Thursday, September 10, 2009

family... can't live with 'em, can't shoot 'em

So, I’m doing this road trip with my brother Joe, and the midway stop is grandma’s house in Duck River, TN. It’s been a sad and enlightening visit.

It’s been about three years since my grandpa died. I’m pretty sure he’d be upset to see the way things are here, the siding on the house is dirty, and unkempt. The lawn is mowed but the bushes, plants, trees and shrubs are all overgrown. Everything seems…. unmaintained. It’s sad to see the absence of evidence of his presence. My aunt Doris lives in a trailer on my grandfather’s property. He may have passed on, but my grandma never held a job. Grandpa put in 30+ hard years at GM to pay for his life, their life. This is his property. My aunt lives there with her unemployed, backwoods, redneck, Fox News watching, Wal Mart shopping, Obama-hating, beer-drinking, Bill O’Reilly loving, N-word using useless sack of bones and hangover. Yeah, I guess I don’t really like him.

We arrive and grandma is pleased to see me, which is cool. I like grandma. She’s got her ways, but she is my grandma and she keeps telling me she’s glad to have me here. That’s nice.
I go to my Aunt Doris’s place the evening we arrive and that McCoy descendant husband of hers is tying one on. I don’t have a lot of patience for this kind of drunkenness, so yeah... I’m a little bitchy. You live in Tennessee, and I live in Michigan. You have a union flag in your backyard. I voted for Obama and have gay friends. After failing to gain my approval of his telling of a racist joke, he then insisted that I explain to him just what it was about the N-word that was offensive to me. I tried to explain my feelings, but decided I’d had enough and headed back over to grandmas, pretty sure they were all gathering around to bitch about me in my absence.

Once back there, my grandma wouldn’t go to sleep, her prized grandkid Robbie was still at his mom’s (aunt Doris) and she was waiting up for him to come ‘home’ to sleep. She got up and had me follow her around the darkened house, now 1am and was handing me things. “Here, I’m getting rid of some of my collections,” and opened a cabinet filled with different kinds of salt and pepper shakers. “What ones do you like?” She asks, and then hands me four roosters. Um, thanks grandma? That’s a very nice gesture? She then has me follow her to another shelf covered in bells, and hands me one of those, and then to another shelf, and hands me another bell – which happens to match the first one. To me this is kind of comical, following my grandma around the house at 1am while she hands me rooster salt and pepper shakers, and glass bells.
I finally settle down to go to sleep and fade away. Soon, I’m awakened by talking in the hallway. My stupid drunk brother is yammering about something so I go in the hall and tell him to shut up. He’s all blah blah blah bullshit bullshit bullshit, so I grumbled, “You woke me up, shut up, shut up, go away.” Inconsiderate idiot. Seriously.

So then, I’m back to sleep and sleep uninterrupted until about 8am. And I’m awakened by a sharp coo coo coo cooookoooooo! Then again a few seconds later, coo coo coo cooookoooooo! I am disoriented by sleep all at once I wonder if my phone is ringing in my bag, why it sounds like a rooster, or if there might be a rooster alarm clock in the room. The room I’m sleeping in has a door in it (no, I don’t know why) I get up and look out the back door window and there on the top step is a fucking rooster. COO COO COO COOKOOOOOO! Aw, shut the fuck up. I give it the stinkeye and it wanders away.
Later that day the crowd goes to Dickson and I stay home with grandma. All the ESPN news coverage is about this football fight, and good ol’ grandma pipes up, “That’s what you get for hiring a bunch of N******! All they wanna do is fight.” Wow, grandma. Not cool.

Later that day my family returns, and my cousin Allan also arrives with his daughter Allanna, who is almost one, and to be fair is cute as a button. We’re all gonna watch a movie, and I’m relieved nobody seems to be getting drunk. Soon after dinner Robbie leaves, but first drives over to grandmas to say goodbye, and I now know for certain, to ask for money. I don’t know why this irritates me but I’ve given him shit before for taking money from her, to which he has denied. She’s got five kids and a dozen or more grandkids and he is a twenty-eight year old man with a job and his own place, coming here with his hand out. Fucking mooch. I’m unf-friending him on Facebook as soon as I get the chance.

My cell phone doesn’t even pretend it’s trying to get a signal out here, and I use the house phone to call the husband for a little venting. After 7 days of holding my tongue, I needed to blow some steam. Until grandma comes in and scolds me for being on the phone ‘for an hour.’ Sorry grandma, I know it’s long distance, but it’s not costing you any extra. Here’s the phone. I haven’t been chastised for the length of a phone call in nearly 20 years.

Anyway, I didn’t intend to ramble here,, but geez…. all this in just one day. And I’ve got one more day to go.
Husband suggested I fly home from here and spend Labor Day weekend with him…. So, so tempting……

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


This has got to be a quickie, my battery is running low and I need to go to Graceland!
Anyway, I'm driving across the country with my brother Joe, and I'm facebook mobile all along the way! Anyway, we decide to stop in Amarillo, TX at the BIG STEAK place where if you eat a 72 oz. steak dinner in less than an hour it is free! The place is pretty cool, and the food is pretty good. We did not go for the 72 oz steak.

Anyway, my brother's friend James lives in Canyon, TX, up the road from Amarillo, so we all have dinner together.
There's a little three-man band wandering from table to table, old cowboy types, cowboy boots, cowboy hats, playing old-timey cowboy songs for tips. We finish with our dinner and they wander over to our table and one gentleman says,"Yall got anything you wanna hear?"
I hate it when these people come to the table anyway, I don't make eye contact and James is sitting across from me, he doesn't look up either. Joe is sitting to my right and doesn't say anything for a moment. We all kind of sit waiting for a second and then Joe says, "Stand by your man?" and we all begin to snicker.
The man pauses for a moment. I don't remember if he said anything because we were laughing like a bunch of idiots.
Joe then says, "Rawhide?"
The man, apparently insulted by his request, says gruffly to Joe, "We don't play that kinda music here" and walks off.
We burst into fits of giggles.
Good Job, Joe. Less than one day in Texas and you're already pissing off the locals.

Stand by your man. Indeed.