Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I'll Get You My Pretty

Today, sitting under a tree in the Villa Comunale, La Bimba and I were approached by a grandma and grandchild. The grandchild was having a fit,kicking and screaming, and the grandma was actually doing a pretty good job of keeping it together. They had been by the swings, but when the grandchild started really flipping out, they approached our spot of lawn. Grandma parked her stroller a few feet away, turned to me while the grandchild dangled from one wrist, furiously bicycling the air, and asked, "Do you mind if I leave her here for a minute?"

Me, mouth gaping open: "Uh, where are you going?"

Granma, mouth revealing very bad, very few teeth: "Just to get some water."

Me: "Uh, no."

So, grandma dragged screaming grandchild to the nearby fountain and got some water. They came back, smiling, no hard feelings. The grandchild, named Petra, came onto our sheet, tried to caress/whack La Bimba's cheeks, tried to grab La Bimba's water then my water; the grandma just grinned her broken piano keys grin and asked various innocuous questions: "Do you know my granddaughter? Because my daughter comes here often. What's her name? My she is pretty."

I have to admit that I was afraid of grandma, and not just because she resembled the Wicked Witch of the West in need of a good hair washing. She wanted to leave her granddaughter with a total stranger! I don't care if it was for 10 seconds and that we would have remained in her line of vision! She evidently has not been reading about kidnappings. I was afraid she wouldn't come back. I was afraid she'd want La Bimba and petulant Petra to be friends.

Thus, the snobbery begins or, rather, takes on a new maternal form. I hope I like La Bimba's friends. My parents were always so good to my friends. Like the time my mom took J. and me to Atlantic City and gave us both a bunch of cash to burn. And burned it we did.

Which reminds me of when J., her sister M., and I were in Vegas, and J. had run out of money, so she sat herself at a slot machine and said, "I have to win to have some cash for the rest of the trip" (we were headed to LA, then SF after having been through DC, Virginia, Tennessee -- Graceland! Nashville's Parthenon!, Mississippi, where the cops "hid" under the overpasses to stay out of the always had enough time to slow down, Louisiana, before Katrina, J. took Benedryl to eat mudbugs and then drove in a drowsy haze over the 24 mile Lake Pontchartrain bridge), Texas, New Mexico, where a magical painting of Jesus reached out and grabbed my nose, Arizona, Grand Canyon, Brice Canyon, Zion, America can really be The Beautiful). J. pulled the arm and bing bing bing flashing lights and happy matching fruit and bars, a couple of hundred dollars in quarters came flying out. Nice job, J.!

Friends. I miss mine in CA and NY and points in between terribly, terribly.

1 comment:

cupcake said...

What about future in-laws? I'm a lot more concerned about that than I am liking friends or having the friends like me. What if I can't stand the people my children choose to marry? And what if I can't stand their families? What if - perish the thought! - they can't stand me?

I enjoy your blog a great deal, and I'm with you on the kids wearing helmets thing.