Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Keeping Up with Tradition

Some things DO stay the same. Like my grandmother’s house. The teacups have worn holes in the cupboards, they’ve been re-laid in the exact same way for so long. The rain smells the same, nothing can beat a summer rain on the east coast, all Earthy and warm. And moist. Upside: I no longer need lotion and chapstick. Downside: I think I’m growing mold in my armpits.

The cleaning lady is the same one who came every week when I was a kid. She’s been working for my grandmother for more years than I’ve been alive. Of course, she’s technically retired now, being SEVENTY and all, but you try telling my grandmother that you will be disrupting her routine. You’d still be working for her, too.

Not that the cleaning lady has slowed down at all. She still hugs me tightly, and then I go upstairs to find ALL MY CRAP fondled and rearranged, even though I was perfectly content with the way I had left it, and she threw out my bag that I had my shampoo and stuff in, and NOW how am I going to get it home without it exploding all over my suitcase? It’s not like plastic bags are a dime a dozen.

Oh, wait.

But still, it annoys me as much as it did when I was five and found my very carefully crafted pile of twigs all messed up and sitting in a Tupperware. HOW DARE SHE.

Grandmom and I had a leisurely dinner, complete with candles, and we discussed her wedding. And my wedding. And confused the two, but it was o.k. because we were both tipsy from the cheap wine I had added to the meal.

Meanwhile I met up with an old friend last night. I was just going to go meet her for a quick post-dinner snack, since I had work to do. Naturally, we stayed out four and a half hours just talking at the TGIFridays, until we closed the place down. Then spent another hour in my car. I came home around midnight, and decided not to try to re-enter my aunt’s house to get some more work done, what with them having set the alarm and all.

But my friend did tell me a funny story, that I absolutely must share. I was telling her that I was re-falling in love with Jane Eyre, and as a fellow 18/19th-century-British-lit.-lover, we exclaimed dramatic sighs and began comparing the Brontes and Austen and Elliot. And then she told me about how she had this lovely Austen-esque experience at my wedding, and it just made me melt with happiness. She was one of my bridesmaids, and her dress was very Austen-inspired. It was cool and overcast on my wedding day, much like springtime on an English moor (or so I imagine, never having actually seen an English moor, myself) and apparently she was one of the few people braving the temperature to take in all the greenery from the patio at our wedding. So in her Austen-esque dress, with her curls being pulled out of her bun in the cool wind, a tall, handsome man came up behind her and said something to the effect of, “Lovely evening, isn’t it?” with a perfect British accent. (El, it was SO your fiancé. Bear in mind, my friend is a happily married woman.) But in that moment she said it was all she could do to not whip around and be all, “MR. DARCY?!”

The End.


Pauline said...

gosh, I hope my granddaughter comes here to visit me when she's your age.

Digging out my copy of Jane Eyre...

meno said...

My grandma had a cleaning lady that cleaned for her for 50+ years. Thank god my grandma died or else Isobel would NEVER have gotten to retire.

Melissa said...

Your Grandma is awesome. Glad you are having fun and eat some strawberry pie for me!

I have a copy of Jane Eyre on my book shelf waiting to be re-read. I'm quite excited to read it again as I don't believe that I have read it since high school. I absolutely loved it then so I can imagine it will be even better this time around.

Have a Happy Fourth!

Diane said...

my grandparents all passed away many years ago. how wonderful that you get to spend time now with yours!

Nick, Holly & Maren said...

So thanks to all that flight time yesterday, I did finish Jane Eyre just before landing back in Denver. Yay! And it's wonderful, of course. At once "breathy and romantic" and "miss independence". Lovin it. Can't wait to gab at book club about it :-)

You done yet?

Snark Scribe said...

What a wonderful little story! Now I want to pull out my Austen dress and sit by the river.

Oh wait, it's hot and sticky outside. I think I'll hide indoors.