Saran wrap, at times when I see it, I am reminded of my Aunt Mona.
When we were kids, my sisters and I yammered and argued when we sat in the back seat, on the way to visit our dear Aunty Mona. “There’s nothing to do there,” I’d say.
“She’s family,” my father would say.
Her fruit and scroll garland printed settee, chair and ottoman were all covered with plastic. Even the accent ruffled pillows were wrapped in plastic. The lamp shades were covered with yellowing plastic wrap.
In all the years of visiting, our family never touched anything directly but plastic.
I never once felt comfortable in her house.
There was an unspoken rule about visitors and fingerprints. I never once touched her coffee table. Even our parents arranged their bodies on the couch so that they never touched anything!
When she opened the door, we were hit in the face by the scent of moth balls. It lingered in the air making our little eyes water. We could even smell it on our clothes on the way home. Mother would shoot “that look” in our direction, so us girls knew not to blink our eyes or even mention the odor.
We visited in the heat of summer we knew it would be torture. “Have a seat,” she would say. Sweating away inside her non-air-conditioned house was terrible. We couldn’t even squirm around on the plastic. In this heat, once your legs were planted – they stuck.
In the living room, I was worried about my legs being permanently attached to her plastic covered chairs. My sisters and I always left the house thankful that we still had skin.
Life was never cleaner or quieter than at Aunt Mona’s house. My sisters and I sat there on the couch until Daddy would finally say, “We should get going.”
Earlier today, in my kitchen, I watched my nephew Doug poke holes in saran wrap. He had already made a mess of things in the den.
I’m just grateful that my nephew feels comfortable in my house.