June 30th, 2006


Mom and Pam

I called home last night and had the joy of talking to my mother and sister simultaneously on the phone. My sister is very involved in her gardening this summer and is working to keep pests out of her garden.

"You know you live in an affluent suburb," Pam told me frankly, "when your scarecrow dresses almost entirely from J. Crew."

While pinning the shirt to the top of the pants (she has only constructed the torso and limbs so far-- our backyard appears to harbor a well-dressed WASP with a bucket for a head) my mother approached and critically shook her head.

"You're doing it wrong," my mother said.

"I'm pinning it so they stay together," Pam said, "so the pants don't fall off."

"No, I know why you're pinning it," my mother said, gently taking the pins from my sister's hands, "but you're pinning it wrong." She then proceeded to take the shirt and re-pin it, explaining, "the edge of the shirt should fall below the belt loops. If it's wearing a belt, you can tuck the shirt in, but if not you want the loops to be covered. It just looks better that way."

"It's a scarecrow," my sister said, exasperated. "It's to scare away squirrels."

My mother debated this momentarily.

"Well yes," she said.

"And the squirrels don't care if the belt loops are showing!" she shouted, "No squirrels are going to come up and go, 'Holy crap, it's a human guarding the vegetables! No, wait...look at how he's dressed, his belt loops are totally exposed. This human is clearly inept-- get the lettuce!'"

"You don't know how squirrels think," my mother said, and walked back into the house, shirt pulled tastefully over her eddie bauer belt loops.