So what does one do with 4 days off in August?
Go to the desert, of course.
My grandparents just sold their house, which is great because they have been trying to for over a year now. The problem? They have 3500 square feet worth of stuff that they now need to get into about 1500 square feet. (They don’t have a place yet, so please pray for them!) Therefore, I was assigned by my mom and aunts to help them get rid of stuff. Obviously, my mom and aunts don’t know me very well, otherwise they would know that I am a bit of a hoarder and would be of little help. But I tried.
I figured out who I get my penchant for shopping from. Grandma has enough clothes to open up a boutique, not that anyone would actually buy anything. The best pieces had to be 3 nylon tracksuits, in pastel pink, teal and blue, with tapered pants and, the best part, SHOULDER PADS. I wasn’t really old enough to know, but apparently, in the ‘80’s, people who weren’t linebackers would workout with shoulder pads.
Grandma tried to tell me that these were the fashions and I shouldn’t judge her. I assured her that I understood what the styles were, but why the hell had she kept them for so long?! She couldn’t give me an answer. Nor could she answer what year she had bought them in or when the last time she wore one of them was. She tried to blame her memory loss on old age, but I think it was from shame.
Once I was done with Grandma, I tried to work on Grandpa and his books. I now know who I get my book obsession from. He was worse than Grandma, though, because he just ignored me and told me to come help pull boxes down in the garage. In 110 degree heat. It was the most fun you could have without actually having any.
When I went back into the den to try to get rid of (read: steal) some of Grandpa’s books, Grandma was looking through photo albums. There were some on a high shelf, so of course I was given the task of pulling them down so she could go through them. Fyi, photo albums are HEAVY. However, once they were down, we started looking through them and it brought back a lot of memories. There were pictures from every embarrassing stage of my life, along with every embarrassing stage of my cousin’s, aunt’s and uncle’s lives. (To all my family members: you're welcome. I thought about scanning every horrible photo and putting it on Facebook, but I decided against it.) It was so much fun!
Then, I struck gold.
I was looking through an album from one of the many trips my grandparents took and I found a picture of Grandma in a row boat with a few other ladies, WEARING ONE OF THE TRACKSUITS. I looked at the outside of the album where Grandma had written the date.
“Hey Grandma, do you recognize this outfit?,” I said, pulling out the photo so she could take a closer look.
She knew where I was going with this but she played along. “Yes, isn’t that one of the suits we gave away yesterday?” Yes, she called them “suits.” Not “tracksuit” or “jogging suit,” but suit.
“Yes. Guess what year this picture is from?”
“I don’t know.” She looked a little nervous now.
“1989. Grandma, those tracksuits are old enough to go to a bar and order you a Perfect Manhattan.”
She then told me she thought Grandpa needed some more help in the garage and politely got rid of me.
I tried to steal the picture to scan, but for an 80-year-old, my grandma is pretty quick!