Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Let Me Tell You About Gerald

I have a little bit of social anxiety. Nothing so bad that I stay in my house with my cats for whom I make tiny cat clothes, ordering all my necessities online. It’s just that when making small talk with people I don’t know, I spend less time listening and more time worrying than a normal person might that I might yell out something inappropriate like “TITTIES!!!”.

This past week I may have been in the one and only situation where this might have been the appropriate response, that being the day after my grandma died. Hang on! Where did I lose you? Was it where I suggested that yelling “TITTIES!” was a sane response to my grandma dying? I thought that might be the case. Stay with me.

The day after my grandmother died, mom and I went over to her house in her senior living community to clean up. There was regular knocking at the door from concerned neighbors. The sweet Vietnamese lady across the street came by to tell us how much my grandmother meant to her and her husband. She said that she always looking out for her husband who was in therapy because he was “brain dead”.  I think something might have been lost in translation here because I’ve seen her husband and if he is brain dead he is the poster child for living with brain death. Anyway, it was very sweet and she told us about how much she will miss my grandmother.

A little while later there was another knock. This time the Vietnamese lady’s husband. He told us how sweet my grandmother was to him and how he sometimes drove her to the casino. He cried when he told us about how he will miss seeing her smiling face. Then my mom cried and I cried and we hugged and we were just one big mess.

A little while later there is another knock on the door, this time on the garage door. Enter Gerald.

Now let me paint a picture of Gerald. Gerald is 67-years-old. He is thin and has a thick white mustache so long you can’t see his lips. Gerald would drink Monsters and Mountain Dew everyday if it wasn’t for that fact that he has nonfunctioning kidneys and is on dialysis. I can’t be 100% sure that Gerald owns a “Who Farted?” trucker hat, but I would put a lot of money on it.

“I don’t know if I can find my shoes,” are the first words out of his mouth.
“What?” mom and I say together.
“My nice shoes. I’m not sure where I put them.”

I’m starting to wonder if Gerald is aware that my grandmother has died, but as he continues talking it is apparent that he is concerned that he may not have appropriate footwear for her memorial service later that week. Now this is where the conversation took a detour that I can’t explain. We were talking about shoes and before I know it, we were here—

“My girlfriend was over here, she’s 41 and she’s not really my girlfriend, but she was, now she has a boyfriend and she was wearing this thin shirt and her nipples were poking through and I just wanted to flick ‘em.”

He is standing with his fingers pointing out to demonstrate what the flick-able nipples looked like. Cue stunned silence followed by laughter because…what?!

There’s more.

“Yeah, she’s got some big ol’ fake knockers.”

I never know what to say in these situations. Miss Prudie never covered that oh-so-common scenario where you’re talking about your dead grandma and then someone tells you about wanting to fondle fake knockers. But you know who knew just what to say? My mom.

“How did you know they were fake?”

With zero pause Gerald answers, “Because I used to suck on them.”

SEE?! If I would have yelled out “TITTIES!!!” at this point we all would have laughed and Gerald would have high-fived me, amiright?! I think my grandmother would have been proud.


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