After Which You May Regret Being So Nice To Me

When I was in college, I kept a weathered manilla folder on the bottom of my bookshelf between the yearbooks and the photo albums. It was simply labeled Nice Things.

Inside the folder were, well, nice things. Papers I had slaved over, handed back with A's and complimentary notes from professors. Cards sent by my grandmother (you can always count on her to find the sparkliest, sappiest, most awesome granddaughter card on any given Hallmark holiday). Love letters from boyfriends and drunken photos of girlfriends. The junior year report card on which, for one time in my life, I got a perfect 4.0.

The Nice Things Folder was something I pulled out every so often when the world seemed blue, just to remind myself that there was indeed a reason to live.

And I say that not in a literal suicidal way, but in that overdramatic 19 year-old way; with the same voice that says "kill me now" when you gain one pound, or the diner stopped serving breakfast three minutes before you sat down with your mind set on a Belgian waffle with ice cream.

This week, courtesy of the blogworld, I accumulated enough for ten Nice Thing folders. Maybe more. It's hard to quantify the pages of virtual good wishes, clever links, hilarious You Tube videos, and a handful of ecards (Ecards! You sent me ecards! Aw, you guuuuuuuys...)

Although a few of your humorous suggestions....hoo boy. Well, it's the thought that counts, right?

(And for the record, I'm not talking about the Weird Al videos. In fact, I spent many hours on You Tube watching pretty much everything he had ever recorded and am not ashamed to admit it. Who knew that Eat It would hold up in '06?)

However while I may question the sense of humor from a handful of you, your sense of compassion and kindness is beyond reproach.

I apologize for being so vague about the crapfest that overcame me last week. It's not move related, although I certainly see why the back-to-back posts last week might give that impression. I assure you that in the upcoming months I will indeed have plenty to whine about regarding our move to the City of Botxed Angels, and will have little hesitation to do so openly.

No, this issue is something with the potential for maximum inner turmoil and suckitude. However right now, it's entirely in the universe's hands, not mine. And so I've decided to take a bit of a fatalistic view about it and go forward, chin up, until Zeus or Pan or Superman or whoever, decides the outcome.

And so yesterday morning I woke up with a new lightness in my chest. Also, about four new chocolate croissants in my gut. Isn't there some adage about chocolate-filled pastries healing all wounds?

I wish I could thank you each personally for the much-needed laughs you gave me this week. Consider this it. Yes, I'm talking to you. No, not her, you. Yes you. That thing you wrote? That was awesome! Really, the best out of the whole lot. And if you ever need some cheering up, you know who to come to.

In fact, let me share one of the things that cheered me up this weekend.

To a master improviser like Nate, every one of Thalia's book is its own set of Mad Libs, an opportunity for the reader to change the words however he'd like. And the great thing is--your 15 month-old kid? No idea at all. Clueless kid.

The other night, Nate took a shot at reading at one of the toy-books. You know what that is--one of those plush toys some well-meaning relative buys your child, that's also a book. They're usually valuable enough as a toy that you hang onto it, but not quite so worthy as a piece of children's literature that it deserves a place on the bookshelf.

It looks like a toy but...

Aha, it is also a book. Geeeeeenius!

Not that we could return it anyway, even if we wanted to, seeing as how the very generous giver of said toy-books also enjoys handwriting personal messages to Thalia in black sharpie marker on the pages.

With no further ado, I give you...

The Day the Serial Killer Came to Town

Once there was a perfectly nice looking woman who got in her car and drove to town.

She was drunk so she drove around and around and around until she hardly knew which direction she was facing.

She stopped at the store and stole some groceries and some flowers.

The perfect lure to pick up some stray kids on the street!

After she killed them, she took the car for a good wash.

No more evidence! The perfect crime!

Then she picked up some new kids and headed to the bus stop to try and find a runaway to kidnap or...

a homeless person. Jackpot!

The End.

Well, it made me laugh.

I understand completely if you never want to come here again.


Blogger starrynite said...

Hehe, it made me laugh too. Glad you're feeling better and so sorry you've been going through a crappy time.

It sounds trite but I fully believe that every hardship we get through makes us stronger (I'm only speaking from personal experience so feel free to disagree) no matter how completely sucky and pointless it seems at the time. *hugz*

10/2/06, 3:22 PM  
Anonymous MetroDad said...

I think we need to invite you and Nate over for dinner so BossLady and I can sing you some of the songs that we make up to nursery rhyme melodies. Peanut loves "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" but we got so sick of singing it that we now start singing "Ho, Ho, Ho, You're broke." We also do a fairly good rendition of the "Itsy Bitsy Tittie."

Ahh...who said having kids wasn't fun? Hope the crapfest ends soon!

10/2/06, 3:25 PM  
Blogger lynsalyns said...

Channing and Nate would SO be friends. If Emmie watches Franklin (which we try to avoid at all costs) he sings, "Here comes Franklin, robbing a liquor store! Hey, it's Franklin, raping his sister!'

Yeah. I laugh every time in spite of myself.

Wishing you happiness, peace and good health.

10/2/06, 3:32 PM  
Blogger gingajoy said...

yeah, I can see why you thought Nate and my Old Man might have been separated at birth. It's quite disturbing the twisted shit that can be derived from the most innocent of childhood toys. Frank's new focus is now on the "retarded crocodile" from Maisy. Can't wait for that one to be repeated at preschool.

glad you're feeling better, L.

10/2/06, 3:36 PM  
Blogger SUEB0B said...

With all the stuff parents go through for kids, one of the payback joys is making up nonsensical stuff that the kids won't understand but which makes the parents laugh.

My mom told me that sprinkling salt on a bird's tail would prevent if from flying, so I could capture one. Good for hours of me running around the yard with a salt shaker.

10/2/06, 3:38 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

If that is the worst he can do, nah you're not being deleted form my bloglines.

In fact, that was quite funny. Wrong maybe, but funny.

We make up different versions to songs. Our kids have no clue and hell, they can talk.

10/2/06, 3:40 PM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

Crap, i missed that you've been feeling bad. Hope things are starting to look up for you.

10/2/06, 4:01 PM  
Blogger nonlineargirl said...

And they say you're the funny one in the couple!

Glad you are feeling better, and glad that I held back sending you video of my husband speaking made up "spanish words" - he promised you'd love it, but I wasn't so sure...

10/2/06, 4:05 PM  
Anonymous mothergoosemouse said...

Are you kidding me? Do you really think that Kyle and I - the creators of Strawberry Poopface - wouldn't laugh our asses off at that story?

A little violent, yes. But hilarious nonetheless.

Still thinking of you.

10/2/06, 4:17 PM  
Blogger Stephanie A. said...


I love your Nice Things folder idea and I might just steal it for Hugo.

Glad you're feeling better!

10/2/06, 4:27 PM  
Blogger toyfoto said...

I hope the universe protects you, and I also wanted to let you know ... just to give you a window in which to look forward and get a glimpse of what's in store for you in a year or two ... This weekend Annabel decided to shave her face (like daddy) with her toothbrush. Now she has to do it every morning.

10/2/06, 4:33 PM  
Blogger jennster said...

LMFAO- you are a crazy bitch. i hate that you are moving to LA and i'm NOT there

10/2/06, 4:49 PM  
Blogger T. said...

Delightful to know that I'm not the only twisted mommy who delights in desanitizing our kiddy literature!

Thinking of you.

Hope it goes well.

10/2/06, 4:49 PM  
Blogger J said...

Disturbing....and yet so funny. :)

10/2/06, 4:52 PM  
Blogger ECR said...

If Nate has any spare plots laying around, I could use one for the novel I would love to write, if I could only come up with a STORY. It's not fair that some people get all the imagination ;) I hope the croissants and the laughter feed an improvement in your situation!

10/2/06, 5:08 PM  
Anonymous neva said...

well i don't know if that cheered you up... but i'm on the floor laughing, even as i try to type (not easy, since the keyboard is almost out of reeeeeeeeeeeech!)

avoid you? hell, i want to adopt you. xox

10/2/06, 5:22 PM  
Anonymous neva said...

not only will you WANT me to adopt you, you'll name your next child and/or dog after me once you've viewed the links i left for you on the previous post. (trust me... you *and* Nate will be amused. unless, of course, you've already seen it, in which case, nevermind.)

10/2/06, 5:33 PM  
Blogger Lena said...

Alarmingly funny. My favorite combination.

10/2/06, 6:04 PM  
Blogger Jonathon said...

Glad you found stuff to cheer you up!

10/2/06, 6:07 PM  
Blogger Overwhelmed! said...

Oh my gosh, I just spewed milk out of my nose reading your version of that story! Too hilarious!

Oh, and my mouth started watering when you mentioned new chocolate croissants. Did you make them yourself? Do you have a recipe that you could share? I love, love, love chocolate croissants but I've never tried to make them myself! :)

10/2/06, 6:08 PM  
Anonymous Mir said...

Can I borrow Nate?

I mean, I understand that maybe you need him, with your time of NEED and all, but geez... I want a Nate.

10/2/06, 6:10 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Overwhelmed - you have to be kidding me. I live in New York City, where we use our ovens for extra book storage.

10/2/06, 6:11 PM  
Blogger PunditMom said...

I LOVE the Nice Things folder! I wish I had had the presence of mind (and self-esteem) to keep such a thing starting 30 years ago ... but I am going to start one now!

I know when I'm gumming my oatmeal on the front porch rocker in another 30 (hopefully more like 40), I'll get some smiles from some big (and little) memories my family is making now.

Feel better! :)

10/2/06, 6:34 PM  
Anonymous Mother said...


Still laughing that someone thought you made the chocolate crossiants.


And the story? Well, c'mon. If you can't have fun with a damn kids book, then what the hell kind of fun can you have these days?

10/2/06, 6:35 PM  
Blogger Suz said...

I love the nice things folder. In fact, I think I might start one now. And, as far as the story goes, I'm glad to see that my husband isn't the only one who makes thing like that up. Did you know that Goodnight Gorilla was about a group orgy with animals? Did you?

10/2/06, 7:24 PM  
Blogger metro mama said...

Made me laugh too!

Hope things get better soon.

10/2/06, 7:54 PM  
Anonymous Momish said...

That was hysterical. I'll be back! Glad to hear things are getting better (and not just in a selfish, please make ME laugh way!)

10/2/06, 9:18 PM  
Anonymous southernmom said...

That was hysterical. If you and Nate really want a good laugh, please get Thalia the "Carl" series of books. You know, where they leave a toddler in the constant care of a giant Rottweiler? We often make up the story where Carl gets captured by the animal control officer.

Had to delurk on this one. I really enjoy your blog, so keep your chin up. The intraweb loves you!

10/2/06, 9:38 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

Aw, c'mon. I know the story has a better ending than that.

I guess we'll have to wait for the next installment. Perhaps it's in the teddy bear's tummy book.

10/2/06, 10:08 PM  
Blogger jen said...

i had one of those files too...but i'm w/ chicky...need more ending...

10/2/06, 10:30 PM  
Blogger Awesome Mom said...

That was hilarious! Thanks for giving me a good chuckle. I am glad that you are feeling better too.

10/2/06, 10:31 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I think Nate should write books. Books that have pretty, bright photos with a sweet little story, but the REAL story (for grown ups) in italics too. heehee. At least the adult can chose which version to read then. heehee.

10/2/06, 11:43 PM  
Blogger Jess Riley said...

It made me laugh, too. :)

And holy camoley, you're moving to LA!!!! Double and, I was also feeling as you did last week; instead of avoiding the computer, I should have come HERE to read up on the funny!

PS: I have a Nice Things file, too. It's actually a giant plastic bin. :-) It contains papers, cards, artwork, and (I suspect) several old bags of incense.

10/3/06, 1:08 AM  
Anonymous wordgirl said...

Now why didn't I think of that? Glad you're feeling better.

10/3/06, 1:16 AM  
Blogger Damselfly said...

Oh, man, I *love* chocolate croissants! And you had four! (Really?) Lucky you.

Love your Nice Things Folder idea.

10/3/06, 7:03 AM  
Blogger macboudica said...

I do that with books, too. So no wonder my daughter is so warped!

I am glad you are feeling better. Is there nothing a little chocolate won't cure.

10/3/06, 8:37 AM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Thank you for making ME laugh today.

See? You're still good for something.

10/3/06, 10:19 AM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

FYI, the word verification that I just had to type in? DEADTHIF. Which I'm reading as DEAD THIEF, which I think is cosmic approval of your story here.

Almost as good as the time that I had to type in TWAT to leave a comment at GGC.

10/3/06, 10:21 AM  
Blogger something blue said...

I'll never be able to read that book to Buttercup again without the twisted version invading my brain. Yes, we got it as a gift too.

Pastries and ice cream sure do help make me feel better. Hope the suckitude levels drop dramatically. Your nice things folder sounds glow inducing.

10/3/06, 10:50 AM  
Blogger virtualsprite said...

Yes... the story is much better your way.

Glad you're feeling better, too.

10/3/06, 11:17 AM  
Blogger Hippie Mama said...

Does it vibrate too? We have a bunny book just like that, and you pull a little string over his tail, and he "jumps" around and vibrates. Yeah.

10/3/06, 12:02 PM  
Anonymous mamatulip said...

That's my kind of humour.

I still remember watching my mother laughing so hard she was reduced to tears in a discount book store after coming across a copy of "Pat The Bunny". Seems she and my father had an inside joke about that book, and while I never understood or 'got' the joke, I think it might be along the same lines as the serial killer story, because even my father busts up when I mention "Pat The Bunny."

10/3/06, 1:12 PM  
Anonymous ali said...

you are hilarious!

10/3/06, 1:16 PM  
Anonymous Y said...


I love you.

10/3/06, 3:37 PM  
Blogger Leigh said...

I'm salivating thinking about those chocolate croissants. And just today we drove past the bakery that makes THE BEST ones in Jhb. I was sooo tempted to stop in but unfortunately on a way to a client meeting and I don't think they'd have felt the same way.

I also have a nice things folder - mine is electronic for nice emails, and I have a small box for cards and so forth.

10/3/06, 5:11 PM  
Blogger Chantal said...

Okay, I'm totally telling my kids about the salt shaker thing Suebob mentioned! That should keep 'em busy for a while.

My husband always did this with books. The conversations he made up made me howl. Until one day he asked my Mom and our oldest were watching Barney and my Mom said "Look at Baby Bop!". Kristyn said "Dat's not Baby Bop. Dat's Crack Whore!"


10/3/06, 9:22 PM  
Blogger crazymumma said...

I. need. More. Nate.

Glad you are feeling better. Sometimes ya just need to wallow...

10/3/06, 11:12 PM  
Blogger Kristen said...

That "nice things" folder is a really great idea. I actually think I might make one for my boyfriend- could I do that? I think so right?

10/3/06, 11:37 PM  
Blogger happygal said...

This is brilliant! I am still chuckling.

We have one that's a waterproof plastic bathtoy book in the shape of a starfish. It's got to be the most moronic story I've ever read to a child--a total cringefest. From now on, if forced to read it I'm making up my own twisted version. Wait 'till you start getting the really hateful stuff from well-meaning relatives (ie: Strawberry Shortcake as Cinderella crap...)
Who writes this stuff?

10/4/06, 2:08 AM  
Blogger MommyWithAttitude said...

I'm sorry I missed the chance to cheer you up. I have been in the same place as you and didn't even know you were there!

10/4/06, 3:06 AM  
Anonymous Toni-Marie said...

Sorry I wasn't around to brighten you day but you sure did with this post.

10/4/06, 9:01 AM  
Blogger kevin said...

In the great green room there was a meth lab and a pile of shrooms and a copy of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon.

10/4/06, 10:11 PM  
Anonymous Asha said...

Just wanted to chime in here to say...it's wonderful when you give so much, and it all comes back to you, and more. (Cue harp and chirpy birdsong.) You deserve every chuckle and laugh you get out of us...you've given quite a few during your tenure as blogger. thinking of you, hoping it feels better soon. xoxoxo

10/5/06, 1:29 AM  
Anonymous Nila said...

Nate's funny. Thanks, I needed that.

10/5/06, 3:17 AM  
Blogger Jaelithe said...

See now, back in the day, ALL children's stories used to be badass like Nate's. Hansel and Gretel, anyone?

10/5/06, 11:57 AM  
Blogger Ericka said...

oh good - i'm not alone. i, erm, twist the story line to some of the pap i have to read to my friends' kids. how does some of it get published?!?

and, there's several small books out there of politically correct fairy tales and bedtime stories. they're a hoot.

i have a nice things folder as well. it just has a smiley face on the title tab. another thing i have is a binder style photo album (one of those annoying ones with the "magnetic" pages). whenever i find a comic strip that strikes my funny bone, i cut it out and put it in my binder. then, when i need a lift, i go through my binder. i'm always giggling by the second or third page.

10/6/06, 4:52 PM  

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