Thursday, February 12, 2009


Flashing apparently runs in my family. Back in the mid-80’s, I was a freshman in college, and my grandmother, Edie, decided that I needed new bras, and made it her mission to get me some. Yeah, every 18 year old wants to go bra shopping with her (quite persnickety, actually) grandma, doesn’t she? So we head over to Mervyn’s, because that’s where she buys HER bras, and she had decided that I needed the exact same style. We look around the lingerie department and Edie can’t find what she’s looking for, and goes looking for a sales clerk. When she found one, she proceeded to give the poor girl the brand and style name. The poor clerk had no clue what Edie was talking about. So Edie started mind you, not in the actual merchandise area where we might have been at least a little less noticeable, Edie looked at the clerk and said in an exasperated voice “They look like THIS” as she raised her shirt to show the entire store her bra! Never had I ever been quite that embarrassed in all of my 18 years! The now probably traumatized for life by the sight of my 74 year old grandmother’s bra, gave me a funny look. I just shook my head and walked away. When we got home with my newly purchased granny bras, I told my mother I was NEVER going shopping with Edie again! I suspect that I probably did, but she was never allowed to be anywhere near the lingerie department when I was with her! Then there was Thanksgiving. I couldn’t tell you what year it was, other than it was sometime between 1988 & 1991. We were all at my sister’s house. My brother & sister-in-law, Mom, Edie, and my 2 oldest nephews. It was a very small house. I can’t say for sure where my brother & brother-in-law were, or whether they were actually witnesses to the flash or not. I was sitting on the couch, next to Mom, and my sister-in-law was on the other side of her. Edie was sitting in an armchair across the small living room from us. The nephews were on the floor watching tv. Edie started scratching along the bottom of her bustline. She scratched for a minute or two. Still itching, she put her hand under her shirt and scratched some more. When that didn’t ease the itch, she got up from the chair, and came over to the couch, pulled up her shirt, and her bra, and held her boob up as she stood above my mother and said “Honey, is there something under there, it itches terribly?” Mom looked up, and said “No Mother, there’s nothing there.” I’ve no clue how Edie finally stopped the itching, because once we recovered from our shock at having seen what we’d just seen, the 3 of us on the couch dissolved in a fit of giggles. Yeah, Edie was a piece of work, and I wish I’d learned to appreciate her humor before she was gone. My mother was a right, above knee amputee, in 1993. She was also a brittle diabetic. Most of the time, she kept her blood sugar under good control, however it would get out of whack sometimes, usually when she was suffering from some other ailment. For some reason, the hospital, even in ICU, could never manage her diabetes properly. She would have a glucose drip in one arm and an insulin drip in the other. It drove us bonkers, because it probably took her twice as long to heal. At any rate, one afternoon, I went in during visiting hours in ICU, and as I came in the door, she threw the sheet off, and started waving her right leg (yes, the amputated one) back and forth. I tried to cover her back up (as the foot of her bed faced the open door and window out into the command center of the unit), and I asked her what she was doing. She looked at me with this big goofy, drunken grin and said “I’m FLASHIN” Goodness, I had to fight to not laugh at her, but it was just funny to hear my ultra conservative mother, who had not even ever gone on a date after the divorce in 1980, and who had lectured me about not having sex until I was married when I was 19, proudly proclaim that she was flashing! When I asked her about it after she’d gotten home, she asked me if I knew what was going through her head while she was doing it. I told her I had no idea, and she said she was practicing to be a Rockette, and that she was kicking to the song “Let Me Entertain You” from the musical Gypsy. Yeah, Mom was a stitch sometimes!

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