Displaced Stay At Home Californian in rural N. Carolina

The Many Faces of Joy

The Many Faces of Joy

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Grandma's Panties

Everyone has a great story that involves their grandparents. It might be a story about a fishing trip or a family vacation or a favorite meal they liked to prepare, whatever the case, grandparents are interesting and funny, quirky and outrageous. The other day I was in the kitchen, (where I prefer to be at all times) telling my husband stories about my grandmother and the kitchen (which was where I remember her preferring to be at all times). Just so we are clear, these were stories about my Mother's Mother, a large and sturdy woman from Missouri who could make cornbread sing in my stomach and who taught me things about molasses and introduced us horehound candy. Later in life she lost a ton of weight and became wizened and tiny but never lost her full bodied spirit.

So my daughter piped up with "Mommy, remember the story about Grandma and the veggie meat in her panties?" and we all started giggling. The story goes like this:

My sister is in prison. She has two children and my parents (Grandma and Grandpa) bring these children to her two or three times a year to visit. Once a year the prison allows an organization to come in and host an event for the women incarcerated and their kids. They usually have a bounce house, food, bbq, soda pop, face painting and other stuff. I'm gonna take my sister's word for this because I've never been to one of these events. Anyway, Grandma has been to several of these events and while they have great food that the inmates enjoy because they never get these food items in their cafeteria and great food for my neice and nephew because my folks are vegan, Grandma always suffers because they never have anything she can eat.

Remember, this is prison. My sister has achieved a very credible status in prison, if that is possible. She has all the perks that go along with it. She has the best behavior, she has not had infractions, she follows the rules, she has a great job and she is trusted by her fellow inmates as well as the staff and guards. She is however, in prison, so while her level of greatness is great, it only gets her so far. But for where she is, she is somebody important and trusted and that means a lot to her. On the flip side of greatness, if you are caught with contraband items or drugs you can spend time in solitary confinement, you can lose your job, your status which allows you certain freedoms, you get the picture.

So they are sitting at this family event and my sister notices that my mother is eating a slice of veggie meat. My sister says, "Where did you get that???" knowing full well that there is no veggie meat in prison and Grandma pulls the waistband of her pants out and shows my sister a little plastic baggie of veggie meat. My sister at this point, starts losing blood from her face as she realizes that while it is only veggie meat, she could get in a ton of trouble if caught with her mother who has smuggled anything at all, including veggie meat into her prison. She says, "Mom, put that away, you can get me into a lot of trouble" to which Grandma calmly says, "oh phooey, it is only veggie meat, plus, there is nothing here for me to eat" after which she fished out another slice and gobbled it up. She finished up all of the slices she had brought and then calmly pulled the baggie out of her underwear and then threw it away.

I don't think anyone saw her fishing veggie meat out of her panties, neither the guards or inmates, and if they did, I'd like to think they turned a blind eye to her. But the story makes me giggle every time I tell it and I can't wait until someday when they start telling stories about me.

Happy 5th anniversary Angela!

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