Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Michael Jackson's Death Is Tearing Our Family Apart

Michael Jackson's death is tearing our family apart.

My daughter took the news hard. "You know, Michael Jackson died," she told me a few minutes after she saw a breaking news bulletin.
"I know," I said. "Do you know who he is?" Because ten year olds are funny. Like my daughter had no idea who Madonna was. And until she was eight, Jesus.
"No," she said, " but it doesn't put me into the best mood to hear about people dying."
"Oh, honey," I tried to cheer her up, "people die every day."

Meanwhile, although Husbandrinka is one of the few people who truly doesn't give a shit about celebrities, dead or alive, he has been approached by a disproportionate number of people who wanted to share their grief with him. "He was so young," our doorman told Husbandrinka as he was getting the mail.

"I'm really heartbroken," our dry cleaner told him.

"I wanted you to know that I am devastated," a colleague emailed.

I am outraged.

No one said anything to me. Which is surprising because I'm so much more celebrity-friendly and sympathetic. So of course I have celebrity condolence envy because everyone seeks Husbandrinka out for celebrity postmortem talk and no one talks to me about it.

I even made a list of benefits of discussing Michael Jackson's death with me versus Husbandrinka.

Reasons Why It's Good to Discuss Michael Jackson's Death With Me

1. I have been dutifully following the media and can intelligently discuss various aspects of Michael Jackson's life, career and indictments.

2. I am super nice and sympathetic.

3, It's entirely possible that I will blog about your celebrity grief and you will experience blog fame.

4. I have a few theories that I am happy to share at no extra cost at all.

Reasons Why It's Good to Discuss Michael Jackson's Death with Husbandrinka

1. He doesn't care, so he will not interrupt you with his own two cents.

Obviously, I'm the clear choice. Or clearly, I'm the obvious choice. Whatever.

But our marriage is not the only one suffering. Because the other day, mama showed us Time Magazine and said, "this is the only picture of him that I love."

so although this image is obviously from Time Magazine, I got it from And then I couldn't get rid of that crap on the bottom.

And papa said, "that is not a picture. It is a photo." Papa, god love him, does this sometimes. Like the time that he insisted that "kids" were "goats" and that his grandchildren were "children" and not farm animals.
"You can say 'picture'," I reassured him.
"Picture is painted. Photo is a photograph," he put his foot down.

Lest you think that papa is not colloquial, I have fond memories of his trying to teach me a few idiomatic phrases when we first came to America.

"If someone tells you some nonsense, tell them 'Go tell it to the Marines'," he instructed me.

I was ten. And confused.

"Why?" I asked.
"Because that's what Americans do," he explained. "You say go tell it to the Marines and you fit in and have friends."

I nodded, but never followed his advice. Although admittedly, I've been low on friends for years.

One day he called me, alarmed.
"You know, I've been saying 'whole bowl of wax' and now I think it's 'whole bowl of wax'," he told me.
"Those two phrases are exactly the same," I reassured him, leaving out that no one knows what it means.
"No, one is bowl, like Life is a bowl of cherries and the other is bowl like men have two bowls."
Oh. balls.

Who hasn't made that mistake?


Blogger bernthis said...

can i just sit at your family's dinner table one night and listen? I'm imagining a night of great entertainment

July 8, 2009 at 2:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing such an entertaining bedtime story.

I hope that you have wonderful dy on the East Coast as this West Coast blogger is going to go crawl into bed.


July 8, 2009 at 3:24 AM  
Blogger Kabbalah Rookie said...

I will second bernthis's comment! Although I am not sure that my stomach muscles will emerge intact - I am picturing myself bursting something through laughter exertion....x

July 8, 2009 at 4:44 AM  
Anonymous Halala Mama said...

I think I would LOVE your father! Someday I need to make a list of everything my African husband says wrong - my fave was the morning he woke me up yelling, "the cat! the cat! he threw away." WHAT?

July 8, 2009 at 6:45 AM  
Blogger TeacherMommy said...

I would most definitely choose you to talk to about my MJ grief if I really had any.

And is there ANY way you could share some of your funny with me? I'm on low supply these days.

July 8, 2009 at 6:58 AM  
Blogger Vodka Mom said...

you never cease to crack me up.

July 8, 2009 at 7:19 AM  
Anonymous Coco said...

Your dad is a hoot. Always plenty of blog fodder there.

July 8, 2009 at 7:44 AM  
Blogger For Myself said...

Too funny.
My dad was the self-appointed grammar Zhar (how the hell do you spell that word anyway....). It was always form over content for him.

"Dad, I feel terrible about what I did."

"Terribly," he'd mutter.

Anyhoo-- great post!

July 8, 2009 at 7:45 AM  
Anonymous Vicki said...

Oh, MJ and bowls of wax. I remember when I started kindergarten and didn't know English, I had a boy bully me. My mom pored through the dictionary and told me to tell him, "Leave me alone. I will go to principal." Which totally solved all of my problems. Coincidentally,I am now totally popular and the bully is probably a crack addict. Or was at the MJ memorial service. Either way, I feel vindicated.

July 8, 2009 at 8:28 AM  
Blogger Mwa said...

I will discuss my MJ grief with you. I have none, apart from sympathy for his family. I don't care and don't need any services on my TV.

Feeling any better? I think perhaps you just know more people who don't care so much about this.

July 8, 2009 at 8:46 AM  
Blogger IB said...

I was having dinner with some friends last night. They were going home, after the meal, to watch the MJ memorial. They had recorded it. I started to laugh thinking it was a joke. I guess I put them on the defensive because they launched into a list of all the reasons I should feel bad. Whatever. I still think Tivo-ing a funeral is funny.

July 8, 2009 at 8:46 AM  
Blogger Heather, Queen of Shake Shake said...

I think Husbandrinka would like me. Except if he can't discuss Steve Irwin's celebrity death, he's dead to me.


July 8, 2009 at 9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i heart papa

July 8, 2009 at 9:50 AM  
Anonymous Maureen at IslandRoar said...

"Whole BALL of wax..."
Suddenly it makes sense.

Thank goodness no one is sharing about MJ with you. Because then you would feel forced to share it with us and we would have to cry because we're so sick of hearing about it. And you so rarely make us cry; why start now?

July 8, 2009 at 10:32 AM  
Anonymous Sophie, Inzaburbs said...

Michael Jackson's death is tearing our family apart too. My husband is insisting on playing his songs on a loop. And he doesn't even like Michael Jackson. I think he is just trying to be trendy.

July 8, 2009 at 10:35 AM  
Anonymous Crystal said...

My husband doesn't care about Michael Jackson either. I made him watch the memorial yesterday and, after a grumpy word or two, promptly fell asleep. I'm not a major MJ fan, but it's history. History that my husband slept through.

July 8, 2009 at 10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Papa is awesome!

For Myself - your dad is WRONG! Terrible is grammatically correct in this situation. When you're describing how you feel physically or emotionally, an adjective is the proper way to describe it. If you're talking about the physical act of feeling, as in touching, then you'd use and adverb - terribly. But "I feel terribly" would mean that the manner in which you feel someone is terrible. That's kind of creepy. ;-)

July 8, 2009 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger Babe in Babeland said...

Hi! I think you are hilarious!! I can totally lament about Michael Jackson's death to you if you'd like. I was not ready for this! I was not ready for him to go!! Too soon, too soon.

Also, thanks for the blog tutorial in your previous post. It is very helpful. I'm new to this whole blogging community, so I'm trying to figure everything out and maneuver my way through.

July 8, 2009 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger Tooj said...

Why do I find it disturbing that I think I agree with Papa 100%? On the photo versus picture, kids versus children....bowl, balls....He's a wise man. You're very lucky.

July 8, 2009 at 10:55 AM  
Anonymous peajaye said...

makes me wonder if michael jackson really WAS misunderstood - maybe he was just asking the goats to lick his bowls.

July 8, 2009 at 11:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ROFL it took me reading all tohose comments to get it. i need heeeelp;)

July 8, 2009 at 12:05 PM  
Blogger Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I think it really took bowls to write this post.

Had me on the floor.

July 8, 2009 at 12:12 PM  
Blogger Nenette AM said...

So, come over and you and I can talk about MJ, and Husbandrinka and Roomie can talk about how they don't give two shits about the whole thing... or maybe they can talk about drywall.


July 8, 2009 at 12:52 PM  
Blogger Bee and Rose said...

Clearly you are the person I would have to share my celebrity grieving are the hands down winner;)

Your dad sounds absolutely adorable!

July 8, 2009 at 1:17 PM  
Anonymous Wendi said...

I actually had an experience with a "whole bowl of wax" at the spa last night, but that's all I'm going to say.

July 8, 2009 at 1:37 PM  
Blogger Andrea (ace1028) said...

Your Dad sounds adorable!

July 8, 2009 at 2:12 PM  
Blogger Aunt Becky said...

I have 37 balls. Wait, were we talking about testicles? Because we should be.

July 8, 2009 at 2:24 PM  
Blogger Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I just never know where you are giong to go with something, but am always happy for the ride.

I think you should blog about Farrah. She got her death fame ripped right out from under her.

July 8, 2009 at 2:48 PM  
Blogger zelzee said...

You make me want to sit down and email you my pain and suffering from all the celebrity deaths that have taken their toll on my poor broken heart!

I know, I know...go tell it to the Marines! (The Army must not care)

July 8, 2009 at 4:11 PM  
Anonymous Dingo said...

MJ would be so sad to know that his untimely demise has upset the natural balance of your family. But what about Farrah? Does she get no love? Does her passing not at least cause a tiny squabble about whose turn it is to help set the table?

July 8, 2009 at 5:00 PM  
Blogger anymommy said...

I so want to take you and your Dad to dinner and just listen. Hilarious.

July 8, 2009 at 5:04 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

I love how there are always surprises in your stories. And I love how you comfort your daughter. "People die every day."

Just for the fun of it, could you do an Englebert Humperdink post? I'd love to hear your family discuss him.

July 8, 2009 at 5:36 PM  
Blogger Anna See said...

I love to "hear" Papa talk!

July 8, 2009 at 6:38 PM  
Blogger the mama bird diaries said...

I would so talk to you about MJ. I would never talk to your husband, mostly because I don't know him.

July 8, 2009 at 8:58 PM  
Blogger Kate Coveny Hood said...

Seems like one of those he's just not that into you situations. Women want what they can't have at all. Husbandrinka's just not that into celebrity gossip - making him a much sought after sounding board. Maybe he should refer people to you.

July 8, 2009 at 9:56 PM  
Blogger A New England Life said...

Damn, you frickin' crack me up.

Michael ... such a conflict of emotions. So great, yet so tragic.

July 8, 2009 at 10:15 PM  
Blogger Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

Damn. I need me a relative with a charming accent for quips like that...

July 9, 2009 at 8:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who believes that you should take your entire family with you to BlogHer?

July 9, 2009 at 8:30 AM  
Anonymous Auds at Barking Mad said...

I laughed as I read this because whilst my husband speaks "English" he is not American, he is in fact, English, and he could totally relate to your papa. Oh the blog fodder the conversations he and I have...

July 9, 2009 at 10:42 AM  

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