The coolest lady you don’t know is 82 years old.
She’s got black hair, with big white wings, and a near wrinkle-less face. She’s a writer by trade – greeting cards for American and English markets, children’s stories that were published in the 60’s, and slogans and wordsmithing for marketing firms looking for a professional pen. She reads playing cards with an accuracy that could make most people believe in something they shouldn’t believe in. She watches Red Sox games and American Idol, and she does the New York Times crossword puzzle every Sunday. At 16 she had to drop out of school to raise her brothers and sisters, but she educated herself to college level to make up for it. I think that’s why she does that crossword; she’s proving something to herself and to all the rest of us fuckers who are just too dumb to complete one of those things.
Dorothy’s got a lot of pride.
She tells stories, too. Lots of them, actually. Some of her favorites are about the time she was run over by a plane in a corn field, when she met Mario Puzo and he told her to stay away from drugs, and when she wrote song lyrics for the Artie Shaw band and Tony Bennett. She drinks beer as well as any college guy, and she stopped smoking at a spry 65 because ‘she figured she shouldn’t anymore. Some shit about it not being good for you.’ She plays bridge and takes great joy in smearing her opponents to bits. It’s almost unbearable to listen to her pat herself on the back, but she does it with such style and so much humor you can’t hold it against her.
It’s worth noting that she’s an animal lover: one of her favorite things to do with her Boston terrier is to put bright pink lipstick on his muzzle because ‘it just looks funny’. She gives said dog baths with baby wipes, too, and cooks him his own meals. He’s her best friend. This is one of those things she does cause she’s a good Christian. Just ask her about that, by the by. She’ll tell you how she and Jesus are pretty close. Of course, she’ll do that right after she gives you one of those double sided compliments that make you feel good and bad at the same time.
“You’re beautiful, but those pants make you look fat. Don’t ruin your looks that way.”
If you complain, she’ll inform you that she’s a good Christian and just looking out for you. She means it, too, so don’t bother arguing. She’s got God on speed dial.
With a thick Kennedy-esque accent and a very big stack of books beside her, she’ll talk to you like you’re on her level, even if you’re not. She’s the reason why I conversed as well as I did at such an early age – I was worthy of adult talk from the moment I opened my mouth. Even when I had little kid problems, she’d address them in a way that would spare my dignity. I was always her equal. One of my favorite stories from childhood was an episode where I tantrumed out in the bathtub because alligators were going to come out of the faucet and get me. She grabbed a flyswatter, came into the bathroom, and beat the ever living SNOT out of the bathroom walls to defeat the invisible foes. When I stopped crying because my grandmother had overcome my scaly demons, she asked me if everything was all right. I said yes, and she let me get back to bathing.
We never talked about it again.
I’m saying all this stuff because my grandmother is in the hospital right now after having a major heart attack, and I’m worried. They’ve put a balloon in her groin and two splints in her heart, and there’s nothing more to do but wait now. The first 48 hours are critical, and every time my phone rings, I cringe and almost start to cry. She raised me with my mother; my mom was pretty young when I was born and she needed a lot of help. My grandmother was always my biggest advocate and champion, especially when my mom just didn’t know what the fuck to do with a VERY busy, very bright little girl.
Writing all this crap down has made me feel better, though I can’t really say why. Lol melodrama. -_- I guess I’m just putting this out there so if anyone has any spare Good Thoughts, they might be willing to swing ’em this direction. My super sonic charged bionic grandmother (who I lovingly call Darth Nana and Grambo) seems to have depleted her resources of awesome, and might wanna borrow the good will of strangers to keep her cyber body going.
Keeping my fingers crossed here, and Jesus Christ the next two days are gonna be long.