Awesome Shit That I Want Tuesday

Just because I’m a sore loser doesn’t mean I still don’t want some AWESOME SHIT. In fact, it increases my desire for awesome shit.

But first, I have to tell you a story about honey.

I grew up in a house that, for the most part, looked less like it had been thoughtfully furnished by people living in the modern age and more like a time capsule from the Baroque era had been thrown into the living room and exploded there. There was blood-red carpeting. There was metallic wallpaper. There were enormous faux-gilt mirrors with cherubs. There were statuary holding fake plastic plants on their plastic heads. In retrospect, it was not unlike what a very posh Olive Garden might look like, and that’s not a good place to be. This is what happens when you take an immigrant woman from southern Italy, relocate her to Bayonne, New Jersey (which is dangerously close to Staten Island) and then give her free reign to decorate her own home.

When my mom passed away, most of the rooms stayed the same – they just weren’t used. My dad moved out of the master bedroom, got a new recliner and coffee table for the den, and that was about it.

Except for the honey bears.

God only knows where he got this idea. He really liked screwdrivers (the drink, not the tool), so that may have played a role. He was not a man given to arts and crafts, nor to the particulars of his surrounding decor in general. But he thought it would be a FANTASTIC IDEA to collect empty honey bears, wash them and remove the labels, fill them with different colors of water, and display them on top of the refrigerator. And he LOVED those damn bears, and fuck you if you didn’t like them. Ideally, I think he would have liked to have them on a shelf in front of a window so the light could shine through their colorful bear tummies, but it wasn’t logistically possible in our old kitchen.

Eventually, he remarried, to a lovely woman who is quite particular about her environs (She once exchanged an entire set of dining room furniture three times. Including the china cabinet. She is no joke.) and who was, shocking to no one, HORRIFIED by the idea of having the honey bears in her kitchen, let alone prominently displayed in a window. She did eventually relent and gave him a small shelf because did I mention HOLY CRAP HE THOUGHT THOSE BEARS WERE THE BEST THING SINCE OLD MILWAUKEE. DO THE DIFFERENT COLORS NOT FILL YOUR HEART WITH JOY?* Sometimes I wonder how they managed to get married at all, because he was really adamant about those fricking bears.

I admit it: I don’t really want the bears in my house either (although I suspect Brian does). But I think I could make an exception for these honey bear salt and pepper shakers. All the charm of the honey bear, none of the somewhat weird colored water collecting dust in plastic bear bottles. Because I don’t know about you, but the top of my fridge can be a scary, scary, dusty place.

I grant you that these may not be awesome to everyone, but I find them personally awesome and think they would make an excellent homage.

As long as I am giving a “shout out,” as the youth say, to both important male figures in my life and awesome shit, I will throw in this bonus awesome thing, which my very awesome husband, who the youth like to call “Brian”, will think is awesome: Ice cube trays that make ice cubes shaped like space invaders.

*Re the beer: he was a man of simple tastes. Other favorite foods included cheez-whiz and Swiss Miss** pudding cups. I recently visited the cemetery since the anniversary of his passing was a few weeks ago, and left a 6-pack of the chocolate Swiss Miss. Well, a five pack – I ate one while I was there. He would have liked that better than some stupid flowers. Plus, I imagine that it amused the groundskeeper.

**Never Jell-O. He had some taste.

0 thoughts on “Awesome Shit That I Want Tuesday

  1. Not to be too sappy, but Awesome post! I would have made a fucking shelf in a window for him – so little to mean so much. Buy the honey bear salt & peppa’s in homage!

    Glad he found someone to share the rest of his years with – I hope they were happy.

    In San Mateo FL (just outside of Palatka, middle of nowhere) there is still a roadside stand – on the frickin’ honor system!!!(there is a slot for your money) – that sells honey from their hives. On my next trip to Tallahassee, I will purchase a honey bear in his honor (probably wildflower).

  2. Fitting tribute + beyond reasonable price + fucking adorable = go for it!

    (I’ve heard that style of decor alternately referred to as “Guinea Baroque” and “Over-the-Top WOP.” It’s a Jersey/ Staten Island/ Lawn Guyland thing, no doubt.)

  3. That post made me cry a tiny bit. I love the space invaders ice cube trays and want some badly.
    Thank you for your dad stories. I find them awesome.

  4. I totally want to start collecting honey bears now! What a perfect use of that dumb cutout above the sink in my apartment…

    And Swiss Miss all the way! Jell-O is not the same – especially in vanilla.

  5. To this day, I can’t pass by a freezer case with Ben & Jerry’s and see a pint of Cherry Garcia without wanting to cry. It was Dad’s favorite and whenever he was in the hospital and allowed to eat (which was many, many times over his last ten years), I’d bring him some.

    His doctor told me to buy it for him when he was at home so that he wouldn’t have to go to the hospital to get it.

    A few years ago, Dad had a massive stroke while watching the Food Network and eating a dish of ice cream. He died two hours later.

    That’s just how he’d want it.

    Thank you for sharing your memories. It’s the little things like honey bear jars filled with colored water that are special.

  6. Is there anything cuter than honey bear bellies ;) Thanks for the awesome post – my dad is quite the “character” too – he cracked a tooth the other week, but rather than going to the dentist like normal people, he just stuffed chewing gum inside it. Sigh.

  7. kathy, i’m glad you like it. it you do buy some honey, make sure you do something with the bottle, ‘else the homage is incomplete.

    vera, d’awww back. (i really didn’t know what the appropriate response was here).

    maria, it’s totally regional, although way more staten and long island. for me growing up, it was just “my mom has horrific taste” style. in her defense, many of my families’ apartments, all of which are actually located in italy, are decorated similarly. but it was still hideous. at least the outside of the house was normal.

    kay, shucks.

    i don’t think he had no idea in life that in death he would prove to be such a fertile source of maudlin yet humorous internet fodder. thus does his quirky spirit live on.

    re: the space invader cubes. they look seriously cool. but getting ice out of those kinds of trays? GIANT PAIN IN THE ASS. you will use them once before you give up.

    bethany, vanilla jell-o pudding is wrong in so many way.

    the space above the sink, now that sounds more appropriate. at least they’d be at eye level and you’d probably remember to dust them.

    aldyth, thanks for sharing yours.

    FBG, i don’t know if that’s horrifying, or awesome, or both, like…awessifying.

  8. I’m hoping you got the email I sent with an idea for how to make your laptop not burn you on your lap, even when placed atop a copy of The Watchmen. I know you get a lot of spam… even if it isn’t up your alley.

  9. chessa, i did see it. i had one of those when i was younger and used it til it died. i don’t know why i haven’t gotten another one.

  10. My dad’s attemp at artistry is taking photographs. That seems pretty normal until you see what the photos are of. He has a whole collection of kitchen sink stains! One day he came running in the house, grabbed his camera, and ran back out. He came home with a photo of a glove that had been flattened in the middle of the road in the shape of a peace sign! He loves that photo and I have to admit it was pretty freakng awsome!

  11. Pingback: + & - « My Milk Glass Heart

  12. Whoa, you just caused so many flash backs! I had forgotten about those honey bears. I’m surprised you didn’t mention that lady in the oil lamp, that was awesome.

  13. Pingback: + & - — My Milk Glass Heart

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