because i am a sheep, and it’s apparently annual meme cleanout day on ye olde intertubes, i present with you with a clever merging of two separate tags that have been languishing in my inbox. behold, my very own transmogrified mutant meme! woot!

(yes, it’s Friday night and i’m drinking. by myself. could you tell?)

earlier in the week, my fine friend George asked me what was on my fridge. our wise Daffa says this disclosure will tell a great deal about my personality. since i am secretly fascinated with all potential keys to my personality, and this seems like a lot less work than learning numerology, i leapt at the opportunity. erm…slowly, i leapt. it’s a four or five day process around here. i’m a bit of a delayed leaper, but a sincere one.

the following day, after the great leap to taking-a-photo-of-my-refrigerator began, and i was getting really geared up, the lovely Julia at Won’t Fear Love tagged me with the “random-number of things i am” meme. since this also suggests the potential for fascinating revelations about my inner self, but requires more work (and waaaaay more verbal clarity than i am likely to summon this fine evening), i thought…hmmm. could there be a marriage of true memes in here somewhere?

you can see where this is going, can’t you?

freakin’ precocious readership.

may i present yon refrigerator, inhabitant of my kitchen? it is my favourite Rorshach test cum archive in the house.

fridge

on my refrigerator, you will find, categorized by type…

1. postcards. one of Miffy, but of course, one of an art deco clock, one of the Art Nouveau metro entrances in Paris. a tasteful collection. ten years ago, when i lusted for travel and was sure i’d never go anywhere, i stuck every postcard i got for three years on my fridge, to the point where it began to resemble a small travel agency inside my kitchen.

tells you…the things i love, i love a lot. i sometimes don’t know when to stop.

2. fridge magnets, mostly of the colourful, sarcastic, retro-50s, cartoon fish and/or free handout variety, some of which advertise pizza joints in cities and even countries i no longer live in. plus one that’s a pastel rendering of a hot air balloon. it doesn’t fit with all the others, is not my style – but it belonged to my grandmother. it was given to her when she began the slow decline of her battle with cancer, and says, in frilly italics, “if you cannot walk, creep.” it went with her from the house she was born in to the downsized apartment, to the nursing home, to her hospital nightside table. when Dave & i moved into this house days after Finn died, i think it was the first thing that i put on our fridge. it made me feel less alone.

tells you…i am sentimental as shit, deep inside. and capable of strength. and i have been, in my life, well-loved, and am still drawing from that well daily and hoping some of the same love rubs off on my child and my partner and those around me.

3. Oscar’s birth announcement from the local paper. he was the cutest baby in that week’s edition, like, by far. plus his cousin Angus’ birth announcement card from the hospital. and a picture of Angus and his older brother Isaac, and a picture of Isaac by himself, and a picture of Ava in Moncton and Robert and Michael in Ottawa and Joseph in Korea and my little cousin Emma in Guelph and probably, under stuff, some photos of other adorable children who have now gone off to college but are forever trapped in chubby-cheeked preschool photos, like bugs in amber, on my fridge.

tells you…i am a lover of images i can clip and cut from paper, arrange in space. i hate to see old media die. i will miss the curling corners of photos when they’ve all gone onscreen, and would like to be the last person in the world to keep a traditional photo album, much as i lurve me my flickr account. but alas, i am already slipping from the world of printing photos, and i am sad about it. lazy, yes, but very sad.

4. another picture from the local paper, this one of moi and veteran Canadian actor Gordon Pinsent. yes, i run in heady circles. funny story…see, i was eleven days postpartum, staying at the NICU with Oscar pretty much full time, and burning out. the baby kept losing weight, so one evening the nurses said “listen, we’re going to tube feed him tonight, make sure he gets lots of calories. get out. go do something. clear your head.” thus, Dave kindly took my drippy, puffy, mournful self to the local rep cinema to see the local premiere of Pinsent’s new film. it was May. in the eleven days since O’s birth the slush of April had suddenly turned to spring, and as we made our way towards the theatre, i became aware that i was ambling out in public in velour maternity pants, a horribly unseasonal acrylic cardigan, a stinky, milk and lanolin-stained tshirt that clung to my still-swollen belly, and bad shoes. very bad shoes. plus a hospital bracelet, which identified me as the mother of isolette number 3B, but made me look rather as if i were on a day pass and off my meds. and i said as much to Dave. he, of course, laughed at my vanity and said “what? you think you’re going to be discovered at the movie theatre?” heh. uh, yeh. what was i thinking? so in we went, got popcorn, settled ourselves, got comfy. and the minute i slipped back out to the lobby to ask for more butter for my popcorn (i’d been eating hospital food, people), the photographer from the local paper pounced on me, snuggled my startled carcass up under Gordon Pinsent’s arm so fast i could barely say butter, and left me staring vapidly into the very blue eyes of the elderly, charming, just-my-height Pinsent while he went to round up more sheep for the photo. i remember trying to sniff myself without appearing obvious. i could not think of a single thing to say, except “i just had a baby” which seemed rather defensive and all about me, really, so i think i blurted out “come here often?” instead, as if i were about to buy him a Singapore Sling. he was shy, and quite sweet. the photo is one of the most awkward of me ever taken, but i keep it on the fridge to remind Dave that my narcissism should always be taken seriously.

tells you…i am completely incapable of telling a short story. i love artifacts of moments that are messy, and funny. i am vain, but keep and even treasure the very worst pictures of myself if they remind me of who i was in a particular time & place & skin. i will never again go out in public dressed like that, even if my house is burning down. that would be the night David Bowie would be wandering down my street, dressed as a fireman. i have strange luck.

5. a ream of non-date-stamped coupons we were given by Welcome Wagon when we moved in two years ago, and when O was born last year. i haven’t gotten around to using any, and am not really sure we need a free beach ball or home milk delivery (maybe more now that O’s moved to cow’s milk?), but i can’t seem to throw them out. we might need them.

tells you…i’m cheap. and secretly hoarding for a scarcity economy i’ve been imagining how to survive in since childhood. i think it’s one of the scars of Scots Protestantism as it was practiced in my family, all frugal noble denial and waste not, want not. i don’t even like beach balls.

6. an invoice from the city Water and Sewage Utility, reminding us that we owe them money for the water we are going to use later this year. (and telling us our pipes are likely full of lead…yay! fun!) the invoice is there because until last week we were in rather serious arrears for all the water we used last year, since i had failed to get the we- bill-you-in-advance memo that apparently goes out to all other Islanders at birth, and in my addled and poorly dressed post-partum state at this time a year ago had thought that when the nice lady said “your account is up to date” she actually meant that our account was up to date, and paid through 2006. my stars and whiskers, no. it wasn’t. silly me.

tells you…i am an uptight, sarcastic snotbag who hates the powerlessness of feeling disorganized, and will go righteous all over your ass if your policies are not clear and leave me owing more money than i think i should. and i will punish you by paying you on time next time! so take that! (spit. insert offended head tilt).

7. a giant picture made for Oscar’s first birthday by his second cousin Sarah, who is six. she is my cousin’s daughter. i’ve only met her twice in her short-ish life, but my drunkle Bill (her grandfather) happened to be visiting PEI with her the day of O’s birthday and brought her by. she is charming and hilarious, and spent half the visit trying to get her long, spidery six-year old legs in and out of Oscar’s exersaucer, pretending she was the baby.

tells you…i am a sucker for six year old girls. and hopeful about six year old boys. i cannot wait to really play with my child, to talk with him and make up games and stories, to find out what’s taking shape inside that little blond head, inside that imagination. i hope he will draw, and play, and fantasize. i hope he will not care that i hate hockey. i hope i will not tell him.

8. plastic fridge letters. sometimes i like to spell out words, just for the pleasure of seeing them appear in front of me in neon.

tells you…i am weird. i love spelling. it is my great gift, the one place where i am a savant…i spent my childhood cursing Whole Language and longing for the days of spelling bees. i see words as i say them, cannot remember a name unless i know how it’s spelled. to focus myself, i spell things in my head, long words…and the letters just come for me, line up one after the other, almost always in unerring order, subconsciously just…there.

riveting, huh? need another drink? me too. except mine was actually quite gross and i gave up on it somewhere about item #2 on the fridge list. note to self – if you’re going to crack open the delicious chamomile-y goodness of the Becherovka you’ve drug back from the Czech Republic, do so when you have mix in the house, or when there is another adult in the house to free you to go buy mix while baby sleeps. because Becherovka, dear friends, however tasty with tonic, does not gel well with grapefruit cooler and flat diet ginger-ale, no matter how scrumptious the combo may sound.

you’ve been told.

and despite all the meme-ness going around today, you will not be tagged. in the spirit of Puritan party-pooping that matches so well with my pitiful attempt to try to drink alone, i’m not going to tag anyone new. “consider yourself tagged if you wanna be” may be a cop out, but it’s one that goes nicely with the plain glass of water i’m now taking off to bed with me.

my fridge and i wish you a good night.