Role Reversals and Other Shifts in the Universe

It seemed like just another typical Friday night, me sitting on the couch, reading, trying to decompress after a hectic work week, a glass of wine and bowl of stale pretzels at my side. Until my daughter’s best girlfriend came over and they ended up sitting on either side of me in the same room, loudly debating the merits of going downtown to a dance club.

I was successfully ignoring them — after all, I was reading a good book — until I heard my DD say, “And it’s pouring down rain outside, which is dangerous to drive in, you know.” She thinks she’s invincible, since when does she care about a little rain?

Then her BGF said, “Plus it’s already after eleven and by the time we get downtown it’ll be like almost midnight and why do we want to pay five freakin’ bucks to go stand in some club and watch people be all weird?” I thought that was the whole point.

Thoroughly distracted now, I said, “Or you could just stay here where it’s safe and dry, pay me five bucks, and watch me be weird.”

“You know, you really are weird,” said BGF, “What’s this I hear about you talking to people on the internet all the time?”

“Yeah, mom,” said DD, “that’s just dangerous, you know.” What is this, an intervention?

“Dangerous how?” I asked. This I’ve got to hear.

“You don’t know those blog people, you only know what they tell you,” DD said.

“That’s true,” said BGF, “and do you have any idea how easy it is for people to track you down once they know your name?”

“That’s what ax murderers do, you know,” said DD. What does she know about ax murderers?

“No one knows my real name,” I said, trying to placate them, even as I make a mental list of all the people on the internet who do indeed know my real name. “Besides, I’m pretty sure none of them are ax murderers.” And if they are, probably none of them want to kill me.

“You don’t know that. And people can be very persuasive,” said DD. “They can get you to tell them where you live and then just show up one day.”

“This is how people end up dead,” said BGF. What people?

“Yeah, but I have Quincy the Wonder Dog to protect me,” I said. [Yes, that’s his real name — it’s OK, he isn’t overly concerned that someone might track him down to steal his identity or corrupt his virtue.]

“Mom, you know all someone would have to do is feed him a Kleenex and he’d be their best friend for life.” True. Not likely to happen, but true.

“Plus these people might just want you for cyber sex,” said BGF.

WHAT did she just say to me?

I’m trying hard to keep a straight face, which is damn near impossible when you’ve just choked on a pretzel in the midst of a snort of laughter.

“Mom, this is so not funny,” said DD. Yes, it is. This is the funniest thing I’ve heard in weeks.

“I really do not think that is going to be a problem,” I managed, “mostly I’m talking to other women who are just like me.” Mostly.

“Yeah, that’s what they tell you,” said DD. “They’re probably pretending, waiting for you to get comfortable talking to them.”

“I’ve been talking to some of these people for months now, I’m pretty sure they aren’t pretending.” Much. “Besides, we’re just playing, having fun.”

“You are so naïve,” said BGF.

“There are bad people out there, you know,” said DD.

This is when it dawned on me that I’d had this conversation before. Many times. I’d just never been on the receiving end of it.

“You both are very sweet (and completely delusional), but I really think you’re worrying for no reason,” I said.

I paused for a second, but the newly reawakened rebellious teenager in me just couldn’t resist. “You know, I think I’m going to write a blog post about this…”

“Oh. My. God! You are SO weird!” How they managed to say this at the same time, with the same inflection and intensity, is beyond me.

They left the room in a huff, no doubt convinced I am a marked woman, one mouse click away from complete disaster.

So I guess you all should consider this fair warning. Those of you with nefarious intentions who are hiding just down the street, around the corner over there where I can’t see you, waiting for me to be lulled into a state of complacency before you launch an attack — and I now suspect your numbers are legion — be aware that I am being defended by two ferocious teenagers and a highly distractible 85-lb black lab.

Plan accordingly. Bring Kleenex.

I am going to go see whether I can catch that turnip truck and climb back on before it gets too much further down the road.


Filed under uncategorized

42 responses to “Role Reversals and Other Shifts in the Universe

  1. dee

    I am fully stocked up on Kleenex, know the general region of the country where you are, and have a tank of gas. Beware, teenagers, I can find you.
    If I could just keep my head out of the toilet long enough, you’d be in real trouble!


  2. McB

    Okay I can attest to the fact that Dee and myself are both women. And I don’t really think anyone can fake our kind of humor, do you? But your DD might have a point. You never know when some folks who know you from the internet might come down and kidnap you and drag your butt up north. HINT HINT.


  3. Sheryl

    Don’t they know you already me the alien in person this past summer? Did you not show them Bryan/Regis’ picture? Wait that won’t appease them. Maybe you should just go visit Louis and his Cowboy GAM sons. That’s one fantasy I hope is true.


  4. Margaret

    Dang, those teenagers are smart!

    They’re right, you know. We’re all just pretending…waiting…planning…

    I mean, c’mon, you’ve seen me in person–wasn’t I scary??


  5. wapakwoman

    Oh my bob, you haven’t told them about the shovels and the plan to TOTW? You might never get them out of your living room.
    Sorry about the stale pretzels. I’ll bring those with the Kleenex when I come to talk about books with you. Maybe we can bore them into leaving you alone?
    Nah, they’d want to know what we were laughing about!
    Great story!


  6. btuda

    It just occurred to me that these so-called internet “ladies” are much more likely to have kleenex on their person than a piece of cheese, which is apparently the price of admission over at chez moi, according to my 15 lb schnauzer.

    Now won’t they be surprised if you ever do send up the Moot signal and 35 or so CBs show up, armed with shovels, wearing tutus, salad bowls on their heads and pole dancing like Grover? (I have no idea where the salad bowls came from, but what an image, right?


  7. Bryan

    I want you to know I don’t want you just for cyber-sex.


  8. Jennifer Talty

    BCB – Yeah, totally speechless.

    Bryan – you say that to all the girls.


  9. Bryan


    Folks are going to see your comment over on my blog and think that just come right out of left field.

    What would your daughter say if she saw that?


  10. Bryan

    Not that I’m complaining though…


  11. Cary

    *snort* So my “imaginary” friends have children who worry about their Dear Mother’s interaction with pretend people?

    Oh, Bob! What is my shrink gonna make of this?


  12. Bryan


    It’s worse than that… your imaginary friend’s daughter thinks you are the “pretend” person.

    It’s like the old Chinese philosopher who says there was once a man who dreamed of being a butterfly, and when he woke, he asked “Am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming that he is a man?”

    Where does it end?

    But now you have a topic for your next visit, eh? BCB’s DD has us all questioning our own existance.


  13. Theresa in a new 'burgh

    *snicker* Great post. And thanks to my recent cold I am totally stocked up on tissues. Clean tissues, I mean.


  14. Theresa in a new 'burgh

    Oh, and if I’m imaginary, does that mean I need to finish my dissertation?


  15. Lou

    Theresa – in a word, YES. Now get busy! BTW, what are those Scotish men like?? Hummm…?

    BcB – **double SNORT**. There’s that wild and warped mind at work again, causing the rest of us to spit liquid all over our keyboards.

    Bryan has definitely raised an interesting question – are we real… or imaginary?


  16. McB

    Well Jenny did admonish us once to go talk to real people. Maybe we are imaginary. Maybe we’re just characters waiting for someone to write our story. Parallel universe stuff. “No, no! Not the bodice ripper! Anything but that!”

    Smenita – Her real identity. But she has been forced out of her ancestral home by her evil cousin who inherited the estate. So she ran away, rather than be forced into marriage with the gouty old man her cousin owed money to. So she steals an outfit from one of the upstairs maids and makes her way to the neighboring estate owned by the reclusive Duke of New Burgh (its a Scottish title) and asks for work under the assumed name of …


  17. Cary

    Samantha. Sam is hired on by the housekeeper as a chambermaid (but only after the Duke caught sight of Sam in her two-sizes-too-small-for-her-curvaceous-bust-and-hips borrowed dress(but oddly, the author describes Sam as petite and willowy in an earlier passage).

    It is now fair Sam’s job to clean out the master’s chambers every morning. She’s only allowed to enter after the reclusive Duke has descended to his study for the day.

    On her third day, Samantha finds a woman’s stocking (size large) under the bedcovers. On the fifth day, she finds a…..

    (Funny – her name is still smenita in Blooger verification-speak)


  18. btuda

    … second stocking, size small. Hmm. Somewhere in the village there is a woman with a serious limp.

    Carrying on, Sam puts extra effort into the cleaning of the duke’s chamber. The sheets are folded down just so. The pillows are extra fluffed. There are no dust bunnies to be found under the bed on her watch.

    Then on the seventh day …

    (hope you don’t mind me jumping in here …)


  19. McB

    On the seventh day, Sam, aka Smenita, was given a few hours off in the afternoon. Eager to get out of the house for some fresh air she strolled down to the stables whereupon she met the Welsh head groomsman, Awkkf. Always happy to spend time around horses, Sam decided that it would behoove her to strike up a friendship with the groomsman, who’s appearance …


  20. andi

    Was familiar, stirringly familiar. As Sam tried not to look him directly in the eyes, just peeking through her black lashes, she fought to come to her senses. Where had she seen this man before? Surely she would remember such expansive shoulders, sculpted hands. Perhaps it was in green Linakux?


  21. Cary

    Ah, no, now she recalled. They’d met long ago, when she was but a wee virginal lass of 15, at her Uncle Fefczr’s home in Wales.

    Sam’s batting black lashes generated a stiff breeze that stirred Awkkf’s chestnut tresses over his expansive, brawny shoulders. Unfortunately, that stiff breeze also stirred up the aroma of the stable block, causing our poor, allergy-prone groomsman to begin sneezing uncontrollably just as….


  22. McB

    sneezing uncontrollably, “fiujh!” just as the Duke entered the stables. As his hooded gaze took in the pair, the Duke sneered …


  23. btuda

    …”cubmfv.” (You see, he had his mouth full of mutton at the time.)

    “Um, excuse me?” Sam stammered, nimbly sidestepping the newest fragrant addition to the stable floor.

    “What is going on here?” the Duke demanded …


  24. McB

    “Wh- why, nnnnnothing,” Sam stammered, the translucent skin of her heart shaped faced blushing furiously.

    “Ah, would your Grace be want’n me to saddle your white Arabian, Adnvjsff?” Awkkf asked, interrupting the awkward moment. The Duke usually saddled Adnfjsff himself, being the only person that the horse, a proud stallion with a lineage going back nearly as far as the Duke’s, would allow near without a fight.


  25. btuda

    Tossing the leg of mutton into the rubbish heap, the Duke gave Awkkf an imperialous glare, and Awkkf made himself scarce.

    As if by magic the stallion was saddled in the blink of an eye. The Duke turned to Sam. “Ride with me?”

    His words were as much an order as a request. A dainty dappled mare materialized beside her, already saddled.

    “Um, sure,” Sam replied. “As my Busha used to say, ‘Tnxkve!'”

    The Duke gave her a puzzled look from beneath his manly brow. “What exactly does that mean?”

    She shrugged. “I’m not sure. Busha mumbled a lot.”


  26. andi

    As the Duke grabbed the reins of Adnvjsff, to head out over the moors, he dug his booted heel in, leaned forward in his saddle and gave a hearty,”Yrixpae!”

    After a quizzical look and a shrug, Sam rode off to follow, leaving the groomsmen in a cloud of dust and stench.

    Sam wasn’t sure where the moors were, or why they were riding at an uncomfortable trot, or why her dress was still so small, she just knew…


  27. McB

    … she really had to go.

    Unaware of Samantha’s discomfort, the Duke spurred his mount on. But Adnvjsff had other ideas. Just as they drew abreast of a fallen log, the stallion decided, quite suddenly, that he’d rather walk. The Duke, taken unawares, sailed over the horse’s head, falling top hat over tea cup and landing with a noise that sounded like “pdjmfdph.”

    Startled, Sam gasped “Your Grace, oh Your Grace, are you alright?” Not hearing a reply, she dismounted and walked the mare over to where the Duke lay, unconscious.

    “Oh, thank God!” she cried. And after securing the mare’s reins to some brush, made for the nearest tree, hiking up her skirt as she went.


  28. btuda

    There was a squirrel. And as everyone knows, when you see a squirrel in your time of need, it is a lucky thing.

    “Wdphsmf,” he mumbled, still prone on the ground.

    Her heart gave a little fluttering leap. Over the past few days, she felt as if she knew him intimately. She knew he preferred luxuriously soft bed linens. She knew his jammies had little pink bunnies embroidered on them (or were those dragons?). She also knew that some woman with mis-matched legs recently shared his bed. But the icing on the cake was that she knew …


  29. btuda

    … better than to mix her pronouns.

    The Duke lay still upon the ground, looking quite uqanjn, if she did say so herself. Frankly, she did not notice if the squirrel was male or female, and it simply felt rude to check.

    More pressing needs intruded upon her thoughts, so she leapt behind the tree, bypassing the lucky squirrel, and let out a sigh of relief that the tree effectively hid her from sight. She hiked her skirt higher, relieved that she could finally … well, relieve herself when she noticed she was not alone.

    “Oqnarsl!” she spat.


  30. McB

    Apparently the squirrel, him or her, had been playing possum. She eyed the squirrel warily, not certain that her ladylike sensibilities would allow her to be in a state of déshabillé,in front of a creature of uncertain gender. While she was pondering the situation she looked around and noticed plants that looked a great deal like one her governess had drawn while she was studying ancient Greek flora. If she recalled correctly, and she was sure she did since we was fluent in both Greek and Latin having spent so much time in her father’s study, they were called dosgios.


  31. andi

    A rare and some would say fragrant, or pungent foliage with an abundance of uses. Sam felt much relieved and tried to decide what to do with the dosgios. When she heard the Duke begin to stir. As her skirts settled into place she cautiously stepped from behind the tree, avoiding the lucky squirrel, to see the Duke straighten to his full height. With a furrowed brow, he turned to see Sam, unaware her skirt had been tucked into her pantaloons in the rear, and said, “E, O, pry kwi?” Sam’s response was a resounding, “HUH?” It seems the Duke had suffered a bump to his forehead. With a stout shake of his head, he tried again to make sense…


  32. btuda

    … of the magical language of the Yrvkh people running through his head.

    “I said, what happened here?” he demanded, ignoring the fact a moment ago he suddenly became bilingual.

    “You were thrown from your horse,” Sam explained, turning to point the log and his horse. Hmm. Things seemed a bit drafty all of a sudden.

    “But there is good news,” she continued.

    “I can’t wait to hear it.”

    She beamed up at him. “We’ve got …”


  33. McB

    lucky squirrels!”

    The Duke looked her over carefully. And more carefully yet when he realized her delectable derriere was visible.

    “Lucky squirrel?” He asked slowly. “Yes” Sam replied, continuing to beam at him.

    “And which one of us fell off of the horse?”


  34. andi

    So you know, Lordship, my jumping mare was ready to take that log, when you went flying through the air.” Sam replied with a slight lift of her delicate chin. Wondering privately of his interest in her skirts. Still a little breezy, hmmm.


  35. chryscat

    I. Love. This. Post.

    It reminds me of my three darling daughters posting themselves around my sun chair (on my front lawn, in the middle of nowhere) in case anybody happened to drive by and see me half-naked (the essentials were covered).
    God bless them.


  36. btuda

    “Flying through the air,” he repeated solemnly. “Did you fall off your horse as well?”

    “Of course not,” she replied. “Why do you ask?”

    “Because, my dear lady, you’ve got FWMHG.”

    Her brow creased in confusion, only increasing his interest in her heart-shaped face. “What is FWMHG?”

    “‘From Whence Makes Heinie Glow,’ as in, careful, or you’ll get a sunburn there.”


  37. andi

    A crimson flush spread through Sam’s cheeks as her eyes grew wide. Straining the already snug material, she reached behind to unfurl the skirts. Exhasperated, Sam muttered,”d, d, arp,” and blew the fine strands of hair from her eyes. The Duke looked on with a calm face, while a small dew of perspiration gathered at his brow.

    “Please, pardon my indecency, Duke, it was without intent. And now, I feel as though we can now continue our ride.”


  38. btuda

    “No problem,” he replied. “Things like that seem to happen a lot around here. Now before we leave this place, would you kindly explain the bit about the squirrel?”

    “Squirrels are considered very lucky in Dxyle,” she answered.

    “All squirrels or just certain ones?”


  39. Sheryl

    Pray, continue with this tale.


  40. Mary

    Just pleeeease don’t let your daughter and her bgf read this, or we’re all going to be up against the firewall.

    And that squirrel looks like he’s ready to bzplv at any moment 😦


  41. btuda

    Sam tapped her chin thoughfully. “Well, certain squirrels are more lucky than others, but all hold some degree of luck.”

    The Duke held his tongue as long as he was able. “What the blazes is so lucky about my getting thrown off my horse, hitting my head, or magically becoming bilingual?” he demanded.

    “Ttsss,” hissed the squirrel.

    “See?” Sam replied. “You found a lucky squirrel.


  42. orangehands

    the lucky squirrel nodded. he pulled out a small top hat- both Sam and the Duke stared at this- placed it on his head, and said, “Ghrtys”

    “Huh” said the Duke.

    Sam was blushing again. The Duke looked from her to the squirrel. “Should i leave you two alone?”

    ok, this whole thing was ROTFLMAO!!!! post, JJ and bryan, the story.