Like the other night, out for dinner with the bunch. It was your youngest Granddaughters’ 12th birthday.
I had been over at Crossroad Man’s, grabbing my sunglasses I’d left and a quick chat, as I knew full well Lexi would be late to pick me up. She is always late.
Well, she wasn’t. So I showed up in my black and gray tiger spotted fleece pants (PJ’s), thinking to myself these were just fine.
Lexi didn’t agree.
Shades of Grandma came to mind. I can almost see you cringe Mom, stop it.
Seriously, someone has to be the weirdo!
Where would we all be without them? truly. We can’t all follow along like good little lemmings, some have to dance off to the rhythm of their own drum if just to prove one can.
I mean, you know dang well those little girls are going to have some of Grandma in them, and so best to let them know its ok. Be yourself, little one, be yourself, you know she would say. As I know would you.
Dance in meadows and speak your mind. Wear crazy clothes sometimes that don’t go. But Grandma by the time I knew her had changed into her dower widow wear, and thus I never really got to see her in her full SHINE.
What I love about Grandma, as how she could waltz out in the most stunning attire, the belle of the ball. Next day turn around and go to the bank in her overalls, all splattered with paint, her old poop hat on her head.
Now that’s me.
I feel lately far less compelled to follow along with everyone else. Maybe it’s partly due to the certain dress code for work, thus basically wearing the same thing every day. I hesitate to call it a “uniform”, as that harkens to Nurses and Posties, or I say “welcome to McDonald’s, how can I serve you today” for a living.
So taking “work clothes” out of the mix, I decided now I could just spend my free time wearing whatever I wish. So I often do.
Could also be because, many of my co-workers are such as I, you know, a little left-of-centre. It makes for a genuinely enjoyable work environment. And you get used to being yourself, and not having to check your weird-o-dometer. Oh sure, there’s the odd character that rubs the wrong way, but experience shows they don’t tend to last. The friction eventually wins out.
You know though Mom, maybe I’m remembering it all wrong, but I believe you always knew I was like Grandma. That I had some of her eccentricity, her passion for living by the tune of her own orchestra, and that I also have her deep spirituality.
But I’m not outgoing, and I often don’t speak my mind, I sometimes question myself. I don’t think Grandma ever felt ANY of those things. She never hesitated.
Being human. I honestly believe that’s really all it is. To stop pretending at being something you’re not. Stop trying for that perfect utopian neverland. Who would want that? Why would anyone want to be perfect?
So, I stand and acknowledge my eccentricity. Crossroads Man says being the eccentric Aunt is a very time-honoured role, and that everyone’s favourite Aunt was the one that wasn’t afraid to be herself.
I thought that was sweet of him to say.
I suppose we all hope that the next generation comes to these realizations sooner than us. Maybe recognize, earlier, what the really important things are. And if it takes everything in your being to toe that line someone else has devised, then I say, stop. I suppose too if we don’t talk about this stuff no one will know.
Grandma wasn’t one of those types of eccentrics though that shied away from the world. Far from. AND neither do I, so I do need to get out of that shell once in a while.
I can just hear you now Mom, saying as I walk in the back door at the Homestead…”you look like a Mennonite…do something with your hair. You know you looked so cute with it cut short. Why don’t you wear it short?“.