My grandmother, age 80, matronly round figure, stout practical shoes, mother of 7 grandfathers, behaved absolutely like an adolescent after each of her husbands died. For each of the 4, the preened, primped and giggled as she told "the story". What on earth have you been eating or sniffing or whatever? I wondered. After each marriage, she went back to the respectable staid though jolly woman I knew.
It took some time to realize that though time, cares, and responsibility suppress our innate joyful silliness, it exists in the best behaved of us, waiting for the right circumstances to pop out. I suppose it is a good thing my children weren't with Briz and I as we took a weekend trip to the Shakespearean Festival with friends Amy and husband.
We talked and laughed the entire drive, so 3 hours felt like 15 minutes. Each couple snuggled and snoozled like new dates as we watched the green show.
We behaved abominably, and couldn't hold our giggles as Benedick in Much Ado about Nothing spit mercilessly over us and many rows back. We wondered why they don't offer saliva shields to the first several rows. In addition, why pay more for these rows when they ought to go for much, much less. At night, we consumed over $60 in treats as we stayed up early hours of the morning, laughing, crying, telling secrets and solving the world's problems. As consequence, we all slept in till blessedly late in the day...
Briz's sister and hubby walked in on us unexpectedly, towards noon, and caught Briz with Amy... in PJ's without her bra... could not find me (I was in the bedroom), and put their minds in a very interesting place. They didn't know whether to call me or keep it a secret. We laughed till we were sick.
Briz brought his arsenal for target practice. I pretended I was super tough and shot the rounds as fast as I could. I'm actually pretty good as witnessed by the pop bottle that kept leaping satisfactorily in the air. Joe liked the ear protection so much he asked for and received a pair for his birthday to drown out the noise in the house from the kids.
Being open to the moment, we accepted an invitation from a complete stranger and his granddaughter to find some petroglyphs. Do you pronounce that tempypoop? What kind of pictures get a name like that?
Did you know that if you are really immature you can think of all sorts of interesting things the petroglyphs might mean. Forget religious overtones, messages from tribe to tribe. . .
At lunch, between Pride and Prejudice and an Alfred Hitchcok play, we laughed at lunch. Some of the actors from Pride and Prejudice sat across the partition from us. I dared Amy to play the goofy fan. She accepted. We made a sign for our favorite, Mr. Collins that said, "We think Mr. Collins is mmmmmmm Marvelous, copying his stutter from the play. She pasted it with a wide mouthed leer from herself on the glass between
Briz excused himself from our immaturity and went to visit the men's room. Mr. Collins laughed, Jane laughed, Amy and I rolled as I gave him a thumbs up. I think one of us wet ourselves a bit. Imagine our chagrin as we were seated on the front row for the Alfred Hitchcock, as the curtains rose and the star, aka Mr. Collins, was looking down at us with a smirk, enjoying his two middle aged fans... both married and one pregnant.
I think we shed 24 years on that trip, but somehow they found us again as we arrived home to hectic schedules, discipline problems, messes, and stuff. I long to feel that mental freedom again, that joyful abandon, that silliness. Yet I am glad to know that it still exists hidden somewhere. I hope that younger version of me finds a way out again someday soon. She is easier for me to live with.
Between us do we really have 38 years of marriage and 9 children? No. Impossible for these silly four. I think I get my grandma.