The day before Ben and Kate leave for Miami Beach for our family get-together for Thanksgiving, I get this text from Ben:

Clothes for the family picture?

I answer:

Yes.

Ben:

Yes?

Me:

You would stand out were you naked, but we just want you to be comfortable.

Does Kate want to be naked also?

Ben:

That answers my second question.

~Lenore grabs my phone from me and assumes my identity.~

Black tie.

You did rent one, right? 
If you don’t have time before your flight,
we can rent you one here.

Ben:

Bah.  I demand pastels.

Lenore pretending to be me:

Dad will be going to rent his own tux tomorrow. 
He can get yours.
Need measurements, please.
Kate’s too.

Ben:

No way.  I defy you to get dad into a tux.

Lenore pretending to be me:

Lenore is mad because she wants all black,
but  you can wear pastel because
I love you more than I love her.

I love Tim more too.

Ben:

K. Three colors. 
Hat pink,
shoes purple,
jacket and pants green with orange trim.
Same palette for Kate.
Four colors.

Lenore pretending to be me:

I love Kate more than Lenore too.

Ben:

Yeah, Kate’s pretty great.


Are you taking account of how gross Lenore is though?

You clearly find that charming. (Dad)


Kate wants to know what we are supposed to wear.
You may discuss this among yourselves.

Lenore pretending to be me:

Whatever we wear,
it has to get the message across to Lenore
that we love her least of all.

Ben:

We could make her wear a tutu. 
Then we don’t need a dress code. 
Brooklyn and Kimchee too,
so it looks like we’re monsters.

Lenore pretending to be me:

God I hate her.

~I struggle with Lenore for phone.~

~Lenore is very strong.~

~Lenore won’t give it to me.~

Ben:

Oh hush.  Have fun.  It’s family week!

~Ben is the sensitive kid.~

~He’s getting rattled.~

Lenore pretending to be me:

It will be easier to have fun when she’s dead.

~Long silence ensues~
~I beg Lenore for phone~
~Lenore finally relents and returns the phone to me.~

Me:

Lenore has been writing this since I said “yes”
waty backj after you asked
whether you should wear clothes!!!!!
I didn’t say that horrible stufff!!!!!
She is so creepy weird.

~Long silence~

Ben:

I say we keep her in a tutu anyway.

Me:

Everyone just should wear what he is comfortable in.

Ben:

Cool.

Me:

I myself will probably wear a tutu. 
A pink one with greed edges.

Ben:

Sounds fancy.

Me:

Oooooooo yeah.

~Lenore is evil-giggling.~


The first book I remember reading all by myself I have here on my desk now. It’s called Tinker and Tanker Out West and it’s weathered and beaten, like the literary equivalent of the Velveteen Rabbit. The “Tinker” in the tale is in fact a rabbit, while “Tanker” is a hippo. (T&T were series characters developed and illustrated by Richard Scarry, perhaps not the best surname for a children’s author).