You Are Lemon Meringue Pie
You're the perfect combo of sassy and sweet.
Those who like you have well refined tastes.

Lemon meringue pie. I am so ridiculously amused.

I need to get out more, huh?


can somebody please find me a drool bucket?

Excuse me, I'm swooning...



Okay. I'm better now.


Mr. Lemony is one of the good guys. Sure, he's occasionally (frequently) clueless, but he's well-intentioned and thoughtful. I always know where he is and what he's doing. He doesn't make plans without running them by me first. He's a kick-ass dad, and for some strange, inexplicable reason he loves me. I mean the dude brings me popsicles when I'm sick. He's just a nice guy.

He's also, um, boring.

He loves sports, which is cool because I've been known to scream my head off at a baseball game myself, but I mean he loves sports. Some women are golf widows. Not me. Me? I'm a football widow.

Go Pats. Ahem. Go Seahawks?

He's analytical. He insists there is a scientific or mathematical explanation for everything. Now I'm not necessarily disagreeing, but damn it, I don't always want to know why the stars shine, you know? Sometimes I just want to look at them and marvel at how amazing the universe is without hearing about gas and flame and the speed of light.

He loves technology. He talks about pixels and megapixels and Sling boxes and HDTV TiVo and megabytes...


Ooooops...sorry, pardon me.

When Lemony Teen was still a Lemony Preteen, her English teacher gave them a project. Letters were assigned numerical values, with A being worth 1 point, B being worth 2 points, and so on down the alphabet with Z at 26 points. She had to figure out at least two words that equaled exactly 100 points. We had fun with it, coming up with obscure words and doling out points. Mr. Lemony? He wrote a computer program and found every 100 point word in the English language within five minutes.

No, I'm not kidding.

Now, me? I love art. Music. Poetry. You know, all the stuff Mr. Lemony scoffs at because it's not SCIENCE! MATH! GO PATS!! so when a guy like James Blunt comes along I simply must take a moment to swoon. I love Mr. Lemony, but I'd be lying if didn't admit that I'm occasionally surprised to find myself married to a guy who is so unlike every other guy (or girl) I've ever swooned over.

I'll grow old with Mr. Lemony, and we'll be happy, but in the meantime, somebody hand me a drool bucket.


bitter ole' lemon

I've decided I am a small person. Tiny. Minute. Itty-bitty.


I'm so glad you asked.

Mr. Lemony is on a plane to London as I type, which is not unusal. Corporation Lemony Employer, Inc. has an office there, after all. Every once in a while, though, when the mister announces these trips I get a pang of jealousy. Why does he get to go to my favorite city? Without me? Without a Lemony Offspring in tow? He doesn't even like it there. It's cold, it's rainy, it's gray.

Whatever, dude. It's London.

The last time he made the announcement, about three weeks ago, I said, "Hey! I want to go, too! If I can get my mother to stay with the kids can I go with you? I won't even whine when you have to work and leave me alone for sixteen hours a day."

Now, I'm not sure if it was the promise of no whining or the realization that my head was mere seconds from flying off due to his extreme travel schedule that convinced him, but to my surprise he said, "That's a great idea. Why don't you fly over a few days later and instead of flying home Sunday we can stay a few days longer?"


Then Mr. Lemony thought, just maybe, that Lemony Teen might like to join us. She made a few noises the last time the two of us went and left her home with the siblings and Lemony's Crazy Mum.

"But she doesn't have a passport!" I explained.

"We can expedite the process so it only takes two weeks!" Mr. Lemony insisted.

I agreed (which, I realize now, was my very first mistake, and when I'm over the trauma of it all I'll tell you about our passport adventure, or what I've come to call The One Where Lemony Goes Nuclear on State Department Employee and Is Stared Down By Homeland Security Officer with Big Gun) and we had a plan.

Now, I am not a happy flyer and it has less to do with a fear of crashing (although it does occur to me that the plane can, you know, PLUMMET TO EARTH IN A BIG GIANT FIREBALL OF DEATH!!! without warning) as it does with being crammed in with 500 other trans-Atlantic travelers, all of them jockeying for the same armrest and bag of pretzels that I am. Some of these travelers don't smell as Lemony fresh as I do (if you know what I'm saying) and these are the ones I invariably end up jockeying with. So I did what anybody in my situation would do...I called my friend who is a flight attendant on our chosen airline and asked if she could finagle an upgrade. Being the amazing friend that she is she took the flight numbers and said, "I'll do the best I can."

I love her.

When I talked to her this morning she told me the flights we were on were all pretty full so we shouldn't get our hopes up. Maybe one flight, but not all three (Mr. Lemony's today, mine and LT's later in the week, and the flight we're all on together back to the west side of the Atlantic). I said, hey, no expectations at all and it's so nice of you to even check into it.

And I meant it.

I've been home all day with the youngest Lemon. The poor sprite has a spongy lung (ie: pneumonia) and an ugly ear (ie: goo-oozing ruptured eardrum) and I thought it best to give her an entire day with nothing to do but wear fleecy pants, eat ice cream, and suck down pink medicine from a dropper. Between not feeling well and being bored out of her skull, the child spent a rather large portion of the day whinging. Loudly.

Lemony Teen needed a ride to gymnastics practice at 5:00. Needing to juggle a carpool in order to get her a ride home at 9:30, I ended up having to pick up quite a few other gymansts enroute to the gym. We spent over an hour in the car, Lemony Child whinging the whole time.

No, I didn't blame her. What else could I do, though?

Lemony Brother thought 6:10 would be a good time to tell me he'd volunteered me to make cookies for the class New Year Event...which is tomorrow.

I was not feeling the sunshine by 6:30 p.m. EST, and when Lemony Mutt spit my running shoe out at my feet - minus a lace and a tongue - at 6:35 I was really not in the Happy Place. I parked my ever-expanding ass down right there in the kitchen with the carcass of my shoe and started chanting.

My head will not explode. My head will not explode. My head will not explode.

The phone rang. Surprisingly, my head did not explode.

I answered it. It was Mr. Lemony, calling from the plane.

"Oh, my GAWD, Lemony! This is the best first-class seat I've ever been in! It's amazing up here! Best upgrade ever. Please thank S for me."

The one upgrade. Went to NOT ME. The not me, mind you, who has never flown first-class anywhere, ever, unless you count the 45 minute flight from New York City, given to me merely because the plane was overbooked and my confirmed seat had been given away and they had to put me somewhere before I throttled a gate agent, while Mr. Lemony does it quite frequently.

I wanted to be happy for him, I did. But...but...well, do I really have to explain why I wasn't?

Yeah. I'm small and petty. You got a problem with that???

File under It Figures: Mr. Lemony called back shortly I typed this and said, "I'm sorry, honey. I know you've been home with a sick little one all day, and I know you have to juggle a lot of stuff to accomodate my travel schedule. I know your day was much harder than mine, and it would have been even if I'd flown in coach. You deserve the upgrade. The next time you fly to have a weekend with your friends we'll pay the extra for the first-class ticket. Okay? I'm sorry. I was thoughtless. I miss you. I love you. I can't wait until you get here."

Can't he just let me have my petty moment? I mean, is that too much to ask??

Damn him.


red sox? huh?

Manny who?


a red table and a guinness or ten

I was looking forward to New Year's Eve that year. The boyfriend and I had decided to join the First Night festivities that would be parading past my front door and maybe even crash the party we'd been uninvited to when the boyfriend pissed off the girlfriend of the other dude living at the party house.

Got that? Yeah, I didn't either, but I will say that forgoing a roommate was one of my better ideas.

You know what they say about the best laid plans, though - New Year's Eve turned into a dud when the boyfriend decided hanging with his crew and a bag of smack was a better idea than First Night festivities with me.

"You don't mind, do you, Lemony?" he asked. "I'll call you tomorrow, sweetie love."

"No, you won't, because you'll be too out of it to remember your own name let alone my phone number, and that's okay. In fact, just forget my phone number forever. Okay? Sweetie? Love?"

So went the boyfriend. Loser.

With the boyfriend went my plans for the evening. I was stuck alone, with nothing to do and nobody but a cat for company. I reminded myself that there were things worse than being alone on New Year's Eve, like getting your tongue frozen to an ice sculpture in Copley Square. Getting arrested for being an underaged public drunkard. Kissing the smacked up boyfriend at 1:00 a.m. because he was lost in a bathroom with a spoon and a lighter at midnight.

I put on my jammies, rescued my Donald Duck slippers from the cat, and dug around the pantry until I found some popcorn and a few cans of ginger ale. Voila. New Year's Eve party.

When somebody knocked on my door just before midnight I figured either the boyfriend realized he'd blown any chance he may have had at getting a New Year's kiss or the neighbor across the hall had locked himself out again. Imagine my surprise when I opened the door and saw a dog...and a table.

"It's a table," I said.

"Very astute," said a voice from behind the table.

"What am I supposed to do with it?" I asked.

"Beats the fuck outta me."

"Well, as long as there's a reason for the table..."

I let him in and offered him a ginger ale, but he had other plans. Big plans. Plans so big they involved a table.

"Are you drunk?" I asked him when he tripped over a dust bunny and crashed his forehead into the wall.

He looked horrified at the suggestion but then he pulled an unopened bottle of Guinness out of his coat. "Ten empty in the sink, too," he announced proudly, and it was my turn to look horrified.

He couldn't tell me what he was doing at my apartment, or even how he'd gotten there. He certainly couldn't tell me why he had a table. He finally stopped trying to explain himself and sat, with a huge sigh, on my kitchen floor. His dog gave him a look of disdain before looking up at me with a can you believe this fuckwit expression on his face.

"You left the other dog home, didn't you?" I asked.

"I had the table."

Of course he did.

Now cats are one thing, but dogs? You can't leave a dog alone while you sleep off ten bottles of Guinness. I told him I'd go fetch his abandoned dog and bring her back, but he protested. He could make it home, he insisted as he hauled himself from the floor. He was fine, really, he just wanted me to have the table.

He stood, swaying, in my kitchen. He swayed himself right into a sitting position on a window sill.

"Um...you're drunk."

"Arseholed even. Interesting."

He'd remembered his dog, a bottle of Guinness, and a table, but not his wallet. I was facing my end-of-month shortage of cash and barely had enough for a subway token let alone a cab ride, so we walked. Me in my pajamas and a pair of boots and him swinging the unopened bottle of Guinness over his head and singing a Pet Shop Boys song. Loudly.

"Since you went away, I've been hanging around
I've been wondering why, I'm feeling down
You went away, it should make me feel better
But I don't know OH!
How I'm gonna get through?"

We were a sight, I'm sure.

We left the table behind.

We weaved our way down Charles Street and up the Hill, singing, swinging beer, and slipping on ice the entire way. Every window of his house that I could see from the street was lit with a warm glow; the stained glass on the door and in the round window above it cast red shadows on the snow. I thought it was beautiful and said so.

"Quite misleading," he said merrily.

Now, you'd think a man in his condition would need to find a place to pass out, but no. As usual, he was determined not to fall asleep. He brewed a pot of coffee, poured some into a giant mug - and gave it to me while he popped the top off the Guinness.


"Is it midnight yet?" he asked.

"Midnight was over hours ago. Happy New Year, darlin'."

"Happy Birthday."

"It's not my birthday..."

"No," he said, and he was very serious when he said it. "It's mine."

He then put his head down on the table, leaned the half-finished bottle against his forehead, muttered something about a fire behind his eyes, and passed out.

I took the bottle of out of his hand, shoved a pillow under his head, and left him there. I mean, what else could I do? He had me by 80 pounds. I entertained myself by cleaning up his kitchen. I found exactly what he said he had...ten empty beer bottles in the sink...and a few things he hadn't told me about; the two empty beer bottles in the bathroom, another one on the coffee table, and an empty bottle of Bailey's in a potted plant.

While I was contemplating calling 911 and reporting an alcohol poisoning, he woke up.

"You need to throw up," I told him.

"I assure you that I do not," he assured me.

Three hours later, when he'd stopped puking and had taken a shower and downed a bottle of aspirin with his pot of coffee, I asked him if he'd been trying to kill himself.

"Well, no, actually, I wasn't, but I'm starting to wish I had succeeded all the same."

Hell hath no fury like a case of beer and a bottle of Bailey's, man.

He spent the next ten hours in and out of consciousness, and in the ether world between the two he forgot about his determination to always be stoic and private. He murmured stories -snippets - of his mother and of her cruelty. He talked of a father he was only allowed to call Sir, never Dad. And then he told me of a birthday, the last one he had ever celebrated, when he was ten.

"...she wished me dead, you know, right there in the middle of the foyer...I should have aborted you, she said. I may still, you know, she said. Kill me in my sleep...lock the door..."

I don't ever remember being more horrified.

When he finally looked up at me with clear eyes, I breathed a silent sigh of relief. I smiled. I asked him how his head felt.

"It pounds."

Served him right, damn it.

I didn't make mention of it being his birthday, and he didn't either, at least not right away. He spent the day - what was left of it - working. While he scoured through pages of text with a red pen and an attitude, I went home to shower and put on pants that didn't have coffee drinking cats on them.

I was greeted by a table.

Later, when I was back at his place and we'd eaten a meal, I asked him about the table. He told me about how he'd found it the weekend before Thanksgiving at a tag sale on Cape Cod, about how something about it's cracked paint and neglected finish made him think of me.

"Broken and neglected things make you think of me?" I said.

"Only because you know how to fix them, darlin'," he said softly.

Silent minutes passed and we both waited; me for the right words to say, and him for me to say something, anything, so he'd stop feeling so vulnerable. I held his gaze and he held mine, and we waited...and waited...and then finally I knew what to say.

"Happy birthday, baby," I said as I kissed his cheek. "Next year I want a chair."

happy 2006

Happy New Year, everybody. I wish joy and peace and happiness to you all.

I'm fun like that.

I'm a bit addled on butterscotch schnapps, but here's the thing...12/11 came and went and I didn't write a word about it because I just couldn't do it and of course now I want to. And I can't. Because of butterscotch schnapps.


Today is his birthday. Maybe it's better to celebrate that.