Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Old Anxiety Shop


Morning Readers,

How was everyone's Fourth of July?

All Kellermans are accounted for, and no one was hit by a rogue firework, so all's well until next year's fiesta. Nothing like mixing unpredictable children and sparklers, right?

Wrong.

This year, we decided to up our game and turn the danger to eleven. A rainy holiday forced our hand, and before one of us jumped ship and left the other to certain doom, Husband and I had to pow wow.

"I can't. They're literally climbing the walls."

"We have to get out of here."

"Can you hire a nanny on the Fourth of July?"

"This is a terrible time to break it to you, but Mary Poppins was fiction. We'll have to take them with us."

"The antique shop?"

"Sounds good. If you pull the other two off the roof, I'll grab the two on the banister. Wait. Never mind, I think I hear someone hammering in the basement."

The cookouts and plans had been nixed in favor of rain dates. After watching the children climb the doorways and attempt to ride the dog forty times over the course of Tuesday morning, we ran everyone through the downpour, secured car seats, and headed toward our new favorite past time. We simply had to go over the guidelines first:

Antique Store Guidelines

1. Don't touch anything
2. Don't touch anything
3. Don't touch anything if you value your life

For those of you who've never had the pleasure of wandering around a flea market/antique shop, please envision a backless room, stretching toward eternity, filled with nothing but old, yet fascinating things. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't some sort of heaven for me. I'm almost thirty-three. Sitting in a movie theater or going out to a bar doesn't hold nearly the appeal of rummaging around a decaying milk crate, extracting its contents, and shouting, "Are these doilies two for a dollar?"

Delightful.

So after going over the rules, all six Kellermans stormed into the shop and immediately began touching everything. Clay milk jugs and French sideboards. Geriatric barrels and boxes full of old toy cars. It didn't really matter, every grubby little hand held something it'd dug from behind an old radio or a headless dress maker's bust. We really only had one truly loose cannon to deal with.

"Mrs. Jones. No."

I suppose we haven't checked in on the baby lately, have we? She's closing in on two, highly mobile, and thinks she's in charge of the family. She has very curly hair and yells at us a lot. And that's probably enough backstory to get you to the end.

Taking a toddler into a store full of breakables is beyond idiotic, but she seems to have an affinity for salt and pepper shakers that have What Happens In Vegas, Stays In Vegas! scrawled across the front, so it feels wrong to exclude her. But besides the constant picking up of glass items, she has one other habit that concerns me.

"Bae Bae."

Examining the contents of her chubby arms, I shook my head, "No bae bae."

Crestfallen but determined, Mrs. Jones put the highly creepy old fashioned doll in a headlock and glared at me. "My bae bae." 

It sounds mean, but Husband and I have a general rule about what we drag home from the antique shops - no weird dolls. We've seen the movies. Nothing with a bonnet and one, painted glass eye is following me home. Foot down. End of story. So, while Husband dug for records for our new/old record player, I tried to reason with our smallest and keep an eye on everyone else. 

"It's a creepy baby, honey. You have nice ones at home."

She pointed down. "Bae Bae shoes."

"I see the shoes. They look like they were stitched during the Civil War and have a curse on them."

"Preddy hair."

Two ratty, yellow yarn braids flopped over the doll's face, revealing a huge bald spot in the back of her porcelain head. "Sorry, kid. This thing's-"

Just then, one of the twins jumped out from behind a shelf he'd been digging through. "What's this?"

"It's a scythe. Don't touch the bla-"

"I touched the blade."

A crash on a nearby shelf spun me around to find the remaining Kellermans digging through a basket of Star War's toys being over-optimistically sold for forty dollars.

"Can we have all these?"
"If you spread them all out all over the floor, you can really see what's in here. Hey, tell that guy to step over our work area."
"Hey, Mom. If you look in this one's mouth, you think there's only one row of teeth, but surprise! There's two."

For the next hour, we shouldered on, sifting through piles of board games, lifting old roll top desks, and marveling at large collections of Looney Tunes juice glasses, McDonald's Happy Meal boxes, and giant, metal roosters.
If you visit Kansas, you can grab your own. Just ask.
All in all, it was a solid way to spend the Fourth. No one broke anything (I think), and Husband even bought me some gorgeous bedside lamps as an anniversary gift. Did I mention this was an anniversary trip as well? Stop it. You're not allowed to be jealous of our glamorous lifestyle.

But hey, we didn't bring home any creepy, woven dolls. So there's that.


Until Next Time, Readers!

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