Friday, May 05, 2006

she's still a betty...

a grandma's nightmare

gramma isakson's birthday again. 88 years fabulous. you can read last year's post here.

i spoke with gram today.

she's going over to her friend's for dinner tonight. dinner that i am certain will be preceded by the requisite cocktail and little cut glass dish of mixed nuts. i will always associate my gramma with the jingle of ice cubes in a highball glass; the bitter, sizzly pop of tonic dancing with lime and gin; my delicious, salty fingertips post-Planter's can dive (she stole all the cashews); and, of course, the 5 o'clock news.

she's spending the day just as she wants to; "putzing" is what she said. which means, in Betty-speak, that she's probably cleaning the whole damn condo from top to bottom. her entire decor is white or some version thereof: cream, eggshell, pearl, alabaster, ivory; therefore requiring constant care. this screams NIGHTMARE to me, but i think Betty gets much satisfaction from keeping a pristine home. i like cooking in it, i just don't like cleaning it. she does not leave dishes in the sink or wet clothes in the washer overnight. she wipes down her bathroom daily.

surely, i must be adopted.

her cleanliness it not without its dark side:

i distinctly remember her making me stand smack-dab center of her snowy-tiled kitchen before i took a sip of Kool-Aid. i couldn't even sit at the table. i had to stand there. how can a kid enjoy Kool-Aid standing in exile in the middle of a kitchen? Kool-Aid is meant to be enjoyed on a beanbag, 2 inches in front of a television blaring bad cartoons that reinforce negative gender and ethnic stereotypes. i guess she wanted to give me a wide breadth lest i spontaneously develop epilepsy at the age of 10 and toss the bug juice into the air turning her arctic wonderland into the scene of a polar bear slaughter.

i was humiliated and very angry, but...she has a home that is a haven, where order prevails and i do always look forward to my time there even if, at 31, she'd still prefer that i not eat my ice cream on the couch.

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