Tara pulled the short straw at Sunday dinner for the third straight week. Family dinner is at 4:30 sharp every Sunday, at the end of the meal it is decided who has Grandma duty the following Sunday. Normally it rotates, but sometimes schedules don’t allow the rotation to work properly and one person winds up baring the brunt for a while. Tara enjoyed spending time with her Grandmother, but it was tiring. “Grans” was approaching 83 and had decided that normal social graces and properness no longer applied to her.
Tara had become an old pro at Grandma duty. She set out her outfit Saturday afternoon. Carefully choosing a church appropriate spring dress – knee length, light orange, with a hint of a pattern from a distance. She then set her alarm for 8am the following morning, and was free from Grandma related tasks. She went for a run and met some friends for a drink. Sunday, Tara woke up after hitting snooze a half dozen times and regretting having that extra drink the night before. She primped until she looked just done enough to avoid Grans discerning eye, and picked Grans up at 9:15 on the dot. Tara was greeted with a curt “Flip flops for Church. What is the world coming too?” Tara smiled politely and helped Grandma into the car.
Grandma made it through mass with limited interruptions. The homily was too short, the kids texting through mass were rude, and the mass as a whole was rushed. For Grandma, this was a short list of complaints. The two went grocery shopping where the prices were too high and the store too large. It was a typical Sunday with Grandma. As 4 o’clock approached, Tara decided they could arrive at dinner a few minutes early. Getting Grandma in and out of a store in under 30 minutes was a chore, and it was nice day. Tara parked the car, and she and Grans took a seat on the bench outside the restaurant.
Grans decided she wanted a cigarette, at 83 she could do anything she wanted. She pulled a cigarette out of her purse and puffed away. Grans quietly enjoyed her cigarette while observing the scenery; Tara was happy for a few moments of smokey silence. Tara then noticed a woman exiting the restaurant wearing the same church appropriate light orange spring dress as her. The two woman exchanged pleasant “nice dress” smiles. At that moment, Grans took a long drag of her cigarette, and noticed the same woman Tara had. Grans exhaled dramatically, toss her cigarette hand to the side, and pointed towards Tara’s dress twin with the other. Chimming in loud enough for all to hear, “Isn’t that a lovely dress for a FAT lady.” Mortified Tara quickly put out Grans’ cigarette, and moved from the outdoor bench into the restaurant waiting area.