Shortly after I escaped from college, I lived in a little town called Janesville, WI.
Janesville is most widely known nationally for being the place where Geraldo Rivera got arrested for punching a Neo-Nazi in the nose. I believe Geraldo also was punched, repeatedly, in the face during that scuffle. Oh! And the Parker Pen company. It is also near the birthplace of the rare white buffalo, Miracle that had Native Americans clamoring to come to that farm. Why? Because in their belief system, a white buffalo is of great spiritual importance. It was a really big deal. And that same farm is also where a second rare white buffalo was born in 2006. Just a little trivia for you.
I lived there (Janesville, not the farm) with my then-boyfriend-now-miserable-memory (I’ll refer to him as “Dick Face” from here on out) and the SWF psycho roomie. We had many adventures of our own in this little town. My favorite stories are the ones I remember about my looney next door neighbor, I’ll call her Marianne to protect her family from the shame of being tied to this woman.
At first, Marianne seemed to be a nice older lady who had the apartment next to us – until she broke her arm. With that tragedy, she turned into the crazy neighbor lady. Perhaps I just noticed it because my interactions with her went from more than helping her to her car when it was snowy and icy out to basically being her bitch.
I felt bad for Marianne, knowing that she lived alone and her son only came to see her a couple of times a month. I gave her my phone number and told her to call me if she needed help with anything, especially since her dominant arm was in a cast. Mistake #1.
One time, she had me come over to arrange the tater tots on top of her tater tot casserole. I suggested she just pour them on top, she wanted them standing up a certain way – in concentric circles around the round casserole dish. She actually knew how many fit in her ideal configuration and had counted them out and laid them on some aluminum foil for me. Every night while she was making dinner, she’d call me because there was something she couldn’t do: open a can, peel a potato, roll meatballs, you name it.
Then, “the incident” happened. She called me because she was going out with some friends for dinner. They’d be by to pick her up and she’s trying to get dressed, but she’s having trouble because (and I remember this so clearly) “I have to have something covering my nipples with this white blouse you know!” I was thinking she wants me to hook her bra for her. I get how difficult that can be if one arm is broken. I can do this!
I walked into her apartment and into her living room. There on the coffee table, Marianne had placed 4 Band-Aids. “I can’t get these open” she said. “Did you cut yourself?” I asked. She laughed, and whipped open her robe. “Just put them on me like an X, covering each nipple. I don’t wear a bra because I want the gentlemen to see my tits sway.” WOW. Oh wow. Here I was, putting Band-Aids on the nipples of a 70-something year old woman so the gentlemen she was having lunch with could see her boobs sway. Classy. I did it, although I was a little freaked out about it.
Thankfully, not long after that incident, she got the cast off. She was always so grateful for what I did for her that she would get free costume jewelry from credit card offers and give it to me. I had a very large collection of fake, ugly ass jewelry. I think she got the credit cards to get me the “free gift” and then cancelled them.
One time, she said she wanted to take me and Dick Face out to lunch to thank us for rescuing her from the snow bank she had driven into. “I’ll drive” she said. “I usually take my cat everywhere with me, so there might be cat hair in the car.” We open the door to get in the car and it hits me. Cat hair is the least of her worries. Apparently, the cat uses the back seat of the car as a litter box. The smell was atrocious. “Oh, if there’s cat shit on the seat, let me know, I’ll get it out before you sit down.”
I conveniently remembered something I had to take care of before going to lunch, and told her and Dick that I’d meet them at the restaurant. I scurried off in the house to gag and be certain they were gone, laughing because he had to ride in the car with the kooky woman.
He bitched about it later and I reminded him that he wasn’t the one standing tater tots up on a casserole in some whacked out mosaic pattern and X-ing out her nipples, so the least he could do was ride with the batty old woman in her cat-box car. He did tell me that when they stopped at a red light, cat shit rolled out from under the seat onto the front floor mat. We decided that she must’ve been so used to the stench that she didn’t notice it any more.
In retrospect, that car summed up my relationship with Dick Face. On the outside, it looked pretty decent, but once you got inside, it smelled like shit and you could hardly stand it, but you got used to it. However, just like that ride in the car, once the shit reared it’s head, you couldn’t just tuck it away and pretend it didn’t just roll out every time you came to a stop.
It wasn’t long after that and we moved to Milwaukee. I never saw Marianne again, but I’m certain whoever moved in next to her had some marvelous experiences with her. As odd as she was, I hope when I’m in my 70’s, I’m wearing Band-Aids on my nipples so everyone can watch my tits sway.