Throwback Thursday: The Gift

Photos have always been really important to me. It didn’t matter if I took them or someone else did, if they were technically “good” or quick, blurry snapshots – I’ve loved them. While I’m not terribly hoard-ish (yes, that’s a word; because I said so) in most areas of my life, I do hoard photos. I’ve got boxes of old pictures, some containing frame-worthy gems, others with envelope after envelope (from the stores that used to offer 1-Hr Photo Development! – remember those?!) of out-of-focus images, often in duplicate or even triplicate, of people and places whose names I can no longer recall.

Doesn’t matter. They’re photos and, like books or chocolate or Sauvignon Blanc, I simply cannot bear to part with them. This may seem odd or at least not terribly practical, given the amount of space that the physical photos take up in my basement and the digital photos take up on my hard drive(s)… but the pictures make me happy. All it takes is a few moments sifting through image after image to completely lift my spirits, make me gasp (in both good and bad ways), and make me smile. Which is also like books or chocolate or Sauvignon Blanc. I may be onto something.

GranMary came to visit a couple of weekends ago, and we had a really delightful time with her. As I’ve mentioned, little gives me more joy than seeing our family and friends just soak up my children, and GranMary’s visit provided plenty of opportunities for that. I loved the way that Annie and she giggled together on Friday night before Ella got home from swimming – a little time, just the two of them. I loved how I was awakened on Saturday morning by the girls’ raucous laughter from GranMary’s bed, after the girls had crawled in with glee. I loved how she and Ella cuddled in to watch one of the Harry Potter movies while Annie was at a Girl Scouts outing – a little time, just the two of them.

I loved watching Mary and my grandmother chatting away over lunch. I loved a chilly Saturday afternoon spent inside, with the girls scarcely leaving GranMary’s side as they did projects (she always brings some; it’s a highlight of her visits) and watched more Harry. I loved the opportunity to sit and talk with her after the girls had gone to bed, while Nick was at a party for his hockey team – a little time, just the two of us. I loved how GranMary gamely participated in our scavenger/egg hunt, seemingly unfazed by the dozens of children shrieking about our backyard in search of chocolate and money. (Then again, who could blame them?) I hated it when we said goodbye for another few months and Nick drove her back to the airport – a little time, just the two of them.

I hate that Bill is no longer here to come out and see us, but I love that Mary still does. I love that we’ve made our own relationship with her, in part because she is GranMary, but in part simply because she is herself, and we want her in our lives.

And Bill is not entirely absent from her visits; we talk about him all the time, wistfully, longingly, but almost always with laughter. This visit, GranMary surprised Ella and Annie with little photo books for each of them – pictures of them with Grandpa Bill. Many of the photos, I’d already seen, but some were new to me and they took my breath away. See, I thought I’d already sifted through my Memories Of Bill, had pored over everything I could recall, turning them over in my mind and reveling in their comfort… but here were moments that I’d never seen before. Memories that I never even knew existed.

It was amazing.

The girls loved their books, too. After going through each page, asking about every picture, smiling and laughing, I wasn’t sure what they’d do with them… But then I discovered that Annie had taken her book to school to share it with her friends, and that Ella keeps hers beside her bed. It seems that they’ve inherited my photo-loving gene (and the book-loving gene and most definitely the chocolate-loving gene; it remains to be seen what they think of Sauvignon Blanc).

Mary also brought a small collection of individual prints with her, which she gave to Nick and me – all pictures of Bill, most of them with us in one way or another. I’d seen nearly all of them, and cheerfully thumbed through the pile without really paying them too much mind… until I found this one and was stopped cold.

bill and me
Bill and me, May 2013, laughing like nobody’s business

Looking at it, you might be thinking: that’s cute enough. You’re both laughing, ice cream seems to have been involved, and you look like you’re having fun. A nice picture… if you don’t count the faded smudge at the top of the photo (an errant finger? late afternoon sun?) or Bill’s compression socks or the way the cuff of my capris is practically cutting off the circulation in my calves.

I see those things, too, but I don’t care even one bit… because this is the only photo I have ever seen that contains just Bill and me. We have photos from our wedding (Nick’s and my wedding, not Bill’s and my wedding… Although I do have photos from Bill and Mary’s wedding…), from before our wedding, up North, downstate, with Ella and Annie, with Nick, with Mary – and many of them are delightful photos – yet none of them contains just Bill and me.

Believe me, I know. I looked. Hard.

Why this matters, I’m not sure. It’s not like there’s anything unspecial about photos containing other people, too. But somehow, it gives me incredible joy to have this photo of the two of us, obviously enjoying one another’s company, laughing and generally getting a kick out of life.

I hadn’t even known this photo existed, hadn’t known that Mary had surreptitiously snapped it a year ago during Bill’s last-ever visit. I’m so very glad that she did, though, and that she printed it out and gave it to us. It is, without question, one of the most wonderful – and unexpected – gifts I’ve ever received.

I can’t wait to stumble upon it again when I go through our photos (and eat chocolate and drink wine) and relive the memories of that day.

Nah, scratch that. This one’s going on the wall.
Joy that big should be shared, don’t you think?

Throwback Thursday – A Score

May 1, 1994.

I don’t really remember many of the details. I was eighteen; he was nineteen. It was a Sunday, and the day was warm – or warm-ish, anyway. We both had wicked bangs.

We’d been crazy about one another for quite a while, had even shared those three magic words (no, I’m not talking about “Oh, thanks, Starbucks!”, although those three words are definitely magical), but – paradoxically – we’d never gone on a real date until now.

“Date” is a bit of a stretch here, too, because neither of us had a car and we weren’t about to spring for a cab, and public transportation was sorely lacking, so we were limited to whatever was within walking distance. He officially asked me to join him – on a date – and so I raced to my room to get ready. I don’t remember if I changed my clothes, although I do remember brushing my hair. I also distinctly remember that I wanted to ensure that I had fresh breath, but – considering that he was waiting for me downstairs – I knew I didn’t have enough time to brush my teeth, so I opted for mouthwash instead.

Except that the miniature, travel-sized bottle of green brew that I hastily grabbed did not contain mouthwash but shampoo (a fact that began to dawn on me as I tipped the bottle back – expecting the thin, Scope-y liquid to immediately flood my mouth – and… nothing… happened… because the shampoo was sloooowly oozing toward the opening of the container). I finally put two and two fully together as the very edge of the ablution reached my lips (but, thankfully, stayed clear of the rest of my mouth), leaving me squeaky clean – if not exactly minty fresh – for my suitor.

We got french fries (Cro Jos [Joes?], they were called, named for the student center in which we purchased them – the enormous wedge kind of fries that are actually a bit too dry and mealy, but which were the rage back then) and took them down to the amphitheater by the library. This was not exactly a hidden, private oasis, so there must have a reason why we chose this destination – other seating was full? Some event was going on? We were overly dramatic and liked the notion anything having to do with the theater? – but it escapes me now.

I have a decent enough memory, especially for “important” things, so you would think I would have a vivid recollection of such a pivotal event. But after the amphitheater… well, that’s pretty much all I remember. We talked. We laughed. Maybe we kissed? Yeah, there was probably kissing, and I probably spilled something on myself. The rest? I have no idea.

But that was the beginning – the unofficial, official beginning – and we haven’t looked back since.

us nyc
April 30, 1994

Twenty years, today. Nick and I have been together for twenty years.

Um, wow.

Which seems impossible, because twenty years was forever ago. And yet, looking at these photos, in some ways it feels like it just happened.

Twenty years. *blink*

Come to think of it, our first date pretty much set the tone for the rest of our relationship. We’re still talking. We’re still laughing. I am certainly still spilling on myself. Some days – hell, some individual moments – are so etched into my mind, I feel as though I can touch and taste them, like the shampoo on the tip of my tongue. The rest just blend together, a blur of I vaguely recall that this happened, the mostly-warm fries eaten on the grass, without anything standing out too particularly much… except that I know Nick was there with me.

Which is pretty much everything I could ask for.

I’m not looking for flashy Ta-Das and scrapbook-worthy (or, nowadays, Facebook-worthy) experiences, although those have been plentiful and much-appreciated (okay, I won’t lie – we’re totally going to Puerto Rico, just us, this summer to celebrate. French fries only take us so far, you know). I’m looking for someone who knows me better than anyone else, who can make me laugh more than anyone else, someone with whom I can share a look from across the room and just know that he knows.

It’s not always pretty, and it’s not always easy – but that’s okay, because the hard stuff is how we’ve gotten to where we are today. And it’s a good place. A really good place.

Especially since we’ve both ditched our bangs.

Can’t wait to see what our #TBT looks like in another twenty years.

us floralia
Floralia, 1994. We were both still sober at this point. I think.

Throwback Thursday: Carolina in my Mind

Nick and I have been coming to Kiawah Island for the past thirteen years. My dad and stepmom own a house here, less than an hour outside of Charleston, South Carolina, and we’ve been wonderfully fortunate enough to be able to visit almost every year.

That’s one year-old Ella, in case you were curious.

It’s a spot where time seems to stand still, where we know each curve of the road and every tree, where we feel ourselves almost physically settle in as soon as we arrive.


The girls looooove hanging with their Papa and Grand Meg.

Because we don’t live near our extended family, we spend most of our “vacation” days visiting parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins. It is always superb to see everyone, but between seeing friends and seeing the sights and getting special time with each grandparent, the trips are whirlwinds – happy, delightful whirlwinds – but not relaxing “vacations” in the traditional sense of the word.

I can’t quite stay away from the beach-from-behind shot.


Coming to Kiawah is truly a vacation. There is nothing to do here but unwind, let go, explore, and take it all in; and so… we do. We breathe more deeply. We sleep a little better. We eat deliciously. We get too much sun on our noses despite copiously reapplying sunscreen. We ride bikes. We get wet. We enjoy grandparent spoilings. We laugh a lot.

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We also eat lollipops as big as our heads.

We have been in Kiawah for the past five days; today, we head home. It’s never easy getting back on that plane, leaving the sand and the water and the spanish moss and the magnolia trees and the giggles and the hugs behind… But I know that we will be back.

10.04 sunset beach

Until then, I have scads of new photos to go through, plus hundreds of old ones to tide me over (see what I did there?), and more memories and blessings than I can possibly count.

Throwback Thursday: All Cold Things Must Come To An End

When the girls were babies, I remember being confounded time and time again. Their sleeping is bad! They cry for no reason! They think it’s funny to poop in the shower!

More often than I can recount, exasperation was met by the sage advice: Don’t worry. They won’t still be using pacifiers in college. It has to end sometime.

Half of the time someone uttered such a phrase, I wanted to knock their teeth out. They may not make it to college if she won’t stop shouting “fuggin'” at the top her lungs each time we go out in public. The other half, however, I found some sort of comfort and consolation in the idea that this, too, would pass. They would eventually sleep. They would stop crying for no reason. Pooping would be kept to the toilet. Maybe.

I’ve found myself offering similar statements when local friends talk about the weather. (Heck, I’ve found myself saying it to the checkout people at the grocery store; the weather is a hot topic of conversation here in the ROC, let me tell you.)

“OMG, more snow. More cold. THIS WINTER WILL NEVER END.”

Well, yes… Except I tell myself that summer will actually get here sometime. It will not be winter forever. So, even though I’m not so great with The Math, it has to end at some point, does it not??

I know this to be true. And yet, there are times when I need proof… and I can find it in my (oodles and oodles) of old photographs.

To wit: It was a deliciously warm St. Patrick’s Day back in 2011.
st patricks day girl4
Annie does her best, cheese four year-old smile.

st patricks girl4
Ella is six going on sixteen in this photo.
But the missing teeth give her away.

‘Twas so warm, in fact (by Rochester standards, anyway, which probably means it was about 60 degrees), that Ella took to lying on a towel outside in her pajamas to celebrate St. Pat’s in all her glory.
3.17 unexpectedly warm st pats
Yes, that’s an iPad, which should probably not be allowed outside – nature vs. technology and all. I like to be a rebel.

But then… While walking to the talent show on March 24th of the same year… There was snow.
3.24 walking to talent show
Have I mentioned how much I love living so close to school?

And on the 25th, there was this:
3.25 march storm
Annie’s like a robin flitting about in the corner. A large, loud, hilarious robin.

By two weeks later, however? Gone. And green. And spring.4.14 two teddies
April 14, 2011 – just hanging around.

So, spring will surely come. One of these days. It can’t be winter forever.

Saying naughty words while we’re out in public, though, is something Nick will still have to work on.

Throwback Thursday: Adorable Puppy! YOU KNOW YOU WANT ONE.

Exactly one year ago today, we welcomed our newest CCI puppy, Jambi, into our lives.

3.06 jambi arrives!
FYI – her name rhymes with ZOMBIE, not Bambi. This is important, folks, because rhymes-with-“Bambi” in a western New York accent is not a pretty sound.

It was love at first sight for Ella and Annie.

3.06 jambi arrives!2
Awaiting them when they got home from school…

And Langston, who’d returned to us from Advanced Training only a week earlier? Well, he needed no convincing to allow her into his life (and his bed. *ahem*).

jambi arrives16

jambi arrives19
jambi arrives25


Everyone always asks us how we do it (once they get over the adorableness and coolness of seeing a real live dog out and about in the library or at Target). How do we love these dogs as though they’re our own, and then give them away? My answer is simple: We are amazing, selfless, and basically role models for everyone around us. Duh.

After I’ve explained that, I go on to tell people that, once we saw what these dogs could do – once we saw how they could help people, how they can change lives, how they can give kids and adults alike hope and courage and freedom that they never dreamed possible – we couldn’t not do it. Does it suck, giving the dogs up after they’ve been part of our family for a year-and-a-half? Yes. It does. It hurts like hell. But that hurt is absolutely nothing compared with the joy that these dogs can potentially bring to others. On one of those scale-thingies (I suck at The Math, so just use your imagination), it’s not even close to being equal.

Of course, it’s not all sacrifice. Not by a long shot. Aside from having a cuddly, delicious, soft, apple-eating puppy in our lives, we also get to experience what it feels like to help someone else – and, I’m not gonna lie, that feeling is so incredible, it actually makes me feel almost selfish raising these dogs. I get to have a puppy AND feel this stupendous? This can hardly be legal.

When we got our first CCI puppy almost five years ago, my cousin – whose mom, my Aunt Lisa, has raised CCI puppies for years – commented to me that doing so was one of the best gifts we could ever give Ella and Annie, because raising CCI dogs changed her life. (She’s now an Advanced Trainer out in California, so I guess she knows what she’s talking about.) That wasn’t what we set out to do when we started down this path, but if that’s what winds up happening, then go us! Unintentionally instilling values, FTW!

We are currently the only family in Western New York who is raising puppies for CCI, and while that’s a somewhat neat distinction, I’d like to change it. My new goal is to convince at least one other local family to become puppy raisers before we turn Jambi back to CCI in August.

It’s worth it, I promise.

jambi arrives14

 Come on… You know you want to…

Throwback Thursday: Crazy Love

Just tonight, the girls were singing some of their old, favorite songs (while also asking me to put new ones on an iPad playlist for them), and I remarked that I vividly remembered some videos of them singing old, favorite songs of yore.

Back in 2008, when Ella had just turned three, one of the songs on Nick’s and my frequent-flier list was Van Morrison’s “Crazy Love”. I suppose it was only natural, then, that Ella would grow to love it, too.

new years day pensive
Just-turned-three and really feeling the colors.
She’s probably not wearing tight pants*, either.

* as seen earlier today on Facebook…

Ella, surely you have other pants you could wear to school. Your entire closet and dresser are full.
“But they’re not all right, mom.”

What makes them right?

“Well, they have to be like jeggings. You know, tight.”

Tight pants?

“That’s what every girl in 3rd grade wears. Leggings or jeggings or something like that.”

What if they’re not comfortable? What if they’re all dirty?

“They are comfortable, and that’s what washing machines are for. I could even wash them myself.”

How kind of you.

“I’m basically a tween now mom. These clothes are part of my identity.”

I don’t even want to think about what you just said.


annie hat
Just-turned-one and also really feeling the colors.
I don’t know if she’s even wearing pants.

So anyway – here’s Ella singing “Crazy Love”. We really did own a hair brush, and I even used it from time to time, but apparently the maybe-you’re-wearing-a-toupee look was all the rage

But, oh, the way her lips carefully form the word “love” each time. GAH!!
I cannot believe this girl is now nine. And finds her identity in tight pants.

Throwback Thursday: from angel to witch and everything in between

Okay, I can’t resist. Halloween brings out my nostalgic side, and looking through old photos makes me all misty. Plus also I’m so hopped up on sugar, everything seems super shiny and amazing. So I’m sharing these.

Nine Halloweens and counting.

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 10.21.55 PM
Angel Ella. Or, as I called her, Ange-ELLA. Get it? *cough.sorry*

Carving the pumpkin FROM THE BOTTOM.

Pumpkin guts are nasty, no matter from where you scoop ’em.

Tinkerbell. Or… TinkerbELLA???

Oh! Those teeth!

Tiger girl.
Or perhaps… TigerELL… Never mind.

She’s the same size as the pumpkin!
Well, the big pumpkin, anyway. Not the one in her hand. That’s just weird.

Fall fairies.
They’d worn the tutus in their aunt and uncle’s wedding a few weeks prior, so poof! Fall fairies it was.

See? I love me some pumpkins.
And we always open up the garage for the neighborhood. With booze.

Photo shoot with a “cute cat” (who’s being a little suggestive with the pumpkins) and a witch, version 1.0.

10.31 halloween
Looking slightly more disheveled – and giddy – on actual Halloween night.

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The year that Ella eschewed ALL COSTUMES because they itched.
Thank God for skeleton pajamas and fun hair accessories.

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10.31 ready to trick or treat
‘Twas a bit colder on Halloween eve… Poor Minnie’s in a turtleneck…

halloween2011 3
Some singing girl from some famous movie, and Maleficent (aka Witch 2.0), from ‘Sleeping Beauty’.
First time ever, I sewed both girls’ costumes (not Ella’s hat, though).
Last time, too. I don’t sew. No, really.

halloween girls3
Ado Annie (okay, she was a cowgirl, but I’m calling her Ado Annie) and a Winter Fairy.
With a broken foot.

Unexpectedly needing a wheelchair on Halloween? TOTALLY GETS YOU BONUS CANDY.

Okay, they’re not “throwbacks,” but I’ll include these anyway…

halloween spread
The size of the garage display has grown.
So has the number of pumpkins we decorated and carved. More on that later.

halloween 2013
Presenting… the Ice Witch and a Candy Corn Fairy Princess.

And… As long as we’re talking throwbacks – here are some REAL throwbacks…

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Yep, me on the left and my forever BFF, Kiki, on the right.
Circa 1978. Gotta love the yarn “wig.”

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 11.23.00 PM
Circa 1982.
Yet again with the witch thing. Now I know where Ella gets it.
Not sure if my brother was officially the Lone Ranger, or just a cowboy, but we rocked the Unicef collection boxes.

Throwback Thursday: It’s the time of the season

Fall is my favorite season. The color just explodes from the branches, and the heat -unnecessary for so many months – smells so very good coming out of the vents. (Side note: why do people resist turning on the heat or using their air conditioning?? What’s with the odd sense of pride behind It got down to 58 in the living room and Little Rodney had to put on three sweaters, but we still didn’t cave and turn on the heat! ? Admittedly I could be wrong here, but I’m pretty sure that heat and air conditioning were invented to help make us comfortable. Same way I’ll turn on the A/C the instant I begin to sweat, once we get out of bed in the morning and wonder if we’ll make it to the bathroom without developing frostbite, it’s time to warm things up. That whole Spartan thing doesn’t really work for me.

Come to think of it, history kind of failed the Spartans, too. THERE IS NO SHAME IN TURNING ON THE HEAT, people. Go ahead. Press that button. It will all be okay.)octobersweetie

Fall means the return of fires after dinner and leaf piles big enough to dive in (even if you’re nearing forty. Not that I’d know). Starbucks takes mercy on us and brings back Pumpkin Spice lattes and the greatest potable creation of all time, the Salted Caramel Mocha.  I collect pumpkins the way some people collect stamps (do people still collect stamps? If not, this is a really poor metaphor; let’s just say that a dozen pumpkins are simply not enough), and fall allows me to indulge my collection. Entire Pinterest pages are devoted to possible carving creations, and the time searching for those pins is not wasted, my friends.


Apples always taste better when they’ve come straight from the orchard. Especially if they’re from the trees in our own yard and you’re one of our dogs; then, the apples are downright irresistible.

Fall brings Halloween, which means the start of decoration season. The girls now squeal with delight when the enormous bins are brought up from the basement. I swear, I did not ask them to do this; they simply love decorating as much as I do. Actually, it can get a little scary: they remember exactly where the jack-o-lantern candlesticks go, and if I even consider changing the location of the little “The Witch is In” placard, they will cut me.


The first true frosts are upon us (ours was last night), creating spiderwebs of icy delight in the mornings, and making it no longer necessary to don rain boots in order to protect gym sneakers on the walk to school.
first frost annie

We know that the chilly temperatures mean Thanksgiving will soon be upon us, and then December, the most highly anticipated month of them all.
annie driveway

Fall brings cinnamon and cider. It brings pumpkin donuts and the hint of snowflakes. It brings crafts and leaf collecting. It brings cocoa and cookies. It brings baseball playoffs and football weekends. It brings new gloves and hats and warming up the car in the mornings. It brings wonder. It brings promise. It brings hope.


It also brings a crapload of candy. THE PEANUT BUTTER CUPS ARE MINE.
All mine.

When Nick was out of town, I’d pass the evenings by interviewing the girls. And having a glass of wine. But not at the same time… usually.
Ella’s two years and ten months here. No, she wasn’t hoarse. Her voice was just that awesome.

Throwback Thursday: Fresh

When we moved into our house in the summer of 2007, we knew that we were inheriting an amazing collection of flower gardens.

new house pose
July 2007. GAH, those grins!

There were black-eyed susans, daisies, purple cone flowers, three varieties of roses, countless lilies in every shade, gladiolas (my favorite), hyacinth, and oodles of other flowers whose names I still have yet to learn. Thinking that perhaps the gardens were limited to flowers, we thrilled to discover the five edible apple trees, a strawberry patch, and a bunch of raspberry bushes in the side yard.

pick 'em
Raspberry in three year-old fingers.

In 2009, we expanded the gardens ourselves, planting a small vegetable garden just outside of the garage. I had no idea what I was doing, but, even at four and two, the girls seemed to enjoy it… especially when we actually got around to eating what had been planted months ago.

7.22 first carrots
I do believe these are the only successful carrots we’ve ever harvested.

7.30 our own corn!
Growing your own corn makes you feel exceptionally awesome.

Every year since then, the garden has grown; this year, I even dug out a large area of grass to make more room (a process akin to approximately 438 hours of hardcore working out; I do not recommend it), ultimately tripling our planting space. I still have absolutely no idea what I’m doing, neither with the flowers nor the food — anything that successfully grows (and can actually be eaten, holla!), I attribute to dumb luck and ADHD-induced midnight watering — and the puppy got behind the fence and ate all of our cantaloupe plants last week (stinker!), but it’s oddly satisfying to step out into the yard and come in with a gorgeous bouquet, a bowlful of berries, or veggies to cook for dinner.

Especially when one has a penchant for thinking the necessary mealtime items were purchased and then discovering, during dinner prep, when the children are ravenous and I’m pouring more wine into my mouth than the pot, that they’re nowhere in sight.
Fresh baseball-bat sized zucchini, anyone?

new house



Throwback Thursday: Graffiti, Grammar, and Giggles

Yesterday’s post about my experience during my LEAP summer got me thinking about the many other stories that came out of those two months – some poignant, some sad, others tremendously funny. I then remembered one of my favorite photos from those days in the housing project, and decided it was too fantastic not to share.

If memory serves, the apartment complex consisted of three residential buildings with one “common” area as well. Living there* was an eye-opening experience, to say the least. There was shouting at all moments of the day and occasional gunshots at night. A distinct, unpleasant odor permeated the indoor public areas. The elevators had buckets in the corner, because it’s better to have urine in a container than on the floor. Graffiti lined every wall. We put duct tape facing outward on our bed frames to catch the roaches before they skittered up and into our sheets; more than once, I awoke to find one stuck, legs still kicking.

(*I am talking about the physical space, not what it was like, emotionally, living there, nor what it was like to live so near my beloved campers. Just the buildings themselves. And the smell.)

Right outside of our apartment door, which was on a fairly high floor — the 9th, maybe? — was the door to the trash chute. Every time we threw away our garbage, or really, every time we entered our apartment, we came face to face with this scribbled missive:

raymond aint

Okay. I could have found it depressing – the graffiti and all. Or maybe threatening, considering that  Raymond was so directly “targeted.” Or some sort of commentary on life in the projects.

But, come on – there’s graffiti everywhere, even at my daughters’ elementary school (although probably not quite like this). And really? I just find it hilarious.

Firstly, it amuses me that Raymond – who, I assume, is male – is insulted using derogatory terms typically aimed at females. I also chuckle at the capital B; clearly, the message writer meant business. (See also: the three exclamation points at the end. I MEAN IT!!!)

Secondly, the grammar nut in me is tickled that Raymond is identified as a gardening tool. I imagine that the insulter intended to refer to him as a slut… but perhaps I’m wrong. (I also recognize the irony of me grammatically analyzing the use of slang, but my awkward geekiness just makes it funnier, no?)

And finally – speaking of grammar – the misspelling of ain’t makes me laugh out loud. Well, maybe I giggle rather than laugh outright, but still… Whoever wrote this was DETERMINED to use the word ain’t (clearly, isn’t or is not would not have sufficed), but somehow knew it just didn’t look right.

anit… No, that’s not it…

an’t… Damn it, I know there’s an apostrophe in here, but this is still not right!


If you can’t find humor after riding up a urine-filled elevator to your roach-filled apartment, where can you find it?