Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It's Complicated

Have you ever woken from a dream that seemed so reasonable that you then had trouble disentangling yourself? This morning was one of those mornings as I was startled awake by my children joining me under the covers with my ipad, curling their icy toes against my legs.  My dream was so perfectly ordinary that I had this weird sense of vertigo as if I were juggling two bits of reality in my mind.  Grocery shopping brought me fully back into my day though, I never dream about grocery shopping.

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A gorgeous birthday present from a sweet sis in law
I was driving Chloe to school and I caught a whiff from my jacket of garam masala.  (I have a bad habit of leaving my coat thrown over a chair in the kitchen while I'm cooking and then going out in public smelling faintly of whatever was on the menu.  Sometimes, I even cook in my coat, and that's even worse.) Anyway, it reminded me of this time in Texas.  We were looking for a house to rent, and not finding anyone who would consider us because of our big beautiful German Shepherd, so our realtor suggested Frank's house.  Frank drove an older Mercedes that was immaculately maintained, he was short, thin, and fastidiously dressed.  He looked very Baptist-close cropped hair, respectable, with khakis and a polo shirt. As he walked us through the property and explained what he expected from a renter, we began to get a glimpse inside Frank's head.  The house was for rent because the previous tenant wasn't keeping his bargain of maintaining the property according to Frank's standards. A fact that he became aware of when he was doing a drive by of the property and got a feeling. As owner of the property, it was perfectly reasonable to drive up at any time and demand to look inside, and since the guy wasn't keeping it clean enough, Frank kicked him out.  The garage was carpeted so that his daughter (he was a single parent) had a place to play when she had friends over so that he didn't have to worry about them spilling something in the house. (He was extraordinarily proud of his solution to the issue of kids in the house, and suggested that it would be a great place for our kids to play as well.) I'm not sure at what point my politeness started sloughing off into incredulity, but the curry powder pushed me over the edge. Straight faced, Frank said that we would need to also sign a contract stating that we would never use curry powder.  Curry powder, not even once?! It offended him, he said, and I read all sorts of things into that comment. (Houston has a very large Indian population and not everyone enjoyed the diversity) Chris, knowing that my overly sweet tone marked how clearly I was dangling on the precipice of a verbal onslaught, hurriedly propelled us out the door with a bland, "We'll talk about it".  The moral of the story is that we didn't rent from Frank, and sometimes I still wish I could sneak into his house and offend him with some curry, and maybe a few crumbs in the carpet.

Oh, and in case this post was not quite random enough, we have decided on a country to adopt from.  But I don't feel like writing anymore, so I guess I'll spill the beans later.