There are stories that are not mine to tell; stories that must remain untold, lest someone is injured. Happily there are also stories that can be manipulated in such a way as to protect the innocent.
My niece came with the puppy and stayed for a week. The puppy, formerly known as Porkchop newly christened Pisspot, peed on my nearly new couch. I was somewhat less than happy. There was short-lived, seething, drama. My niece was going to pack her car and go away at 6 o’clock in the morning. She cried. I cried. I said, “I’m not mad at you, I’m just mad. You’d be mad too, if I came over and peed on your new couch.” We laughed, hugged, and recovered.
I worked throughout her visit. When I wasn’t working, we were shopping for furnishings for her apartment. I don’t have any children of my own. She is my borrowed baby. We bought pretty things on SALE. Her apartment theme is Liberace on Safari; she grins good naturedly when I describe it thusly, at every opportunity, because I think I am funny. I have been exhausted. I don’t have the energy I used to have and work has been particularly difficult this week. I understand, better, why my mother liked us kids to make reservations at her house so she could prepare for the onslaught. If she were still alive I would call to tell her I understand.
After we stopped purchasing things for my niece’s apartment, we went shopping in my closets and cupboards. I gave her some nice wood blinds, too good to toss, that have been waiting for a new home. I also offloaded the juicer and fondue pot. I was, again, reminded of Mum, which made me miss her. My niece said, “Grammie always had what we needed in a closet somewhere.” I understood precisely why my mother was always happy to root around in the depths of Fibber McGee’s closet, to emerge triumphantly with whatever it was we needed. Now, I know why she gave us the nice things she had.
I have a good friend who has a smart, funny, handsome son. He is the same age as my niece. My friend and I have been hoping they could meet. We hatched a plan involving an egg delivery. My friend has chickens. It was a lame plan but it was the best we could do. Finally, we couldn’t stand it anymore and we fessed up to the kids. She and I are very excited about the prospect of success. We love our respective young people and we know enough about the parties involved that we recognize a good match. I’d like to say more. There is more to say. (Drumming my fingers while I think.) There is more to say but I have to keep my big flapper shut while I wait to see what happens. The suspense is killing me.
My husband is a good person. He is forgiving and generous. I am generous but not nearly as forgiving. After the puppy peed on the couch, he saw how angry I was. Before he left for work that day he advised me to “be nice”. Yesterday when he said goodbye to my niece, before he left for work, he acknowledged his fondness for her, “I’m glad you survived the urination.” As he drove off she looked at me and said, “Nunna. I love Bob. He’s a good egg.” Last night we got an email from the puppy lady, we’ll have our own puppy in the fall. My niece left some pajamas here for me to keep for her when she comes to visit. I was worried she might have outgrown us.