Happy Chinese New Year!
Shockingly, we did not go to Li’s Buffet for Chinese New Year. But I do have a Li’s Buffet story nonetheless:
Last Friday, while I was at the police station, one of the dads brazenly walked up to me and said, “I think Li’s Buffet has been beat!” He waxed eloquent about some loser Chinese buffet in the next town over. I gave him a raised eyebrow and let him ramble on, but I knew better.
Today, on Facebook his daughter posted a tale of tragedy. Apparently, they went to a non-Li’s Chinese Buffet today and there was a nasty little episode involving water and Dr. Pepper. When the daughter ordered water but later changed her order to Dr. Pepper, the server thought the daughter was trying to get the Dr. Pepper without paying for it.
I’m not sure of all the details, but being that the daughter has formidable karate skills, there may have been broken china and mei fun noodles on the ceiling. I cannot confirm that for sure but I kinda hope there was.
And the next time when they want to go out to a peaceful family dinner, they will know to go back to Li’s.
Now…on to the picture of the day.
This is the table that Mom gave to us yesterday. Mom does not like clutter and every now and then she wanders around in her basement Cleaning Out. Dad is never pleased by this. In fact, there were some tense moments at Li’s Buffet last night while they discussed what had to be Cleaned Out from the basement.
The table in this picture has been in their basement for 15 years. And for 15 years I’ve wanted this table. Really, really wanted the table. Wondered why anyone who had such an amazing table would leave it in a basement. Leaving a beauty such as this to sit idle in a basement was a travesty. (And do you see the little drawer in the side? I love tables with little drawers in the side. I pulled it out just for the picture so that you could see.)
When Mom offered me the table, I told her how much I’ve always wanted the table. She told me I should have asked for it sooner. But as socially clueless as I can be sometimes, even I know better than to do that.
And then Mom said the magic words, “Where will you put it?” A myriad of memories comes back to me whenever I hear those words. They were a staple of my childhood. A weekly tradition. Almost, a term of endearment?
It’s sort of hard to explain the house I grew up in. When people would come to visit it for the first time, we would greet them at the door, bring them into the house and take their coats. Everything would be fine until the guest had a chance to look around. And then they would stop and…stare. For the entire visit, the guest would be distracted, just…staring…around the room.
My parents love to collect things and they love antiques. The house wasn’t cluttered, exactly. But it was full of stuff. Crammed full of stuff. The walls were lined with stuff.
Each piece of furniture that lined the wall touched the next piece of furniture in order to squeeze all the furniture into the perimeter of the rooms. Two pianos. Two sideboards. Uncounted bookcases. Four display cases. 18 cookie jars. 24 teapots. Row upon row of cartoon glasses from Hardees . China. Music boxes. An entire room filled with hundreds of stuffed animals, including a 25 foot long, 1 foot in diameter hot-pink stuffed snake. The eight live cats and the two live dogs.
And the 500 coffee mugs hanging on the dining room walls.
The coffee mugs. You know those accordion coat racks? Here is an example of one.
Well, they had 50 of those coatracks and on each hook was a mug. A couple times a year, I would come home from school or work to a haggard mother. With a twitching eye, she’d ask me if I noticed anything different about the house. I’d look around nervously, wondering what could be different until she would bark out, “The mugs! I washed all the mugs! By hand! Can’t you tell how shiny they are??” “Oh! Yes! I saw that right away! Yes! They are shiny! That’s real fine that you done that.” (See 30 seconds in to this clip from “The Good Life” Twilight Zone episode.)
My parents would spend happy hours window shopping in antique stores and finding treasures at yard sales. And every time they would buy something to put into their burgeoning home, one of them would quietly muse, “I wonder where we’ll put it,” and the other would cheerily call out, “We’ll find a place!”
So…when Mom said, “Where will you put it?” I answered with, “I’ll find a place!”
And that’s what I did today. Found a place for the table. Only problem is that I don’t have anymore space for a table. My perimeters are full!
I had to resort to the ol’, put-the-skinny-table-behind-the-couch trick.
Ahhh! Look at that house! Look at all those colors! I love color. I love my house. One day, when there’s nothing else going on, I’ll take pictures of the my house for the Picture of the Day and tell you all about it.
Star Trek quote of the day: Bones: She’s dead, Jim.
Redshirt death toll: 5
Show/movie watched while cooking/cleaning in the kitchen: Rise of the Planet of the Apes.