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Groupies Are Eternal

8 Jun

Grandma, hotter than Megan Fox.

As long have there been boys to strum guitars and throw balls, there have been girls there to fawn over them. I know this because I am currently living with one who is 90 years old.

Grandma had the golden egg in her youth. She was beautiful and she had a lot of brothers. Boys, being boys, have boys as friends. But one brother stood out among the band of brothers. Bob was the brother in a band.

Bob played guitar, along with his band mates, they’d hit the local taverns for a gig. Same as today, no one expected much in terms of money, just a paid bar tab and a piece of ass. I do just love how the more things change and all that…

Grandma met Madelyn at one of these taverns. How they became friends is a muddled story, just like we do it today. Everybody has that one friend and asks the eternal question, ‘how did we meet?’ and there is always that one friend for which there is no good answer. Kind of like maybe your dog, or that third cat. Alcohol may have been a factor.

Madelyn was married to Joe, brother of a really, seriously-famous baseball player of that time. She loved to entertain her Brother-in-Law and his team mates when they came to town (St. Louis) for games. Grandma loved all things taverns and parties and apparently, men. It must be said that during all of this time, Grandma was married. But in her defense, please see Guilt Cards. Everyone was married. It was what you did. There was only one ticket out of Mom and Dad’s and it was stamped and filed at the court house.

One afternoon, I’m assuming after some hair of the dog, Grandma found herself surrounded by Major League ballplayers, courtesy of Madelyn. Bob had played with the band the night before, my Dad was with his Grandma and who the fuck knows where Grandpa was. Madelyn brought up swimming as a pre-dinner diversion.

Grandma didn’t have a suit. Turns out that ball players on the road don’t really care. Same as today, as long as you’re wearing your good underwear, you can pull it off. As she told me this story last night, she wrapped it up with, “and they were really nice boys.”

I am so not putting that through the Grandma translator.

Grandma. Groupie. Fuck Yeah.


The Silverware Paradox

25 May

This morning I asked Grandma to unload the silverware from the dishwasher. I have several small chores that are delegated to her to raise her sense of self-worth and contribution to the household, to stimulate her mentally, give her something to do besides and annoy me with questions about the news, and in general, they are things I don’t want to fuck with. It’s a win-win. The silverware in the dishwasher is at the top of that list.

This morning, as with all silverware sorting mornings, I set before her the silverware holder from the drawer and the silverware basket from the dishwasher. Each was half full. I went about my business, putting away the rest of the dishes. When I returned to the table to take the drawer, it was completely empty. Grandma had sorted all of the silverware back into the dishwasher basket. All of it, all 12 place settings were now neatly arranged, just in the wrong place. Or were they? There are times that I have asked her, before a dinner on the patio, to take them from the drawer container and put them upright in a carrying basket. The dishwasher basket is very similar.

As I opened my mouth to make light of the situation, I suddenly stopped. When she looked up to me, I saw pride register across her face. She felt she had accomplished the task perfectly. And she had. I had a sudden memory of what it once felt like to be in that place. To be perfectly sure and proud of what I had done, only to be told after that it was wrong. But it really wasn’t wrong, it was simply different.

I thanked her and moved the rack to the counter. I made a mental note to communicate better, and I stared in amazement at the perfectly arranged rows of matching silverware within the basket. I wondered, am I teaching, or am I learning?


21 May

Me: “Hey Grandma, did you know Pac-Man is 30 today?”

Grandma: “Did you get me a card for him?”

Me: “No, he really doesn’t like for anyone to make a big fuss.”

The End.

As Promised, Things I Love About Grandma, Installment One

14 May

Picture of Grandma not in another country.

What we have here is classic Grandma. Please note the look on her face. This is, I think, supposed to be a fun thing. Sort of. I’m not sure. With Grandma, it can be really hard to tell. First rule of Grandma-ness is that she must dislike anything new or different immediately and she seems to be pulling this this off with great skill in this particular photo. But before we go any further, there are a few things in this picture that must be addressed and possible reasons for her less-than-thrilled-to-be-in-Tijuana face.

First off, the hat. Leaving aside for the moment that it’s been inscribed with the words “What-A-Man,” it’s also been jammed on the back of her perfectly coiffed head, or as perfectly coiffed as possible given the heat.

Second, her only son, that she has groomed and attired in his best Fidel Castro play suit, has been unceremoniously plopped atop a donkey painted to resemble a Zebra. Though, props to the dude who thought the Zebra touch would really add to the authenticity of the quintessential Mexican photo op. Nothing really screams Mexico quite like a Zebra.

Third, my Grandfather, who can’t be bothered to put down his smoke for the shot. I realize that you don’t know my Grandpa, but I have his same forehead. Notice the wrinkled, furrowed brow. This is our trademark hangover face. I know without a doubt, from that furled brow, that he is sweating tequila from every pore in his body. He is hot, with my Grandma and Dad, sitting behind a stinky-ass donkey, probably in need of a nap and/or some hair of the dog. He as well is none too pleased.

But the thing that I love most about this photo and a Thing I Love About Grandma, is that if you ask her if she’s ever been out of the United States, she will tell you no.

To Grandma, Mexico is just another US territory, or a state that’s yet to be admitted to the union. Show her this picture as proof, and she will respond, “Oh that. That’s just Mexico. I’ve never been out of the country.”

And there you have it. Mexico, New Mexico, whatever. Much like Grandpa’s hangover face, I get my sense of direction and geography from Grandma, and I love that about us.