• In which I learned about the time my grandmother was a… swinger?

    Date: 2010.05.11 | Category: Family, Weirdness | Tags:

    For Mother’s Day, I went with my mom out of town to visit my grandparents. Both of my sisters were out of town, and I decided to take full advantage of mom-grandmother-me time. And boy do they know how to spoil me rotten.

    They took me shopping, and I added jewelry, shoes and a shrug to my growing wardrobe of new clothes. Then they wined and dined me (is there anything better than Kendall Jackson chardonnay and sweet potato fries?)

    And then they took me to a play - Fiddler of the Roof. It was produced by the students and professors at LA Tech. Shamefully, I didn’t know anything about Fiddler going in, but I was quickly swept up into the show. Maybe it was the catchy music that my grandfather was happily singing along to, or maybe it was the fun Jewish bottle dance, or maybe it was because we were on the third row and could see the actors’nose hairs, but I enjoyed it immensely.

    On the drive back, everyone was discussing the play, particularly a scene where a ghost lady was flying around the top of the stage by means of some kind of swing. My grandmother’s friend Priscilla declared, “I don’t think I’ve ever known someone who has swung from the top of a theatre before.”

    To which my grandmother replied, “Well I have.”

    She was met with dead silence. You see my grandmother is the bake-cakes-for-nursing-home grandmother. The shopping, always dressed modestly grandmother. The sit back and enjoy everyone else acting silly grandmother. Definitely not the swing from the ceiling grandmother.

    Finally we recovered from our stupor and Priscilla said, “What in the world were you doing swinging from a ceiling?!”

    To which my grandmother calmly explained that when she was a freshman in college her sorority sisters made her take part in a performance. She had to get on a swing hanging from the ceiling of the auditorium. And not only was she on the swing, but she was standing on the swing, wearing a swimming suit in front of the entire student body.

    “Well Priscilla,” said my grandfather, “You were wrong. You did know someone after all.”

    And to prove her point, my grandmother whipped out her 1956 yearbook and found the picture. But she wasn’t in a swimsuit (turns out that was for practice). Instead she was in a slinky dress with a slit up her leg and a garter.

    (I quickly snapped a photo with my phone. I knew my sisters would never believe it without a photo. She’s the third from the right. The one in the slinky black number.)

    I said, “Paw Paw, look what she’s wearing in this picture!”

    He just wagged his eyebrows at me.

    I hope Mark and I have that kind of spirit when we’re their age, and I hope your Mother Day was as good as mine.