April's Real Blog

Thursday, September 13, 2007

He could explain what "great-grandmother" means

Mike wrote in 2 tell what happed shortly after Merrie threw her own Super Teddy in2 the plant:
April,

Formerly little sis. After my lovely Deanna realized Super Teddy had not done permanent damage to her indoor plant, she did something which she has not done in many years, i.e. displayed a sense of curiosity. Deanna has had her moments of being curious in the past, but since she has had children it is like they sucked all the curious bones in her body out with their vigorous breast-feeding. Deanna informs me that bones are not actually the source of breast milk, so I had to discard that theory.

Regardless of the reason for the curiosity, I was delighted and surprised that my lovely Deanna asked me the question, “What have you two been up to?” I put my hands in my pockets and sheepishly followed my daughter into the kitchen where she showed her the photo albums. I said, “We were going through my mom’s photo albums.” Naturally, this is not truly an explanation for why my daughter produced a duplicate of my Super Teddy and felt the need to throw him into Deanna’s indoor plant; but curiosity occurs so infrequently with my wife, I thought it was best not to discourage it with mundane things like a logical progression of thought.

I sat down and put my daughter in my lap so she could see the photo album better, as Deanna pulled it over to the other side of the table. I said, “Merrie was asking about Grampa Jim. She didn’t recognize him.” I know I had tried to avoid embarrassing my daughter with that fact before, but I felt Deanna needed to know, since she is the mother. Deanna said, “He looks so young in this picture…and so does Marian.” It did occur to me that perhaps I need to give my lovely Deanna a little lecture on the progression of time, so she would know that in every picture where Grampa Jim looks young, everyone else in the picture will look younger too. The understanding of how time works is something most people may take for granted, but when you are a Patterson, it can sometimes be a very tricky thing. All I have to do is think about how you looked just before your 16th birthday and how you looked on your 16th birthday, to illustrate my point about unusual Pattersonian time passage. Once again, I opted not to pursue this line of thought with my wife. I thought it would be good to keep that curiosity thing going.

Well, Deanna turned into a silhouette, so her lights were essentially out, and I decided to talk to my non-silhouetted daughter instead. I said, “I’m sorry you never got to meet your great-grandmother, Meredith.” After I said that, I realized it was a little awkward to say. After all, Gramma Marian died in 1991, and in 1991 I was only 15 years old, and it would have been strange to have a daughter when I was still in senior secondary school, just so I could introduce her to Gramma Marian. Fortunately for me, my daughter saved the day by making a joke out of the word “great.” She said, “What made her great, daddy?” At least I think she was making a joke. We do call Grampa Jim “Grampa Jim” around her, and not “great grandfather Jim”, so she might not understand how the word “great” fits in. However, I prefer to think she was making a joke, since it gave me a fine opportunity to look wide-eyed into the open air and say, “Everything.”

I think you would agree, formerly little sis, that “everything” made Gramma Marian great. For example, her extraordinary Tupperware collection. It’s not everyone who saves every single piece of Tupperware they ever bought in their entire life. That makes someone “great,” don’t you agree? You know this to be true, because you met Gramma Marian. However, my daughter never did, so I decided to start showing my daughter some Gramma Marian pictures and I will probably tell you about them tomorrow and I expect I will be using the word “great” as often as I possibly can, in order to carry on my new theme for photos “Marian put the ‘great’ in great gramma.”

Love,
Michael Patterson
Mike, I h8 2 contradict U, but... W8, who R we kidding, I luv 2 contradict U, but what I was going 2 pt ot is that Grandma Marian died in 1998, when U were 22. But U and Dee were just d8ing @ the time, not married or even engaged, so it wdn't have made sense 4 U 2 have had Merrie yet, eh?

I think the comedian Laura Kightlinger did the joke better: "My grandmother asked me, 'When am I going to be a great-grandmother?' And I told her, 'When U do sumthing outstanding!'" But that's OK, Merrie's not quite 5, and Laura Kightlinger has had yrs and yrs 2 work on her stand-up material.

Apes

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11 Comments:

  • At 7:51 AM, Blogger DreadedCandiru2 said…

    I wonder if Michael realizes that "great" is a homophone for what his narration is doing to us: grate on our last nerve. The last thing Meredith needs is to have her head filled with mush by an idiot.

     
  • At 10:51 AM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    lol, dreadedcandiru2, that's awesum, cuz it's, like, using puns against mike. mike believes the puns r his friends!

    apes

     
  • At 12:36 PM, Anonymous Michael Patterson said…

    April,

    Formerly little sis. I don’t know why you are taking advice from a person pretending to be a parasitic freshwater catfish found in the Amazon River. I do appreciate a good homophone, and I agree that the last thing Meredith needs is to have her head filled with mush by an idiot. Fortunately, she has me instead. Imagine how intelligent my daughter will be after a lifetime of being exposed to her published author father.

    Love,
    Michael Patterson

     
  • At 2:02 PM, Blogger DreadedCandiru2 said…

    See what I mean about idiots who spew mush? He's almost as oblivious as your older sister. Almost. No one is that out of it.

     
  • At 2:23 PM, Anonymous Michael Patterson said…

    April,

    Formerly little sis.

    I see the person who pretends to be the urinophilic, Amazon fish is now writing an essay comparing some unnamed guy and Elizabeth. Do not let him influence you. Everyone knows that Alaskan sled dog drivers are the people who spew “Mush” and some of them are quite intelligent. I mean, intelligent for someone who drives Alaskan sled dogs, that is.

    By the way, thanks for the correction on the year Gramma Marian died. I think I said 1991, because I remembered mom being very sad about someone dying that year, or was it sad about someone being born? I don’t remember.

    Love,
    Michael Patterson

     
  • At 2:32 PM, Anonymous liz patterson said…

    April,

    Mike is making stuff up again, this is not a surprise, but what I guess I am surprised about is how he is pretending like he was so into Grandma Marian, like he really liked her or something, which is weird, seeing as we hardly ever saw her, since she lived far away when we were kids, and Mom and Dad didn't like to visit their parents very much, and also, I know Mom says we are supposed to think Grandma Marian was great and a giver of great gifts and stuff, but I never really got the sense she really liked Grandma Marian that much, and sometimes, when you are not around, I hear her blame Marian for her potato nose, which is not such a great thing to do to your kids.

    Liz

     
  • At 3:09 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    mike, u r 2 oblivious 2 realize it, but this candiru guy obviously meant U as the "idiot spewing mush."

    liz, yeah, i dunno y mike is pretending he luvved grandma marian so much. that last time mom took u an' me out west 2 c her, he didn't go w/us. i think his xxcuse @ the time was that he was 2 bizzy w/uni, but really, if he luvved his grandma as much as he is pretending he did, i think he wda gone.

    apes

     
  • At 5:40 PM, Anonymous Michael Patterson said…

    April,

    Formerly little sis. That Amazon fish guy can’t mean me as the idiot spewing “Mush”. I am not an Alaskan sled dog driver. I am your brother, the published author, eh?

    As for going out to visit Gramma Marian, you and Elizabeth need to remember that back in those days Grampa Jim was essentially and completely uncontrolled, and he was not the kind of person you wanted to visit when you were above the age of 18 and male. I loved my Gramma Marian, but not enough to go to strip clubs with Grampa Jim, so he would have someone sober to drive him back home.

    Love,
    Michael Patterson

     
  • At 6:19 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    oh, is that what grandpa jim useta b doing when he sed he was going 2 the 24-hr library? i was so yung, i never guessed they didn't have ne such thing!

    apes

     
  • At 7:08 PM, Anonymous Michael Patterson said…

    April,

    Formerly little sis. Yes, the 24-hour library was a ruse. It was just like the 24-hour fish and bait shop, or the 24-hour educational tour of the Vancouver smelting factory, or the 24-hour spatula store. The only trips I didn’t have to go with Grandpa Jim were his trips to his chosen charity, some non-profit society called the Piggy Palace Good Times Society run by a couple of Vancouver pig farmers. Naturally I preferred my underage visits to Gramma Marian. You can be guaranteed those are the ones about which I will be talking.

    Love,
    Michael Patterson

     
  • At 4:12 AM, Anonymous Michael Patterson said…

    April,

    Formerly little sis. I know I promised you and your Blog fan base I would talk more about Gramma Marian and what a “great” grandmother she was; but I got a last minute input from mom. She handed me 4 pictures and said, “Talk about these instead, Mike.” I said, “Are these pictures I have ever seen before?” Mom just gave me an evil look.

    I showed my daughter the first picture and the script said, “One time, my mom took Elizabeth and me all the way to Vancouver to see Grandpa Jim and Grandma Marian.” My daughter said, “You said Gramma and Grampa before.” I said, “I know. But I have Grandpa and Grandma in this script from mom. Now, look at this picture.” In the picture was mom with the scarf she always seemed to wear around Grandma Marian. She had a suitcase under her left arm and with her right arm, she was pushing a stroller with Elizabeth in it. Mom was doing a pretty good job with that pushing, because when I try to push a stroller with only one hand, the stroller usually goes off to one side. She must not have been going too fast, because there I was hovering in front of her. The word balloon for the picture said, “Michael. I want you to get on the same plane we’re on.” My daughter said, “You could get on a different plane than your mom?” I said, “No. When I tried it, it didn’t work.”

    My daughter stared at me blankly, so I showed her the next picture and read the script, “It was a long trip. I remember, because Elizabeth cried all the way.” In the picture was me wearing my Patterson man sweater/shirt combination with my fingers in my ears, mom holding Elizabeth by her shoulder and her stomach in the next seat, and a grumpy-looking man in the seat next to mom. My daughter said, “Look, Daddy. That guy in the picture next to Gramma Elly doesn’t have any arms.” I said, “No wonder he looks so grumpy.” My daughter said, “I think he’s grumpy ‘cause Auntie Liz was crying. Look what the word balloon says.” And sure enough, the word balloon said, “She must have a problem with her ears!” That’s some pretty good crying, if you hurt not only the ears of the people around you, but your own ears too.

    I showed my daughter the next picture and read the script which said, “Mom was really miserable, which made me kind of happy…” In the picture, I was reading with my eyes closed, and mom held Elizabeth over her shoulder to point her crying noises at the seat behind us. It looked like that trick worked, since there was a little explosion back there. My daughter said, “You were mean when you were little, Daddy.” I said, “Not mean. There are lots of things you can do with a crying baby on a plane; but mom prefers to be miserable and suffer. It’s only when she is miserable and suffering, that mom is truly happy.” My daughter said, “And when she eats.” I said, “And when she eats. That’s right, too. So, if mom is really miserable, she is really happy, which means I should be happy too. Doesn’t that make sense?” My daughter said, “No, Daddy.” I said, “Let’s look at the next picture.”

    The last picture was a picture of me with just a pupil for an eye and no sclera, which is how I looked in those days. I was still reading, only now I had a smile on my face. My mom looked over at me, and my little sister “Blurbp”ed up the green and red thing she had eaten for lunch. I read the script which said, “’Cause next to my baby sister, I was beginning to look like an angel!” My daughter said, “You don’t look like an angel in the picture. You look like the devil.” I said, “Daughter. You have to understand mom to understand why I looked like an angel. Now, what am I doing in the picture?” My daughter said, “Reading a book.” I said, “And how does my mom feel about reading books?” My daughter said, “She talks about reading books to us all the time, but she never does.” I said, “I mean, how does my mom feel about people who read books?” My daughter said, “They are like God.” I said, “And how would an angel look to my mom?” My daughter said, “Like a person using his wings to read a book.” I said, “Exactly.” My daughter said, “You still look like a devil.” I said, “What’s important is I looked like an angel to mom and I still do, even to this very day.”

    More tomorrow, formerly little sis. Perhaps I will speak of Grandma Marian. It all depends on what mom hands me.

    Love,
    Michael Patterson

     

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