Happy Birthday Great-Grandma, Fighting Over Used Shoes, and Other Pointless Endeavors

Great-Grandma couldn’t stand Ted Kennedy, or any of the Kennedy family for that matter.

Happy birthday to my great-grandma, who would have been 114 today, if she hadn’t died in 1992 at the age of 94.  I miss Grandma.  She was cool.  I would give almost anything for just one more afternoon of coffee and conversation with her, but you get what you get.  I’m just glad that she lived close and I was able to spend as much time with her as I did. Besides having a taste for insanely strong coffee and for discussing conservative politics, she had a collection of tabloids that would boggle the mind.  She always claimed to read them for the entertainment value.  I read them for the entertainment value too, especially the Weekly World News.

The John Deere hat is a nice touch.

Grandma also had a framed, signed picture of President Reagan which I am sure one of the twins (my grandmother’s evil identical twin sisters) ended up with.  I can’t believe the twins (who were in their early 70s at the time) had an out and out knock-’em-down, yank each other’s  hair out, fist fight over her stuff. Besides some clothes and a few nice pairs of size 8 shoes, the Reagan picture was probably the only thing she owned that had any monetary value.  If I know my twin great-aunts (and one of them is still alive-though the one who had the stroke died about five years ago) they were fighting over the shoes.  They wore size 8s too.

I have a strong shoe fetish myself- but even should they be size 7s, I’m not fighting anyone for used shoes.

My twin great-aunts’ altercation over a few pairs of used shoes and a whole lot of worthless kitsch convinced me once and for all: I don’t need dead people’s stuff.  My sisters can have it all.  I am just curious when I die (they are slightly older than me, but they are much better preserved, and will most certainly outlive me) if they will brawl over my used underwear (the bras won’t fit either one of them- unless they add a little extra stuffins,) and not a few pairs of size 7 shoes that only one of them can wear.   The oldest, who was my sadistic childhood nemesis, does well to fit her behemoth meaty feet into an 8EEE.  The other sister also wears a 7B, and therefore, my shoes fit her.

I’ll cut out the middleman and just put my old skivvies on E-Bay now.

Or, better yet, I could E-Bay Jerry’s nasty old whitey-tighties, after he’s worn them for a night of gambling, drinking and the Hershey Squirts:

Of course, there’s a dude who’s already thought of using what appears to be a soiled set of whitey-tighties as a safe.  I can sort of understand the mentality, though I would struggle with the temptation to pick out the cash and then toss the skivvies.

The replacement fridge is up and running quite nicely as of this morning.  The ice is frozen and Jerry’s Natties are cold.  Spuds is in the G&R, and all is right with the world.

The G&R still has the most awesome fried bologna sandwiches.  And cream pies.  And an original late ’80’s Spuds McKenzie.

Twisted, Torrid and Tawdry, for the Love of Dirty Laundry, and Friends or Total Strangers?

For being introverted almost to the point of being antisocial, I surprised myself in taking the initiative to go to my class reunion dinner.  There were activities planned for the entire weekend, but I know myself- a little social interaction goes a long way with me, especially in potentially awkward situations, and even more so in potentially awkward situations involving  other people and too much alcohol.   I can’t drink in public for a number of reasons, and I get enough of drunk-watching-as-entertainment at home.  I did party back in the day, but it lost its charm long ago.   Maybe I’m strange, but 25 years is a freaking long time, and I live in a completely different sphere than I did in the wonderful world of the mid-1980’s. 

Spuds is in the G&R, the stars are in the heavens and all that, but I’m not the same.  Me, circa 1986, would not even vaguely recognize me, today.  The 1986 me would probably be running for cover, screaming, “HOLY SHIT, I’ve become my mother!!” 

Some of the people I graduated with are almost exactly as I remember them.  Others have been dealt with even more cruelly by time and circumstance than I have been.  Some- or I should say most- I’d never recognized at all if not for the name tags.  Especially the guys.  I got there a bit early so I could watch people trickle in and perhaps gain my bearings.  I was shocked at how old some of the guys looked.  Jerry is 12 years older than me, but a few of these poor guys looked as if they had 20 years on him.  As cruel as it may sound, one thought that went through my head was, “Who are these geezers, and what happened to my friends?”

I don’t mean that in a malicious sort of way.  I know only too well that time has been rather cruel to me as well, even though I was never much to look at to begin with, and have always been proportioned like a mutant troll.  I am sure that not a few people looked at me and wondered what the hell happened.  I think in some ways we are all wondering just when we got so old.  I know I sort of expected everyone to look the same as I remembered, which isn’t terribly realistic. 

It is sort of sad in a way that I’ve really not kept touch with people over the years.  I do care, but I get busy, and I spend far too much time catering to Jerry and his high maintenance needs.  He made it very clear long ago that he really doesn’t want to socialize with any of my friends (frankly, I think he’s afraid of them seeing him when he’s shitfaced and acting like a horse’s ass) and I don’t socialize much anyway, so as soon as you know it, everyone I used to know is a geezer/cougar too, and their lives and circumstances have all changed. 

I made it a point not to get embroiled in anyone else’s scandals or juicy bits.  If someone were to investigate, and the more inquiring minds likely have, they can uncover all sorts of rather twisted, torrid and tawdry dirt on me. I’ve done my share of stupid things and made my share of really bad decisions.   Don Henley said it back in 1985- “We all know that crap is king, give us dirty laundry…”  The thing is I don’t have the heart to hold a 25 year grudge toward anyone, or to dredge up anyone’s sordid past. 

Over all, I think it was a healthy thing to reconnect for a moment, but above all, to be reminded that the past is exactly that, and for the most part, it’s a good thing.   I’m a lot more comfortable with myself now- although being in a room with close to a hundred people I’ve not seen in years did keep me more on guard than usual.  (Yet another reason why temperance befits me!) I did see some people in a different light which was also a good thing.  I may not have been one of the Beautiful People, but the line between me and them is not quite so well defined anymore. 

In some ways I like to think that I may have made some new friends. Even though I may have known them years ago, people change.  I am not the maudlin, huggy-kissy type.  I don’t  have the talent to just take up a decades-old conversation where I left off as if it were yesterday.  I don’t remember names well (I do a bit better with faces) and I know to some I might seem aloof, but even though I refrained from hugging and kissing, it was nice to see people again. 

I just couldn’t bring myself to swig on the community bottle of Boone’s Farm (acck) either.  I’ve had a pathological aversion to drinking after others (especially on a glass bottle) ever since I was about four, and my sister used to grab my pop bottle, take a big swig and backwash into it.   The thought of drinking other people’s spit and/or pre-chewed cud is one of the few things that just really completely gross me out.

I did have to take a pic of the “I Love Them Crabs” drink holder.  That is classic.  Some things do remain the same.