Monday, July 30, 2007

Rescued from the Island of the Misfits

Do y'all play Bunco?

My family moved here a year ago last May, and by mid-June I'd figured out via observation that on my block, the word Bunco is neighbor-lady code for "that once monthly evening which serves as the a) foundational undergarment of sagging maternal oomph (aka GETTING THE HECK AWAY FROM THESE CHILDREN), b) the bedrock of a bustling ... okay, active ... okay, mediocre ... okay, stunted social life, c) a rationalization for purchasing (and perhaps even wearing) garments that aren't held up with drawstrings or comprised entirely of fleece and dried milk crust, and d) the sole motivation to scrape/pick/cut the purple Play-Doh™ out of the carpet and polish up the good Chinette® for the neighbor ladies on an annual basis."

See, for us, Bunco's not just a dice-based game of chance. It's a purpose... a goal... the ultimate reward for another month survived. At least around here it is.

So as you can surely imagine it was only a matter of time before one of us desperate Bunco Ladies would devise a way to replicate the joy and libation oops! liberation that is Bunco Night and then cleverly disguise it in a cloak of good old-fashioned productivity, thereby all-but-alleviating the associated guilt of leaving our early-dinner-smeared kids still sitting at the table and stomping cute-little-sandal marks across our husbands' torsos as we trample over them on our way out the door four times a month vs. the current one. And thus was born "Mel's Sanity Night."

"Mel" as she calls herself, lives a few houses down from me and I am blessed to call her not only a neighbor but a friend, too. Melanie sent out an email a few weeks ago with a PDF attached. You know it's serious if there's a PDF involved. The body of Melanie's email explained her idea for "Sanity Night" eloquently, but her point can be summarized without losing much of its nuance in one sentence: Until further notice, in order to keep my head from exploding, I am locking myself in the basement on Thursday nights and you are welcome to join me but if you do please bring your own booze and chocolate. Thank you.

Wait, isn't that Bunco? I thought.

Upon opening the PDF, I discovered the true genius of Mel's little scheme and that which differentiated it from Bunco Night. On a scanned version of her personal calendar, she'd scrawled Scrapbooking in the block for each of the nights in question. Clever Melanie had devised a LEGITIMATE PURPOSE for quadrupling our monthly nights of girlie fun and (relative) abandon. Because in its ability to mystify and terrify a man into unquestioning silence, there's only one word that rivals this word "scrapbooking," -- and that's PMS (or, in the South, FTS: Fixing Ta Start). OH THE BRILLIANCE!

There's only leeeetle problem with this whole ruse, though.

I don't scrapbook.

Now before you go all "Herbie-doesn't-like-to-make-toys!" on me, allow me to explain. I don't scrapbook for many reasons, not the least of which is that I am old and senile and therefore all of my (air quote)Memories are (air quote)Creative and I don't require funky scissors or sticky gold-foil letters to make them so. But come back, because, please... I am neither an animal nor a sociopath! I DO capture my family's stories and photos in a clever, pithy, and artistic fashion! it's just that because apparently I'm unable to detach both hands from the keyboard of my laptop at the same time, I've been pressed to find a way to do so online, and I have. I maintain a little family diary electronically, thereby affording me a quick and easy way to share the fruits of my considerable labor with distant family and friends while concurrently feeding my naughty, webby little habit. I started the diary when I was 17 weeks into my pregnancy with Bean, and posted the most recent entry as late as last Friday. So please, do not judge my scraplessness. I am preserving for posterity in my own pathetically addiction-driven manner. One must learn to accept and embrace one's own limitations.

But how to make myself a part of (air quote)Scrap Night sans Scrappiness?

Well, we had the first of "Mel's Sanity Nights" last week and I'd say it was a rousing success. Cloistered in Melanie's basement, several ladies bellied up around Melanie's huge table -- piled high with more scrapbook-related gadgetry and detritus (I mean that in a nice way!) than I've ever seen in my life. Along with the chocolate and the booze. And Melanie reserved me a spot by an outlet to plug in my trusty laptop so I could blog along merrily beside them. And we all got along really well and were able to share ideas with one another relating to our chosen means of documenting family history.

"Mel's Sanity Night" works, even if you're not scrappy.

Only thing is... does anybody know how to remove acid-free photo corners and ladybug stickers from a computer screen?


  1. Girl, at first, I had no idea where in the world you were going with this one, and I was afraid, very afraid. However, I laughed out loud when you revealed that it was all about scrapbooking. I used to be a major scrapbooker, but blogging is my thing now. I just lump everything into my big fat Kids Kitchen blog as it happens. I don't think it matters how you preserve your memories, just that you do. My husband thinks I need professional help because I am addicted to blogging. He may be right, but at least I am not spending all his hard-earned money on page protectors and paper punches!

  2. You are too funny! I must tell you that you are not too old for scrapbooking, because I scrapbook and you are younger than me. However - I'll let you off the hook, since you are doing something to preserve those memories!

  3. Pssssst . . . I am no scrapbooker either! Not from lack of trying, either.

    I am, however, all for Girls' Night Out - in whatever way, shape, or form it must be disguised.

  4. "Mel" here and I can't believe that I made your blog - I feel so honored!!!! Except girls she left out that scrapbook night turns into Movie Night and then into 80's Trivia night and then back into scrapbooking and then we even squeeze dinner out one night with a game of LCR - but that is a whole other blog topic!

    On the sticky additions to your computer screen - we can try goo-gone or the stuff we use to pull stickers from our pages that have been placed erroneously. The name excapes me at the moment.

  5. Oh, I'm a hater right now. . . can I move to your neighborhood? Can I come over please? Oh how I long for a night of sanity. Hubby is a pilot, gone most of the month and it's me and my 2 little ones who just happen to be under the age of 2 . . . sanity? I might be too far gone for help at this point

  6. I'm glad to know I will not be the only one not scrapping, when I finally get to go. Now, I need to figure out what I will do!

  7. Can I be your neighbor? I scrapbook, play Bunco, AND blog. I think I'd fit right in. :-)