Thursday, March 25, 2010
Have You Met My Grandma?
Have you met my grandma?
She was a delightful lady who had ways all her own and opinions to match and yet never hurt anyone.
She was a true lady. She always wore perfume and dressed in mostly pastels, declaring black "much too sad." She matched her purse, her shoes, and often even her lipstick to her sweater which matched her slacks and somehow she always looked elegant. She was not seen without her hair done and her makeup on. When I spent a weekend with her, she would paint my nails to match hers . . . "our little secret," because I wasn't really allowed. She always remembered to take it back off before I went back home. Except that once.
She matched her bed clothes to her bedroom decor. This was a revelation to me when I was a child. My bedroom was pink, but I slept in all colors and patterns, until the day my grandma and I were out shopping. I picked out a powder blue nightgown. "But your bedroom is pink, Honey . . . this pink one will look much nicer." "But Grandma, who sees me when I'm sleeping?" "You do, Dear." My first lesson in taking pride in myself for myself's sake.
My grandma hosted all the major holidays. She cooked enough for an army, but did it with lavish style and love. And she often put Santa Claus to shame with her personalized gifts amassed throughout the year.
She wore red, white, and blue on the Fourth of July and took us to every neighborhood parade in town. Quite a feat when they all ran at practically the same time.
She listened to opera music and easy listening and held her head up high when her teenage-grandchildren-detractors teased and jeered. She eventually won me over to opera music, but never knew.
My grandma loved licorice and Johnny Carson and a good sleepover. She would enthusiastically participate in my ongoing experiment to try to stay up all night. She taught me to play double solitaire and would find ways to lose often enough to fund my personal shopping wallet for the next day.
She loved strawberries and had a big strawberry patch in her backyard. She ordered only strawberry pie and strawberry ice cream.
She was the one to tip me off, "Appear aloof to the boys who show interest in you," and to pinch my cheeks before answering the door.
She also told me I was beautiful, and, God love her, I think she really meant it . . . even though I really wasn't beautiful.
Have you met my grandma? No, I know you haven't. And now you won't. Because she died. She died on this day sixteen years ago. And I miss her freshly every. single. day.