I get in the car with Grandma H and pull out my lip balm. (It’s in a tube)
Grandma H asks, “Is that lipstick?”
“No,” I say, “It’s lip balm.”
“You could put on a little lipstick.”
“I don’t like lipstick. It dries my lips out.”
“But you’d be so pretty with a little lipstick,” she insists.
“I’m good with chapstick.”
“But you could put on lipstick.”
“I could also have sex with ten men,” I say.
She giggles. “Well, sex with ten men sounds better than lipstick.”
I burst out laughing.
We are shopping in the mall at Sears in CT. She is drawn to a boucle tan sweater jacket.
“Oh, this is nice,” she says.
I check the price tag. “It’s 120.”
“No pesos,” I say.
She bursts out laughing.
We are in IHOP talking about my eating low carb again.
She says, “You look good, stick to it.”
“I plan to.”
“Maybe you can get a boyfriend?” she asks.
“Yeah, once I lose the weight. I’m just not comfy getting naked in this body.”
With extreme vehemence, she says, “Oh no.” And shakes her head.
“It’s not that bad,” I say.
She realizes how disgusted she sounded and starts to laugh. That silent shoulder shaking, going to pee myself kind of laugh.
I can’t help joining in.
I stop by Grandma H’s house and she’s sitting at the table drinking orange-red colored stuff.
I ask, “Is that tomato juice or sauce?” (This is a valid question with Grandma H)
“It’s something eight,” she says.
“Something eight?” I ask.
My mom jumps in. “V-8.”
“Ah,” I say.
We are at IHOP and I tell her how people keep asking me where my cousin has been. It’s annoying.
Grandma H says, “Tell them he has toemain poisoning.”
“Toemain poisoning. It’s a real thing. Google it,” she tells me.
I look it up. It’s spelled ptomaine poisoning and you get it from canned foods.
So I ask, “Where did you learn about that?”
She shrugs. “TV.”