My darling darling readers, (now I think the total might have busted right into the double-digits) I have forgotten you for so long. But I'm pretty sure you've filled that aching void with actually having a life, so I won't actually apologize.
Today I got a nice email from a guy in Texas. No, really. My friend Shirley (Mrs. Spag to my fellow Woodland Hills alumni, if you can really call us that) is from Texas, so I knew not everyone there is a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal. After all, a lot of them moved to DC.
Here's his note, which I am sharing here because, well, who's going to stop me?
"So, if you ever need a grandparent, please consider this an application, you need a resume let me know, the wife and I will tend to it. I love your blog. My wife occasionally mentions a funny lady whom she loves and I've never heard of (so I don't recall the name) who talked about being a "delicate flouwah" in a very Florida/Jewish sort of accent. I never heard of the woman but you and your mom remind me of her. You're such delicate flowers. Maybe she needs parents, we'll apply for that position too. I don't read blogs (that is so lame) but ok, I read yours once in a while when I need a little boost in my morale. I don't update my own, I seem never to feel inspired and I'm busy with other things, but I did log in so I could comment on yours. You're terrific, I couldn't be more proud of you if you really were my grandaughter and I wish my daughters and grandkids could meet you. "
Several reasons why I like this guy and his entire family. First, he began with "So," which I think might be actually encoded in my DNA. (That might be the most esoteric half-joke I've ever made, as it requires a working knowledge not only of the somewhat-recent translation of "Beowulf" by Seamus Heaney, but also of my Swedish ancestry.) Moving right along.
Second, he said nice things about me and he's funny. (Being funny counts twice, by the way.) Grandparents are in short supply these days. Especially cool ones. I have but one grandma -- but trust me, she's awesome. Which brings me to my next story.
I spent the weekend in Alexandria with my mom visiting relatives. Both my parents are from Alexandria, and my mother's family is still mostly in the area. (My father's family, in case you were wondering, is either dead or unfortunately still alive.)
My grandmother cracks me up, and not just because as matriarch, she could probably have me killed. If you're wondering what she's like, just imagine me but with a slightly cleaner vocabulary and thin. I know it's a stretch on both parts. But we're both hairy, so that counts for something in the "I probably wasn't adopted" column. As we were taking our bags down to the lobby of her building on Monday morning, a man passed by and they exchanged good mornings before he walked outside. The door had barely closed when she said, "I've been trying to flirt with that man for the past two months, but so far we haven't gotten past the weather." This reminded me of several of the "I can't believe my grandmother just said that" conversations we've had. Among those are her thoughts on why most men should be kept locked underground, why Viagra is bullshit, and why you should always have a pillow around when you have sex. (Just a very small sample there, as I'm sure you've already guessed.)
And on to why I should be careful when drinking Mai Tais. (I've amended this ruling from my earlier decision that I should never drink Mai Tais, because the further away from semi-drunken incidents you get, the more apt you are to remember just how good that drink was in the first place.) So after our celebratory dinner in Old Town (one of my aunts got a big fat promotion, so a good number of family members converged on an unsuspecting Thai restaurant that will probably never be the same) we were walking down the street to our cars. (No, I wasn't driving. You know me better than that. For shame.) I was talking with my cousin Ben, who is a couple years older than me, about our aunt Liz's boyfriend. Everyone really likes him, which is good, because the two of them just bought a house and will be moving in together in January. I suspect a Christmas proposal because I have a feeling he'll do it in front of the family. I said something to the effect of just wanting to meet someone who isn't psychotic, referring of course to the last couple of complete whack jobs I've dated. Ben said he'd like to meet a woman who doesn't talk much. Then he laughed and said, "No, not really."
I said, "Of course not. Except, exactly that." Then, not thinking, I said, "God, my last girlfriend..." and then I knew I'd just crossed a line I couldn't uncross. Not that I'm hiding anything from my family, and not that I think they'd be horrified. It's just not something I really wanted to do. So I said, "Oh, shit."
Ben looked at me and said, "We just sat at a table that was talking about three-legged dogs on rooves, clocks that turn on by themselves, and half-retarded people running down the street yelling 'Batman.' Do you really think a lesbian is going to suddenly become the exciting new topic? Compared to the average day on Hickory Street*, you're boring." I didn't have the heart to tell him that I'm actually bisexual. Not that it would have lessened his point, really.
*Hickory Street: The street where my mother and her five siblings grew up in the Del Ray section of Alexandria, where everyone, and I do mean everyone, was completely insane. From CaCa, the schizophrenic Alzheimer's patient who'd "get loose" down the street to the infamous three-legged dog that wouldn't come off the roof of a house to the rooster that just showed up one day and wouldn't leave my mother's house, you cannot make this shit up. It has to be genetic.