Say, does anyone have the time? Oh, wait. I do. IT'S TIME FOR ME TO BE 50.
Last night, Ned said we could go anywhere we wanted for dinner, as it was my birthday eve. "Stameys!" I said. It's a dive-y kind of barbecue place that is delicious. "...Really?" said Ned, and I knew he'd be all "really" about it, because if you recall, for HIS birthday eve, we went to the world's fanciest place with no air conditioning.
But I got my way, because birthday eve, and Ned not only got barbecue, he also got cobbler, and then I waited for it. I waited for the "I may have eaten too much" line. Which came maybe an hour later. When Ned was a kid, his mom would take him and his brothers and sister to Stameys, because it's not that expensive. But they could get ice cream for dessert, or they could get cobbler, but not both. Too pricey.
So, the first time Ned came home from college, they all went there for dinner, and Ned got to get BOTH, and the rest of his family was all, "WHAT?" They were appalled that Ned got the special treatment. I guess that's why he treats himself now.
I also treated myself, which you know is not like me. I took some time out for me. Yesterday at lunch, my coworker Molly had said we would go for pedicures for my birthday, but then she got called into a meeting, so I took myself for a manicure, in the hopes that today we would still get pedicures. I got silver. Once I painted my nails silver when I was dating this one guy, in 1996, and he said, "I feel like I'm dating the bass player from the Smashing Pumpkins or something." I always think of that when I opt for silver.
Anyway, after Ned and I both treated ourselves yesterday, we retired to the bosom of our home. Not everyone's home has a bosom, but ours does. "I should open my presents tonight," I announced. I knew it'd be a 45-minute process, given that my Aunt Mary had sent three boxes alone. I didn't want to rush through them this morning AND try to blog. And right after work tonight, we have Marty and Kaye.
I mean, we don't HAVE them. Marty and Kaye. Getting ready for the key clubbin' that ain't gonna happen.
So we went to the front porch and I sat on the rocker, which means I was not off my rocker, so there you go.
Ned photojournaled the Opening of the Gifts.
My favorite thing to get is a sentimental gift, and along with 394949293 other presents (beautiful necklace! pretty picture frame! really cool stationery!), my Aunt Mary sent me this. There was a note on it that my grandmother, the one I'm turning into, typed.
Grammy, who also always seemed unhappy, ALSO had this picture up wherever she lived, my Aunt Mary's note told me. Mary pointed out that I am the 4th woman in the family to have it, now. It's already up in my room. Where I can be generally unhappy and look at my woods picture.
My aunt also got me two really beautiful magnolia pictures, and I wonder if she knows I already have two cool old magnolia pictures, and these go with them perfectly? Ned and I already figured out where to hang them with the other two. So cool! I am so easy to buy for. Is it old? Is it pink? Done.
I told my mother I wanted something sentimental this year, and I opened this.
And burst into the sobs. The kind where there's no even talking. This is my other grandmother's robe, or housecoat, as she'd have called it. Let me tell you something. When the shit goes down, when things are really rotten, I think of myself on Gramma's lap, and we're in her rocking chair. There was no safer place to be, all squished up on Gramma, with the creak of that rocker.
She used to sing all kinds of songs to me, and I totally believed she knew every song there was. "Gramma, sing a song about, ummm, blue," I'd say, and she'd burst into "Ohhhhh, bluuuueee, is...a color. Ohhhhh, blue."
And I'd be all, Man. That woman has a repertoire on her. There is NOTHING she doesn't have a song about. I was probably 27 before it dawned on me she was pulling those lyrics out her ass.
The point is, there I was again, in a rocking chair, with Gramma's housecoat. I hugged it to me, and we rocked a little.
I'd been kind of sad this year, because I was missing my grandmothers, but they were here on my birthday after all.
(From L to R: My grandfather, who totally got me a freak book that year that I was obsessed with for years, Grammy, Uncle Jim, Gramma, then in the front dad, mom, Aunt Kathy, Aunt Mary, me and my friend Caroline Jeeter. I wish I could find Caroline Jeeter.)