March 1, 2015

SOL 1: Calling Dibs

My family does this thing...

It sounds terribly morbid and disrespectful when I put it in writing, but I promise no one in my family is offended by it.

When someone (especially an elder) in our family gets something cool, we all race to call "dibs" on it, meaning we're staking our claim to said item once that person dies.

I know! I know!

But really, everyone thinks it's hilarious. My grandma had this old reclining chair for like 30 years that my brother loved. He wanted dibs on it so badly that he literally put his name on a sticky note, and stuck it to the back of the chair, where it stayed for many, many years.

Ironically, he didn't take that chair when she passed away. I'm not sure what happened to it.

I bring this up is because my parents have spent the past year remodeling their kitchen, all because my mom wanted a beverage bar. She needed a place to house all her drinky things.... Keurig, blender, electric tea kettle, containers of loose tea, k-cups, liquor bottles, mugs, wine glasses, and, of course, her wine fridge.

As I'm writing this, I'm realizing that she could open a drink bar for the whole neighborhood with the amount of options she keeps in her house. She would make a lot of friends that way, for sure!

Anyway, mom's custom beverage bar finally arrived this weekend, and it's beautiful! I haven't seen it in person yet, but my mom posted pictures on Facebook. I have to share the conversation that followed because it demonstrates this whole dibs thing better than I can explain:

Me: I love it! It's even better than I imagined. I'm calling dibs now! You hear that, Amy and Scott?!

Scott (brother): Nope. You don't get dibs. I live here. I get first call, and it's mine when they go. I helped get it in the house and set up. 

Me: Too late! I as first. I'll solidify it by writing my name on a sticky note next time I'm there! ;)

Scott: Nope. You get no call in this. I put in work for it.

Amy (sister): Wow, I love it! [Clearly, she's not interested in this cabinet.]

Ellen (cousin): Erin, I think the favorite niece should have first dibs...

Me: Ellen, that's how I feel about your mom's pink ring! [My Aunt Linda has a BEAUTIFUL ring I've been eyeing for YEARS.]

Ellen: You can have it. I want the cabinet!

Me: I think we can make a deal!

Ellen: I guess I better tell mom I traded her ring for a cabinet. I'm not sure who that ring is intended for... maybe Shannon [her oldest daughter]. LOL I guess I need to tell her too.

Me: Shannon can call dibs on the ring when I die!

Shannon: I don't even know what ring you're talking about, so you can have it, Erin!

Me: This is like the best day ever!

Ellen: Now we have to get your mom to agree.

Me: And yours!

Mom: I think whoever takes the best care of me when I get dementia gets the cabinet.

Me: But Amy doesn't even want it. She's not even calling dibs!

Now I'm sitting here wondering if maybe my Aunt Linda already intends to leave me her pink ring. No one else is claiming it or knows who's getting it. And I have been telling her how much I love it for years!

Did I just offer up my mom's cabinet for a ring I'm already destined to get?

I may need to re-visit this agreement!


  1. Hey friend! I'm so glad you're slicing! This story had me LOL-ing as I read it on my phone a few moments ago....I love family traditions, no matter how morbid! I hope you get the ring! (And I want to see a picture of it!)

  2. I love how adding the exact dialogue makes the moment and the reflection even more poignant.

  3. Love the cabinet and the family tradition of dibs.

  4. Love the cabinet and the family tradition of dibs.

  5. This made me giggle! I legit was sitting thinking of what I could call dibs on of my mom's.

  6. Too funny - we do this too. There are debates as well, even with things that we have known since our childhood because my mom would tell us who was going to get what with some of the family heirlooms. I wonder if she inadvertently started it all! I especially love that you added the FB convo. It brought everything to life - especially with your asides - ha!