My grandmother is a force to be reckoned with. Still is. At 80 she still scares the living daylights (and midnights) out of me. She prances around blurting out absurdities like ” A woman’s beauty lasts only as long as her disposition stays sweet”. YES, I shall remember these warm fluffy thoughts when Im divulging salacious and COLORFUL words to the truck driver who drop ships broken accessories to my store, and then so eloquently tells me to stuff it like Sunday Turkey.
Grandma is THE essential girl’s guide to modern manners and etiquette. Never mind the fact that she bottled her enterprise in the 40’s. Polite with a capitol “P”. Her dynasty built entirely on class, sophistication and a 1950’s Continental Mark II Lincoln. She is the epitome of excellence. Like some corset restricting denomination, she is all things protocol, and accepted behavior. THE template of homemaker perfection,to which Martha Stewart would deem undeniably as exemplary and unrivaled perfection. And to go against this way of thinking, well that would be THE gravest of errors.
I called up excessive Grandma on Friday to see how she has been. Incredibly, or should I say unsurprisingly, still her enchanted self. Always polite, with a capitol “P”, this woman never misses a beat. With moonstruck exaggeration in her voice, and a five 0’clock toddy in hand, everything is just wonderful and fabulous. My GOD she must know Barbie; contestants in their own pageant to all things pleasant.
Her sugary sweet perfection is absolutely exhausting and exhilarating. How does she hold it together? How does she multitask and make the most minuscule task look extraordinary? I find it difficult to persuade myself each morning that anything other than flip flops, pony tail, and chapstick is outlandish. My most polished days of improvement are carried out with a pair of flats and TINTED chapstick. Unsettled and perturbed my Grandmother, to no avail will remind me, ” you know dear, a LADY always wears pearls”…….”and a little lipstick never hurt either”.
I will never understand this divine and unnatural creature. Always stylish, and gracious Grandma never misses an opportunity to vocalize how to conduct oneself with unabashed formalities. Don’t get me wrong. Grandma is the finest most formidable woman I know, to which I deeply respect. But her paradise of cultivated elegance is a bit too calculated and precise for my unbalanced, uncoordinated existence. Everything ending with a smile, as if auditioning for a broadway play she glides with poise, and a twirl with her arms in the air ” remember dear, always be pleasant!” Yes PLEASANT with a capitol “P”. I will TRY to remember these important indigestible words. Especially when my husband leaves his fourth, (no fifth) pair of shoes in the hallway for me to fluidly and gracefully step on for the tenth time, the car for which he leaves me NO GAS (on the day that I am late for THE MOST important appointment of my life),and the truck driver that throws my accessories into the ambiguous black hole he calls a truck resulting in Hurricane Katrina devastation. I will try to remember these important words of wisdom. Be Kind, Be pleasant, and always wear pearls!