Monday, November 29, 2004

The Funniest Thing That Happened to Me Today

Here's the only hazard of having your grandparents as neighbours:

I was sitting here, just minding my own business, innocent as all get-out, nursing my probable blood clot and trying to decide if a 3pm bedtime is completely out of the question, when I hear Nanny's footsteps on the stairs. Knock, knock, knock. "It's just me!" as if I could mistake her for anyone else.

"Are you going out for New Year's?" No hello, no good morning, how are you today? She just gets right to the point and leaves me dumb. Uhh...

Well, that is a good question. Isn't this still November? Jason and I aren't exactly long-term planners. We plan the day on the day of the day. And not much before. We're still figuring out the whole Christmas thing, and we're not even doing very well at that. So to be honest, we have not discussed any new year's plans. In fact, we haven't even admitted that there will be a new year, or that this one will end. But still, do I want to say this? I can't get a good read on Nanny this morning, and usually I like to tailor my answers in order to steer the conversation down comfortable paths. But I don't know where this one is going, so how do I know what kind of answer may potentially get me into a tight spot?

"Well Nanny, I don't know yet." I am half-afraid that she is about to invite me for bridge and beer, and I'm already thinking up excuses why I can't possibly do that for New Year's.
But no, the conversation suddenly veers down a completely different path than the one I am imagining:

"It's because I have this dress that I thought you might like to wear." Oh yeah? You know, just the other day, I was flipping through Cosmo and I noticed that old people stuff was really in style now.

"It's black and has a scoop neck and has sleeves "like this" and is made of that material that's loose and crinkly."

"Oh, that sounds ... nice..." (yeah, it didn't sound convincing to me either, but I did try).

"The dress will probably look really good on you because you have bigger boobs than me (well, I think she said bust, maybe, or bosom). And it has a jacket that goes with it, but you probably won't want to wear that because you're young and you don't have the bags of fat under your arms (my Nanny is a bit weight-obsessed, and I recognize the opportunity to once again assure her that she is not fat, she looks wonderful, blah blah blah)." So she rushes upstairs to retrieve the dress for me.

She shows me the dress, and I immediately think it would better belong in a costume department somewhere, in a box marked "old lady". It's made of this god awful synthetic material, some kind of acrylic-lycra stretchy fabric that should not be known to humankind for any reason. And the jacket? Not a jacket, more like a little short sleeve shirt that ties at the neck with one gold button. Wait, there's more! It's embroidered with corn stalks in gold thread. Sexy. Not exactly the kind of thing I might wear to the Liquor Dome. But she thinks that it might also be good for Christmas dinner or going out for holiday dinners.

And the best part: "You don't have to tell anyone it's mine. I've only worn it to The Moose once or twice, so the family hasn't seen me in it yet." Oh boy! Now will my sister will just think I borrowed it from some other 70 year old lady that I know. The secret is safe!

So I can't exactly say "I wouldn't wear that for anything", therefore I am committed to hanging it in my closet at least until the new year before I return it to her with profuse thanks. But my morbid curiosity is getting the best of me, so of course I have to go try it on. That's just the kind of desperate-for-laughs mood I was in this afternoon.

First of all, she was right: my boobs did look fabulous in the dress. I will be the hottest gal at the Legion! Oh wait, I keep forgetting that I'm not 70 and that Jason and I did not buy tickets for all-you-can-eat roast beef for New Year's at the Legion. So she prepared me on the boob front, even though I think it's a bad sign for the rest of my week that my grandmother and I already discussing my chest, and it's only Monday. What she didn't tell me was that it also accentuates the shoulders by means of sewn-in shoulder pads. Oh yes.

It's horrible. I mean, she said that it would suit my complexion (oh yeah, cause lots of girls can't wear black!) and that everything looks nice on me because I have such a pretty face (huh?). But clearly Nanny woke up on the wrong side of dellusional this morning. What is Nanny thinking? Did she just want an excuse to visit? Did she wake up this morning and think "Maybe if I let Jamie borrow a dress of mine, she'll let me borrow her Doc Martens for that rave Bob and I are going to..."?

I am incredibly tempted to wear the damn thing, at least to Christmas this year. That way, the next time Nanny wears it to the Legion she can say "This old thing? Oh, my granddaughter just borrowed it the other day...". It doesn't really work the other way, but what do I care? There was a time when I thought crocheted vests and stirrup pants were the height of fashion so maybe I'm not that credible a source myself. But I'm not trying to get Nanny to wear my shirt that says 'Pete's weiners, 50 cents each'. And besides, I already have the perfect shoes to go with the outfit; Nanny gave me a pair this summer, and shock of all shocks, I haven't really had the opportunity to wear them yet. Now I have to wonder: is she nuts, or am I?


Anon said...

Oh my gosh Jamie... oh. my. gosh!!!!
I am laughing and giggling over here at my desk. That was truly a priceless moment you shared with your Nanny. My mother in law had a grotesque dress that she let me "borrow" once. Thinking it would be all retro, I agreed... and well, you know the horror. :) Thanks for stopping by my site! Yours is great!

gg said...

After all that you do realize you have to post a pic. Too funny!

Jay said...

You know, I was thinking that myself. It will be just like when I was a little girl and I used to dress up in the magenta ensemble that my Nanny donated to our tickle trunk (a dress-up box, for those not familiar with Mr. Dressup). She actually wore that monstrosity to my uncle's wedding, so I guess I should have been able to predict the future based on that!

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