Why I’d Fail as a Regency Lady… or I Love THE SEASON

Sometimes while I’m reading I like to imagine what St. Matt would say if I made him read/ listen to the audiobook. Usually I do this when I’m loving a book I know he wouldn’t enjoy. I give myself an approving pat on the back and think: I’m-such-a-good-wife for not making him read this — even though I really, really want him to.

I thought this while reading and loving The Season by Sarah MacLean. As I smiled like a puggle in a sunbeam and turned delicious pages, I imagined his reaction:

“Um, there’s a lot about dresses in there.”
“Exactly!”
“And dancing.”
“I know!”
*dreamy sigh*
“What the heck’s a dance card? These girls have to follow a lot of rules. You, my sweet catastrophe, would not have done well in the 1800’s.” Then, kiss on my forehead, he’d walk away.

As usual, he’d be right. Even in my imaginary conversations, St. Matt’s irritatingly accurate.

I would have been an awful regency lady. Despite my love for all-things-Austen, I’d have failed miserably in her social circle. I’m impulsive. I’m outspoken. I’m entirely too uncoordinated for the quadrille and all the beautiful slippers, gloves and gowns would spontaneously stain and rip under my wear. I’d be scandalous.

On the other hand, the feisty heroines in some of my favorite books made rebelling against 19th century society seem like a recipe for love & happiness. Elizabeth Bennet, Emma Woodhouse, A Great and Terrible Beauty’s Gemma and Felicity, and The Season’s Ella, Vivi, and Alex were more admirable because they refused to conform. They were all impulsive, opinionated, rule-breakers like me.

So maybe I wouldn’t have actually been good at living back then, but – dancing skills aside – I’d make an excellent regency heroine (provided they don’t try and separate me from my Blackberry (Petunia) or yell at me for ripping my gloves).

Now if I can only talk St. Matt into dressing like Gavin

Toilets, Tweezers & Twitter

I was feeling optimistic as I brushed my teeth last night. I could do this. I could beat insomnia. I could sleep. I could – gulg, blurble. Those sounds, in case you don’t recognize them, are the sounds tweezers make when they’re knocked off a counter and into a toilet.

Toothbrush still wedged between my molars and cheek, I stared open-mouthed. Toothpaste foam began to dribble down my lip. Looking like a rapid insomniac, I peered in the toilet.

Nothing.

Did that just happen? Maybe I imagined it. Sleep deprivation can cause hallucinations.

I checked the counter. No tweezers.
I checked the toilet. No tweezers.
They’d gone down the hole.

Confession: my first instinct was to flush. If there’s no proof or witnesses, it never happened, right? I stood glowering at toilet and imagining what would happen…

Husband: Have you seen our tweezers?
Me: Tweezers?
H: Yeah, tweezers. Pointy metal things? Used to take out splinters like this one?
Me: *giggling nervously and edging out of the room* Never heard of such a thing


Later the same day, the pipes EXPLODE and plumber is called. He spends hours muttering things like ‘hopeless,’ ‘major repairs,’ and ‘Maserati’ before plucking the tweezers out of the ruin that used to be our bathroom and saying: “Here’s the cause of the bazillion dollars of damage. I’m going to hafta turn off your water. It’ll take four months to repair.”

Me: *innocent look in place* Wow. How could those have gotten in there? I have no idea how they could possibly, accidentally gotten knocked into the toilet and then impulsively flushed.
Husband: Tiffany!

Resisting the urge to flush, I backed out of the bathroom.

I needed an expert – but who to ask?
Around 1:30 this morning, I tweeted this:

HELP! I dropped my tweezers in the toilet. Can’t see them – can I just flush & consider them a lost cause, or do I need to do something?

But no help was offered. Tweople were asleep. Stymied, I took a post-it note, wrote: Don’t Flush! Tweezers in there. And went to bed.

Since it was 2 AM when I crafted my post-it, it took multiple snoozes, wet puggle noses and finally Husband threatening to withhold coffee before I got out of bed in the morning. He was on the way out the door.

Me: Um, honey, did you fix anything this morning?
H: Yes.
Me: *perking up* Really?
H: Yes, your coffee’s ready to go and sitting on the counter downstairs. Now get up!
Me: Oh, coffee. (first and only time when having coffee fixed for me will be disappointing)

I followed him downstairs, and held my breath as he popped in the bathroom to Lysterine before heading out the door.

Husband emerged with post-it. Ut-oh.
H: What’s this?
Me: You’re going to be late, we’ll talk about it tonight.
H: Why didn’t you just pull them out?
Me: I’m not putting my hand in THERE. Besides, I can’t see them. But don’t worry, I have a plan.
H: Ooo-K.

Great, now I needed to find a plan. Well, it’d taken him that long to find my note. We have other toilets – maybe we should consider this one a lost cause and abandon it forever. I could find an alternate use for the toilet – like people who use tires as lawn art. We could fill it with dirt and make it a self-watering planter. If we got a step stool, it could be a water bowl for the dogs.

I needed help.

  • Co-workers just reiterated that Tiffany should NOT flush the toilet. No matter how much she believed that maybe the tweezers disappeared overnight.
  • Students thought it was very funny. Sixth graders like to say ‘toilet’ and make bathroom jokes.
  • Our DARE officer stopped by and I asked him: “I know this is outside of your typical jurisdiction, but…”

I needed more help; good thing that the Twitterverse was very ready to be helpful. It assembled a virtual support team for my tweezer/toilet crisis.

Thank you Suze, Emily, Linda, Clinton Books, Lisa, Julie, Alea, Michelle, and Pseudosu for being there for me in my time of need. Julie, if I have a plumbing emergency – I’m calling you! The rest of you – I’m glad you weren’t around when I was fighting the just-flush impulse last night. Clearly you’re in cahoots with the plumber – he wasn’t really going to let you test drive his Maserati.

My students came through in the clutch too; they created a fetch-your-tweezers-from-the-toilet-dance. It involves reaching down, making a fist, pumping it in the air, shaking it off, then reaching around with the other hand to ‘flush.’ I’m sure it will be appearing on dance floors near you later tonight.

With all this support, I was ready when I got home from school. I plucked the strongest magnet off the fridge. Tied my best former-Brownie knot around it. Twice –I wasn’t a very good Brownie. Took a deep breath. And marched into the bathroom.

And it an utterly anti-climactic turn of events – the tweezers stuck to the magnet the first time I dropped it in the toilet.

SUCCESS!

The tweezers and magnet are both safely in the trash and I’m dancing. It’s a great new dance that’s all the rage in 6th grade; the fetch-your-tweezers-from-the-toilet. I’ll teach you if you want.

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