About "normal..."

It always just tickles the hell out of me to look around and realize...honey, I'm the most normal person you know. I mean...come on, y'all. This says a LOT more about you than it does me...

Skipping over Thanksgiving (which was very boring because my dad had the heat set on, like...FRY...so most of us stood out in the yard for the short time we were there) we had a family birthday last night. We have these family uproars at a Mexican restaurant, owned by a Catholic school parent friend of ours with a heavy hand on the tequila bottle. Sometimes this helps, sometime it hinders...sometimes we live up to the sign on the door. We take lots of pictures, which is sometimes the only way we know just exactly HOW much fun we had. We're normal that way.

Throw into the mix...one cranky old grandfather. He was a cranky young father, and he isn't improving with age. Some days are better than others. Some days...he shouldn't have been invited. The problem is, you never know if it's a do-invite or a don't-invite until he's rude to the waiter and then it's too late.

Let me throw in here, in case the Lord is checking my messages today, that he is 81 years old and has had a series of strokes. While he is mildly physically challenged, with a weakness on his right side, who's to say if he's mentally challenged? He's always been an ass.

The Big Kid and her cousin, The Big Niece, have been food service workers. We are a food service worker's best friends...we tidy and tip and don't do complicated orders and...

...oh, wait. There WAS that time...the grandfather announced that he wanted "that thing we always order," which would be a chimichanga, except that he wanted it made with "three eggs, scrambled. NOT two eggs, three eggs. Scrambled and then put in that thing."

This is where we became best friends for life with all our friends at the Mexican place. God? Thank you for Reigo.

Reigo was taking care of us that night, and when The Cranky Grandfather started in on his creative ordering, Reigo rolled with the punches. It was...there should be a word for funny and embarrassing at the same time...because Reigo was ON. TCG was adament, and not having a good night. Twice, he held up his empty beer bottle and announced loudly, "BEER!" No "please" or "when you get a chance." The third time, The Big Kid literally slapped the bottle out of his hand...while the rest of us slunk under the table.

Slink. Slank. Slunk. Are those really words?

But Reigo never flinched. He questioned TCG, "Not two? What about four?" but TCG held out and eventually dinner was served. I have no idea if what came was what TCG ordered, but I don't remember another uproar so maybe it was okay.

Last night? Not a good night. At one point, TCG jumped up and headed out the door. Of the RESTAURANT. The Enabling Grandmother asked, a few minutes later, "Where's your daddy?" Well, um, not sure. The bathroom? Pulling the wings off small insects? Just as TEG got up from the table, here comes TCG. Turns out...he had seen the nice girl at the cash register dash out the door and had decided that someone had left without paying and she was going after them and...


Did I mention the 81 years? The strokes?

Reigo rolled...have I said we love him? TCG wears hearing aids. I guess he had them in last night, but since he is not particularly interested in anyone else's opinion, it's hard to tell. So everytime he barked, "Bring me a beer." Reigo said, "No." Very politely and calmly. And TCG didn't hear him and the rest of us FELL OVER. I mean, snorted. Reigo kept bringing the beers. The rest of us kept laughing...even the serving kids laughed, instead of getting all bent out of shape and...oh, but then TCG started in on the flash on the camera.

None of the little kids could take pictures, because he said not to.

Once upon a time, when my grandmother was dying and was mean and cranky and sneaky and difficult, TCG said, "I'm going to be the nicest old person."

I wish...I pray...I'd pay COLD HARD CASH to have that in writing. And when the time comes? Will one of you please print this out and make me read it?