Saturday, October 29, 2011

Falling in love with a dining happens to the best of us.

I didn't plan on it.

But it had been a pretty decent day.

It started early. 7 a.m.

We have season tickets to all the home Cornhusker games and we needed to drive to Lincoln (an hour drive away) to get to the game but Bing had arranged for us to look at a new car for me (well...a year old...but it would be new to me) that a guy had listed on Craigslist. He lived in Lincoln.

A Kia Rondo. Black. If we buy it, it will be my first black car. Until I bought my yellow bug, I had always owned gold cars (they call them champagne colored.) This one is JET black. Very nice. I let Bing quibble car talk with the guy selling it. She wants to have the suspension checked and also the tires, otherwise she liked it. So...we will see. I am not a happy car shopper. I don't do the title shit, the checking out. I just want it in my driveway with plates. All paid up. Bing does the leg work. Which she loves.

And then...the game. THE GAME. It was perfect football weather. Chilly but sunny. Sweater weather. Bing took pictures of everything all the time. Liv and I with our hot dogs in hand, dressed in our red sweatshirts, jeans and Husker caps. Me sipping coffee. Liv sipping hot cocoa. Me almost knocking over my coffee when the referee called Burkhead's beautiful touchdown a fumble. Me standing up and being a bad parent role model as I screamed with a stadium of other Husker die hards that they needed to take a second LOOK, damn it!!! That his hand was OVER the line when the Michigan spartan batted it out of his hands.

Me smiling sweetly when the referee decided to reverse the call. TOUCHDOWN.

Liv and I have been especially close lately. She and I spent the day at home yesterday, she off for teacher duty day, me playing hooky. We carved our pumpkins, took Socks to the park with the trails so that he could sniff and pretend that he was not a scottie but a bear. We made her last Halloween costume. She is going as Lady Gaga in her meat dress. So, yes. A very difficult dress to duplicate. But, we did it, thanks to fabric with a meat design and a laminator.

Mostly, we talked. And talked. I found out why she was not thrilled to make the A team in basketball. She was only one of two seventh graders who made it. She told me that two of the most popular eighth grade girls, Emily and Marina were angry because the third part of their trilogy of popularity, Sadie, did not make the team. They threatened the coach with quitting if he didn't knock down Liv to B team and let Sadie up to A team. After all, she was only a seventh grader and a "newbie" and Gee Coach, did you know she isn't even Catholic?"

Apparently the Coach didn't buckle, called their bluff and told them where the door was if they wanted to quit. I think I am going to like this coach even though, privately, I think he looks like a wolverine.

So, the girls did the next meanest thing: they instructed all the other girls on the team to snub Liv. I guess her practices were pretty hard for her. (I hadn't taken her as they are right after school, so just picked her up afterward. I hadn't seen her practice, hadn't noticed any snubbing.) But, first one and then another girl decided to buck Emily and Marina's rules. And Liv reckons that almost half the team is talking to her now.

But, still. I hate it that she had to go through that. Hate it that she didn't tell me about it until now.

"Mama, if I had told you, you would have interfered. I need to handle this stuff on my own."

She's right. I would have interfered. I would have went up to Emily and Marina and told them that I wanted to talk to their parents about their snotty, privileged asses and then I would have wanted the administration to pretty much tear off their heads and put them out on a pole to warn other popular snotty bitches that they DO NOT fuck with my daughter.

I am learning to step back. It is hard.

But what really bit my ass was when Liv said: "And then yesterday I was at lunch and they motioned me to come over, so I did. And Emily said, 'I suppose you think you are pretty special being on the A team. Feel pretty lucky right now?' and I said that no, I didn't feel lucky, I felt like I was just glad to be on the team and then Marina said, 'Okay. Buh bye, now. You didn't expect to EAT with us, did you?'"

I asked Liv what she did next.

"I started laughing because GOD, they sounded like some bad acting on MEAN GIRLS or something and walked away. I mean, why would I want to eat with them and listen to them go on and on about cute boys and how stupid someone's hair looked? I wanted to eat lunch with Aaron and Jacoby and discuss our fantasy football teams."


I love Liv. So much.

Atta girl.

She also told me that she has decided against being a mathematician and now wants to be an environmental engineer and specialize in architectural design.

"Stanford is the best school for that. I've been e-mailing with Dad and he did some research. So...I am thinking either Stanford, MIT or Berkeley."

Did I mention that she is in SEVENTH grade? Isn't she supposed to have Justin Bieber posters up or that Selena Gomez person? No. She adores Lady Gaga and Mumford and Sons. She is already working on her Christmas list and so far she has:

A new basketball
Airplane and car model kits
A bag of popsicle sticks so that I can make a catapult from scratch
Vintage tee shirts so I won't have to raid Mama's closet (Nirvana, Pink Floyd, etc.)
A new power scope for my telescope
An ipad
Chuck Taylors
A list of books (too many to name)
A vintage ring or bracelets

She is her own person. I just can't see ANY of me in her. Tinton (her father) says that he can't see much of him in her either. Like...neither one of us excelled in sports and she is a sports nut. She is a Cornhusker fan, but she also watches all the Bronco, Lions, and Bears games and knows all the player stats. She can talk football better than Bo Pellini. She loves math and science. So she is bit like her father. He tells me that Liv has my walk, my aloof manner, and my wit.

But, sometimes I look at her and wonder where she came from. It's like she is a gift from the gods.

After the game, which we WON, btw. (WON? WE kicked the snot out of the Spartans), we came home and then Bing asked if we wanted to go to Goodwill to look for some new pots for our indoor plants. I said yes, Liv decided to stay home and read with Socks at her feet keeping them toasty. to Goodwill.

I found two shirts for me. Nice ones. Picture frames. Bing found pots for our plants and a set of towels that perfectly matched our bathroom.

And then we walked by the furniture and we both stopped dead in our tracks.

Because sitting right in front of us was a 1940's Danish Modern dining set.

I glanced at the price tag. 99$.

We both looked at each other and gulped.

It was so cheap! And in MINT condition. But, we have been spending lots of money on car repairs lately and now we might be buying a new car. We had just agreed to declare a stop on all purchases that we didn't ABSOLUTELY need.

But, geez....fuck.


I took in the beautiful hand crocheted chair bottoms. The sleek wood.

Bing and I stared at each other and then she slowly got up and held out her hand.

"Let's go home and think about this one, okay?" she said.

I took her hand and let her pull me away. We got about 6 feet away before I looked pitifully at her.


Sigh. "Yes,honey?"

"The dining set is calling me. It wants to live with us. REALLY BADLY. I think it might be crying."

She looked deeply into my eyes and then shook her head, smiling.

We went to the front of the store with the tag off the table and handed it to the cashier.

"Wow, this is the perfect day," she said, pointing to a sign that we had not seen by the register.


I swear to baby hey zeus that I jumped up and squealed like a pig.

So, we will go back and pick it up tomorrow. Our old set will go to the Lydia House, a place for women and children to stay when they are down on their luck.

And that is how a really great day turned into a perfect one.

Today, I fell in love with a dining set.

I once fell in love with 2,000 count sheets. Off white ones. And they weren't cheap.

But, this table is like my Liv.

A completely perfect art treasure.

And she will do her homework on this.

It belongs with us.

So, have you ever fallen in love with a dining set?


jen@its all about me said...

Yup and mine cost 25$ and it was in about i don't remember about 8 pieces and that was just the legs! The darn thing was under the outside gutters of a junk store for goodness stakes.

It was one of those old sets with the three legs on each end with the curvy thingie that runs from leg to leg. They were all broken but those legs were beautiful and the veneer was stripped and peeling.

BUT what I saw those darn black Pottery Barn black sets and I knew I could just give this set some love and a lot of wood glue and I would have a beauty. Holy shit!

It was something when i was done Maria. We used it for years and then my son took it with him when he moved out and got his apartment. What I have now I'm not in love with but I needed something larger so hopefully the dining set gods will shine on me again soon!

fairydogmother said...

Funny, if we were in a position to be spending any money at all on Christmas, I think my wish list would overlap with Liv's some.

What a wise, strong soul she is. Mumford and Sons? As if I needed another reason to think you are raising one of the coolest kids on the planet. I love that she just doesn't have the inclination to spend any of her precious time or energy engaging in other people's petty shenanigans. Most adults i know still need to learn (re-learn?) that lesson. Smart girl, your Liv. In so many ways!

JohnD said...

Saw an 8 seater Danish Modern dining suite in a second hand shop recently - hidden interleave extension piece - wanted $AUS889 but my friend who was with me wanted it so she talked the dealer down to $AUS449 delivered!

Liv sounds very level headed and if things get tough, quietly remind her that she will be an eighth grader next year and to lead by example - but I guess you should not need to do that! LOL!

JohnD said...

Saw an 8 seater Danish Modern dining suite in a second hand shop recently - hidden interleave extension piece - wanted $AUS889 but my friend who was with me wanted it so she talked the dealer down to $AUS449 delivered!

Liv sounds very level headed and if things get tough, quietly remind her that she will be an eighth grader next year and to lead by example - but I guess you should not need to do that! LOL!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Not a set, but with a 19th century refectory table from a French monastery, oak, with globes like knots halfway down its legs. It was in an antique store in upstate NY, and the sun was pouring in on its goldenness. I LOVED that table. And I brought it to my marriage with Flip in TN.

Years later, my older daughter visited us from NY and because she was furnishing her new home, Flip gave her my table. I couldn't object because she was MY daughter. She drove it home on the roof of her car through several days of pouring rain, but somehow it survived. I have had 5 or 6 dining tables since then, all antiques, but none has ever replaced that one in my heart.

Enjoy your wonderful steal of a dining set! It was clearly meant for you.

Fusion said...

Okay, now I have Mumford and Sons playing on iTunes as I write this...
and I know your rule on photos, but come on, show us the dining room set, it sounds great.
Thought of you last weekend when I came across the Huskers game on ESPN. Hope the almost new Kia works out for you.
You've lucked out with Liv for sure, what a level headed girl you have there!

Annemarie of Holland said...

Never mind the dining set (congrats though!), let's talk Liv! 'Cos Liv rocks! What a wise girl she is; she's doing everything right according to the book on how to deal with bullies! This summer, I've been translating an anti-bullying program from Finnish into Dutch. It's called KiVa-School and I know it has been translated into English as well. Check for more info. It's aimed at children a little younger than Liv (7-11 year olds), but it might still contain useful information that her school could benefit from.

Anyway, I think the likes of Emily and Marina will soon drop their efforts to bully Liv, because Liv doesn't respond like the victim "should". Bullies hate strong victims because they can't get a grip on them. In fact, by laughing out loud at them, Liv has succeeded in making THEM feel foolish, rather than the other way around. So unless they are willing to resort to some degree of physical violence, they will soon let Liv be and look for another victim. And personally, I don't think they will try physical violence with Liv, because Liv has - and is in the process of making more - friends at school who will probably stand by her. Your typical bullying victim doesn't have that.

You've got one cool child there!

Annemarie of Holland said...

Oh, and one more thing: the snotty bitches will probably try the lesbian spawn routine on Liv in a last effort to make her succumb, as soon as they find out about Liv's home situation. But I guess Liv is aware of that already, and will probably have the perfect answer for them when it comes!

kristi said...

Liv is amazing. Sara and I have definitely had our back and forth struggles but we,too have had a lot of long talks. She is such a tender, yet strong soul. I love her so much! And congrats on the new dining room set!

sybil law said...

I fall in love with furniture all the time!! I have to make a real effort not to get it, because we definitely don't NEED it. Congrats on your set, though! Seriously! What a score!! How's about a picture?!

One word: do NOT get that Kia! Pieces of shit. Seriously. They have great warranties, but they completely fall apart as soon as the warranties run out. I know of 4 people that's happened to. I know you want a newer car, but don't do it. Not worth it. Listen!! :)
Okay. Off my car soapbox.
Go to a lot and look at cars. Better yet, look online. Find a car you like and research it, or even have Bing do it. Just don't get that damn Kia!

Anonymous said...

Liv sounds like a great kid and she seems to be able to handle herself very well. You have given her the tools she needs and she appears to have confidence in herself.

I can't wait to hear how the season goes, and I hope she shines on the court.

LL Cool Joe said...

Nope, not a dining set, but many other things that we really don't need.

Btw Learning to step back is the hardest job in the world, but it sounds like Liv has it all sussed anyway. :)

the only daughter said...

No, not a dining set. Not any furniture to come to think of it...oh wait, I take that back. My parents (when they were together) had a cabinet that served as a bad. It was an unusual piece. I haven't seen anything like it since. I was sorry to see it destroyed by my brothers' respective addictions.

Suzer said...

Liv sounds so incredible. I almost wish that I was in Jr high again, so that we could be friends... oh no, now I remember Jr high... nevermind.

Awesome kid. You should be so happy and so proud, M!