Thursday, August 23, 2012

T's great grandma!
Forse abbiamo esagerato?

Just the facts. On Wednesday no tall, thin, blond gorgeous lady caught me with my pants down in the living room of this 200 square meter loft in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We got up and took the stuffy, smelly, train into Manhattan to meet my mom at H&M. We shopped there and at Forever 21 and bought presents for our friends back in Lucca. We stopped into Sephora where a very artistic make up artist named Tracy gave T glitter eyes which made her eyelids beam like a disco ball whenever she blinked. We toned that action down with some Almay eyemake up remover pads on the way to go to lunch at a vegetarian Korean tea room on Park Avenue called Franchia. From there T and I went to get our hair blown out  because we are too scared to get naked in the shower of the commune style loft in which we are holed up and because the time had come to finally all celebrate my grandmother's 95th birthday. My brother came in from Massachusetts especially for the event.

T and my mom waiting at the beauty bar.

Tracy the makeup artist takes glitter seriously.

Sparkle-fest 2012

My mom came to pick us up at the Extreme Color hair salon on Broadway and she looked worried. The super sized car that they had reserved at the car rental place to take all seven of us to the outer boroughs was nowhere to be found and the inept people at the Hertz on 95th and Broadway could not get us a ride. Everyone became anxious. My brother took control and found us a limousine that would escort us from Manhattan to Queens to pick up T's great grandma and then wait outside her house while we reunited and reactivated my grandmother's emergency medical alert bracelet telephone and then take us to a horrible Italian restaurant that my grandma likes and take her home and take us back to Williamburg and then take my Mom and Jack back to Manhattan. For only 85 dollars an hour. My Mom has a car, but it doesn't fit seven people.

It hit me midway to Hollis in the seven person limo with our snazzy, patient, and GPS reliant driver that we could have just rented a small car and gone to the restaurant in two cars. There are seven of us and no one else came up with this idea. So now you understand me better.

My brother later confided that he did not want to even look in the direction of the inept Hertz people, let alone rent a car from them. That was sweet on his part because he doesn't like it when anybody tries to take advantage of our family unless they are Eastern European limousine drivers. Little did he know that either all the waiters at the horrendous Italian restaurant (that used to be Valentino's but now, according to the encyclopedia-sized, old fashioned menus with a new shiny sticker slapped on the front read Patrizia's so that the V and the S can still be discerned from the edges) probably all smoked a doobie before we got there and dinner would take roughly seven and a half years to get served. I suppose the wait staff had to do something to enable themselves to cope with the drunken and forever toasting themselves extended family of Queens-to-the-max Italians on our left.

Are you taller than me?

Yes, by about that much.

My grandmother loved the necklace I found and the book of fashion designs that T made for her in honor of her birthday. I wanted to get her Zzz-Quil because she hasn't really slept in five years, but the Duane Reade didn't carry it so her sleep with have to wait. After we finally ordered, T and I had to sneak off to the ladies' room so that she could shoot up her insulin without grandma finding out. Not stressful at all.

Forty minutes after injecting insulin. Still no food . . .

 At dinner my grandmother said the following things to me:

"You were always fine looking to me because in our family we don't have major problems. We don't have big noses or some of the other things that other families have to deal with, but you were never . . . well . . . like you are now. Now that you are slim. To me you now look like there is nothing really wrong with you. Just beautiful. I am very proud of you for that. I also like your sister; it is nice that you are so close to her."

There are some jarring things about that speech. First of all my grandma had always made me feel like I was a supermodel my whole life. Even when I was eight years old and chubby with a massive uni-brow. But it turned out, now that the cat is out of the bag, that she really thought I was "ehh, so-so." Also now I know that my stock as a human being is completely based on my BMI, so good thing that I grew up to be an exercise instructor. Also I don't have a sister. It hit me that she was referring to T as my sister and just could not fathom for a while there that I grew up and had a daughter.  I am not making fun of a lady who just turned ninety five and has always told me very flattering, if completely untrue things, that gave me the basis for the little self esteem I grew up with, but it was a bit unsettling.

 I am relieved Nana got to see me on a good hair day because after averaging five hours of sleep a night and not working out for four days and soaking in the New York subway system through my pores, I am going to look like crap tomorrow. But at least I got on before T's midnight blood check to write a glowing review of that nice flight attendant.

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