Social Beans

January 26, 2011

Photo courtesy of Anthony Quintano.Beans are very social.  We don’t like to be alone.  If we are alone, we pick up the phone, we text,* we Skype, we Tweet, we IM on Facebook, but we stay connected.  (This does not include Mimi who married into the Bean family and who thinks we are crazy.) 

Some of the members of the Bean family will not even end a relationship unless they have someone else lined up (my sister Zoro, for one, and if you haven’t read her bio, you really should), but alas Papa had no one lined up when he got his second divorce, which is why he moved in with me and began a series of dating disasters that put him in temporary retirement. 

The first thing he did was try to date one of my friends with whom he had nothing in common, except that they were both slobs, and they were both flighty and they both had big feet.*  Politically they were both so diametrically opposed that it was like having Mary Matalin and James Carvel in the room with you. 

“No and no and NO!” I told Papa when he broached the idea of asking her out. 

“But she could be my soul mate,” he argued.


“Everyone knows that you don’t end up with the first person you date after a divorce.  And if you have a nasty breakup, it puts me in the middle, and I feel awkward and I’m out a friend.  Besides, your track record ain’t so good.”

Not to mention that he changes soul mates the way most people do underwear.  But I didn’t say that.

The second person he tried to date was one of my sorority sisters.

The second woman he tried to date drove a red Hummer.When I answered the door, Samantha was standing in front of me with her red Hummer parked in my driveway.

“What are you doing here?” she asked.

“I live here.”

“You live with your father?”

“Technically, he lives with me.”

“This is your house?”

“Bank of America and I own it together.”

Samantha is a litigation attorney.  She’s shrewd, opinionated and highly successful.  I could see the wheels turning in her head.  I think my presence interrupted their attraction.  On both sides.

Samantha was followed by Susan, the wild woman, whose roller coaster existence made the Beans look normal and sober.  It took him several months—Papa is not known for alacrity—but even Papa acknowledged that Susan had snakes in her head.

And then there was Raccoon Woman.  A nice woman who was trying to save the world… one raccoon at a time.  And on some days, it was one possum at a time.  She rescued them at all hours of the day and night, and for a short time, she managed to enlist Papa’s help until he made the nearly fatal mistake of leaving a carrier containing a screeching and, obviously, rabid, varmint ON MY DINING ROOM TABLE at a time when I was PREGNANT with Bean One and HIGHLY IRASCIBLE.  

I’m just going to tell you that it was ugly and that no more vermin have crossed the threshold of Maison Bean and leave it at that.

Bullwinkle is hungry!

"If someone doesn't bring food quick, I'm breaking into the refrigerator and blaming it on the dog." Photo courtesy of Papa.

Once I accompanied Papa to RW’s house where I was introduced to her two pets, Rocky and Bullwinkle.  Papa swore on the Bean Bible that they had both been vaccinated.  Rocky was a geriatric black lab.  And Bullwinkle was a female raccoon with a bad attitude and a weight problem.   Bullwinkle slept in the chimney and entertained herself by flushing the toilet all day long until RW got the water bill and had to take out a second mortgage.  Not only did she have to lock the bathroom, she had to lock the bedroom, the refrigerator and the kitchen cabinets.  And still Bullwinkle got into the Pringles.  In fact, now that Moose has come into my life, I see a lot of similarities.  Like wrecking the house for fun.  That kind of thing.

But while Bullwinkle loved Rocky, she despised Papa’s dog Rooster.  She tormented him.  And Rooster is already nervous enough.  In the end I think it was their furry offspring that broke Papa and RW up.

Bean One arrived at the end of the relationship with RW and Papa decided to take a break and devote some time to being a grandpa.  Then came Bean Two, and no one in the family had time to think, let alone cultivate extraneous relationships.  But four years have gone by and I recently discovered Papa checking out some skank on 

He tried to swear me to secrecy.  But everybody knows that Beans can’t keep secrets… so I’ll be back next week with the details. 

Until Wednesday.


*  It should be noted that Beans do not simultaneously walk and text.  Beans suck at multitasking.

**  Talking about big feet is like talking about family, and I can talk about my crazy, dysfunctional family, but no one else can.  I can talk about big feet because I have big feet (thank you, Papa), but people with small feet should tread very carefully.

Aug. 5-6, BlogHer Conference, San Diego ***  Times are bad.  I had to ask Mimi and Papa for an advance on my inheritance this week.  And despite my financial challenges, I’m dreaming about going to BlogHer this summer.  Anyone have any ideas?  Does BlogHer give out scholarships to destitute fledgling bloggers?

 ****  I wonder how much Moose would fetch on EBay.

 ***** Just kidding.

 ******  I wonder what I could get for Papa.

 *******  Seriously.

Part II:  Family emergencies, lies and  Papa fesses up

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Pamela January 26, 2011 at 9:59 am

“Highly irascible”
This seems like a Bean trait as well.
Papa isn’t pregnant, though….

feefifoto January 26, 2011 at 10:56 am

And the raccoon spent the day flushing the toilet because… ?

Papa January 26, 2011 at 11:24 am

Dear Jenny,

You might get enough money from a Papa auction to buy a bus ticket to downtown.

What if I just leave a buck on the kitchen counter? I’m in there all the time washing dishes anyway.

Speaking of Raccoon Lady: Remember Chunky Cheese, her rescued possum who held the world possum weight record? She took him to her office on Bring-Your-Pet-To-Work Day. She knew Chunk was on the loose when she heard a visiting salesman in the lobby scream, “Holy shit, look at the size of that RAT!”

Bullwinkle, the raccoon, was bad about stealing shiny stuff and hiding it in the chimney, which was fine if it was a piece of tin foil or a beer can. Unfortunately, the raccoon had an eye for expensive jewelry. Dreams of being a skinny movie star, I guess.

One day Bullwinkle got into big trouble by breaking into the dried dog food, which was in a guaranteed PET PROOF container. She and Rocky scattered dog food all over the house—counter tops, table tops, book shelves, under the bed and all over the shoes in the closet—nothing was safe. Dog food was found in winter coat pockets for years.

When Raccoon Lady got home, Bullwinkle was on a bookshelf sleeping off a dog food high. But she was smart enough to know she was in big trouble and lumbered up the chimney ahead of the brewing storm. Raccoon Lady was so mad, she got down on her hands and knees started raising hell in the chimney.

Bullwinkle called a truce when she threw down an expensive bracelet she had stolen the year before.

I never really liked that red Hummer. It was a little too pimped-out for someone who gets around on a bicycle. Besides I could never afford a divorce from someone who was already a lawyer.

Unlike some people around here I can multitask. In fact, I can cook, take a bath, read a book, vacuum the house, pick up kid’s toys while sipping my martini.


Irene January 26, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Papa needs a blog.

never a dull moment at the Beans household!

Again, Papa rocks.

Bobbi Janay January 26, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Wow, that sounds crazy.

PartlySunny January 26, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Toilet-flushing raccoons, a possum named Chunky Cheese, and a dog named Rooster. Are you guys in a house or a sitcom?

Jenn January 26, 2011 at 8:37 pm

I loved this week’s narrative. Oy. I can’t imagine one of my parents dating–especially not people I know. You should definitely go to BlogHer & network with all those other cool people!

Rose January 28, 2011 at 9:38 pm

My sister and I had a pet raccoon once. And a pet possum. And even a few pet snakes. I think I like Raccoon Woman.

BigMamaCass January 29, 2011 at 1:44 am

ROFLMAO!! Try craigslist 😉

Crecia Page January 29, 2011 at 11:35 am

“Technically he lives with me.” LOL

Michelle January 31, 2011 at 10:52 pm

I agree with Irene, Papa’s blog could be a very interesting read!

This post is hilarious!

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