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Tuesday, July 24, 2007Not nice, not nice at all
It had been nine years since I had seen my paternal grandparents. They finally arrived last week for a visit and as we headed over to the upper west side to see them this past Sunday my siblings teased me “ohhhh Mia wait ‘til grandpa sees your tattoos. You’re in BIG trouble!” Ha! I’m an adult now grandparents don’t strike no fear in this 24 year old heart!
We'd been in the house for an hour and no one had noticed my tattoos. My plan was working. My short sleeves had been long enough to cover the tats. Then it happened… a fly landed on my arm and I shooed it away pushing my sleeve up a little. My little sister seized the opportunity….
Caity: What’s that Mia?
Mia: What’s what?
Caity: That…( pointing at my arm )what’s that?
Mia: I don’t know what you’re talking about.
I tugged on the edge of my sleeve making sure it was covering the tat while my sister let out a diabolical giggle .
My grandma leaned in and raised the edge of my sleeve up with her finger…
GM: What is that?
Mia: Umm a tattoo grandma.
She called my grandfather over. He stared in disbelief at the tattoo. My sister (I’m cutting her out of my will by the way) then added…
Caity: Look at her other arm grandpa!
Mia: Nobody likes a kiss ass Caitlin Nicole!
My grandfather quickly turned and looked at my mother.
GP: Maggie did you see this?
Mom:Yup.It’s what she wanted.
My grandpa began his tattoos are not respectable lecture…Blah blah… In turn I tried to explain to him that my tattoos can not be seen unless I want them to be seen. That at work my clothing covers the tats. Grandpa did not want to hear it….I panicked… forgive me mother for I know not what I do…must save my ass. I pointed to mom…
Mia: She designed them!
He glared at my mother...
Mom: Nobody likes a snitch Mia!
Mom : What? I can't help it if she appreciates my art work. Damn these talented hands of mine to hell!
A few feet away my dad exploded into a fit of laughter.
Ma turned and quickly pointed at my dad.
Mom: By the way her father your son accompanied her to get them and paid for a couple of them too!
Dad : Hey leave me out of this!
Mom: Eh not so funny now is it Mr.Giggles?
My father let out another loud laugh poured himself a glass of water and wisely joined his little brother outside on the balcony.
GP: You’ll never be able to get a respectable job now!
Mom : You know Bill respectable jobs are highly over rated luckily for us she can dance. Know what I’m saying? Her future as a pole dancer is secure!
The woman just can’t help herself can she? That mouth of hers!
He turned and looked at ma slowly and despite trying not to started laughing.
My uncle watching from the balcony came in and put his arm around grandpa and winked at me. Uncle Mike had been at the receiving end of the tattoo lecture years many years ago. “Come on pop give me and Willie a hand with the grill.”and led grandpa out to the balcony where my dad was busy flipping burgers. As he went past me grandpa looked back pointed his finger at me and said, “No more…you hear me?”
Then grandma came over and stood in front of me her hands on her waist like Super Grandma…oh shit…I was in trouble… Grandma never raises her voice, that's grandpa's job she's like a ninja assassin silent but deadly.I looked up at her. Yeah I was in deep trouble.
GM: How many do you have?
I said nothing… I wanted to say I plead the 5th grandma but my grandma didn't look like she was in the mood.
Caity: Five grandma. She has one on her chest grandma and the one on her shoulder blade oh and one on her neck! Oh and she's planning on getting another one.
Yeah definitely that girl is being cut out of my will.
Mia:Caity wipe off that brown spot off your nose!
Caity:Huh? What that means?
Before we could get into it Grandma silenced us with one of her looks…
GM: I saw the one on your neck. Thank God you’re grandfather hasn’t seen it yet.
I reached for my hairclip and let my curls down as she went on…
GM: Mia how many tattoos does your grandfather have?
Was this a trick question? I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to answer this and frankly I was afraid to answer it.
She asked me again… “How many tattoos does your grandpa have?”
GM: One. He has had one tattoo since he was 17 he is now 65. It’s all faded now and you can barely tell it has my name on it.
wtf was I supposed to say to that?
GM: Do you understand what I am telling you?
No not really grandma….I wanted to say but wisely kept my mouth shut. I wondered if I said no would she strike me?
She repeated her question. Crud this is worse than being on jeopardy! The pressure! Where is a commercial break when I need one?! I decided to fake the funk. I answered “yes” and lowered my eyes as a sign of respect.
She bent down eye level to me raised my sleeve again. She stepped back and looked at my tattoo again…
GM: This is not nice, not nice at all.
The tone in her voice reminded me of the one time she had scolded me as a child. I had failed to go straight home after school and had made my mom worry. Grandma had scolded me in her gentle way and I cried for hours afterwards. My heart felt as if it had been broken. Now here I was years later at the age of 24 experiencing the same feeling all over again. The tone in her voice made my eyes tear up. For a brief second it was as if I were a little kid again.
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