Grandma Was a Stripper!!!

Today is the 20th anniversary of the death of my mom. And…before you start the boo-hooing….thanks, but, I’m good.  My mother was a complicated person. Had she been born about 20 years later, so many things would have been different.  She would definitely have benefitted from Prozac and Oprah.  And, wine…..she totally missed out on wine……well. Not really….she was quite fond of Sutter Home White Zinfandel. It’s okay to laugh. Because even I remember that Sutter Home White Zin (because that is what the hip and cool kids called it) was what all the cool kids drank. And by, “cool kids”, I mean the parents of that generation. I don’t know anyone today who calls that “wine.”

Mom married young…..mostly, her childhood had been hell so she got pregnant early, got married, and moved away from that. She really didn’t get to be a kid and she had to grow up fast.  She had 3 children before she was 20. And was a Grandma when she was 34.  (Ouch…..I had my first kid in my mid 30’s.  She was a young “Great Grandma” too.) Her husband, my Dad….worked military contracts, so we moved. A lot. This was hard on her too.  She wanted to settle. She wanted to have a home. And stay there.

She was way under 10 when she started travelling all over the Bible belt with her parents….along with some weirdos, hucksters, animals, and tents.  My mom was a carny. Well, to be honest….her parents were.  While I am thrilled to have this piece of Americana in our family history….mom was ashamed of it. (I mean, hey….if we didn’t come over on the Mayflower…..we’ve got this)  Which is why I never heard about it until after my mother and both grandparents passed. Okay, that isn’t the only reason.

Not too long after my mom passed, I was helping my dad go through all of Mom’s things. It was late, I was getting ready to head home. Dad and I started to discuss the fact that Mom kept a lot of her past to herself. Or, away from her kids. I think it hindered any relationship any of us would have had with her. And Dad quietly said, “you know why she didn’t talk about it, don’t you?”  Um…no….even though I am in my 30’s you still treat me like a kid….so, no I have no idea. Dad said,……”Your Grandpa ran the strip show.”  “WHAT?”  WTF? – but, we didn’t say that 20 years ago.  And while I was still trying to wrap my sheltered, naive ears around what he just said, he drops another bomb.

“And, you know who was in the show?”  Okay…..every single one of you knows the answer to that. But, sheltered and Naive says……”Who? Mom?” because that would be preposterous. (My poor dad…must suck to realize how stupid your kids are.) When he told me it was Grandma,  I don’t think I stopped laughing until I had to actually breathe.  This is the BEST thing ever!  And my sisters are 3 hours later than the midnight it is now….I have to wait until tomorrow to tell this story!  Maybe I should have been embarrassed too….but, no.  All I could think was….how much did she take off?  This was the 40s…Bible belt.  What did she leave on?  Did she have those nipple tassels?  Could she make them rotate the opposite way?  

2 things occur to me…….1. Why am I surprised I write erotica when those are the questions in my head? And 2…..I should have known…those were my mom’s parents…who had never married. A story for another blog.

I miss and love you, Mom….I wish we could share a bottle or 2 of wine…discuss my new life….and tassells.  What great blogs she and I could write together.

Grandmas – RUFKM?

Every year after Christmas and before the 2nd weekend of January, 3 friends and I get together for breakfast and shopping in the little town of Truckee.  3 of us drive ½ hour one way. The other comes 30 minutes from the opposite direction. We meet and have a mimosa breakfast filled with love, joy, and relief that the holidays are over. Truckee is a cute little town with quaint little shops. We go mostly for the 50% Christmas decorations and to hang out a bit after the bustle of the holidays.  Of the 3 in our car…..2 of us have been friends since high school and the 3rd is the sister of the one we are meeting. Get it? We all have kids.  Mine are still in school. My friend from high school has 2 recent college graduates who are single. And….the other 2 are or soon will be Grandmas.

I realized on January 1…no trip had been planned.  Weird. I wondered why? One friend has a 2 month old grand baby and the other is going to be a grandma early March. So…I texted my high school friend (and, it is when I say things like “I texted my friend” that I still feel young) and said…..

“Hey, did I miss the plan?”

“No. I don’t think there is a plan.”

I thought about it. Oh….I texted her…..”I was just thinking that there wasn’t a plan because two of our friends are too occupied with being grandmas.”

OUR. FRIENDS. ARE. GRANDMAS.

When the fuck did that happen?  And, I mean….when the fuck did that happen.  One minute I am so young and so thin and so energetic I can work a physical job for 40 hours a week while going to college full time….and still go out and bang my head all night. Smoking and drinking the entire way.  Now, I wake up tired. One minute I am too selfish to take care of a plant. And now I take care of a family.  And dogs. And I am a grandma. Well…not officially.  But, I could be. And my friends are. And. What the fuck?

At one time all my friends were dating and partying in college. Then all of my friends were getting married. Then all my friends were spitting out kids, buying houses;  then getting divorced and now grandmas?  The only thing left is death…….

I know how old I am (believe me, I know….I feel it) I know that I am old enough to have grandkids. I know my friends have grandkids…..I don’t even mind that they are grandmas.  But, I am at the stage where all of my friends are grandmas.  Grandmas. Which means…..you know. I look like a Grandma too. And, I hang out with grandmas (okay…not really….only one grandma friend do I see regularly….because she (like me) likes to go out occasionally…explore new things.  The other people I hang out with are younger……or not yet Grandmas. I feel like I’m invisible already (thanks, motherhood and marriage) and, now…..now…..I’m in the grandma group?

There is nothing even remotely hip and cool about Grandmas.

Not sure if I should knit something or put on my thigh high boots and see if I can get a senior discount at my fave watering hole on a glass of wine……..FUCK……