Monday, March 27, 2006

The Gene Simmons of the Hilton Village Presbyterian Church has Officially Retired

After looking back at the past week's posts, I'm noticing a somewhat seedy trend. Between the semi-erotic swordplay, the eyeball in the anus, and the thug in tha club, you could be forgiven for thinking I was some kind of creep.

Everyone knows that the wrongest thing in the world is also the funniest, and who doesn't love Pink Flamingoes? As John Waters himself maintains, best thing about bad taste is its juxtaposition with good taste and family values.

So in order to restore the balance a bit, here's some good old-fashioned Southern family photos, taken when I went home for a visit this weekend.

If I am a creep, I am a schizophrenic one, with a loving family...

Here's my dad, flipping pancakes under Sandy the dog's close supervision:

Fred, Sandy, Pancakes
Originally uploaded by chinese_fashion.

It was my mother's 60th birthday this Sunday, which was totally eclipsed by my grandmother's retirement ceremony from her church. She has provided floral arrangements to her church for nearly 30 years, and is retiring from service at 92 years of age. She talks about her flower arrangements in much the same way that Gene Simmons discusses his musical career. As a good friend once said
"she's got the healthiest self-esteem I've ever seen in all my life."

Here's a photo of her in action last Easter:

daroarranging2
Originally uploaded by chinese_fashion.

Daro does not have a drivers' license, and has never been behind the wheel of a car. For thirty years my grandpa has dutifully and lovingly carried my grandma to the floral store, the church, and various people's yards in a tireless, loving dedication to her craft. He's hauled thousands of pounds of flowers, oasis, wire, and god knows what else in and out of that church, all so she can shine and crow each Sunday. That's real love, if you ask me.

Both of my grandparents are standing here in front of what, if you ask me, is a really sharp-looking floral arrangement. I asked my grandmother if she did it herself, and she said,
"Oh heavens no, honey, I wouldn't do a tired old thing like that. They outsourced the flowers to Harris Teeter's!"


Daro and Pop-Pop

Here's the whole family, in front of my grandmothers' ceremonial factory-made sheet cake:

Whole Entire Family

I'm sure Daro will come springing out of retirement as early as Easter, much like the Kiss "farewell tour" that never quite ends. God, I hope so. I know she needs to retire and give herself a break. But if she keeps doing flowers at the church, and my grandpa keeps driving her around town to get supplies, then that means that they are in a Twilight-Zone feedback loop where they have more birthdays but never actually get old and die. And I think I can speak for my whole family when I say that we really, really need that to be true.

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