During Christmas, 2000-and-something (I’m terrible at chronology and remembering dates), Partner and I hosted the family gift-exchange at our apartment. That year, I gave Mom a new sweater, and she used our bedroom to try it on.
The following is a re-telling of what happened when Mom closed the bedroom door to try on her new sweater.
Welcome to the main event, ladies and gentleman. Tonight’s heavily anticipated match pairs two unlikely, interspecies opponents: the compulsive-cleaning Mom and the mischievous Mr. Tiddles.
Mom is the undefeated Queen of Clean that joins us in Memphis from a small town in North Mississippi. The owner of the arena ensured his apartment was immaculate and tidy prior to her arrival as she is known to fixate on superficial flaws.
Mr. Tiddles has the home advantage in today’s match. He also holds an undefeated record, though his bouts have only been one continuous opponent, The Reluctant Cat Owner. Mr. Tiddles’ strategy is typically to wear his owner down psychological, throwing his special, stress-inducing punches such as the “hair shed,” the “furniture scratch,” and the “this doesn’t belong on the table so let me push it to the floor.”
Both challengers are in the ring, and the announcer is ready to start the fight.
“Ladies and gentleman. The Reluctant Cat Owner is proud to present the main event of the evening. Hiding in the ring under a blanket on the bed and weighing in at fifteen pounds, the undefeated Mr. Tiddles. And now, coming to the ring to try on her new sweater and weighing in at none-of-your-fucking-business pounds, the undefeated Mom. Lllllllet’s get ready to rumblllllllllle.”
At the bell, Mom pulls the new sweater over her head. As she adjusts the garment, she notices an imperfection on the bed in her reflection, a small blanket lump.
She turns and gives the blanket a quick tug; however, the lump remains. Mom purses her lips and tugs harder, but the lump on the bed doesn’t deflate. She clearly appears irritated as she shuffles to the other side of the ring, towards the lump. And dear St. Gertrude of Nivelles, Mom suddenly throws three quick, open-palmed jabs, landing each one sharply onto the small mound. One, two, three. Holy animal cruelty, this fight has escalated quickly. Mom doesn’t even break a sweat.
And the lump remains.
Nearly defeated, Mom seems puzzled. She lifts the blanket to investigate and suddenly appears shocked to discover Mr. Tiddles hiding beneath and apparently out of the fight.
Mom, the undisputed Queen of Clean, casually lowers the blanket and exits the ring nonchalantly, winning a match she was unaware had begun.
Ladies and gentlemen, the fight is over! Only thirty seconds have passed, and the fight is over! Who could have predicted that both opponents would exit the ring defeated?! This is certainly unprecedented but isn’t the end of either’s career. Mr. Tiddles will remain The Reluctant Cat Owner’s antagonist, and Mom will continue to fight filth and disorder wherever she goes.