pointing out how Deanna couldn’t fit into that dress and Grandma Marian was even less likely, because she was not a particularly small woman. Instead of pointing out to Dee the errors in her assumptions I said, “You’re right! --I’ve seen it in pictures. I didn’t even know my mom had it!”

Deanna held the dress wistfully up to her eyes to see it better and made yet another statement she could not possibly know. She said, “I think Grandpa Jim brought it with him when he moved here from Vancouver.” My thought was, “No. More likely mom brought it with her when she cleaned out Grandma Marian’s stuff in Vancouver”. When Deanna is in one of her “make up the things that happened” moods, it is best not to get in her way. The way Deanna was looking at it, started to creep me out, so I said to her, “What should we do with it?”

At this question, Deanna clutched the dress to her breast, and exclaimed, “Michael, this is an heirloom!!!” I wanted to say that people don’t put heirlooms in shoeboxes and throw them into nasty crawlspaces, but once I again I restrained myself. Instead, I decided to build on the logic Deanna had already used. If it was an heirloom and it had been stored in a crawlspace, I said, “Oh. Then…I guess it goes back into the crawl space.” After all, isn’t that where the shoeboxed heirlooms go?

Needless to say, Deanna did not agree with that sentiment. In fact, she had another completely different sentiment for the dress involving my sister Elizabeth and her wedding day. I could tell from the way the gears were churning in her head, Deanna was beginning to think that Elizabeth should be wearing Grandma Marian’s wedding dress. This is, of course, a ridiculous idea. For one thing, it is white. For another thing, Elizabeth would never be able to fit into the dress. It was too small for Deanna, holding it next to her body; so you know Elizabeth is way too big for it.

Well, this was an exciting story about Deanna finding a wedding dress in the junk. Tomorrow, I think I will have some more to tell about this fascinating story.

Michael Patterson
Oh, I wdn't worry abt the fit, Mike. I M guessing this will turn out 2 B a magic wedding dress that, when Liz tries it, will reconfigure itself 2 B the perfect fit 4 her. And yeah, I can't imagine it wda been Gramps who brought it. That totally sounds like Mom, when she packed up all their stuff. And what the heck w/sticking it in the crawl space? Do NE of U psychology peeps think this sounds like a sign of sum unresolved hostility Mom mite have had against Grandma Marian?


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  • At 11:11 AM, Blogger DreadedCandiru2 said…

    Oh, a great deal of hostility, I should think. Mike's exceedingly little joke about shoving it back in the hole isn't gonna be so funny when he hears your Mom shriek at him what he said to Deanna in a deadpan tone of voice.

  • At 11:53 AM, Anonymous michael patterson said…


    Amazon River catfish supervillain. My mother is not going to shriek at me. If she saw fit to put Grandma Marian’s old wedding dress into a cardboard box in a crawl space in the first place, it is simply a testament to her wise use of storage space. When it comes to organization skills, my mother cannot be challenged. That is why she was able to turn Lilliput’s into a landmark; and why, after she edited my book Stone Season, it needed no further editing by the publisher; and why those thousands of slides currently littering up her house will eventually be turned into the most exciting slide show of all time. Just wait and see, catfish.

    Michael Patterson

  • At 11:55 AM, Blogger howard said…


    More amazing than the fact your sister-in-law found a pristine wedding dress from just after World War II, over 60 years ago, in a box in a crawl space is this thing your brother wrote: “You’re right. I’ve seen it in pictures.” April, your brother recognized a wedding dress he has seen in a picture over 60 years old. Most men would have a hard time picking out their own wives’ wedding dress if asked to choose it among others. So, what is it with this dress? Does it have some kind of unusual shape or look to it? Is it exceptionally ugly? I have a hard time believing a person like your brother pays attention to any kind of detail like that.

    It’s obviously some kind of setup. The next thing you know, your brother is going to write something like, “Deanna was in the crawl space and found a bunch of leftover wedding invitations that can be easily altered to put in the names of Elizabeth and Anthony.” Or “Deanna found wedding reception food in the crawl space.” Or “Deanna found matching bridesmaids dresses and tuxedos in the crawl space.”

    Your brother should just admit what he’s up to. We all know that when your sister gets married, it is the duty of the parents of the bride to pay the bulk of the wedding expenses, and your mother is just coming up with some bizarre way of doing that and still managing to make herself look frugal. I fully expect your sister-in-law is going to look in that crawl space and find old airplane tickets that are still good and a hotel reservation in some resort which have not expired, since 1946.

    Your mother is not fooling anyone.

    Howard Bunt

  • At 2:26 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, i know ur bro iz rilly xxcited ‘bout ur sil goin’ thru the old stuff & findin’ things 4 ur sis’ weddin’ 2 the guy she lives w/ but who hazn’t evn proposed 2 her yet. i guess she’z gonna have “sumthin’ old & sumthin’ borrowed” covered w/that old dress.

    the rest of us were still tryin’ 2 figger out how that map rosario found in the crawl space of the mboro yoga centre haz 2 do w/modern day mboro. in case the peeps who read this, didn’t get it, it was a map w/ a big cinnamon bun, a plastic hand w/a pointin’ fingah, a model train, & a broken coffee cup. the librarian identified them az the pastry of choice @the country kitchen ovah @mayes midtown motors, 'the fickle finger of fate.' ur dad gave 2 ur bro wen he went 2 university, ur dad or duncan’s dad or keith enjo’s hobby, & the item most likely 2 hit ur dad’s head, respectively. then she loaned eva the book on patterson iconography.

    eva had the idea we shud prolly take a modern mboro map & then see if we cud line up the icons on the old map with the things on the new map. 4 example, we cud put the cinnamon bun where mayes midtown motors is. we all thought that wuz a gr8 idea, till sum1 sed, “well who’s gonna get the modern map?” the luis guzmán sed sumthin’ ‘bout how mexican refugees nevah used maps & eva started complainin’ ‘bout how wen u’ve lost ur home that a map is the least part of ur problems & duncan’s silhouette started off on how his unknown brother charles, who is 2 years older than he is, wandered off with a map years ago & has nevah been seen again & rosario started yellin’ sumthin’ thru the megafone 2 luis ‘bout sumtyme wen they were drivin’ sumplace & got lost ‘cuz he refused 2 ask 4 directions. so u drove me ovah 2 mr. singh’s store, & we got 1.

    i dunno if i have evah looked @a mboro map b4, believe it or not. it takes a little 2 get used 2. i mean it keeps movin’ closer or further away from toronto, & it also sumtymes seems like it jumps the border 2 the st8s, every once in awhile. i kinda got queasy lookin’ @it & thass y i hadda go 2 the washroom 2 vomit, eh?

    i guess the next person up shud b the 1 who figgered out how 2 match the 2 maps up, so thass gonna b duncan’s silhouette.

  • At 2:29 PM, Anonymous Duncan Anderson’s silhouette said…


    Continuing on from Jeremy’s note. Being a silhouette, you really appreciate the differences between shadows and smudges and nice white spaces where shadows can go. It was obvious to me looking at the map that the cinnamon bun went on Mayes Midtown Motors, the finger of fate went on the waterfront renovation think your dad worked on but no one talks about, the broken coffee cup goes over your old house, & the train goes over the spigot building where your dad works. That lined everything up perfectly. It was pretty obvious to me, from my silhouettish advantage.

    Of course, Luis and Jeremy had to argue that since no one knows about that waterfront renovation, it should not be included. Then you had your business about how a broken coffee could mean anyone, and not just your mom throwing one against your dad’s head. Everyone seems to think that just because I am a silhouette, I don’t have any good sense. Eva likes me, I think better than her old boyfriend, Duncan Anderson, who was always chasing after that Sandra Larson and who hardly ever writes stuff to you anymore now that he is living in Barbados. Not me. You can say because I am a silhouette, I know my place. Well, that’s true to a certain degree, I don’t like strong lights. You should remember that in Milborough, the silhouettes are a majority of the population and you could turn into a silhouette at any moment with any rhyme or reason to it, and then how would you feel?

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Silhouettes have rights!

    I just had to say that if you guys had listened to me, it wouldn’t have taken so long for everyone to realize how the two maps lined up and we could have checked out the treasure before we had to go to school. By the way, my grades are way better than Duncan Anderson’s were.

    Duncan Anderson’s silhouette

  • At 5:05 PM, Anonymous rosario said…


    All day long I have to listen to Luis say, “Chica. With you on the megaphone, we have enough people to have a band again. We’ll even do some of that anti-war music you like.” And I say to Luis over and over again, “A megaphone is not an instrument for a band.” And Luis says to me, “The way you use it chica, it is.”

    What? I’m supposed to write about the adventure with the map? Si. OK.

    After school, we looked at the map and there were some marks on it. We decided to try to find them. One was a dollar sign, which the shadow guy (Duncan, I think he said his name was) said had to be money. One of a picture of gold, which Luis said had to be jewelry. And the other was a picture of an old woman wearing beach wear. She looked like she wanted to be taken on a drawing table. Luis did not like that picture. He said it took el amor out of his soul.

    I know you wanted to find the old lady, but we wanted the money. So, you got outvoted even though you were saying things like, “It was my yoga class.” Don’t worry, your bf Jeremy voted with you. He’s not stupid.

    With the maps lined up, the money sign was on a place called Lakeshore Landscaping. Who’s supposed to talk next? OK. You can talk next, Luis.


  • At 5:10 PM, Anonymous Luis Guzmán said…


    Chica. That was a smart plan of yours. You talked to los dos hombres homosexuales the bosses at Lakeshore Landscaping, while the rest of us looked for el dinero. I did not know you knew los dos hombres homosexuales; but it was a good thing you did.

    One of them said, “El dinero is an illusive thing. We used to have all new plants, but that got to be too tiring. So we decided that once a month we would have new plants and then the other month we would have old plants. People didn’t like that. They wanted all new plants. They said the old plants were all rotten and they had already seen them before. So we decided to switch to new plants one week and old plants the other week. That way we get to take a vacaciones but we still get to keep el dinero."

    Then you said, “So there is no dinero here?” They said, “No. Only the illusion of money which comes from old plants.”

    They said some other things about weddings and your brother, which I did not hear. You can tell about them, if you want. It's your turn, April.

    Luis Guzmán

  • At 6:31 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    ugh, u r rite, rosario, that "old woman" pic was hella creepy.

    well, lawrence sed something abt how mike had called him and told him abt dee finding my grandma marian's old wedding dress in the crawl space. lawrence had been all, "ew, i remember that crawl space, it used 2 give me nitemares!" and it seemz he asked abt the preservation method used 4 the dress, and when mike told him it had been kept in just a plain ol' shoe box, lawrence gasped and sed the dress must have been a hot mess. and when mike told him it was in, like, perfect condition, lawrence sed he found all that v. suspicious but has learned not 2 delve 2 much.

    neway, u read abt the whole "new/old plants" thing. i asked what the whole $ thing cd mean if not actual $. lawrence kinda stroked his chin and sed, "i always kind of resented the way yr parents invested in gordon mayes's business but 4 me were just like 'atta boy' and mayB bought a plant now and then. and when nik and i helped yr brother move from the downstairs 2 the upstairs of his old building in toronto, he didn't even spring 4 beer or snacks. so i wonder if the dollar sign cd sumhow b abt a lack of money?"

    i shook my head and sed, "y wd a treasure map lead 2 a lack of money?" and lawrence suggested, "mayB not an actual lack of money but mayB an object that's sumhow rel8ed 2 a lack of money." i was like, "hm, that makes my head hurt!" but jeremy had been listening 2 what lawrence sed, and he was like, "w8! that's it!"

    i'll let jeremy tell the next bit.


  • At 1:05 AM, Anonymous michael patterson said…


    Formerly little sis. There comes a time in a man's life when you have to consider that your wife has gone crazy. Take this dress of Grandma Marian’s that Deanna found in the crawl space for example. After she found it, she became completely obsessed. I was dipping my tea bag into my coffee cup to get the best flavour out of it, when I saw Deanna had laid the dress out on the table, spreading it out and admiring it. She said, “I’m going to take this to the dry cleaners and see if they can spruce it up.” I said, “Really?” This was my way of saying, “Why do you want to spend money making a 60-year-old dress look good? It’s not like anyone will ever see it again.”

    Then Deanna grasped the dress in both hands and said, “Then, I’ll put it one of those pretty boxes with the window on top.” I held my tea cup with the usual Patterson pinky extended and said, “And then what?” This was my way of saying, “You’re going to put it in one of those boxes like they put pastries in the grocery store? Is it your plan to put the dress in the kitchen so people can look at it, while they are eating a doughnut?”

    Then Deanna gave me this strange look, where her nose and her mouth were starting to be grotesquely distorted. She said, “I don’t know! But, your grandmother’s wedding dress is far too precious to leave in the crawl space!!!” I suddenly went dark from one of those unexpected silhouettes, but while I was there, I started to wonder why it is that my wife, who barely got to meet Grandma Marian before she died, would suddenly be obsessed with her wedding dress. I know that Deanna has embraced the Patterson family and mom and rejected her own mother for the longest time. It never occurred to me that Deanna might also embrace my Grandma Marian and possibly reject her own grandmother too. This could even go back to even earlier generations. Maybe Deanna prefers my great grandmother to her great grandmother. Maybe the same is true of my great, great grandmother or my great, great, great grandmother. I tell you, April, I think there is no depth to which my wife would not sink in her quest to fully immerse herself in all things Patterson. I thought about discussing this particular aspect of her personally with my wife, but there were far more important things to be discussed. Manly things. I said, “So is my hockey gear!!” Considering all the discussion of frilly feminine things like wedding dresses, pastry boxes, and dead grandmothers; I felt it was time to bring up a man subject and there is no manlier subject than hockey. I’ll bet you forgot I even played hockey at one time, didn’t you, April?

    Well, my wife apparently had forgotten that, because she said to me, “But honey!...You never USE it!!!” She clutched that wedding dress to her bosom and I tried with all my might not to look at her bosom. And yet I did and I felt all my manly, hockey bravado melt away so I was just left with a dumbstruck look on my face, my coffee cup with tea in it and my extended pinky, and a strange feeling my nose had grown. I looked downward and sure enough, there was the cursive “Lynn” lined up with my manhood again.

    It is difficult to feel manly when your wife has gone nuts over something really girly.

    Michael Patterson


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