14 January 2011

0 on the mend

we bring our mending to my gran. the whole family. as in, my aunt and uncle and their kids come pulling up to the farm for christmas and they hand over the pile of mending before accepting the offered grandparental hugs.

though i have, in fact, long since mastered the art of replacing a button, this is something i have continued to do. because my grandparents worry a lot. watching fox news and WGN will do that to you.

every conversation we've had for the last five years has ended with the line: we love you and don't go out after dark!

needless to say, i do. often. and alone.

bringing my mending to my grandmother has been my way of giving her some small assurance. i may go out after dark but at least she can rest assured knowing my coats have buttons.

alas, this has apparently been anything but reassuring. continuing my tradition of sparking unfounded family fears, it has created the illusion that i am an intolerable failure at the feminine arts.

and so, when i hand over my coats at christmas this year, my grandmother responds as she never has before. she shakes her head in disapproval and says, you girls can't even sew a button. you know, boys have been talking to me and, i'll tell you what, they don't like it. they don't like it one bit.

i am very much my father, going for the retort over the kind thing, when without even thinking i snap back, incredulous, what BOYS have been talking to YOU?

as soon as i hear my cousin's laugh, i realize how insolent this sounds. and i realize it's something i shouldn't have said.

yet, last night, as i sat in my own living room sewing my own button onto my own coat with my own needle and thread, and thinking about what she said, my response was pretty much the same. what boys are saying this? and how dare they talk shit to my grandmother.

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