Biffle-isms through the years (and a story about a rug)

In honor of Walter's parents, who were visiting us this weekend, I'd like to present some classic Jim Biffle-isms.

"I wouldn't walk around the house six times for that." --after tasting some salmon at Sam's Club

"I have a third sense."
--referring to his almost-eerie psychic abilities (this one is my personal favorite.)

"I can do that faster than I can bite my eye."

"I can't phantom how you can do that."

"Everybody has a right to their own opinion, but they're wrong."

And the most impressive Biffle-ism of all time...

"I wouldn't give her the sweat off of my eyebrows if she was dying of thirst."

here are some photos of the visit--fort sumter, daddy's idea of the perfect medium well steak and our new rug.

hi. it's walter writing now. mama and daddy came to town this weekend for the dual purpose of giving us their first visit to our new digs in charleston and to help us buy a rug. the rug was thier christmas present to us this year.

we played our cards right, too. here's the story: originally, alison and i had decided to get one of those sisel or seagrass rugs that are omnipresent at pottery barns and ikea and stuff right now. back at christmas we didn't know exactly what we wanted, it was gonna have to be shipped to us, we didn't know what we were gonna give m & d for their gift, etc., so we made up a better game plan, namely: give mama and daddy a gift certificate to hominy grill (our standard visitor/charleston experience restaurant)and have them visit us in january. then we'd all go buy the rug together.

here's how we played our cards right: my father, if given the correct opportunity, is notoriously generous. i cannot tell you the number of times in my childhood that a man has walked up to daddy, handed him a hundred dollars, and said "i'll get the rest to you as soon as i can." (i've usually found out later that daddy has loaned them perhaps even thousands of dollars at no interest and allowed them to pay him back on their own schedule.)

anyway...although i know that part of that loaning thing is his generosity, another part is the fact that daddy cannot pass up a good deal, or pass up something that he really loves--especially when it's for someone he loves. well, i had gone shopping for rugs and had started to become a little disenchanted with the seagrass option. they aren't really a good item. shorter life span, machine-made, non-colorful, and--most damning--in fashion right now.

(another post will have to deal with the guilt i feel about spending money on nice/stylish things. but for now, i'll leave off by just saying that if you're gonna buy something nice, buy as nice as you can possibly afford. make sure that the thing that you buy was made as ethically as possible and that it will last as long as possible--hopefully a life time.)

so we went to a locally-owned home decor store in charleston and started looking. first off, daddy did not approve of the seagrass. too cheap. so then we started looking at the more persian kind of carpets. then we started comparing the "tufted" to the "hand-knotted," and discussing the lifespan. and then...from out of the crowd of rugs--emerged THE RUG. daddy and i had spotted the exact same rug and had decided that it HAD to be the one. a hand woven carpet, traditionally turkish, with a flat weave called summack or soumak, depending on where you look. all wool, great colors, right size--and best of all at the right price (if, of course, they had decided to give us twice the budget with their christmas gift). well, no matter. daddy decided we had to have it.

to cut this tale short, i'll just say that our eventual agreement was that m & d would pay for the entire thing and we could, or course, pay them back when we were able. (oh...and although the salesperson seemed curiously unswayed by daddy's horse-trading charm, we did finally get the rug pad thrown in for free.)

coming soon: as to give equal time to christmas gifts, a post that brags on my new commercial grade coffee mill alison's equally generous parents got me for christmas, and ethical ruminations on owning "nice" things...


Eliza McGraw said...

I love the rug. It's gorgeous. Is it from that little store we passed when we were walking around? You'll have that puppy forever. Even after twenty years, when a rug like that gets sun faded, it's still beautiful.

And you should put on Walter's mom's phrases too.

And I am looking forward to the justification of nice things post, because I need it. I just bought another black geary coat.

I guess these are things that should just be in an email, not on your blog, but it's all boxed up now.

Trey said...

Nice rug. It really ties the room together.

The Mom said...

I like the rug, too. Very pretty, and "real classy" - (boy...I sure do want to put an exclamation point there.)


Anonymous said...

This anonymous falls into the category of 'evil capitalist'. Sometimes we 'evil capitalists' are best at making money, and find a need to do acts that promote culture and quality-of-life for those in arts and who make the world a better place. Life spent only making money gets empty... The act of giving is as beneficial to the giver as to the receiver. This may or may not explain your father's actions, but I know supporting causes or family members that make the world a better place is definately fulfilling to many of my colleagues.

Zane said...

Yup, I like the rug. Your parents seem cool too. I always enjoy horsetrading.

christiemckaskle said...

Lovely rug, and even more lovely is the appreciation of generosity.

What is it about people who create beautiful things that we think we're not supposed to receive them? Does it feel more powerful to be Creator? (I only ask this b/c I've asked it about myself many times.) Here's another place where the illusion of separateness hurts us - or at the very least muffles our joy. There are people (not me, but people I trust) who live in that place of knowing there is only one Giver, one Receiver. And sometimes, these people are the one we'd be least likely to call mystics, but they know that every generous act only enriches there own life.

Listening to a Jack Kornfield (Buddhist teacher) series of tapes on "Your Buddha Nature," he talks about a daily chant practiced by monks. They chant gratitude for the 4 things needed to care for this body - food, shelter, clothing and medicine - and then the chant goes on to say, "so let the riches come now from my heart."

christiemckaskle said...

Excuse me - make that, "their own lives."


Miss Meghann said...

M:"Your brother was right! It really does tie the room together"

A:"I know! I love the look!"

M:"Oh, have you ever seen the Big Lebowski"

A: *nearly visble lightbulb over head* "Ohhhhhh....that's what he meant. I thought he was just being overly excited about the rug!"