Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Pony Ain't Got Nothing to Bitch About No More, So, Sorry Mom

Now that I have moved to the Nicest Neighborhood in Westchester, I really don't have much to be mad about anymore. Since moving in, we have totalled:

1 banana bread with chocolate chips
1 apple pie
1 champagne (still chillin')
1 bottle white wine (large, already gone)
1 offer to come and take whatever perennials we need from neighbor's garden
1 offer to walk into other neighbor's house at any time of day or night and take whatever we need
1 invitation to a delightful Sunday evening "ice cream social" down the block
1 invitation to a delightful kids' pool party complete with wine for adults
Umpteen visits from neighbors who have "popped by" to welcome us
1 promise to host a "beer and hotdogs" welcome party for us with "the works"

What is a Pony to do in such an environment? Accuse these nice people of a sinister, Stepford-esque quality? I thought about it, my faithful readers, and I still might go there. But not today.

Seeking a victim at which to poke gentle fun, I shall turn to my dear mother. She is visiting from out of town this week and is, I must say, an enormous help. Almost 80, she's been out in the yard chopping at bushes with big loppers, tearing at weeds, and dragging the refuse to the curb (yes, I tried to stop her). When not engaged in this activity, I have caught her sweeping, scrubbing at the kitchen floor, tidying toys, and poking and prying into every drawer and closet in the house.

My mother is a Nosy Parker of the highest echelon, perhaps the Grand-Dame Poobah of Nosy Parkers in the Western Hemisphere. If your dresser drawer is a millimeter open, that's an invitation to peep inside. Maybe she'll find a pack of cigarettes! Or birth control! Or a diary containing lurid descriptions of smoking and indulging in activities that require birth control!

She also has many opinions. Among them:

"That front porch is downright dangerous. I don't feel comfortable walking on that porch. You ought to do something about that right away." [The front porch is sagging and will one day cost us 30K to fix. Right on that, mom!]

"Your oven is a problem. Why, you can't even tell what temperature it is. How on earth can you bake anything? Something might get too hot and GO UP IN FLAMES. That could be dangerous! Here, let me tinker with the dial and fix it!" [The flimsy dial pops off and I can no longer get the oven to go on. I eventually fix it after much tooth-gnashing.]

"The screaming these children do. It's frightful! MY children never made such a fuss, not once! I have no recollection of behavior this awful! I am embarrassed. The neighbors are going to wish you had never moved here! Maybe you ought to close all the windows?" [When I questioned the validity of "my children never made such a fuss" she finally admitted that her eldest son had had "one or two tantrums" as a toddler. I know this fellow and I believe he had more than one or two button-popping incidents as a tiny youth.]

"The baby's spit-up looks rather phlegmy. And he spits up SO MUCH. Do you think there might be something wrong with that? Maybe you should mention it to your doctor. [I tell her that the doctor and I spoke at length about the spittling infant.] Well, maybe you should mention it to your doctor AGAIN. It can't hurt!"

Meanwhile, my dear neighbors watch her valiantly hacking at the weeds in the hot sun, unable to resist the call of duty. She fits right in, they say. She's so durned helpful and nice!


Anonymous said...

Lean times for the vitriol-spewing Pony when she has to attack her dear auld mater! The new locale sounds like heaven on earth, despite the crazed demands of the K and pre-K community for event organizing. No rubber duck race in the nearby stream? No "Walk for Darfur!"? No "Go Green!" mulch parties? Say, them little bugginses ain't tryin' to sell that shoddy Play-Doh spaghetti on the street, is they??

Old NH

Anonymous said...

Jenny! Welcome to the neighborhood. You won't regret leaving New Ro. Having grown up there, I feel I have every right to say that. Now, I know your mother has been around all weekend and you don't need any more 'advice', but let me just say this abut that : stop volunteering for stuff. It's a black hole. Just be yourself, and don't take no guff from those nail salon babes. Your husband has it right- he knows you better than you know yourself- All the best-New Ro expat

Jenny Phresh said...

The neighborhood gifts continue. We have recently been given a bag of homemade cookies and some beautiful heirloom tomatoes.