Sunday, April 25, 2010

Earrings and Grandma Ruby

Can you spy what is different about our girls now?  Hint:  Look to the lower left of the pic...  We got the girls ears pierced!  Since I can remember, I've always liked earrings on babies.  Had the idea on the back burner if ever I had a little girl that I was going to do it.  Since the girls popped out, I've been waiting to get the "ok" from our doc and from our Papa Cesar.   The girls had the last of their shots earlier this month so the doc had no objections and Papa Cesar... well, he didn't mind at all.  I'm not sure he really cared either way.  Not like sooommmmmme Daddy's (Popeye) I know.

When I was of an elementary age, I really, really wanted my ears pierced.  On this girly issue my Dad put his foot down and said, "No way, Jose."  As in, "I won't let you back in the house" type no way.  My Dad really is a super great dad.  I loved him and still do.  Dad joked and played with us so much that when he said "No." I knew it was serious to him and I listened. 

Then came the summer that I turned 12.  My Grandmother Ruby's second husband George died, his funeral was on my birthday.  Ruby was real lonely so an airline ticket was purchased for me and off I flew to Phoenix.  I was in heaven with my Grandma all to myself.  I was introduced to all of Ruby's friends grandchildren, my very own playdates or they could have been referred to as hopeful love matches between friendly grandmothers.  I remember hanging out in a backyard pool with a girl my age and her older brother one afternoon.  I spent most of the time with the older brother who showed me his fish tank and told me all about the Lionel Richie concert he had just seen.  I thought he was awesome.  For a very long time, I thought he was awesome and that I might possibly be in love.

Living with my Grandmother that summer we shopped a lot.  She bought me my first Esprit outfit and lots of Tiger Beat magazines.  We saw Ghostbusters and Rhinestone at the movies.  I learned to play Skip-Bo and the dice game Ship, Captain, Crew, which we played for dimes I might add.  My very own dice and cup were sent home with me!  I rode around the neighborhood on Ruby's giant tricycle, trying to not tip since my body wanted to balance the thing.  We visited the Legion for late afternoon drinks and the occasional supper.  I watched my grandmother cut and perm her friends hair in her kitchen.  I suffered for the next two years the results of my own perm given to me by Grandma Ruby in that same kitchen.  This story and the photos are for another day.

We watched The Price is Right, The Young and The Restless and the 1984 Summer Olympics nearly every day.  This is where my story really begins.  You see, Grandma Ruby was my father's mother and he had sent me to spend the summer with her.  While watching the Olympics at my Grandmother's feet one day, she played with my hair as I leaned against her legs.  Ruby lifted my hair and noticed that I did not have my ears pierced.  

"Ali, why don't you have your ears pierced?"  

Ruby was all about girly glamour and she had a wonderful Tennessee twang to her speech.  Her hair was dyed champagne blonde and she always, always wore her foundation, eyeliner, rouge and lipstick, and Youthdew perfume from Estee Lauder.  I was the receiver of many of the Lauder free gifts.  Ruby was also famous for her pant suits in white, off white, cream or beige worn with colorful blouses, bead necklaces and heels.  Her high heels were always strapy or rhinestony or just generally flashy and backless.  My Grandma's pocketbook was generally medium sized.  Almost always light in color with lots of pockets inside.  It smelled of Juicy Fruit gum when you opened it up.  I miss that.

"Dad won't let me." I replied.

"That's a silly reason.  Would you like your ears pierced?" she asked.

I uttered the simple word "yes" and before I knew it, Ruby was on the phone with her beauty parlor and out the door we went.  The time between the moment of being rushed out the door to my ears being punched with brand new gold studs, has disappeared from my memory.  I do remember walking out of the beauty parlor with a big smile on my face as I gingerly touch my ear lobes.  I also remember sitting in the car, beginning to cry.  This surprised my Grandmother.  When she asked if my ears hurt I blurted out that Dad wouldn't let me come home now and cried even harder.  

Ruby drove us home and promptly phoned up my Father.  She told him that she had my ears pierced and that he had better not give me a hard time about it.  I distinctly remember her saying, "Wayne, don't think you're too big for me to come up there and spank your bottom!"  That made me smile imagining my girly Grandmother spanking my adult Father!  I forgot all about being scared and walked down the hall to clean my new gold studs and admire myself in the mirror.

When I returned home to my family the tradition of getting your ears pierced at the age of 12 was born.  And no one was allowed to spend the summer alone with Grandma Ruby for a very long, long time. 



Millie Price said...

i had a big grin on my face while i read this post. i may have to copy and paste it onto my own blog for posterity sake! thanks for paving the way and for the nice tribute to gma ruby!!!

Murdoch said...

A great post to remember your grandma by - I remember you telling me stories about her - she seems like a really fun woman!

Maggie May said...

I loved reading this post!!! It brought back much needed good memories of Ruby--thanks!!!! And I hadn't heard this story before--so it was cool for that too. I think Mom let me get mine pierced at 11, but I would need to look at pics to verify. Definitely not any earlier! I remember Dad about that issue... :)