Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Weird stuff in my house

Growing up, I think you just get used to all the weird stuff your family has in their house. It's only when you come back for a visit years later that you notice that maybe some things aren't...quite...normal.

Is it just me, or do everyone's parents have a vintage sewing machine in their front hall?

I think it wasn't until I had my very own silverware after getting married that I realized that it's not normal for every single spoon to be bent back to a certain degree. I think that's why I hated emptying the dishwasher so much - the spoons never spooned properly.

Wooden ducks on the fireplace? Normal? Anyone? This thing has been there for as long as I can remember.

Here's a two-in-one: a large pile of almost-rotting fruit and vegetable waste waiting to go out to the compost pile (complete with buzzing fruit flies); and a picture of an old, dead ancestor. Those things are everywhere in this house.

Liquid soap OR soap dish, mom. I don't think you can have it both ways.

Some of you may remember the diarrhea box. What I failed to notice at the time was that pasted to the door of the medicine cabinet is a newspaper article describing a home remedy for - you guessed it - diarrhea. What is going on here??

Does anyone else go home rarely enough that the kind of idiosyncrasies we grew up with suddenly become apparent?


Amanda said...

I think I noticed more the odd things in my in-laws house. My parents had moved a few times and had possibly decided that the wooden ducks were superfluous. While Tyler's mom doesn't have the newspaper clipping of diarrhea remedies, she has the school calendar from Tyler's elementary school (as in, when the vacation days were) taped inside her medicine cupboard in her kitchen.

Liz Johnson said...

Does your mom have those weird grapes? I swear every house on my mother's side has them. Apparently they were the way-cool thing to do in RS back in the 70's... like their version of vinyl lettering or something.

JackJen said...

my parents have a concrete goose. does that count?

JackJen said...

p.s. has your mom seen these thingies? (Sorry, I'm not so savvy as to be able to link the word 'thingies.')

My family uses them and they're RAD.

Susanne said...

Cute post...ha, ha. I think my ILs have some wooden ducks around their fireplace.

Also my ILs have an antique spinning wheel in their living room. So the sewing machine doesn't seem too strange.

I especially laughed at the liquid soap in the soap dish. :-)

trishtator said...

Hey Bridget!

(Hi, by the way, long time no talk :).

Your writing cracks me up.

I had to post because my parents just moved into a new house, following a small apartment, following their mission to Belgium, which had followed the selling of my teenage home.

I helped my parents move some of the stuff they had already boxed from the apartment to the new house. I counted numerous boxes of things that came from my dad's office are that were just...weird. Old, and weird. Like a box of "reels" from some long-forgotten tape system.

Well, the best part is my parents have, in the coat closet of their new house, two paper mache dinosaurs made by my brothers. One painted blue (a stegosaurus, no less, a serious feat of artistry), and one unpainted. I was there the other day, and the unpainted one was made with newspaper. August 11, 1986 - ads for houses for sale. My family moved into a new house in the summer of '86 - and now we have proof of the house hunt.

My favorite activity when visiting my parents in their new house is to leave a paper mache dinosaur on the mantle at some point. The best part is sometimes hearing my mom, when I'm in the other room, say "now how did that thing get out of the closet again?"

I love it!

I'm also glad to know someone else's house has fruit flies, compliments of my compost pile.

Robinsonfamily said...

My parents have plenty of wooden ducks. And even some on their fire place as well.

Bridget said...

Are you guys serious about the wooden/concrete ducks?? Was it part of some greater decorating trend that I have been unaware of until now?

I'm so glad to hear that I'm not the only one with weird stuff around my parents' house.

What are these weird grapes of which you speak, Liz?

Lilianne said...

My parents have the grapes - but they were passed down from my great-grandmother and they are AWESOME -- so, I don't know if I'd classify them as ugly. I'm in line to inherit them. They are pink and oh-so-fabulous! Maybe I just have bad taste? (I guess I have seen some pretty ugly ones, come to think of it...) In the old days, for homemaking, they'd blow their own glass grapes. Why don't we do stuff like this anymore?

My mom TOTALLY has the big bowl of rotting fruit! So classic. We call it the "rotting bowl" and always comment about how it's a black hole for fruit. Once the fruit is in, to its grave it goes...

Love the soap! Hilarious.

Fromagette said...

Well, my parents and my in-laws have a vintage sewing machine in their homes, though the one at my parents home was my great-grandma's (more of a reason to have it, I suppose). However, I have yet to see a wooden duck.

Kristen said...

I love this post! I actually remember thinking about all of the weird stuff in my house even when I lived there. Most of my family's furniture was a mish-mash from garage sales, etcetera, and it wasn't until I was a teenager that I noticed how ugly it all was. Our kitchen towels were of rust and mustard (before that was cool again), and we ate from melmac plates well past the "our children are too young to get out the breakable dishes" phase.

Your family must eat a lot of ice cream...right out of the carton...with those spoons.

My grandparents have the wooden ducks on the fireplace, but they are painted all fancy to looks like real ducks. Sorry, Mrs. W.

At my parents' house the rotting fruit equivalent is the "chicken bucket" where ALL leftovers are deposited to be fed to the chickens. But it doesn't get left around rotting, and it's a recent addition in their new home with chickens, so it doesn't really apply to this analysis. Sorry.

The bathroom capers at your house are just hilarious. Do your parents mind you posting photos of their intimate spaces (diarrhea cupboard, for one) on the internet for all manner of acquaintances to muse over and poke fun at? I'm not telling you to stop, because some of my best laughs have been at the expense of those tawdry photos.

jane said...

My parents totally have a vintage sewing machine in the front hall..

Mikael said...

This is too funnY! Does your mom get offended at your posts like this? My mom would! i have to avoid posts making fun of my moms house (although I think she does an ok job)

Anna said...

I feel like I need to buy some wooden ducks.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

No offense taken Mikael. I can laugh at myself. But I"ll go through this picture by picture.

Antique sewing machine? It's all about ambiance.

The spoons came that way.

Wooden duck--see 'ambiance'. Besides, my grandkids like to ride on it.

Compost bowl--I took it out last night so I wouldn't call it rotting. Everything in there was deposited less than 24 hours ago. Jen, I've seen those nice buckets, but if I hid my rinds in one of those it might not get taken out as often.

Soap dish--so what?

Diarrhea article--haha that's funny, but in the pre-internet days we depended on newspapers for information so I have old articles taped inside many cabinet doors. It just occurred to me today that this is no longer necessary. However, Bridget's point is to ask, why so much emphasis on diarrhea prevention in my house? Answer: we had 5 kids.

I remember odd things in my folk's house too. When they moved ten years ago, my sister found a couple of amusing items in their stuff: a luggage tag they had saved that had the address on it of a house they hadn't lived in for 20 years; second, she found a package of Hershey baking chocolate in their cupboard with no UPC code on the box!! Am sure UPC codes were started way back in the 60s.

Sadly, I am just a few years too young to have made the Relief Society bunch-o-grapes. Lots of my friends still display them which brings out the laughs.

I'm bracing myself for another expose' tomorrow.

Jennette said...

My parents had the sewing machine, but in the guest bedroom. And their best friends had the ducks. Lots of wooden ducks. My mom has a list taped inside a cabinet that I love -- "Things to do instead of watching TV." I am going to have a list like that someday in tribute.

Susanne said...

Your mom is SUCH a good sport! :-)

Liz Johnson said...

Here's a picture of the weird grapes. Weird. My grandma and aunts and MIL all have them.


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