7 Quick Takes: “The Have-Nots” Edition

7 things it’s kind of weird that we don’t have

The other day, as I was getting all wet, I thought to myself, “Why don’t we have an umbrella?”  I guess the real reason is that you can’t have one or two umbrellas for a family of ten, but who wants ten umbrellas?  Not us, that’s who.

There’s other things that we don’t seem to have, for some reason.  I don’t mean things that we have that keep on breaking, like a vacuum cleaner — or things we keep on trying to have, but can’t seem to keep in the house, like pens or Band-aids or money (that would spoil some vast, eternal plan).  I’m talking about things that we seem to have opted out of — things our household just doesn’t do.

Okay, so #1 is ten umbrellas.

#2:  A mop.  The last two times I had a mop, the kids used them to stir up the mud puddle at the bottom of the slide.  Then, when I told them I wanted my mop back, they threw it in the swamp, and then it started to snow.  So, the way the kitchen floor looks?  Their fault, 100%.

#3:  Paper towels.  This is a holdover from our super-poor days, when the kids would get one hot dog each, and I would get an empty bun.  Just couldn’t get myself to spend money on paper towels, and I still can’t, even though nowadays we’re so flush I buy hot dogs by the dozen.  I’m pathetically attached to my stack of cloth dish towels, and know what each one is especially good for:  this one for absorbancy, that one for scrubbing power, these two for their lack of funky smell (when you’re drying something for company), etc.  I would take a picture, if I felt like getting up right now.

#4:  Microwave oven.  When we moved here, our adorable kitchen (proportions of a hobbit hole, ambiance of Mordor) had about 5 square inches of counter space — and most of that was taken up by my enormously pregnant belly  which I rested on the countertop while shrieking at the other kids to stop jumping off of the moving boxes (it took . . . a while  . . . to unpack), so I got rid of the microwave (which wasn’t actually a very good one, since I originally found it on the side of the road one rainy day).  So now I just remember to defrost meat in the morning (sometimes I decide what’s for dinner by having a meat race!  Two small chickens, or one large roast — who will it be?  Ready . . . defrost!  It’s so much fun), and have explained to the children that microwaved popcorn causes tooth cancer.

#5:  TV.  I mean, we have a monitor and a DVD player, but no dish or antenna or whatever.  I don’t feel self-righteous about it, because I waste gobs and gobs of precious time rotting my brain with Netflix and the internet.  To give you an idea of the level of cultural purity in our household, my husband and I recently had a startlingly long discussion about character development in the third season of Reno 911.

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#6:  SKIRTS!  How many times do I have to tell you, I don’t have any skirts!  Except the long black one I wear to Mass, the brown dress I wear to parties, the blue dotted one I wear on dates, the two denim ones for warm days, the white flouncy one for happy spring days,  the brown one with flowers for happy fall days, the long flowered one for sad fall days, the gray wool one for winter Mass, the straight plaid one for when I want to look smart, the skimpy brown one with gold beads for covering up at the beach, the retro red dress my husband is convinced still fits me, and of course the red satin formal skirt for next time I’m a pregnant bridesmaid.  And the blue, empire-waisted one for the next next time I’m a pregnant bridesmaid.  There, I just wanted to clear that up: I do not wear skirts or dresses, and do not own any.  It’s all part of my strident feminist plan to destroy the institution of marriage.

#7:  Jen, can we just change this to six quick takes?

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