Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Never underestimate the power of nuns in large groups. And Mad Libs.

My sister and her husband are in the process of selling their house.  They have a lovely townhouse in the very desirable area of Columbia and have put a lot of work into updating it since they bought it six years ago-ish.  They replaced the kitchen, the roof, fenced in the backyard, repainted, updated the bathroom...you name it, they've done it.  But after an extremely low-ball of an offer the first day on the market, they've gotten nary a bite so they are understandably stressed out what with twin toddler boys and a spark plug of an English bulldog to keep the house show-ready and a settlement date on their new house at the end of July.

This past weekend we took a day trip to Pittsburgh to celebrate my great aunt's 99th birthday. In the car was my mom, my dad, my sister Cath and me. It's a four hour drive from central Maryland and we had the required entertainment: snacks, cell phone with chargers (thanks Cath!) and...Mad Libs. Halfway up I-76, I pulled out the Mad Libs, princess edition natch, and away we went. Within minutes, we were in hysterics, adding such gems as the band 'Drunk (adjective) Lynn (person in room) and the Spacesuits (plural noun) and the main selling point of the castle the stained-glass pubic hairs (body part). That last one? All my mom.  Cath and I kept it clean as I debated 'douchebags' for a plural noun and 'skanky' for an adjective but no, she went there. It helped to pass the time and before we knew it, we arrived at the convent.

Oh, did I mention that my great aunt is a nun? Yeah, Aunt Sis is a Sister of Mercy and lives at the convent adjacent to/part of Calloway (?) University. The party was held in a room off the cafeteria and was dry as we apparently did not choose the party date to coincide with the two times a year they are allowed wine. But we persevered. My mom's sister Aunt Jean and their cousins Becky and Berta organized the party. As usual, we arrived way ahead of time to help set up/prep/decorate for the party. And yes, Cath and I knew what we were getting into; we're not 4/5 of the Feakes Family Caterers for nothing. During the set up, Cath received a call from her realtor wanting to show their house that afternoon at 4:15. Hoping to God that Mike, my BIL, had the house is semi-respectable order, Cath gave the go-ahead and proceeded to flip out about that for the next four hours.

She got a hold of Mike and let him know to keep away from the house a little while longer. The story of the showing/difficulty selling quickly spread around the room and before long, the party started. The nuns arrived in force and the cause was taken up amid much well-wishing to the birthday girl and fond reminiscence. Two hours later, we were cleaning up and in the car on the way back home. Cath tried not to get her hopes up about the showing. After two weeks, interest had pretty much dried up when she got a call. The realtor had an offer to present to her and would they be available that evening? Her prayers and the prayers of the Sisters of Mercy had worked their magic and they might be able move onto the next chapter of their lives.

The moral? It helps having an express line to the big guy upstairs and never hurts to keep an unfortunately named fictional party band in your corner.


  1. I just LOVE the way that story ended, but stained glass pubic hairs? Oh, the visuals!!

  2. I'm such a goof that this actually made me cry. God love some old nuns! I hope you've told them, it will totally make their day.


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