This week my grandmother-in-law threw her middle finger in my face. I mean, she totally flipped me and my family ‘the bird.’ And by ‘bird’, I of course don’t mean a cuddly, colorful parrot used for entertaining guests.
In the 14+ years that I have known Marshall, I have never met the woman. My husband has flown overseas and met my grandmother, a handful of aunties and a gaggle of cousins, so I thought it would only be right for me to make the effort to meet the last surviving matriarch of his family. He never seemed personally interested in organizing a trip to bring my lofty ideas to fruition, and I have scolded him for years.
“You’re lucky!” I nagged. “Your grandmother is still alive! Don’t you think she’d like to meet her great-grandkids? She’s never seen them, met them…or even talked to them on the phone!”
He would only roll his eyes, sigh, and continue to look at his best friend: the double screened PC. He said I just wouldn’t understand. This year, however, I triumphed. With the plotting and finagling of my mother-in-law, we planned a family trip up to New Jersey to meet the elder Mrs. Grant. Hotel and car rental reservations were made. She was informed 3 months ago that we would arrive to spend Thanksgiving with her. Marshall’s sister flew in from Texas with her husband and son. My family of 6 made the 2 day trek by car to get to New Jersey…only to be told that we would meet her absence. The DAY before we got to NJ, she decided she would spend the holiday with her other niece/granddaughter/something in NC instead. This same person would be coming up to spend Christmas with her as well.
What the focus? I was aghast. Marshall was not in the least bit surprised. This level of cruelty is evidently her modus operandi, hence his apprehension in making any concerted effort to driving up her to make a visit.
My little brother serves as my gauge for whether I’m overreacting. I told him about this strange chain of events and waited for his input.
“What?!?” he said in apparent surprise. Nothing surprises Sami, so I knew this was a big deal. “Well, this is Thanksgiving, so we have to talk about this in the right spirit – and that spirit is: this is some gobble.”
“Oh!” I got it. “As in she just gobbled the whole family?”
“Yup. She basically said ‘gobble YOU!’ ”
“Humph. And we just drove this whole gobblin’ way for no gobblin’ reason!”
“Man, that’s a big pile of gobble if you ask me.”
“Don’t worry about it. If I were you, I wouldn’t give a gobble.”
“But the whole thing wants me to say gobble gobble GOBBLE!! She basically said gobble me, and I want to say gobble you too!”
We erupted into fits of laughter which ended with me choking on my own spit. He announced he was heading to where the daiquiris were being served (my aunt CJP’s house) for Thanksgiving and had to go get his annual pumpkin pie. I spent the next 11 hours in the car with a new phrase circling in my head and did my best to forget the old lady who inspired it.