The tissue story

When I was in junior high I went to my Auntie Martha’s after school. She lived across the street from campus.

Auntie Martha was one of my grama’s older sisters.

I would snack on the Frosted Flakes she kept hidden in the bottom cabinet and watch General Hospital on her little black-and-white kitchen TV. After that I would push the chairs aside and jump on the Linoleum under Richard Simmons’ guidance.

Auntie Martha watched Guiding Light and then Phil Donohue in the den.

After my workout I went in where Auntie was. We would play gin or backgammon. She taught me to sew.

Then in the evening my dad would pick me up. Sometimes he would sit on the patio and have a beer with Uncle Phil before we left.

One afternoon I went in the living room and she was pulling wadded balls of pretty paper out of a new gym bag and ironing it.

The bag had come stuffed. My mom had just bought a bag like this. I was fascinated by the whole scene.

“This will make nice wrapping paper.” She was making a pile of the ironed. Each sheet was different.

I couldn’t get past that she was ironing wrapping paper.

My dad showed up just as she told me that she also irons her tissues and reuses them.

Dad was in a hurry.

This was too much. We went back and forth with ‘You really do?’ ‘I really do’ as he dragged me out.

I never knew Auntie Martha to be cheap, and that was disgusting. My incredulity was consuming.

The next afternoon it was the first thing I wanted to talk about.

“Auntie, I want to buy you clean tissues. I think it’s gross you iron and reuse them, all full of mocos.”

I wish I hadna said that.

I’m sure you’ve deduced she meant tissues for gift wrapping, not Kleenex. I’ve been teased it about it these past 28 years. This kind of embarrassment spreads fast through my family.

And 28 years later, I’m still using the wrapping paper I went home and pulled out of my mom’s new gym bag and ironed.

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6 Responses to “The tissue story”

  1. Noisy Quiet Says:

    “…all full of mocos.” -Lol! This whole post sounds all too familiar. 🙂

    (Ugh… Now I have Richard in my head side stepping, clapping, and yelling “Come on people!”)

  2. roberto Says:

    She once gave me a birthday present wrapped in toilet tissue with an interesting, abstract brown pattern.

  3. T. Says:

    EEEWWW. and hilarious!

  4. Myles Says:

    Is it really ‘mocos’, not ‘mucus’?

  5. Noisy Quiet Says:

    @ Myles: Mocos= Spanish for “Boogers” 🙂

    @T: I’m trying to catch up and started w/ the Nablopomo posts, but their site is being STUPID and keeps giving me errors! Grrrrrrrrr! I’ll try to read a bit here.

  6. T. Says:

    I have trouble with the Nablopomo site too, and I’m a couple of days behind in my posts.

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