Our first microwave did not show up in the kitchen until 1993. It’s not that we’re slow. We just wanted everyone else to try them out first. Same with the DVD player that we finally purchased out of desperation once they quit carrying those chunky VHS tapes at Blockbuster. It hasn’t been that long since we ditched the 300 pound wood grain TV set for a flat screen. And I didn’t have a Facebook account until about two years ago. Sweetbuns still doesn’t have one! So, it shall come as no surprise that we did not own a webcam for our PC until just this week.
I don’t think I’ve been so excited and anxious waiting on anything since my Mom put the cereal box tops and a dollar in an envelope and sent it off for my “free” Woody Woodpecker whistle. It felt like I waited by the mailbox for months.
And why you ask, was I so excited about a silly little webcam?
So we can visit with Punky while she’s at college, of course!
Although I knew good and well that package would be arriving by UPS, I checked the mailbox every evening last week. One day, I checked it twice. About 3 times a night, I opened the front and side doors just to make sure our UPS dude hadn’t left it on the porch.
Our UPS dude is Tommy. (Names have been changed to protect the innocent here!)
I honestly cannot say UPS handler or UPS man or UPS person. It has to be dude. And after that “bend and snap” scene in the movie, Legally Blonde…Well, have we ever looked at UPS dudes the same since?
I have known Tommy since we were about 12 years old because our fathers were good friends. But, I think the last time I saw him was when we were about 18.
That was until I realized that the UPS dude sure looked familiar.
Oh, the reunion we held in the front yard! We shared a big hug. I think I jumped up and down. I could not wait to call Dad and tell him, and I emailed Tommy’s dad.
And of course the neighbors were watching, wondering why I am so friendly with the UPS dude.
Tommy feels at home in our neighborhood. He knows who is usually at home. He knows which doors are best for leaving deliveries. Sometimes he’ll come looking for you if you don’t answer the door.
He once found me in my back yard with my head stuck in a boxwood shrub. (If you must know, I was quietly spying on some newly hatched baby blue jays.) When he yelled my name…well, let’s just say I’m glad I had an empty bladder.
He also once surprised my next door neighbor. But I think it surprised him more. She was sitting on her couch in front of the French doors enjoying the view of her back yard. Tommy, thinking they weren’t home, carried a package to that door. How could he have known that she had just finished nursing her new son and was “airing her boobs,” as she calls it, with her shirt completely open?
There’s never a dull moment in our neighborhood…or, at least in a neighborhood where we are living.
Not long after we moved in, while unpacking I found Punky’s Tweety Bird rod and reel. It had a chunky, yellow plastic fish for a child friendly “hook” and I couldn’t resist casting it out into the yard and reeling it in. I soon realized that the neighbor’s cats were very interested. This was the beginning of a game I call Fishing for Cats. It became great afternoon entertainment, and was a wonderful bonding tool for me, Chigger, Milk Bone and Gracie Peanut.
This is how I met our across the street neighbor for the first time. He was just standing in his yard watching. Too bad he also witnessed me talking to the cats while we played. Between this and the fish funerals, I’m pretty sure they wonder about our sanity.
We left our old neighborhood with the same questions.
But first, you need some background info:
Punky has always enjoyed painting faces and playing dress up. It was never uncommon to see one of us working around the house with a clown face, or a strange hat. No one was immune to dress up time, not even our dog Sugar Bear, who often sported a tutu and pink feather boa.
Sweetbuns was great about letting Punky paint his face.
He is also a deep sleeper.
Deep sleeper + family members who love face paint and dress up = prank time!!!
Okay, back to the last neighborhood…
Mr. W. lived next door.
He had already witnessed a couple of odd incidents. One of them involved me and a half-dozen I’ve been Krogering! stickers that were placed on my rear end without my notice. (Thank you, Punky.) The next, I can hardly talk about here, but it involved a bra. And me. Me and my bra.
The best incident that Mr. W witnessed though, shall go down in the family prank history book for generations. We joke that it did him in, as he sold his home not long after.
Sweetbuns fell asleep on the couch one night. Punky proceeded to paint not only his fingernails, but also his toenails.
She put little stick on green frog earrings on each of his earlobes. Together, we placed a few toddler size hair clasps in his hair. (You know the kind…bright colorful plastic, molded into the shapes of bows and cute dogs.)
Punky added blush. (I know…I can’t imagine sleeping through this make-over, either, but when Sweetbuns is out, he’s out.) To top off the look, Punky found an old bridesmaid dress in the dress up closet (Yes, we had a dress up closet!) and placed it on top of him before we snapped a photo.
Blush did not wake him, but the flash did. He threw off the dress and got off the couch. We were in hysterics laughing at him. He obviously thought it was all about the dress, since he had been a victim of this prank before.
All of us got ready for bed. Sweetbuns had not seen a mirror when he did the manly thing of looking out the front door before locking up for the night.
This was when he discovered there was a police car in our cul-de-sac. Mr. W. was talking to an officer, along with another man and woman, whose car was close by.
I don’t know…Maybe I would have stopped him before he went out there, had I known.
But I was brushing my teeth.
He said when he walked up to the small gathering, everyone stared at him, but he didn’t think anything about it.
Evidently, the couple had called the police and they were out searching the area for an elderly relative that had wandered off.
Sweetbuns said everyone really looked at him funny when he, being the caring person he is, asked the police officer, “Does she have a history of mental illness?”
After the couple and the police left, Mr. W. just stared at Sweetbuns, standing there, not knowing he had on make-up, hair clasps and earrings.
Mr. W.: You have something in your hair.
(Sweetbuns raked his hand through his hair to find 3 clasps.)
Mr.W.: And on your face…
They said their goodbyes and Sweetbuns came in to look in the mirror. This was when he discovered his pink nail polish.
And the blush
And the earrings
Most of the time, Sweetbuns is a good sport about our pranks.
This one did not set as well.
Still, dress up and pranks are a part of our household. Weird I know. I try to contain my dress up habits for the one day of Halloween, but I had another occasion that I felt I should dress up for recently…
My first Skype session with Punky.
We knew from the website that our webcam was due to arrive on Monday. When I got home that night, I checked both porches and the deck. I began to feel sad, thinking I wouldn’t be able to visit with my girl, when finally I heard the roar of the UPS dude’s truck.
I ran out the door and met Tommy in the front yard and began tearing that box open while we chatted. I could not get rid of him quick enough.
I was giddy.
I could not wait to talk to Punky, almost in person, by way of this new contraption of a camera.
Earlier I had thought I’d let Sweetbuns set up the new webcam. No! I could not wait! SO, I figured it out myself. Well, with some directions texted by Punky.
While waiting for her to get back from the dining hall to her room so we could Skype, I could not sit still and just kept laughing out loud with joy and anticipation. I decided to take this time to dress up.
The dress up closet has been reduced to a large plastic container in the corner of a closet. I rummaged through and found:
Fairy wings (from the latest Harry Potter movie release night when Punky dressed as a Golden Snitch)
A “Hollywood Scarf” that my mother wore in the mid ‘60’s
A plastic princess crown with “diamonds”
I was set.
Next thing I knew, I was visiting with Punky like she was sitting across from me at the dinner table! Just WHAT would Ben Franklin think? I love technology, even if I discover it a tad later than most.
Punky just about died of laughter when she saw me. The first thing out of her mouth was, “MOM! Do you have on my fairy wings?” Indeed. I do. Someone has to wear them, right? No need for them to go to waste!
I am a Skype Junkie in the making. I love this way to communicate with my child while she is 1,000 miles away at college. Punky looks happy and healthy. I got a tour of her room and visited with her roomie. Bella Bunny said “hello.” It was a joyous occasion. (Oh, I could NOT stop giggling and laughing and touching the screen.)
I can read my child’s texts and emails, but I can’t really read her without seeing her in person. Skype is the next best thing. It is just what every empty nest needs.
Wishing you clear Skypes and happy days of fun,
P.S. NEVER fall asleep with a prankster in the house!