Wednesday, January 8, 2014
If You Send a Boy Mom to Walgreen's in Early December
. . . and if that Boy Mom happens to have a 14 year-old boy with her, and if said Boy Mom and 14 Year-Old tend to gravitate to the toy aisle, and are suckers for the "buy two at $6.99, get one toy of equal or lesser value free" gimmick that Walgreen's frequently runs, and are crazy for DC Comics characters, you can expect them to return home with two packages of small DC Comics figurines, plus a toy for a family member that they purchased as their free item to justify the action figure purchase.
If that Boy Mom is THIS mom, because it is December, she will insist on wrapping one set of figurines for each child and putting them under the tree, even though the 14 Year-Old has already seen them and they don't correspond to anything on his little brother's list.
After the Boy Mom wraps them and puts them under the tree, it will occur to her that they are, sort of, a random gift, for the reasons set forth above as well as the facts that (1) they are figurines, rather than action figures, so they really don't do anything other than just STAND THERE and (2) they are oddly petite. At about this point, she will also bemoan the lack of whimsy in her 14 Year-Old's Christmas list (or, as it shall forever be known, "The Laundry List of Cables" - seriously, everything he asked for was a glorified USB or HDMI geegaw).
If the Boy Mom happens to be a Pinterest abuser (and early adopter - I say with a small amount of ridiculously misplaced pride that I joined when it was really, really hard to get an "invitation"), then she is going to make note of the following Pin on Target's DC Comics board:
At around the same time, she will take advantage of the free shipping promotion on the One Kings Lane Web site (also an early adopter - and, yes, I have made my peace with OKL after my prior rant) and start ordering all sorts of random - and randomly shaped - cr** for Christmas gifts, which OKL will faithfully drop-ship, one randomly shaped item at a time, ensuring that OKL will probably never offer said promotion again. (One day, a hand-hooked pillow for my mother; another day, a tennis racquet repair kit for Spouse; the next day, a telescoping duster for my mother-in-law. In my defense, I placed my orders early and would have been 100% okay with them aggregating my items prior to shipping, but even when I ordered things contemporaneously, they insisted on packaging and shipping them separately, result being the most hodgepodge-ish parade of oddly shaped boxes that one has ever seen.) As a result, she will find herself trolling the OKL Web site daily for useful things that she can have acquire free of shipping costs.
(On second thought, OKL's promotion was a HUGE success.)
When OKL features a three-chambered tall lidded glass whatsit (photo, top), she will immediately think that this whatsit is the appropriate dimensions for a terrarium featuring largely useless, impulse-purchased superheroes (and villains - one box contained Joker, Catwoman and Bane in addition to a second Batman and a Robin). She will decide that the whimsy that her 14 Year-Old needs in his life is a multilevel superhero terrarium (terraria?). She will order the whatsit, which OKL will pack in the most ridiculously huge shipping carton, and she will wrap said shipping carton. She will purchase another (canning jar-ish) container to go along with this item and leave it out on the kitchen counter, hoping that her children will ask after its purpose.
Because it is the holidays, and because a LOT of stuff accumulates on the Boy Mom's kitchen counters over the holidays, and also because they are male, the children will not notice it.
Because she is sadistic, and also a little irked that they didn't ask about the other jar, she will talk up the big box on Christmas morning, encouraging her children to OPEN THAT ONE RIGHT NOW. They will give her an odd look - once they have made it through many layers of ridiculous padding and packaging. (Spouse's reaction: "Seriously? That little box is what's been lurking under all of THAT?") She will direct their attention to the other jar: more odd looks. Then she will encourage them to open the heroes. Still more odd looks. Finally, she will reveal her grand plan to create habitats for those heroes.
They will shake their heads imperceptibly and resume tearing off wrapping paper, probably hoping to find actually useful or desired gift items.
Weeks later, after striking out at big-box home and garden stores, she will call a local plant nursery. When she asks Plant Lady whether Plant Lady has any hens and chicks or similarly sized succulents, she will say, "No hens and chicks, but we have a bunch of other succulents and ferns and stuff in small pots. They are for terrariums." When Plant Lady says this (and after Plant Lady reports that she also has in stock gravel, activated charcoal, sheet moss and potting soil in pre-assembled terrarium kits), the Boy Mom will decide to proceed to the plant nursery directly from work. Because the plant nursery closes at 6 pm, and because it is rush hour and EVERY BLEEPIN' ROAD FROM POINTS A TO B ARE UNDER CONSTRUCTION, she will allot forty minutes to drive the FIVE BLEEPIN' MILES from her office to the plant nursery, and she will take all sorts of shortcuts, because one of her Boy Mom superpowers is KNOWING WHERE ALL OF THE SHORTCUTS ARE.
Because the Texas Department of Transportation is run by sadistic bleepin'-bleepers, one of these shortcuts will be blocked off, resulting in the Detour from Hell. With each passing minute, she will become more determined to arrive at the plant nursery by 5:55, purely on principle. She will curse the fact that she does not have access to the Beastie Boys' "Sabotage," because that is TOTALLY her traffic-conquering jam. She will begin muttering to herself at exceptionally long lights, frightening other drivers. SHE WILL MAKE IT TO THE PLANT NURSERY AT 5:55 SHARP, THROUGH SHEER FORCE OF WILL.
When she arrives at the plant nursery (AT 5:55 SHARP), she will make note of the fact that the entire center part of the nursery is completely devoid of merchandise. To the left: a few flats of pansies. To the right: a gigantic greenhouse, seeming to contain NOTHING BUT TERRARIUM STUFF. And, also, the entire staff of the plant nursery, who seem to be having an end-of-the-day staff meeting. She will think that this whole scenario is both funny and awkward, and she will select her plants, and grab her terrarium kit, and return home.
When her children return from swimming, the Little Brother - he who previously had drawn up clever and complicated plans for the different habitats - will rather predictably drift into another room to watch TV and leave it to others to implement said plans. The 14 Year-Old, also rather predictably, will initially try to play it cool but then mutter something about the terraria being his terraria, too, and at the end of the day he and the Boy Mom will finish what they started at Walgreen's.
Third floor: Superman scoffs at Kryptonite. (If the Boy Mom has leftover glow-in-the-dark paint from the "homemade slime" activity from Little Brother's birthday, she is going to want to make some Kryptonite, for sure, because it's whimsical, darn it, and because it justifies her overcalculation in purchasing units of glow-in-the-dark paint.)
Second floor: Green Lantern takes in a rather barren landscape on Planet Oa. (We're hoping that the fern ultimately fills up the space. Note that we placed the succulents up top, where there is more light exposure, and the shade-loving fern in the shady middle. BOY PLANT LESSON #2! Boy Plant Lesson #1 was that you have to put sheet moss between the rocks at the bottom and the soil at the top, to keep the soil from sinking into the cracks between the rocks. Okay, so that one was more of a Physics Lesson than a Plant Lesson.)
Not shown: Batman and Wonder Woman on the first floor. With a lot of big black rocks and some leftover sheet moss but no actual living plant material. Sheet moss is a placeholder: the plan is to construct some sort of rock "wall" behind them, and add a penny and a rubber dinosaur to duplicate the interior of the Bat Cave. This was part of the Little Brother's grand plan, as staffed out to his sibling and mother.
The stand-alone terrarium features the Caped Crusaders battling with Bane in a jungle. A tiny jungle. In a sort-of glorified mason jar.
Because the Batman figure has his fist outstretched, and because the Boy Mom is REALLY a Boy Mom, and a computer-literate one at that, she will suggest leaving Bane out of things and arranging Tiny Costumed Bruce Wayne and Tiny Costumed Dick Grayson so as to recreate one of her favorite memes:
Because the 14 Year-Old is heartless and must not love his mother that much, he will veto this idea.
If the Boy Mom's spouse recently has lost his mind and purchased for his wife, on her deceased father's birthday, a Christmas cactus to remember him by (because killing another living organism in his name is a remembrance HOW? Boy Mom has a bad record with houseplants, although she does just fine with landscaping plants, and, really, it's not outside the realm of possibility that she will manage to screw up a bleepin' allegedly self-sustaining terrarium), and if she has a Flash figure left over (because the 14 Year-Old refused to confine him to a jar - "Flash HAS to be claustrophobic, Mom; he can't RUN in that little amount of space"), she will stick Flash in the Christmas cactus:
And if the Spouse lost his mind a second time and purchased a battery-powered decorative water fountain "for the cats to drink out of," without any regard for (1) the size of the object (too small, really, for cat mouths to access), (2) potential feasible and appropriate cat-drinking locations and (3) potential toxic paint hazards, and if said Spouse rather amusingly forgot to gift said item on Christmas (YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS WAS TELLING YOU IT WAS A BAD IDEA, HONEY!) and did not present it until after New Year's, and if the Boy Mom left it on the counter for a few days with zero idea of what to do with it, and if the Boy Mom has a Catwoman figure left over . . .
Catwoman. Actual cat. Same idea.
We'll see how long I put up with a small, rather contemporary-looking fountain taking up counter space in my renovated Tudor kitchen. When the cactus dies, the fountain probably will go. Hopefully the superhero habitats will thrive. Hey, thanks to my unplanned kitchen remodel, I actually have the counter space for this kind of insanity. Might as well take advantage. Oh, and I have since placed the Joker in the fountain with Catwoman, since he was the (extremely!) odd man out.