My tongue is in my hand…

Frances and Faye

Posted on: February 14, 2009

This week has been long.

One afternoon while on lunch I walked to some shops a block over. One was an antique store, one a collectible store.

The antique store was museum-like, but intriguing. I felt transported to another era. I wanted to touch everything and sit there all day. There were two older women working, one was thin with dark hair, quiet.  I think she’s the kind of woman who expects appropriate behavior at all times and assumes you will handle yourself accordingly. I imagine she’s the kind of woman who’s expectations dictate those around her and I bet she’ll lay into you with the stern disappointment and will not be compromised out of any consequence she will appoint you. I bet she also puts neat inscriptions on every gift she gives revealing why she chose that gift so carefully for you and wraps it in homemade wrapping paper that looks store bought.

The collectible store was familiar. It was overflowing, shelves full of anything anyone would ever collect. It wasn’t trashy, just very full. You are already thinking of someone when you think of this kind of thing aren’t you? You know the kind of place I’m talking about. The staff was brash at first, she seemed weary, but perked right up talking to a customer. She was a larger woman, with light blonde hair. I imagine she’s the kind of woman who would never let you walk out her door unfed or in need of anything. I also imagine she’ll kick your butt in gear if necessary and has probably cursed out her preacher at least once at one point in time but still sits in the front pew like it never happened.

They were the difference between the grandmother who will set up tea with you on real china (but only with extensive discussion about how to treat the real china and constant supervision) and the grandmother who yells at you for making mud pies with her tupperware but then feeds you pudding cups.

But grandmothers are more than that, more than even the sum of your memories or the information you’ve gathered over time. Grandmothers are women; mothers and wives who were girlfriends and little girls. I feel like I uncover them more all the time. It’s obvious they’re still here, moving, resting around me. I see our reflections sometimes mixing, all three into one, a venn-diagram of sorts. It’s funny how different they seemed at first, but how alike they really were. And how I hold them both in so many ways.

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