Monday, July 27, 2009

Gypsies, Tramps & Skeeves

Well there is nothing quite like combining your 42nd birthday and a family reunion all in the same weekend to leave you feeling a wee bit maudlin. We've been back from Columbus for just a week and I've been a bit down. Not that I didn't have fun. I did. And not that I wasn't happy to see (most of) my family. I was. Perhaps things were a little too good and I wasn't quite ready to leave my old stomping grounds.

Last Friday afternoon I went out to lunch with my mother (in town for the reunion as well), and my friends Amy and Becky. It was marvelous. We laughed and laughed. Until my mom created one of those bizarro moments where the entire world (or in this case the entire restaurant) stops spinning, mouths are silenced and all ears became focused on her when she told this whacked out and racially tinged story about Romani Gypsies that she tried to dignify by saying she'd read it in "the paper".


Fortunately we recovered the moment and the good times resumed as my friends and I collectively made a decision to smile, nod and ignore her crazy ass and quickly move on to less nutty topics.

After my mother left I tried to restore my friends faith in journalism by revealing that the only "paper" my mom reads is the Villages Daily Sun and all they ever report is who died or who has grand kids visiting. I reassured them that she didn't read that clap-trap Gypsy story in the Washington Post or the New York Times. Clearly she made it up.

It's scary to see your parents age. A sad point, driven (literally) home to me in the bullet points listed below in the order that the thoughts popped into my head, as I got in the passenger seat of my mother's rented mini-van and took a short drive across the parking lot of a large mall after luncheon when we all wanted to grab coffees at a nearby cafe:

  • Damn. She has to drive? It's so close. Her legs must be very fucked up. I should ask her how fucked up her legs are ...

  • Damn. She uses a cane at home? Why hasn't she ever mentioned this. Um... Why didn't she bring it with her?

  • Vanity. Apparently my mom is more self conscious about being seen using a cane than she is about getting into a car and driving 50 feet.

  • Um... why is she driving in circles? We just drove right by the cafe. There's a spot. Oh. There's a spot. Oh. There's one. Oh. What the fuck?

  • Great. Now she's blind too. Apparently she only parks in spots where she can pull forward instead of having to back out.

  • This is bad.
I'll just say this about my mom's driving - the only reason she hasn't mowed anyone down (that we know of) is because thankfully they saw her first and were able to get the hell out of the way.

As for the rest of my weekend - here is the highlight reel of my family reunion in the form of, you guessed it, more bullet points:

  • Babies, babies, babies! My family sure can breed! I have two cousins who are my age WHO HAVE GRANDCHILDREN. I find this appalling when birth control is so cheap. I can't get excited that you are a grandparent. I just can't. Is that wrong?

  • Speaking of family planning, I'm old enough now that no one is asking MDH and me when we are going to start a family and this made me a little sad. It used to piss me off.

  • I raised a huge stink because there was no mustard. Who the hell was in charge of this BBQ shit pile? Call your event planner and get your money back no mustard. (It was my aunt Nan and I totally forgive her - but I made some noise) Hundreds of cheap-ass hot dogs and not one squirt of mustard in the whole goddamn place? I don't mind a cheap-ass hot dog, but I need to put some mustard on that shit to maintain my dignity.

  • What the hell? My sister's youngest child is going to be a senior next year. Stop it all of you. No more growing up. I mean it.

  • My entire extended family stayed at the Holiday Inn Express near the reunion venue and we basically took over the entire place. It was like that scene from Raising Arizona when all of those wild kids are trashing Hi & Ed's trailer. I lost count of all the people who walked into the pool area, fully decked out in swimsuits, crisp white hotel towel draped over one shoulder, rearing to go and then took one look at the drunk and noisy clan of rednecks who had high jacked the place and hauled ass right the fuck out of there.

  • My aunt Libby, who is in her late 60's and seems like a perfectly reasonable person on the surface, came down to enjoy her complimentary breakfast in that room hotels always have right off of the lobby, within clear view of the reception desk, elevators and main walkway of the establishment, wearing nothing but her housecoat (a light blue cotton whisp of a garment with embroidered flowers, gingham patch pockets, and white metal snaps up the front) and slippers (light pink terry cloth slides). Clearly she has come unhinged as she seemed neither to notice nor care that nobody else was dressed in this fashion or that it might be inappropriate or uncomfortable for the other patrons (me) in the hotel to see her in such a state of undress.

  • I got over it.

  • I slurred drunkenly on and on about Libby's embarassing housecoat at dinner Sunday night with MDH and several of our friends.

  • Apparently I wasn't over it, although I had forgotten all about my mom and the weird Gypsy thing until I talked to Amy on the phone last night.


The Vegetable Assassin said...

This is going to sound awful but I love hearing about any family event you're involved in because it's always pure entertainment gold. I mean not that I get my jollies from seeing you suffer or anything but you know... Keep it up. :) Happy belated birthday too! And fuck, you have another few years of possible baby making left yet, missy! Have triplets and shut them up.

(No, really, don't)

The Vegetable Assassin said...

Um....the family, not the triplets, they can scream as much as they want.

WendyB said...

I keep thinking that I must be related to your family...

SkylersDad said...

Through in a bit more nudity, and you have one of my old family events spot on!

sparsely kate said...

I love your Aunt Libby and I love this post. It made me happy to read it.

You are a cranky blessed girl - very lovable, and so is your family (though I do agree - hot dogs and no mustard, sheesh!)


i am playing outside said...

i need to stop reading your blog at night. it causes me to howl uncontrollably and then i fear i'm waking up my roommate at 2:18am and i don't want to be mean like that.

maybe i'm delusional when its so late at night, but good lord you're hilarious. and i've been reading you for like 2 years now, so you'd think i would have gotten used to it, but no. hilarious.

catherinette said...

I'm pretty sure your mom was driving around in our parking lot this morning...

Suze said...

Aww, you gotta love (someone elses) family stories :)

I went to move my mom's car one time and practically tore off my kneecaps on the steering wheel. Apparently driving with your knees flush with the dash help you see better. Who knew?

BeckEye said...

Is your mom that lady from "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," who can't even see over the dashboard? :)

kirby said...

I know what you mean about the cousins as grandparents. I mentioned to my cousin that I hoped I would be long gone from this world before my son had kids, because that would mean he finished college, got a decent job, and didn't start breeding until he was about thirty. She looked at me like I was the one who was nuts.

Gwen said...

I'm with The Veggie Assassin on this one; I get excited when you leave town these days.

I wear a caftan just like Aunt Libby's every day in the winter. I can see my future and it's closer than I think.

The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

Veg - You know that is almost the entire point of this blog - turning my personal pain and tragedies into other people's giggle fits. For real.

As for baby makin' - no thanks. It's not for us.

WendyB - We can negociate a trade if you're willing.

Skydad - that is a frightening thought - although the next reunion will be in Florida and probably will have a pool or beach in close proximity which means that a good deal of my relatives might be sporting swim wear (shudders).

Kate - I'm nothing without my crank.

Player - I love you too.

Catherinette - I'm glad you lived to tell about it.

Suze - OMG that is both sad and funny - your poor knees! My mom is very tall (5'10) so scooting the seat forward isn't an option thankfully.

Beckeye - see my comment above to Suze - my mom is a tall drink of water - but she is (I fear) nearly blind with macular degeneration and still driving.

Kirby - people love to make them babies...

Gwen - I'm sure your caftan is lovely and not worn in public.