Hello. My name is Jules. I author the blog Pancakes and French Fries and run the daily giveaway blog, The Bright Side Project, with Tristan. I’ll start off with some honesty. At first I didn’t know why Susannah asked me to guest blog while she was away. All I could think of was how different my blogs are from hers, and whether I could deliver something you all would want to read. She's a tough act to follow!
Susannah is open and passionate. Her words charge out on the page like fearless soldiers, bringing most of us to tears when she writes about Zoey. I am dry and sometimes funny. It’s easier for me to make people laugh because that’s the sort of thing we emotionally-unavailable people do.
People frequently nominate Susannah for awards. My mom thinks my blog is pretty cool.
Susannah once devoted an entire post to a vagina on a bicycle. I’ve got nothing.
I don’t have a single story about tandem genitals, a puffy on a Huffy, or the power of flowers on wheels. Except, wait. Maybe I do.
My oldest son, Mikey, is four years old. He loves dinosaurs, Star Wars, and riding bikes with my husband. Recently he asked us for a bike basket. He likes to collect “fossils” on bike rides and any paleontologist worth his snuff has a basket on his bike to facilitate transport back to the lab. We did a preliminary search at the usual stores and came up empty. Bike baskets, it appears, are more for girls than boys these days. We decided to let it go. I would shop for one later online.
At least I thought we decided to let it go.
I was in the office writing when I heard Mikey and my husband talking excitedly in the garage. I heard “basket,” “bike,” and “best ever.” My interested piqued, I came out to investigate.
The sight before me nearly melted my eyes. I heard my son in the background, excitedly telling me that my husband was going to make him a special basket for his bike. My focus, however, was on his father who was standing their proudly holding a length of electrical wire and a round, 6-inch, espresso-colored basket that once housed lotion and a gift certificate from Bath and Body Works.
“You have got to be kidding me. Absolutely not.” I got right to the point.
“What?” My husband had the nerve to look innocent. “I’m teaching him how to recycle. I’m trying to save the environment.”
Environment my ass. He was trying to save $10 plus shipping and handling.
I argued that it was clearly a woman’s basket and not his best idea (in so many words). He said he would spray paint it. I asked him how he planned to attach it. He held up the length of electrical wire and some rose clippers. I died a thousand deaths right there.
“Let me get this straight. You are going hack a gift basket, spray paint it, and then attach it to our four year old’s bike with electrical wire.”
“Trust me, it’s going to look cherry coke.”
“I hope cherry coke comes with headgear and a propeller beanie, because that’s all I see missing from this game plan of yours.” I imagined our first-born son riding a bike with a woman’s beauty basket—a social pariah before the age of five. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a neighbor walk down the street and winced. She may have been the one who gave me the basket.
“I wouldn’t worry about it,” my husband countered. “Mikey just stuck dandelions all over his bike to give it flower power.”
Touché. My husband started to laugh. I started to laugh. We were both laughing and clearly, he did not intend to go through with his little bicycle basket hack. I considered it a victory. The neighbor I saw earlier walked past our driveway and called out a friendly neighbor greeting.
Mikey looked up from organizing his flowers and said, “HI MRS. MCNORMAN! I wanted a basket for my bike and Target didn’t have one so my dad said he was going to make one and then my mom came out and said it was the most ghetto thing she ever saw in her life and that she had seen him do some cheap things before but this was ridiculous and now she is going to check on Amazon for my basket so I can collect fossils. Also, I put flowers on my bike to give it flower power. Have a nice day!”
If I thought for one second it could support my weight, I would have hefted my own "flower" on Mikey’s bike and rode off into the distance.
Hurry back soon, Susannah. We miss you!