Well This Should Be Good

This is not the Father Knows Best I thought I knew. First up: cultural diversity:

I don’t know where she found one Springfield Junior College I guess but Betty brought home an Indian girl for the weekend.


I hope Fronk the gardener shows up and sings aye yi yi yi  on the scratched up guitar that he hangs from his neck on a string. That way we can get all of the smug patronizing out of the way at once. Actually, Fronk and Chanthini Ragnapali must be using the same dialect coach because this girl sounds Mexican. If Mexico is represented by Speedy Gonzales. Hollywood Mexican of the 50s I guess.

UPDATE: Cast credits for this episode reveal that Chanthini was played by Rita Moreno. (At least it wasn’t Mel Blanc.)

The second episode tackles the serious subject of the moral obligations that The Haves must obey towards The Have Nots. You can tell this is serious because it starts off very film noir.


Margaret gets a midnight phone call telling her she won a fancy $6000 car in a charity raffle for the Springfield Children’s Home. Jubilation all around but it doesn’t last for long.

Margaret drives over to the children’s home for a photo shoot to be featured in the Sunday paper. She gets her ass chewed by an angry grubby mechanic who says things like “them that has gets” and “people like you”. The mechanic can says these things to Margaret because he was an orphan too.


Margaret is abashed and one thing leads to another and by the end of the episode she trades her fancy Lincoln Continental  in for two plain Ford station wagons, one for her family and one for the orphanage.

And so The Haves do their social duty and grant bounty to The Have Nots. All is well in Springfield.

I’m Not Irish But I Wouldn’t Mind Having One of Those Musical Whiskey Boxes That Plays Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ra When You Open It To Get A Quick Snort

The northeast is positively crawling with Irish-Americans but I was 25 by the time I finally met somebody who came over from the other side. She was a nurse, one of many in the Manhattan hospital where I worked. They all knew each other, of course but they were socially divided over who came from the north and who came from the south. The north girls regarded the south girls as rubes and clods.

Anne, my co-worker, was a fascinating creature. It was agreed by all that her most outstanding features where her large green eyes and her habit of leaning towards you and speaking at a low volume. For me, her most fascinating mannerism was that she said em instead of um. This happened frequently and it was always as an introduction to a  sentence.

In the Irish-American community of NYC, it was a thing to be envied if you dated – or even personally  knew – a man who came over from the other side. The Irish-American secretary for the department we worked in had a brother who was in a relationship with Anne and somehow because of the secretary, I was at more than few parties and gatherings where  there were many genuine Irish people freshly arrived.   And so I can tell you with some authority that the men were heavy smokers and the very definition of chauvinism. They were much smaller that their Irish-American counterparts,  puny even.

This was the 70s so maybe they grow them bigger now.

The men were good looking and had better coloring than the women. Maybe it was just this set of people but the men had auburn hair and rosy cheeks but the women had hair that wasn’t quite pale brown and wasn’t quite pale red and their faces had no coloring at all.

Anyway, it all came to an end (for me) due to two major events. The first thing that happened was that Anne broke up with the Irish-American secretary’s brother. Right after he built a loft bed with a  built in desk and dresser for her.  I question the timing. (We all had studio apartments in those days and Anne’s was L-shaped so the loft bed contraption upped her social standing no end. That plus the fact that it was in Manhattan and not Queens. All the other actual Irish people lived in Queens.)  The breakup made awkward ripples among  the party guest list.

The second thing that happened was that at one of the parties, an Irish man came up to me to make awkward chit chat and then asked if he could call me. It was respectful and almost formal the way he did it. At the time, I didn’t notice the daggers that the Irish nurses were shooting at me. Frankly, I hardly gave it a second thought. He was a handsome but  puny rosy-cheeked moth flitting around my roaring Big American Blonde flame. But we did have coffee or something once – or maybe not I really don’t remember –  and then I was hospitalized with hepatitis shortly after.

He came to visit me in the hospital carrying a pot of golden chrysanthemums. I remember his tweed sports jacket and how thin his ankle was when he sat  down and rested his foot on his opposite knee. He was almost slumped sideways when he sadly told me he couldn’t bear hospitals or sickness and he wouldn’t be able to see me anymore. And that was the moment I realized that he was into me. I was kind of surprised.

Later I found out that all the Irish nurses hated me for siphoning off one of their better prospects and taking him out of circulation.

Looking back on it now, I wonder if he was attracted to my beauty, my poise, my Americaness. Or did he see me as unlovely and desperate enough to respond to his attention and repay it with marriage?  Was he really into me?  The thing was that all the Irish women in this set had very good jobs and all the men were un- or under-employed. Possibly/probably in the country without a visa and they counted on blending  into the Irish-American landscape of Queens until they were able gain a firm foothold here one way or the other.  Maybe that’s why he looked so sad and upset when he told me  he wouldn’t be seeing me – that my American robustness was not what he thought it would be. Perhaps I was not sturdy enough to provide the support he was looking for?

I can’t remember his name.

Anyway.  Too ra loo ra loo!

Wish Me Luck

I’m headed down the Parkway this morning to see the floor lamp of the Craigslist seller who stood me up before. Not the pageant lamp – the other more sedate one.

Which means I got up early had one cup of coffee and then showered and got otherwise ready according to an external schedule, not my usual pajamas all day and wash your hair whenever you feel like it routine. This is a real drag. How do you people do it?

I do not have the feeling that I am going to come home with this lamp. With one spectacular exception,  I’m conditioned to expect failure when it comes to buying used lamps.



It needs a brighter light bulb and maybe a Swarovski snowflake hanging from the swing arm but here it is. Now I’m all set to fall asleep in this chair when I read. This is my Craigslist corner: nightstand, club chair and floor lamp all gently used and tasked with a second life in my lac,y rose-y bedroom. Which by the way, my children laugh at for its tackiness.

Also, I guess I do have a little pageant in me after all:unnamed (3)

This has been an exhausting experience. I’m glad it’s over with.

Compelling Update to My Weekend Activities

First I went to Christmas Tree Shops to feed my spring fever. Came out with:

  • A green and blue swirly 10″ gazing ball to replace the one that I failed to take inside for the winter and which subsequently exploded from the  deep freeze situation out there.
  • An outdoor flag of spring flowers and a watering can, complete with dangling fabric strips meant to simulate streams of water. I am a sucker for watering cans on a garden flag.
  • A little flower pot shaped like an owl because obviously.
  • A  red-handled mini-pruner that is graceful, delicate and so utterly tres petite to the extent that I will have to get a floppy hat and some floral-patterned clogs in order to feel right about using it.

ssgaResisted the urge to buy:

  • $10 deodorizing pet wipes. Eve though I have one of those grind upside down in the stink kind of dogs and was highly motivated to purchase these,  their worth is suspect to me. The ingredients list had only fibrous tissue, water, cleanser listed.  Sounds like I get the same benefit by squirting diluted dog shampoo onto a damp rag.
  • Solar spying garden animals. Actually they had a ton of solar spying gnomes of various sizes. I want to like gnomes but I just don’t.

In the category of non-shopping, my other weekend accomplishments were:

  • filling 3 boxes with clothes, books and random items like handbags, jewelry boxes etc for a charity pickup
  • napping

In other news, I find my self seriously fretting about those plastic covers for baby strollers. I mentioned before how use of this product might lead to a generation of neurotic claustrophobes, but I realize that there might be another danger here. The weather was clear and sunny but still chilly and windy so in the most downtown-ish of my travels, there were plenty of parents pushing plastic encased strollers. The sun was beating down on the plastic making little rolling greenhouses out of the baby passenger area. Wasn’t overheating determined to be implicated in SIDS deaths? Here was have a population of helpless beings in coats, gloves, hats and plastic covers under the sun. Something bad is going to happen. In fact, I bet it already has. I am going to write to Kathleen Sebelius and suggest that this is an emerging hazardous trend and that HHS should start tracking this and issuing public alerts. Because I don’t have enough of my own business to mind.

The Diminishment of America, Sequin Department

People, are you aware of what is going on with sequins? It’s not good.

The thing about sequins is that they are super glittery and a big pain to apply. But that’s what makes them special. Look at these pictures. Traditional sequins are faceted for maximum sparkle and they are firmly attached by either sewing them on or sticking them through the center hole with a straight pin that has been threaded with a small bead and dipped in glue.*

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Well, hang onto your hats because you won’t believe what has happened in the sequin biz. Take a look at what passes for a sequin these days:


Aren’t you disgusted? I am.

The modern sequin is half the size of the traditional one, is flat not faceted, has more hole than surface, is sparkle-deficient and is randomly glued onto things. I suspect some kind of air- blast method of application. They start out with less than full coverage – the background material is visible between sequins – and then as you use the item or even just  touch it, they fall off.

I blame China.

This is one more area of reduced quality in consumer goods. Don’t even get me started about paillettes!  These small things add up, people, and wear a person down. I don’t know how much more I can take.


* I know this because one of my great life accomplishments is that I once made three  Xmas ornaments that looked like Ferroro Rocher candies, life- sized. I don’t exactly know where they are right now but I have always believed that I could re-create them from memory.

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Sort of like this but with gold sequins and a brown paper candy cup.