Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Next Chapter - Part 1

I was skipping down the hallway, my long purple dress sashaying back
and forth, the ends daintily grasped between my thumb and index
finger. I was grinning, not quite ear to ear but close.

"Who is he?" my co-worker asked as I pranced around her, hardly able
to contain my frivolity. I snorted.

"There is no 'he'. If there was I would be smiling so large my face
might hurt." No, the 'he' in this situation was the quickly
approaching open road. Freedom. The chance to get the hell out of
dodge and try something new.

Not that I hadn't been traveling all month. Unfortunately my
escapades of recent days had been limited to family gatherings located
firmly with in the tri-state area. It had been lovely to see my loved
ones but it seemed that everyone of blood relation had only one
interest when it came to my life. My uterus.

"You are gonna have to get artificially inseminated," my grandmother
hissed over red velvet cake at my cousin Jordan's wedding. I had been
taunted by a full table of family to join the over sugared six-year
olds clamoring to catch the bouquet. I refused to be the only woman
over three foot on the dance floor and I sure as hell wasn't going to
plow down the flower girls for some relationship good luck charm. My
family wouldn't take no for an answer. I finally succumbed to the
torturous ribbing but only because the trajectory of the bride's
impending toss was directly in line with the keg. I stood, arms
crossed, waiting for the humiliation to be over and when, as
predicted, a bouncy kindergartner with floppy ringlets nabbed the
prize, I took the opportunity to tell my grandmother that it was
probably a sign.

"You know that little girl is probably going to get married before I do."

"I am starting to think so!" bit my grandmother in a tone that came as
a complete contrast to her rosy, soft and huggable demeanor. This was
the grandma who up until this point had seemed completely ambivalent
to my single status. I think today's nuptials had completely freaked
her out because the first thing anyone said to me as we exited the
church was, "So you are the ONLY one left to marry."


"Grandma! I am working on it."

"Well work faster because I am 76 and I don't have much time left."

"Then you had better take you vitamins," I quipped back, "Because it
is going to be a while."

This seemed to settle things for a few minutes, that is until someone
mentioned babies at which point grandma threw out the artificial
insemination comment.

"Well I hear that is what single women do who can't get married."

I feel that it is only fair to mention that I am twenty-flippin-eight.
You would think that my grandmother had already nominated me into the
spinsterhood society.

Grandpa joined in that my problem was obviously a) I needed to find a
country boy and b) I needed to be 'not so mean to men'. (He has
mentioned this before, and I am beginning to wonder if he thinks I am
some kind of dominatrix, whipping and scolding the guys I date, which
just to be clear is not true…. completely.) So I came back with the
first smart-ass remark I could think up.

"Grandpa, the men pickin's are so slim, I might have to start dating women!"

This did not go over well. Grandpa got stoic. The table got quiet and
grandma shot me an uncomfortable glance.

"Well," he finally growled, "I guess that means I would be losing
another grandchild."

Ouch. I would like to think that should I ever choose to embrace same
sex tendencies that grandpa would eventually come around. I gather
now that he wanted it firmly known that that is not the case. I
thought about telling him that if he would prefer, I could bring home
a large black man, but I thought I might have pushed my luck for one
evening. He stewed for a solid ten minutes before I grabbed his arm
across the table, told him to lighten up, that I was just kidding and
that he knew he loved me so he just needed to cut it out.

"Aww honey, you know I am from the old school." He finally sighed. I
decided to consider this an apology even though I don't think it did
anything to change his outlook on the world.

Thank god I didn't mention Obama.