Friday, May 28, 2010

Another adventure with Paul..

This post is written about the adventure I had with my nephew, Paul, last weekend.
This is Paul:


He is 24 years old and we call him "The Mayor" because he never meets a stranger. He was diagnosed as "slightly mentally retarded with autistic tendencies compounded by extreme ADHD". I have written about him before..as a matter of fact he was the subject of my very first blog post...

Anyway...

While Tori was away in Hawaii last week I spent the weekend at her house so that the house sitter could have a break. I got there late on Friday night. I told Paul that he needed to take care of the multitude of dirty dishes that were languishing in the sink. (Of course the dishes were all Andrews but I knew full well he wasn’t going to do anything about them.) Paul went in to the kitchen and looked around then came back out and told me that the dishwasher was empty and thus his work was done. I told him that I wanted him to LOAD the dish washer. This skeeved Paul to the core of his very being because Andrew had left spaghetti dishes and it was quite a mess. I told Paul to do his best. This took about 5 reminders...Paul was in an out of the kitchen 100 times and then Paul said he was finished. I went in to the kitchen to discover that Paul had rinsed most everything off but he hadn’t put anything in the dishwasher. I figured that 50% was better than nothing so I loaded up the dish washer and turned it on then I went to bed.

I got up early the next morning because I couldn’t sleep in that sarcophagus my sister calls a bed and I collected about 100,, well maybe it was more like 5, soda cans and dirty dishes from the living room. If I didn’t know better I would have thought that Paul and Andrew had thrown a party during the night. I tidied up the bonus room and living room and then fed and watered 2 bearded dragons, 1 baby leopard gecko, 1 African Grey parrot, 2 cats and 2 ferrets. The dragon’s water was so putrid that I just about gagged. Why, oh why, does anyone have reptiles as pets?

I sent Bek a text telling her that I wanted to go to San Juan Capistrano to see blog writing superstar, “Crazy Aunt Purl”. Her second book had just been published and she was going to be doing a reading and meet & greet. Bek texted back and she said she’d come home and sit with the boys. I don’t know if she thought that Andrew needed a babysitter or if she just simply forgot that Jake was gone but I was shocked that she would even volunteer to stay home with the boys. I told her that I had wanted her to go, too, and we could have a photography field trip.

Paul was feeling kind of superior that he got to go on the road trip with us. I could tell this because he was almost silent most of the way. I think it was a big deal for him to get to ride in the Jag especially with Bek behind the wheel. I had Bek look up directions on Mapquest.com and I wrote them down. Sadly, she followed my directions the same way I follow directions given to me on a GPS. (Just in case you don’t remember…ask Mother how many times we wound up in the same stupid vacant lot on our last trip to Hawaii..) The map said to take the toll roads which made for a lovely drive. There was hardly another car on the road and the scenery was beautiful.. The first toll cost around $2.00 and there was a friendly person in the booth to take our money. We only went a few miles on that road before we were supposed to take an exit and Rebek exited 1 road before we were supposed to and of course there was no way to turn around and go back so we just kept on driving. The signs said that we were going to have to pay another toll so we decided that we’d ask the toll person where the heck we were and how to get back to where we needed to be. Lo and behold this toll booth was automated and unattended. Of course we thought this was very funny. We asked the machine for directions and the machine just would not answer us!! We paid the toll and Bek drove onward. We took the first exit from the toll road and it dumped us in to the middle of Tustin. (For anyone who is reading this who is not familiar with California…starting from the city of Riverside on the way to San Juan Capistrano…Tustin is completely out of the way.) It took us several miles before we found a gas station where we could go in and get directions to the 5 freeway and as if just to make us look even more stupid…the on ramp was just on the other side of the gas station. Once we got to the 5 and went a few miles we realized that if we had stayed on the toll road that we had gotten on to mistakenly…we still would have wound up on the 5. We. Are. Idiots.

It didn’t take any time at all to get to Capistrano but it took us almost 30 minutes to find a place to park. The library is right next door to the mission and since it was such a beautiful spring day there were a million people visiting the mission and it appeared as though every one of them each brought their own car.. We got lucky and found a spot at an adult school. We decided that if we were questioned about why we parked at the school we would lie and tell the parking police that we had enrolled in a class for remedial map reading!

When we got in to the library I’m sure Paul heard the angels sing. A room full of friendly women and a table FULL of cookies, cake, cupcakes, carrots, tomatoes, barcly, (that’s what Paul calls broccoli), dip, coffee, decaf, tea and water. I found a seat and saved the one next to me for Paul but of course he didn’t want to sit next to me. He had to sit in his own aisle behind me. Ok, fine. Laurie, “Crazy Aunt Purl, was out talking to people in the audience and when she made it down to my area I was so excited. I stood up and started talking to her and she was as cute, sweet and gracious as she could be. Paul was immediately up in her grill with dip and cookie crumbs all over his. I’ve never been so proud.

Bek took a couple of pictures of me and Laurie and then the nice woman sitting next to me took pics of me, Laurie and Bek. We had to take several shots because each time one of us had our eyes closed. I think Laurie and I were cut from the same cloth. (and yes, I do think it's a good idea to stop putting make up on half of your lower throat area, why do you ask?)


Laurie moved on to talk to other people and Paul engaged the lady sitting next to me in conversation. After about a minute I told Paul that he needed to be quiet and take his seat and the lady said that it was A Ok and that she was enjoying the conversation. I took that opportunity to go plug in my camera battery in so that I would be able to take more pictures later in the day. When I came back from finding a plug I saw Paul was playing paparazzi with his game box. It is so amazing how children, even man-children learn what they live. He likes to take the photographers stance of putting one foot out in front of the other and then he bends his front leg sort of like a semi lunge, and then snaps a picture. He is always very proud of the shot he gets and it doesn’t matter to him if it looks like his subject was jumping up and down.

Laurie was ready to start her reading and Paul went and barreled over a handful of unsuspecting ladies who were innocently standing at the dessert table. He didn’t really hurt anyone but I’m sure they were wondering what this obviously starving young man was doing at a book signing. Bek left the room and sat outside in the sun and read her book. Paul was talking to the woman at the table…I’m sorry to say that he wasn’t apologizing to them for mowing them over…I think he was discussing the pros and cons of decaf vs. regular and I think he also let them in on the little secret that he was going to have iced tea on his next round at the table. I could hear most of this from my seat so I turned around and gave Paul the death stare. He brought his 5 course dessert meal to his seat and sat down.

Laurie started her talk by introducing herself while Paul is sitting behind me giving a blow by blow commentary to everyone and no one regarding everything he was eating. I turned around and gave him another death stare.


“SORRY AUNTIE.” (‘just stop talking’. ) “BUT I SAID I’M SORRY AUNTIE!” (death stare.) “Grunt”. (death stare.)

A couple of minutes go by….BURP!!! (death stare.) “SORRY AUNTIE I BURPED!” (death stare, jut jaw and close eyes as I turn away.)

Another couple of minutes go by..”SLLLUUURRRRRRRPPPPPPPP!” (ignore, ignore)

“MMMMMM-ahhhhhhhhh, SSSLLLUUUURPPPPP!!” (‘knock it off right now or you are going to sit outside.’)

“MY TEA WAS GOOD, AUNTIE!!!” (‘stop TALKING!’) “BUT AUNTIE…MY TEA WAS GOOD!”

CRUNCH! CRUNCH! CHEW. CHEW. “HEY AUNTIE, DO YOU WANT SOME SALARY?” (‘noIdon’twantcelery! be. quiet!’)

This onomatopoeia fest continued throughout Laurie’s presentation. I didn’t take him outside because I knew that he wouldn’t have gone willingly and it would have created an even bigger scene.

As Laurie read her book the crowd laughed and Paul guffawed. I’m certain that there wasn’t a thing she said that he understood but this is one boy who knows his laughing ques. When she was done with the reading she did a Q & A and this was Paul’s opportunity to get another plate of snacks. I’m actually glad that he was distracted because I had visions of him raising his hand, getting called on and then asking to Laurie if she wanted some salary or barcly.

After the Q & A a line formed so that she could sign books and I just stayed in my seat waiting for the line to dissipate. Of course Paul wanted to leave as he always thinks there is something better to do. I explained to him that it wasn’t over and we would leave as soon as I was finished. The lady sitting next to me engaged Paul in conversation again and she was being so kind to him. She told me that her name was Connie and she was from San Diego.

I left Paul with her while I bought my book and had Laurie sign it. When I came back to Paul the kind lady’s husband was there and he was talking to Paul, too. As they left she gave me her card and asked me the name of my blog. She didn’t even write it down so I didn’t figure I’d ever hear from her so how shocked do you think I was when she wrote me a letter the very next day telling me how much she enjoyed my blog and how nice it was to meet Paul!

Connie and Laurie


I hope that Paul and I have made a new lifelong friend. It is very, very rare that people want to befriend this ever innocent man child and I want to take this opportunity to thank Connie from the bottom of my heart for going out of her way to be so kind to Paul. And I will apologize in advance for the first time Paul uses her shirt to wipe off his mouth.

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Amanda said...

I love Paul stories! Mike came in while I was reading this and asked me what was so funny.

I think you should write for a sit com. This would have been a perfect setting for My wife and Kids or a multitude of other shows.

Thanks for starting my Saturday off with a smile.

7:59 AM  
Blogger Kathy said...

I read about this event because my first crush with whom I am FB friends with is the editor of the Capo Dispatch and SC News and was at the event. If you saw a hunky 45 year old who looked like he used to be a wrestler, that was him.

And I wasn't looking at your makeup line in the pic, I was looking at how shiny and silky your hair looked! It really looked pretty!

As always, you are a good auntie. :)

10:12 AM  
Blogger Tami & Tori said...

Kathy,

The only men at this shin dig were Connie's husband and another blogger's husband. If there would have been a hunky guy there I so would have noticed!

Thanks for the kind words about my hair. In the last 3 weeks I've had it colored, lo-lighted and then cut. Sadly, it looks nothing like it did when I left the salon but that is always the case. ;)

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Amanda... I love Paul posts...Dave posts, ...ooohh ohh... and free paint!! Post everyday!!
Tori

7:48 AM  
Anonymous Mother said...

Just re read this post...as I've missed your blogging....It is still as enjoyable to read as it was last summer. I'm patiently waiting for some new Tami stories. Hope you get past your "writers block" soon!

2:59 PM  
Blogger Sister said...

I just re read this story, its about a year old. It made me laugh out loud several times. I dont know why its so funny to read your interpretation of Pauls escapades, but so irritating to experience them first hand?
Tori

4:34 PM  

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