Guest post: Size 10 seeks same with matching Tupperware
When my virtual friend Jules Torti heard that I was going to China, the land of dauntingly exotic meals, she asked me to eat two things for her: a testicle and an eye. She wasn't being entirely flippant. An adventurer to the core, Jules will go anywhere, eat anything and write about the consequences with her characteristic full-tilt originality. She's pictured here on a safari toilet in Africa, where she traveled last year to edit a book for the Jane Goodall Institute on the totems and tribes of Uganda. Back home in Abbotsford, B.C., she earns her living as a massage therapist and writes up a storm. I've been bugging Jules to do us readers a favour and get herself a blog. Hallelujah, she's finally done it. For a preview, check out this piece on finding love, which had me nodding along, thinking, "Yes, that's exactly how it is."
We all find love unexpectedly, but with expectations. We come with our own engraved wish lists. I wanted a dog-lover, a minimalist, someone who could make me laugh and had a brain, who wouldn't make me dance, strip to music, go scuba-diving, attend church or bingo and had nice feet (Wanda says I compromised on her Fred Flintstone feet). My list hasn't varied much over the years, but I've added a few things to refine it.
There's always the hope that you'll find someone that you share the same jean size with, or shoes at least. Size 10 Seeks Same (ironically, that's for shoes and waist, I'm easy). It hasn't happened. Luckily, Wanda makes impulse purchases, like ill-fitting shoes which are too big, and finally, I get to walk a mile in her shoes.
I fell for Wanda for simple yet critical reasons. This love was confirmed when I discovered that she had only Glad Tupperware, and all the lids had matching counterparts. Having tupperware vs. "placebo" Tupperware like Becel and ice cream containers, and lids without partners says a lot about a person and their values. I'm pro-recycling and re-using, but things have to match. And you don't need 106 plastic containers, ever.
She quietly does the things I avoid doing. Like tending to really important, potentially life-threatening issues. The seatbelt clasp-thingie on my Sidekick stopped working last spring and I could no longer buckle up for safety. Instead, I became quickly accustomed to my alternative solution, which was tucking the seatbelt under my ass. I tried to lock it into the passenger side, that didn't work. I even tried desperately to make it connect to the ones in the back, but they don't really provide enough seatbelt strap for that in vehicles. So, for probably two weeks I pulled the belt across my chest and sat on it. It became a very ordinary thing to do. I never thought about actually getting it fixed.
Magically, after visiting my sister in Banff for a week, I found the seatbelt "holster" (what the hell is that thing called anyway?) had been replaced. Wanda had taken her tools out to some junker place in Chilliwack, found an early 90s Sidekick and replaced my seatbelt while I was snowshoeing around Lake Louise. I loved her so much that day.
She owns every tool that could ever be needed, or not needed. To my amazement, she can spend coma-inducing time periods in the aisles of Home Depot, the scent of sawdust putting her into the trance of future projects involving crown molding, mitre boxes and biscuit joiners (which have nothing to do with cookies, I'm told). I feign fainting so we can go, and sometimes purposely walk away and lose her in the aisles so I will have something active to do. Searching for Wanda in Home Depot then becomes a game that makes the store interesting to me. My own spin-off of Where's Waldo. Where's Wanda?
Her affection for tools extends into the kitchen (where she even has some tools in the cupboard, below the matching Tupperware). I initially worried about the number of gadgets, appliances and utensils she had, but lo and behold, she uses every spatula, warped wooden spoon and whisk. If an item comes under questioning, she is sure to incorporate it into the making of her next curry or slow cooker meal.
Right now she is fixing some outdoor electrical outlet that we haven't used in two years. But it doesn't work. Today became the day that she would go to Home Depot (again) to get a new socket-thingie. There is an immediacy to Wanda's world that is admirable---a quality that hasn't exactly rubbed off on me. She will purposely go to the grocery store with great urgency because we are alarmingly low on baking soda or lime juice. And not because she is in the middle of a recipe that calls for that; it's just to keep the kitchen stocked.
She would have been a fabulous audience member on the set of Let's Make A Deal. "Now, for $100, who has a pickled egg in their purse? For an extra $50, can somebody show me a collector's spoon from Norway?" That would be Wanda, smiling with $150 bucks in her pocket due to her preparedness.
I do hide Wanda's stuff now and again, which she always notices. The missing item is returned to its rightful spot until I hide it again. Heehee. With time, my allowances for her treasures has grown, but I sometimes think that if I gave her the right of way,she would have everything on the countertops and the cupboards would be empty. Her defense is that I leave my newspapers everywhere. Even when they are piled in the spot they are supposed to be in, Wanda will randomly recycle them as a secret revenge. "Quit hiding my shit!" I hear this once a week.
I think of my friend Gerry whose girlfriend was so fed up with Gerry constantly throwing her jacket on the floor. When Gerry went to pick up her jacket from its designated spot the next morning, she discovered that her then-girlfriend had nailed it to the floor.
As a disclaimer, I am perfect, so it is easy for me to pick out my lover's quirks. But I have been told that I fill the kettle with too much water for a single cup of tea (even though Wanda drinks coffee and the boiling time doesn't affect her), and I squeeze my tube of toothpaste from the wrong spot. But I have my own toothpaste tube, so does it matter? And those little stickers that are stuck on apples? Apparently I leave them everywhere. "You and your damn apple stickers." I figure if misplaced apple stickers is my worst habit, I'm a keeper. But then there's the lip balm in every pocket of every pair of jeans that sometimes goes through the wash. Oh, and do I really forget that there's a load in the dryer until the next day? Okay, so I have three bad habits.
She knows my habits and me so well that she can tell when I'm about to cry. Sometimes before I even do. I get so hot that I am about to engulf in flames and she says, "You're going to cry, aren't you?" Not that I'm a big blathering cry-baby all the time, but she knows precisely when I'm going to be. Wanda opts for more of a programmed cry, which she schedules on Sunday nights at 8 p.m. during the Extreme Home Makeover.
And then there's Wanda and the dog. My mother once said that in her next life she "wanted to come back as Wanda's dog." Because my mom isn't a lesbian, I figure this is her silent approval, and that being Wanda's dog means that she knows she would be well spoiled, as I am. But Bently still gets more square inches of bed and couch space than me. And if Wanda is looking, he gets my last bite of whatever I'm eating.
Wanda picked Bently because he was born with a broken tail, he'd never be a show dog because of it. If Bently was ever injured, Wanda would re-mortgage the house and sell everything she owned to pay to make him better. And that makes me love her even more.
For Valentine's my only request was a dozen of Wanda's peanut butter cookies. Due to the salmonella scare of late, she figured it was too dangerous. She does make the best ones, though, and a fine seafood chowder, a curry that makes my stomach feel like I've swallowed hot embers, and Korean short ribs that make any vegetarian drop her celery and run for the meat. When she was still wooing me there was even heart-shaped french toast. Now I get toast in the shape of bread, the honeymoon period is over I guess.
In Margery Williams' The Velveteen Rabbit, the little boy thought his little rabbit was "always beautiful, and that was all that the little Rabbit cared about." The boy loved his little velveteen rabbit even when "he grew very old and shabby." In fact, "he loved him so hard that he loved all his whiskers off, and the pink lining to his ears turned grey, and his brown spots faded." I promised Wanda that I would love her that hard, too. She is my Velveteen Rabbit with a tool belt, matching Tupperware, size 8 Fred Flintstone feet and a heart as giant as the sky. I'm lucky.
Copyright by Jules Torti.
Posted by Rona May 23, 2009 @ 1:47 PM. File in Guest Posts