Wednesday, September 16, 2009

So Far So Good III

YPRES, BELGIUM - NOVEMBER 05:  A stone cutter ...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

I guess that I am now the family patriarch if the patriarch is the one who pays for everything. I don't even blink. Of course, E. would have retired five years ago if it weren't for family, and she makes more than I do, which makes me a bit of an imposter, perhaps a usurper.

But it's the South, Big Daddy country, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, etc. So patriarch it is.

With the role comes responsibilities. If no one else sasses the waitresses -- this is the South and they expect to be sassed -- I must do the sassing, though it's probably more bluster than sass, a kind of post-sexual bluffing.

Again: It's the South. One blends. Also, one overtips, if one is a patriarch, particularly a sassy one.

In addition to eating large portions at chain restaurants, today we went to the cemetery to look at the grave site. In doing so, we destroyed, or at least drastically reconfigured, a family myth. I've been telling people for years that Mom was one of those thrifty seniors who when burying a mate and having a tombstone carved some years ago, saved a nickel by having their birthdate carved in, plus the first half of the year of their demise: 19--.

But that's not so! The gravemarker is bronze, and the birth/death dates are bolted on, detachable. E. swears, however, that Mom did have her first two digits done back there 20 years ago, that at minimum Mom did have her little bronze plate done with a "19" on it. E. swears she saw it, saw that "19" and that it must have been stamped on a bronze plate, and that plate is now missing, probably unbolted sometime early in 2000 when the cemetery folk did not want to be reduced to a laughingstock.

It was a good myth. Losing it has taken some of the fun out of all this. I think I need to refer to someone else as Big Red and give them a 20 percent tip.

Oh something else. Everyone -- and I do mean everyone -- if they choose to comfort us say some variation on, Now she's in a better place.

No I don't have the stones to answer Yes, on Amazon Island with Wonder Woman and the Goddess at last.
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