My Suzy Creamcheese Oath

I got caught rummaging. Don’t hate me. You know how life goes, these chains of events that just seem to happen, one thing leads to another and you find yourself a stranger in a strange land, not where you planned to be, not even in a place you ever dreamed of being, but here you are, this is what’s going on in your life, and suddenly nothing makes sense, not the way it used to, not the way you remembered it, and so, it’s very likely whatever you do next isn’t going to make sense either. That’s what happened to me while I was in the garage looking for a flathead screwdriver. 

Billie Best writes about her Suzy Creamcheese oath.

We got a standard poodle puppy and decided we would groom him ourselves. When he starts to look like an escapee from poodle prison, I take him into our tiny bathroom, close the door and plug in my partner’s beard trimmer, which the dog hears as theme music for his game show. The end result is always shorter, but still lumpy and uneven, and certainly not what you would see at a dog show. Then I have to clean up, and this time, a ball of poodle hair choked my little hand vacuum, and I needed a flathead screwdriver to fix it.

When I sold my farm in 2016, I packed up a set of tools for myself to keep in my car, including several flathead screwdrivers in a variety of sizes.  Those tools traveled thousands of miles with me cross-country from Massachusetts to an apartment in Portland, Oregon, and then here to the olds love nest, and I didn’t lose a one of them. I don’t lose things. I still have a pair of Ray Bans I bought in 1991. Anyway, there were no flathead screwdrivers to be found, not in my tool bag, not in his toolbox. This is where the blame starts.

The first thing I do is go to his workbench in the garage where his fishing stuff is piled up like so many mismatched undies at a Macy’s lingerie sale, and I start poking through it, pushing around plastic bits and bobs, pricking my finger on a fishhook, looking for a screwdriver for so long and through so many foreign objects that I am transported to another world where it’s my job to throw things away. I wear a pert navy blue uniform with wings on my name tag, pantyhose and kitten heels, and I fill trays with stuff that must be removed, disappeared down a metal chute and blown out into the universe with all the broken rockets and things men don’t need anymore, and this is my service to mankind, and I feel good about myself because I’m making the world a better place. I try on a pair of fingerless gloves that might match my favorite pair of hiking boots, but they’re too big for me, still they look pretty cool, and suddenly a thunderous voice booms like Zeus shouting down from the clouds, echoing between the cement floor and the garage door with divine authority, “You’re rummaging!” 

I jumped out of my skin, put the gloves down and ran out of the garage realizing I had slipped into a cleaning fantasy and broke my Suzy Creamcheese oath to never rummage through his stuff again.  Now I must go buy cinnamon buns to make amends.

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4 thoughts on “My Suzy Creamcheese Oath

  1. ‘kitten heels’?! can’t picture. i do remember (not yr fault i’m sure) the brown movie projector and cans of films of my mom n dad before we arrived making it to a yard sale in N Highlands and vanishing before I knew what had happened. among the shots: Dad swimming in his weird slo mo crawl in a pool in S CA. Mom delivering a hip thrust (yup) in front of a magnolia bush or something. (i never know what bush, tree or flower or weeds are properly called). so i’ve been on the sad side of yr rummage.

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