Your Butt Sweat is Where?!

                                                                                                        I have been going to the gym for years.  My mid 30’s came rushing in, everything sagged, dragged, and got bumpy.  So off to the gym I went.  Over the years I have noticed some odd behaviors that I no longer can ignore.  I can eye roll.  I can make faces.  But I can’t ignore!

Let’s just start in what I like to call the gym prep phase.  When I walk into a locker room I do NOT want to see naked old lady bum!  Just because we are in a locker room does not mean we have entered into another dimension where we are all nudists!  My husband told me it’s even worse in the men’s locker room.  He said he rounded the corner once to find a fully naked man with his foot propped up at the sink cutting his toe nails.  WHY??????  Just why?  Take a minute.  Really let that image soak in.  People, wrap up in a towel as you transition from shower to clothes.  If it sags and and drags, or grows fur….Well, I don’t want to see it!

So you’ve gotten dressed, and you’re moving on to the weight room.  STOP!  Let’s look in the mirror.  Ah yes, you’re wearing yoga pants…My first question is…Are you a woman?  Because if you are not a woman, you have made a poor wardrobe choice.  Men should never EVER wear yoga pants.  EVER!  Put on some shorts or pants.  Now ladies, don’t think you are off the hook.  Camels only belong in the desert, NOT in the gym.  If you are struggling with desert bound pants, then you need to change!

Ok.  You’ve taken stock of your clothing.  Now it’s time to pump some iron.  Wait, what did I just hear?  Did your cell phone just ring?  Yes?  Well then, get your butt up, and walk away.  Don’t you dare camp out on that machine while you talk to your boo on the phone.  Nope!  Move it along.  NOW!  He wants a selfie?  Does this face look like it cares?  Get off your phone or move!

Next….on the topic of rude, we need to discuss group huddles.  I get it.  We see our pals at the gym, and we want to chat.  Or maybe you walk out of a class, and you want to plan your next get together.  That is A OK.  But please be mindful of others.  Do not decide to do it right in front of the stairs that you know everyone runs up and down during their workouts.  First off, I really don’t want to hear what you are eating on your cheat day, or how many bases you stole at your last softball game.  What I DO want to do is run up those friggin stairs.  Now move your hen party or your frat has been group somewhere else, and let me work.

I think we also need to think about hygiene.  I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t dress to impress when I go to the gym.  Yoga pants, tank top, and hiding under a ball cap.  But while I may not look like a movie star, I AM clean.  I get that we sweat, and get a little funky.  But you should not show up to the gym smelling like you haven’t showered in a week.  There’s always that one guy…Our gym has one.  Who knows, maybe he likes his natural “musk”.  But when he walks by he leaves a trail of BO in his wake, and this is before he lifts a single weight or runs a single step on the treadmill.  Be courteous of others.  Please bathe and put on deodorant.  And if you don’t, don’t be surprised when you see me gasp and then fall to the floor from holding my breath too long!

Now I’m about to wade into some very personal territory that gets my blood boiling.  I pay for a gym membership every month, just like the lady on my left, and the fellow on my right.  That means I have just as much right to use a weight bench as they do.  My average workout takes about an hour and a half.  30 minutes on the treadmill, and an hour of weight training.  This means if I find a weight bench, and want  to use it for my workout, I should be able to.  Not long ago I was laying on a bench, headphones perched in my ears, and 25 pound barbells hanging in the air on either side of my head.  This older lady comes up to me and says, “Are you using this bench?”  No lady, I just hold weights over my head while I meditate.  Sigh…I sit up, pull my headphones out of my ears, put down my weights, and politely tell her that I am indeed using the bench.  That’s kinda why my entire body was laying on it!  She sighs deeply and walks off.  I resume my workout.  I finish my presses and move on to the next thing on my list.  She starts circling the bench.  Y’all, I’m pretty good at ignoring people.  So I just went about my business and pretended this silver haired vulture didn’t exist.  I guess she didn’t like the lack of attention.  She stomps back over and stands in front of me.  Ugh!  I once again remove my headphones.  I don’t even have a chance to ask her what she needs.  “Can you just get off of that bench long enough for me to do what I need, and then you can have the bench back.”  I look around.  There are FOUR other weight benches in sight.  Why does she need this one?!  I can’t even make words I’m so annoyed.  I hand her my weights, and walk away.  Friends, please don’t be a silver haired vulture.  Look for another bench!

That being said, we do need to talk about weights hoarding.  Yesterday I was in the gym and a girl had a set of 7 pound dumb bells, 10 pound dumb bells, 12 pound dumb bells, and a 20 pound bar.  And she was doing planks and sit ups!  She wasn’t even using the weights!  It is not nice to hoard the entire top rack of the weights just because you might want to work them in to your routine.  We learned how to share in preschool.  Put it into practice!  Share or build your own stinkin gym!

Well try as I might, I can’t avoid the Silver Vulture.  I’m minding my own business on the track doing some farmers carries when out of nowhere I hear, “Look out.  I’m on your left.  Stay clear.”  And who should I see but the wench who stole my bench!  Guys, stay quiet and leave people alone.  We see you.  You don’t need to announce your presence.  In fact, we don’t even care that you are coming up on our left.  If you warn me that you’re coming I have more time to try and trip your bench stealing behind!  Just be quiet!

Ahhh….gym quiet.  There is a sound that a gym has.  You can hear the buzzing of the treadmills and the clank of the weights as they are being re-racked.  Some gyms even have fun music playing in the background.  But we SHOULD NOT here a gutteral Tarzan noise every time you curl or press.  I totally get a grunt or deep breath, but screaming EVERY SINGLE TIME you lift a weight is excessive, and makes you look like a joke.  Stop that!  It’s not cute, and you don’t look tough doing it!

Alcohol wipes…Have you ever noticed that gyms have little wipes and or bottles of spray stashed around the gym?  They’re there for a reason!  The next time you are all sweaty and you get off of a piece of gym equipment, look down.  You know what that wet mark is?  It’s your butt sweat.  Gross!  Wipe it off!  Quit leaving your DNA all over the gym.  If anyone wants a piece of you, I can assure you the butt sweat you left behind is not the piece they want!  Clean up after yourself.  Your mama taught you better, and if she didn’t, I’m telling you that it’s tacky not to clean up your mess!

And finally…gym seduction…I looked up from a set a few months ago and saw this girl dancing.  I sat there a minute just taking it all in.  (Don’t worry.  No one wanted my bench!)  She grabbed hold of a pole and began to move closer, stroking her body as she went.  I looked around to make sure I hadn’t been abducted, and thrown into a strip club.  Nope…Still at the gym.  I had half a mind to tell her to cut it out that my son was lifting near by and her distraction might cause him to pull something.  But then as she began to hump the pole I noticed she didn’t shave her legs or her arm pits.  Nah…Jackson was safe.  Godzilla’s kid sister wasn’t going to make HIS eyes fall out!  But the fact still remains that no matter what comes on your ipod, or how long you “rest” in between sets, you should NEVER do a pole dance in the middle of the gym!  No! No! No!!!!!

Then there was the fella who walked up to me while I was working out with Pete (my husband).  Poor Pete is partially upside down on a decline bench doing chest presses, and this guy says, “So is that your husband?”  “Why yes he is.  And he owns a gun.  Now go away!”  Stop trying to seduce people at the gym.  Enough already!

So the next time you go to the gym make sure your clothes fit, your parts are covered, your pits are fresh, and your mouth is shut.  Be polite.  And be classy!  And if I see you acting a fool at the gym, I PROMISE I will call you out!

Who’s the Bully Now?

I’m so heated right now that I’m just going to jump in.  I rarely speak my mind publicly about politics or my positions because I believe that the voting booth is a very private and personal place.  Who and what I vote for is my business, and mine alone.  My political views shouldn’t affect my ability to be friends with someone, work for someone, or be a leader.  I am adult enough to respect all views and positions, and understand that that is the point of a democracy.  But I’m going to be honest.  Today I am angry.  I have sat back and watched people jump on soap boxes since the campaigning for President began.  It seems when the crowd doesn’t get leverage on one issue, they quickly jump on to another one.  Well today I have had enough.

I’m going to start with education first.  Electoral college vs Popular vote.  I want you guys to put on your thinking caps for just a minute.  Think about the size of California versus the size of Rhode Island.  Please tell me why the voice of one state is more important than another.  The forefathers understood that some areas would be more populated than others, but they felt like that shouldn’t make the voice of one state more important than another.  Why should what California think matter more than what Rhode Island thinks?  Are those people somehow more important?  Hence the Electoral College which gives every state an equal voice in the election process.

Now that we have that cleared up, we can maybe accept the fact that the Electoral College speaks for the ENTIRE country.  The people have spoken.  You may not like it, but the people have spoken.  They voted for Donald Trump.  No amount of dancing in vagina costumes, ripping down monuments, or rioting in the streets is going to stop that.  Donald Trump is the President of the United States of America, and he is going to do the things he promised his voters he would do.

You know what I find interesting?  Unemployment is down.  More people have jobs and can support their families.  Trump has enacted historic tax reform.  He has strengthened NATO by getting NATO allies to contribute $12 billion toward our collective security.  There are other positives I could list, but I won’t bore the haters with them.  Here’s my real beef.  The haters are hypocrites.  First, you condemn the man for using profanity, yet you yourselves describe the Commander in Chief using vulgarity.  You jump from agenda to agenda, and refuse to defend your position when asked about it publicly.  And now?  Well now, I’m beyond annoyed.  I’m outraged.

Today you decided to pitch a temper tantrum because you are not getting your way.  President Donald Trump has decided to put Americans first, and deport illegal immigrants, and you’re mad.  So you have decided to hold the military hostage until Trump backs down.  So here we are again.  You’ve stuck you thumb in your mouth, stomped your foot, and decided that if we don’t play the game so that you win, then everyone suffers.  Congress, are you stopping your own pay?  Of course not.  Congress, is your government shut down keeping illegal immigrants from buying groceries or paying their bills?  Of course not.  You liberal, hissy fit throwing, agenda makers are quite literally throwing the very men and women who defend your right to be a opinionated horse’s ass under the bus.  Find a new pony to ride.  Go to a different circus.  Answer our questions when we ask you WHY the lives of immigrants are more important than the lives of Americans.  I guess now we should ask you why the lives of American soldiers are less important  than the lives of illegal immigrants.  Why Congressmen?  Please tell me why my husband won’t have money for rent simply because he decided to defend our country, yet a non tax paying, non American illegal immigrant will get the red carpet rolled out for him.  And furthermore, why should soldiers go on defending your freedoms when they are the first to be bullied?  I’m going to say it.  The left is quick to call our President a bully, but today they have proven that they are the bullies.  They have proven that they will do anything to win, even hold American soldiers hostage until their demands are met.

You say you are for the people.  I would like to know what people you are actually for.  Soldiers are court martailed if they don’t show up to work.  Yet we don’t have to pay them if we get our panties in a bunch?  So left, how does this make you the good guys?  I don’t see our President threatening to punish soldiers if he doesn’t get his way.  In fact, I don’t see him threatening any Americans.  He simply wants the Americans to be a priority.  I’m sorry, but today the left showed their true colors.  You still feel good about yourselves?  If so, can you call my friend, Alison, who’s husband is deployed without pay?  Or maybe you can call my friend, Chris and tell her why she just had to give birth to her baby girl ALONE while her husband sits in a sandbox without pay.  And why?  Because Congress is mad they aren’t getting their way.  Shame on you.  Shame on you all.  Shut your mouths.  Trump didn’t just vote to take my husband’s pay.  Who’s the bully now?

Why Wrestling?

I remember the day Jackson came home and told me he wanted to wrestle.  My mind rushed to images of boys being thrown to the ground, bodies contorted in painful ways, and possible concussions.  I wasn’t so sure I was excited about the sport.  But I was in a difficult spot, and Jackson knew it.  In our house we have a rule that you have to participate in some kind of extra curricular activity.  My boy is small.  He’s always been small, and he probably always will be.  In a lot of ways that can make sports an obstacle.  “Why do you want to wrestle, Jackson?”  “Mom, I hate track.  I mean, I really really hate it.  It’s just not for me.  But I was at the high school for my sports physical, and this coach came over and invited me to practice with the wrestling team.  He said my size makes me a diamond in the rough, and he wants me.  Can I just try it?”  I relented, and agreed.  I figured he would go to a few practices, hate getting thrown around, and we would move on.  Little did I know it would only take a few practices to get my boy hooked.  And I certainly wasn’t prepared for the fact that I too, would love the sport.

Jackson started wrestling the summer in between his 7th and 8th grade year.  He wasn’t even 100 pounds yet.  He was forced to wrestle boys bigger than him over and over again.  The smallest weight class is 106 pounds, and he was tipping the scale at around 95 pounds.  So what does one do when you walk on to the mat to face Goliath?  You dig deep, and you wrestle with heart.  I sometimes would watch other athletes point at Jackson and smile.  They believed going up against such a tiny guy would be an easy match.  Little did they know that Jackson had a taste for victory, and he wasn’t going to rest until it was satisfied.

But before you think that he was just a natural, and the wins came quick and easy, I should probably let you in on a little secret.  There was a fair share of losing.  As a mother you never want to watch your child fail.  I remember the coaches coming to me that first year.  “Let’s get these losses out of the way this year before he starts high school.  It’s good for him.  He will want it even more after he loses a few times.  And trust me Mama, he will be a better man if he learns that you don’t always win in life.”  They were right.  Before a boy can become a man, he must learn humility, and how to get back up after you fall.  Wrestling was teaching him life lessons.  Get up, shake your opponents hand, and walk away with your head held high.

But what happens after that loss?  A wrestler has a decision to make.  How bad do you want it?  If you want it bad enough you go to the off season practices.  You wake up early to squeeze in a run before school.  And you learn a very important phrase.  “Leave it all on the mat.”  Freshman year Jackson was a little bigger, a lot stronger, and determined to make a name for himself.  He won medals, quieted the giants who thought the little guy across the mat was no big deal.  And he found his place.  He was learning who he was, and what he was made of.  Jackson still wasn’t 106 pounds, so he was spending another year as the underdog.  His coaches came to me again.  “He’s finding his way.  He is wrestling with his heart; that will make up for his size.  We knew he was something special.”  Jackson finished that season wrestling on a separated shoulder for a week.  He never complained.  He never said a word.  He finally came to me and said, “Mom, I think I need an xray.  I’m pretty sure I did something to my shoulder last week.”  “Jackson, why didn’t you tell me sooner?”  He shrugged and smiled.  “You would have made me stop wrestling until I was better.  I wasn’t ready to stop.  It’s just pain.”  Wrestling was teaching him to push through in order to reach the goal at hand.  Another beautiful life lesson falling in to place.

Moving into sophomore year, Jackson had a growth spurt, and bulked up.  Never in a million years did I imagine my tiny boy could get so muscular.  He no longer looked like the underdog, but instead stood on the side of the mat with sculpted arms looking menacing, and ready for battle.  We faced new challenges this year.  The military had played it’s cruel trick, and we had been reassigned.  This meant a new team, new coaches, and new things to prove.  Jackson hated us for moving.  Every day I felt his anger in his stares.  I only hoped that wrestling would help him find his place here, and he would develop a brotherhood.  Ahhhh…the brotherhood of a wrestling team.  Wrestling isn’t like football, basketball or soccer.  The team is small.  The boys really get to know each other, and a bond is forged.  It’s unlike anything I have ever seen before.  Slowly the anger ebbed away, and friends were made.

    Midway through his sophomore year Jackson was forced to tangle with another monster.  Arrogance.  Jackson had come on to this team, proven his talent level, and then he settled in and got cocky.  Remember how I told you that wrestling helps you dial into your inner fight, and you find the will to win even when you don’t have the strength?  In this business they call that heart.  Well….Jackson had lost his heart, and now walked with the strut that comes with being a 15 year old at the top of your game.  You know what happens to a wrestler when he loses his heart, and gets overly confident?  He loses regionals.  He goes home and has to admit that his head was in the wrong place.  Isn’t that what happens in life so many times?  We have this “I’ve got this” attitude, and things slowly begin to slip out of our control.

Jackson came to terms with the loss, and what had caused it.  (I will also throw out that some bad calls were made, and Jackson was forced to wrestle on a mat that had no circle.  One should never have to wrestle without a circle clearly defining boundaries.)  I began to see that look in his eye again.  “Mom, this is my year.  I’m all in.”  Jackson and a few other guys began meeting before school to run a few miles.  Then there were stadiums, requests for extra practices, and intense recruiting.  These boys reached out, and encouraged others to join the brotherhood.  The team grew, and so did the boys.  Last year’s rookies were learning how to be mentors.  Leadership was being birthed, and these boys basked in the opportunity to be something other than followers. 

The season is in full swing now.  Medals are being draped around their necks, some losses are being logged into the books, but the spirit is strong.  The long runs are paying off as they watch their opponents tire in those last seconds.  The extra practices are seeing reward as they add another pin to their records.  Pride beams from their faces not only for their wins, but for the wins of their brothers.

Why let my kid wrestle?  Never before have I seen a sport that demanded so much from an athlete, even long after the season is over.  If you want it, you never stop grinding.  Never have I seen a quiet shy boy burst from his cocoon quite like when my boy is on the mat.  There are very few sports that allow you to compete both individually and as a team.  If Jackson loses, it’s on him.  No blaming anyone else.  This is a lesson that should be learned early in life.  How many sports make you get up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday in order to compete all day long?  Sometimes the athletes (and yes, their parents too) do this for days on end.  You have to really want something to be willing to give up your sleep, your weekend, and often times your favorite foods, just to punish your body in hopes of a victory.

I will never stop holding my breathe when he walks onto the mat.  I will never stop worrying and praying this isn’t the time he gets hurt.  But I will never tire of seeing the hunger in his eyes.  Wrestling teaches discipline, passion, the will to get up and keep going after what you want.  And at the end of the match?  Stand up, look your opponent in the eye, shake his hand, and leave it all on that mat.  Never are you allowed to stomp off angry, throw your headgear, and pitch a tantrum.  Oh no, that’s now how the game is played, or how life works.

So to the coaches who spotted my little boy across the crowded gym all those years ago, I say thank you.  Jackson has learned, and continues to learn so much more than just how to wrestle.  I believe the sport has equipped him with characteristics that will make him a better man.  I only pray that in all he does he always strives to go at it will all his heart, and then walk away knowing he left everything he had on the mat.

Lipstick, High Heels, and the Spirit of a Fighter

I have sat on this post for weeks, asking myself if there would ever be a right time to write it. Today I received a text that made it clear it was time. The women in my family are fighters.  We sometimes forget our strength, and the fight that is buried deep inside of us, but it is who we are.

A few weeks ago I was bombarded with teary text messages, snapchats that revealed a splotchy neck, eyes about to flood over with tears, and a million “why’s”.  I struggled because I didn’t know what to say.  I’m not very good at saying the right thing at the right time.  I want to jump straight into problem solving mode.  How do we fix this?  Where do we go from here?  That wasn’t what this loved one needed, so all I was left with was a feeble, “I just don’t know what to say.”  Well that and…”I’ll buy the pigs and alligators.”  No, I don’t expect you to know what that means.  But she did, and that’s what mattered.

Around this same time another member of my family hit a major road bump.  She called me sobbing, and became frustrated when I once again went into fix it mode.  “Can’t you stop?  Please?  For one minute just sit in sadness with me.  Let me have this day.  We can fight for the next step tomorrow.  Just let me have today.”  I struggled.  “I can’t do that.  I don’t know HOW to do that.  I know that is what you need, but I’m not sure how to give that to you.  Don’t you know who you are?  You are a fighter.  The women in our family don’t take time to be sad.  But I will try to do better.  I’m sorry.  I love you.”

The women in my life needed me to be something I don’t know how to be.  But they had forgotten something.  THEY are part of the reason that I am the way I am.  I remember being tired and not wanting to fight through the haze after my husband died.  Both the little one and the big one grabbed my shoulders and told me to put one foot in front of the other.  “There will be days after today.  It’s time to march toward them.”  They wanted me to step into life with defiance, telling the world that I didn’t stay down and out.  I may have lost the battle, but with them by my side….I would NEVER lose the war.  And every scar I gathered along the way would tell the story of my strength, my will, and my desire to fight for a better tomorrow.  I needed them to be fighters for me when I was too tired to put the armor on for myself.  But somehow they had forgotten the fighter that lay dormant inside their souls, and they were kneeling behind the battle lines hoping the war would just go on by and forget that they were lurking in the dark shadows.

I did something unusual.  I hugged the little and let her cry.  I encouraged the big to keep sending me snotty splotchy pictures until she was all cried out.  I would let them rest today, and we would talk battle strategy once their hearts were rested.  It took one a little longer to bounce back than the other, and the bouncer keeps fighting her own inner doubts.  But here is what began to happen.

I saw joy come to the splotchy face.  She even put on makeup and looked human again!  I saw fear give way to faith in the other little lady.  I think they began to remember who they were, and where they came from.  Today I got a text.  I will sum it up.  “I couldn’t stand waiting.  There had to be some way to make this work.  I got out of my bed, dragged myself to the office and began to ask questions.  Turns out there were answers, and now it is sorted.  I just couldn’t take no for an answer.”  She had found her fight.  I knew it was in there, tucked away, a little dusty, and certainly tired, but it was in there.

Girls, this is written for you, about you, and to you….We are fighters.  We each get tired, and when we do we must carry each other for a while.  I’m still working on the carrying part.  I would much rather grab my sword and run straight into the battle, but I will learn to carry.  You will ALWAYS look toward the sun.  I will not allow you to wallow in the darkness and self doubt.  The fights we have had, and  the fights we have ahead of us are HARD.  At times they will be painful, and not even make sense.  Would it really be much of a battle if we could stand at the top of the mountaintop and see our enemy long before his approach?  Each day wake up, swing your feet out of bed, and find your battle gear.  If you want it, slay every obstacle that comes in your way.  Strategize, plan, clean your wounds and keep pressing on.  We are not weak.  We did not come to this world to look like delicate flowers.  We came into this world determined to turn it on its head, and make everyone know we are here.  Every thing worth having takes everything you are willing to give.  Suit up girls.  It’s time to go into battle and fight for what you want.  I love you both….let’s do this!

Red Heads, Male Escorts, and Talking To The Moon

On Christmas Day I called my favorite spunky red head.  I knew calling my grandmother meant that I would be on the phone for at least an hour, that I would quite possibly hear the same stories more than once, and that I wouldn’t get a word in edge wise, but I was looking forward to it.  Momsie answered on the second ring.  “Hi there!  How’s my favorite red head?”  “Well I’m just fine!  How are you doing?  It’s so good to hear from you!”  “Ummm…I’ve gotta ask.  Do you know who you are talking to?”  “No, but you just said I’m your favorite, so I must like you.”  “Momsie, it’s me, Katie.”  “Well hey there Baby!  How’s it going?  I have so much to tell you.  Do you have a minute?”

Momsie then began telling me about her gardener.  My grandparents have had the same landscapers for years, and even took a few Spanish classes to improve their interactions with the crew.  After my grandfather died, Momsie began to look forward to the gardener’s visits even more than before.  But apparently this time the little guy ticked Momsie off.  “Katie, I’m tired of people telling me that I’m old.  And my gardener said that ladies my age should take naps!  How rude!  I don’t LIKE naps.  But I showed him.  I told him that I pay him, and I can make him do anything I want him to.  So I made him come inside, and vacuum under my bed.  Don’t tell me to take a nap!  I showed him my bedside drawer, and told him I had a gun in there, and I knew how to use it.  I then handed him the vacuum and told him he was going to vacuum under my bed for telling me I needed a nap.”  I could hear the mischievous grin playing on her lips as she spoke.  I know my little red head could never hurt a fly, but I also knew I needed to caution her about what she could and couldn’t say.  So I swallowed my giggles, took a deep breath, and decided to give the old girl a little advice.  “Now Momsie, we need to talk a little bit about this.  First, it’s not safe to be letting people in your house.  You never know who might hurt you.  And second, you can’t make that poor man vacuum under your bed!  That’s not what he was hired to do, and you REALLY can’t threaten to shoot him if he doesn’t!”  “Oh Katie!  I didn’t threaten him.  I just hinted as to what I could do if he didn’t vacuum!”  “No more Momsie.  Others might not be as patient with your suggestions!”  But I can promise you I will never suggest a nap to my grandmother in the future!

We kept chatting and she told me about the new Bible study she was going to with my aunt, and how much she loved it.  “But Katie?  I don’t like old women.  They just want to sit around and show pictures of their grandkids, knit blankets, and sip tea.  That’s boring!  When your grandfather was alive we went to the gun club and hung out with red blooded men.  I liked that.  They called me “Bill’s Redheaded Woman”.  Why can’t I still hang out with men?”  I honestly didn’t know what to say.  I mean, I’m her grandchild, and clearly she doesn’t want to pass around pictures of me, and she wanted to hang out with boys like a school girl.  Turns out I didn’t need to say anything at all.  “You know what I want?  I want a male escort.” “What?!?!  Do you know what you are asking for Momsie?”  “Oh, do they have sex with you?  No, I don’t want that.  No one could be as good as your Papa.  But I would like a rich younger man to take me to nice dinners, and talk to me about things that are interesting.  Is that not an escort?”  “Ummm…no.  That sounds more like a companion Momsie.  And you having a friend to keep you company might be nice.  But PLEASE don’t ever tell anyone you want a male escort EVER AGAIN!  People will think you want the booty!”  Never in a million years did I think I would be having these kinds of talks with my grandmother, but here we were, talking about male escorts….Sigh.

“Well since you won’t let me call them escorts, let me just tell you another story.  And if I’ve already told you the story, just be quiet and listen to it again!”  I can’t put into words how hard it was to keep my composure while we had our little chat.  My grandmother was a riot.  The older she gets, the less her filter works.  “The other day I was weeding my rock garden.  I like for my yard to look nice you know.”  “Momsie, how old are you?  Should you really be working in the garden?”  “Gosh, I don’t know how old I am.  I’ve lied about it so long that I’ve forgotten my real age.”  Thatta girl.  If you forget your age, you can stay as young as you want for as long as you want!  We eventually worked out that she is 86 years young.  “Well back to my story about my rock garden, Katie.  You distracted me by reminding me that I’m old.  Anyway….I was pulling a little weed, and my arm got stuck in the fence.”  “Momsie, why did you put your arm through the fence?”  “Would you hush and listen?  That’s not the point.  Just accept that it got stuck.  So it got stuck, and I spotted this man working on the roof next door.  I told him to come help me, but he wasn’t moving very fast.  I told him if he didn’t get his butt over here right away, that as soon as I got free I was going to get my weapon and make him wish he had helped me!  And you know what???  He came and helped me!  Now that wasn’t so hard!”  By now I don’t know whether to fuss at her for being so brazen or award her a gold star for being so sassy.  But I know what my aunt would ask me to do.  So I clear my throat and use my big girl voice.  “Momsie, it may be Texas, and you may have been married to the toughest cowboy that ever was, but people are sensitive now.  You MUST quit pretending you are going to shoot everybody if they don’t do what you tell them to!  Someone may think you’re serious!”  “Nah, if they think I’m a little spunky, they will behave!  But if you want me to be good, then I will try a little harder.  You’re just no fun!”  Well we may have dodged a bullet there!

“Katie?  I know you think I’m a little crazy, but I really miss your Papa.  Susan takes good care of me, and I’m doing ok, but at night I miss him more than you can know.  I creep to the front window, look out at the moon, and I swear I hear background music, and he talks to me.”  Crap, this is a little weird and crazy, but I’m not about to tell that poor lady she is losing it.  Or am I????  “Now Katie, I need you to do me a favor.  I need you to go outside tonight.  Stand in the middle of your driveway and look at the moon.  Listen very carefully for Papa’s voice.  If you try really hard, you will hear it.  Then I want you to talk back to him.”  Screech!!!!!!  Halt!!!!  Back up!!!!  “ You want me to do what?!?!  Oh Momsie, I love you to pieces, but I can’t talk to the moon!  I just can’t.”  “Ok…Well, it’s your loss.  He would visit you if you let him.  Now, let’s just move along. Will you and Nickie plan a trip to Dallas, and take me somewhere fun?  Maybe we could go see a show?”

I talked to my sister, and we will indeed try and take the roudy redhead to see a show.  Perhaps we can hire her an escort too.  Who knows?!  My Momsie is funny, fearless, and as full of life as she ever was.  She may be a little too spunky for this cupcake generation that now runs the world, but there is nothing more fun that a visit with that little lady.  Just don’t tell her she needs a nap or she might shoot you or make you vacuum under the bed!