Don’t Think of Elephants

As I sit writing this, I’m thrilled beyond belief. My wonderful daughter, due to having all of her classes online next year thanks to covid, is moving home. It makes perfect sense that she shouldn’t be paying rent for some tiny room in a unit that she shared with several other strangers, even IF the wifi is better, and since she’s one of my favourite people, I can’t wait to have face-to-face conversations with her where she doesn’t respond for an hour instead of doing it by text. So she started bringing things home this past week, and that’s where the trouble started. As we were helping her take some boxes upstairs, I couldn’t help but notice that one large box was thoroughly duct-taped. Even more, it had written on it in permanent marker the ominous warning, “DO NOT OPEN”.

Me: Why does that box say ‘Do Not Open’?
Kate: Because I don’t want you to open it.
Me: What’s in it?
Kate: Nothing.
Me: Then why can’t I open it?
Kate: Because I don’t want you to.
Me: But what’s in it?
Kate: I feel like this conversation is very circular.
Me: Is it porn?
Kate: OH MY GOD Mom, no it’s not porn. It’s nothing that you would find interesting.
Me: Well now it’s interesting BECAUSE I can’t open it!
Kate: Don’t open it.

So there the box sits, like a small rectangular elephant, in the middle of the room, surrounded by dozens of other boxes that I’m ALLOWED to open if I wanted to, but I don’t want to—I only want to open the one I’m not allowed to. Did I secretly open it after she left? Absolutely not. I respect her privacy. Also, duct tape is notoriously difficult to peel off cardboard without damaging it, so she’d obviously notice if I tried. Which I haven’t. But I WILL have my revenge. I found this empty box and I’m just going to leave it in random places around the house:

In other news, I was driving to my shock wave therapy appointment last Tuesday and noticed that my odometer read 80 041. I did some quick mental calculations and realized that I had 44 kilometres to go before I would reach the nirvana of mileage, the incredible 80085. ‘There’s no possible way it will take more than 44 kilometres to get to the clinic’, I thought to myself naively. And so I proceeded to drive across country, trying to reach my objective before I got to the highway where I wouldn’t be able to pull over and take a picture. Unfortunately, I’m as bad at distances as I am at math, and I pulled onto the highway at 80066. ‘That’s OK’, I comforted myself—there’s no possible way that it will take 19 kilometres to get to my exit. And then, after a few minutes, the odometer hit 80083. I was still two exits away from my destination, so I did what any normal person would do—I got off the highway immediately. I drove down the off-ramp, heart beating in my chest (because where the hell else would it be beating? But I do love a good cliche) as it clicked to 80084. Then, like a beacon in the night, I saw a small laneway leading into a townhouse complex. I turned the corner, literally and figuratively, just as the odometer hit 80085, and slammed on the brakes. So here you are—I did this just for you:

And then I sent the picture to Ken with the caption, ‘HAHA it says BOOBS!’ Because I’m a grown-ass woman with a juvenile sense of humour and an indomitable will.

Finally, here’s a story I’ve been meaning to tell for some time. I came into the bedroom about a month ago, and found Atlas chewing one of my slippers. He’d already managed to destroy the sheepskin insert and was gnawing on the suede. “What the hell!” I yelled to Ken. “I thought you were watching Atlas! He has one of my slippers!”

Ken: I know. He was getting bored so I gave it to him.
Me: You did WHAT??
Ken: It’s not like you ever wear them.
Me: I literally wear them every single f*cking day, Ken. I’ve been wearing them every day for over seven years! How could you not have noticed that? Is this your revenge for that time I buried YOUR slippers in the garden?
Ken: You did what?!
Me: Nothing…
Atlas: This appetizer is delightful. Shall we proceed to the main course?
Me: You’re not getting the other slipper! Let go!

Ken was very abashed and agreed to pay whatever it cost for a new pair. We looked online but couldn’t find anything remotely similar, so the next day I drove to the store where I’d originally bought them. “Ah yes,” the owner said after I gave him my phone number and he looked me up. “The ‘Leandra”. Excellent choice, very comfortable. I see you made the purchase on February 7, 2013. Unfortunately, this model has been discontinued.”

I was aghast, and devastated that my most comfortable footware had been destroyed, but then I realized that you can order new inserts from Amazon. So I did, and now my slippers are just like new, aside from the slight toothmarks on one heel. Is there a point to this story? Not really, except that I was vindicated and was able to say, “Hah, Ken—you see these Leandras? I bought them in 2013!” and that’s all that matters.

70 thoughts on “Don’t Think of Elephants

  1. I was wondering what the significance of 80085 was. I spent too much time driving a car with a manual odometer. I just hit 15K in the car I bought two and a half years ago that has a digital odometer…. but at that rate, it’s going to be a loooooong time before I see BOOBS on the dashboard…

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Ah, yes! The boxes we’re not supposed to open:) I had one with Nate’s birthday present in it, but I didn’t write down, “Do Not Open,” because it was a very nondescript box, which I placed in a dark corner of the closet that no one thinks to look at–except for the cat. He snuck into the closet and was making a racket of sorts, so Nate went in to investigate. The cat had found the box and, of course, Nate looked inside. He now knows what his birthday present is. He insists that he doesn’t, but I know he does because the box was wide open and moved onto a shelf where everyone can see exactly what’s inside the box ( an Ohio State University baseball cap). Ugh.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ha! I noticed that your odometer said BOOBS too, lol. Hey, we have a great sense of humor. Did you by any chance put something slightly heavy in that empty Tiffany’s box? You know, for effect? That way Kate doesn’t pick it up, shake it (cuz kids do that, no matter how old) and something is inside. That way she’ll ask, what’s inside? Lol.
    Also I couldn’t help but notice that your dashboard has a car, with an arrow to a gas pump. Is that to tell your car where to find a gas pump and your car will automatically go there? By the way, what kind of car do you drive, now I’m curious. 🤔

    Liked by 2 people

      • Wow, that’s exactly the kind of car I imagined you drive…..okay my first image was of a Dodge Hellcat, black with red accent, black powder coated rims…
        But this looks like Suzanne’s car for sure….okay you’d look great in a Dodge Hellcat too!


  4. How the hell do you make slippers last SEVEN YEARS? Do you levitate? Only wear them around your neck from velvet laces? Get Ken to carry you from room to room in your own indoor sedan chair?
    I get about 2 years out of mine (and they are usually suede leather moccasin style so more robust than cheap fabric and glued rubber) and this year I’ve been killing them faster because I’m spending all my time at home.
    Or maybe you just have kind feet.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. It was you who exposed me to Red Green and his ingenious use of duct tape. I have to assume that his catalog of instructional videos is vast, since he even rated a mention on an early episode of Trailer Park Boys (“I’d like to see that Red Blue Green c**ksucker put one of those together!”) So perhaps you should consult Mr. Green to see if he has any sage advice about how to remove duct tape from packages marked “do not open”?

    Liked by 2 people

  6. So what’s in the box??? Surely it’s been opened by now. 🙂 I cracked up when you created your own DNO box.
    And great job driving for B00B5. I wonder what’s next on my odometer. Hmmm.
    I’m glad you were able to save your slippers.It’s always a great day when puppies outgrow the slipper-eating stage.

    Liked by 4 people

      • I guess the price to pay for having your daughter home is the recognition that you’re all grown adults living together — it’s not like it was before she went away to school — and you’ll need to be a bit more mindful of each other’s right to privacy. But it’s a small price to pay; I’m in my mid-forties and damn near ready to move back home — just to have guaranteed access to my loved ones again!

        In the decade to come, we’re going to have to make a cultural shift away from the scattered existence we’ve all become accustomed to in the last half century; we were all going to have to learn to fly less, anyway — not just because of the COVID risks, but the climatic consequences — and that means going back to a pre-jetliner mindset of less spread, of living closer to relatives. Personally, I can’t wait.

        Liked by 3 people

  7. I’d tear it open.

    It’s lovely you’ll get to spend time together. And it’s a wise choice on behalf of the government, given students are irresponsible and most likely to spread the virus, which makes the campus a pretty dangerous place to be in right now.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. So . . . your story of the box. I! was on a date once when the man across the table from me shared that he had begun to try to tidy up his college daughter’s room after she left for school. He found a bong and a vibrator–aptly naming it “Bong and Dong” Day. Sheesh. DON’T OPEN THE BOX! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Go buy an identical box. Photograph the existing one. Remove all the contents from the FORBIDDEN one and place in new box. Seal the new box per the photos with accurate placement of appropriate colored duct tape. Easy. (Don’t forget to thoroughly destroy the original.)

    BOOBS Mobile. Titty Trolley. Breasts Bombardier. Chest Chariot. Shall I go on? (Don’t say yes, I think I’ve exhausted the synonym list. Well, almost…) Bosom Buick, Knockers Nissan.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Get back at your daughter Find a box of similar size and duct tape it closed Then open it and put it in front of all the other boxes If she’s kike mine she’ll scream before she looks for the real box Then when you show it to het unopened you’ll have your revenge. BTW You are a goddess getting a picture of BOOBS on your dash board. I missed it last year

    Stay well and Laugh when you can

    Liked by 2 people

  11. What a life you lead, certainly interesting, not boring and much funnier than mine.  That’s why I love reading your adventures.  Thank heavens the odometer didn’t turn in the middle of the highway. But if it did and you caused a ruckus, I’d be interested to know what the police said when they asked you why.  Have a good week, and I’m wondering how long that pkg stays unopened?😅

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPad

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Leandra, as you know, is the Roman goddess of comfortable footwear and now Ken has incurred her wrath. Atlas hasn’t because he’s a puppy and a Titan and she had a fling with his brother Charles, but that’s another story.
    This does shed light on a hotly debated fragment from Petronius’s lost work Phalluses: “Leandra said to Mammarius, Mine chariot hath gone a distance such that if it were displayed in Arabic style digits it would spell thy name. And there was much laughter and sharing of tablets with the numbers shown.”

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Sooooo glad for all of you, for the family reunion!! This pandemic has its silver linings even if many thought that would be impossible.

    That box gave me an idea… I think I’ll ”test” Chéri with one 😛 Then again, I’d have to put it somewhere strategic, so he notices it, and I have a feeling that he would be suspicious… I’ll give it a thought anyway. That could be fun 😛

    The BOOBS picture is great!! I love your sense of humor 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Have a great week!! And stay away from the box… LOL

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Your commitment to odometer entertainment is world-class. Nice work! It’ll be nice to have some company, I bet, and you and Kate both win (which is awesome, because there are so few victories in the time of COVID), so enjoy your time together in your gorgeous abode. The duct tape comment laid me out!! xoxo

    Liked by 3 people

  15. I’m actually very good at not thinking about elephants. In fact, I haven’t thought of one in years. I’m crap at not opening boxes though. Boxes are tempting. Tape would probably be enough to dissuade me.
    I’ve got some old slippers laying around. People keep giving me slippers, “novelty” ones – lady bugs, unicorns, sock monkeys… The dogs have relieved the lady bugs of their antennas. I’ve never worn them so they exist purely as objects for the dogs to lust after and then I occasionally orchestrate a time when they finally win a round or two. They’re obsessed with getting into my closet.
    And I still haven’t thought of elephants. I’m rocking this. Is there a prize?

    Liked by 2 people

  16. My parents gifted me some slippers at Christmas.
    What I said when I opened them; ‘Ah, lovely, my slippers are looking a bit scruffy, thank you parents.’
    What I have done before when they visit; ‘Oh, I must find and dust off those slippers my parents gave me at Christmas before they arrive and put them on to casually look like I’m always wearing them.’
    What I have recently done; ‘Oops, how did those slippers get in the dog basket…? Oh, the little scamp has chewed them all up and ruined them now…’
    Cross fingers parents have not decided I need new slippers for Christmas…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tell them you only need one pair every 7 years, which is the amount of time it takes for your body to renew all its skin cells, I think, but I’m no scientist. It’s also how much bad luck you get if you break a mirror, so don’t throw your slippers at one!


  17. Oh I laughed so much about the box! When my husband and I moved house 3 years ago my parents helped us move. There was a box we filled of things you wouldn’t want your parents seeing, and my husband wrote ‘PRIVATE’ in huge letters all over it. I told him that was the stupidest thing to do, because it just made it all the more obvious!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Suze says:

    OMG! I was giggling until I got to BOOBS! Well, it was a bunch of numbers but my brain IMMEDIATELY went to BOOBS! Then (of course because I am just so gentile and delicate and gracious) I snorted coca cola out of my nose during the horrendous guffaw of laughter! Thank you Suz, for clearing my sinuses…they did need it.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. I love that you actually stopped mid-way to your destination to take that picture. You crack me up! I had to run out and check the mileage on my car. Only 48428. I’ll probably forget long before it gets to 80085.

    Liked by 2 people

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