Thursday, August 23, 2012

102nd AB

AB 102ndThere's a bus stopped at the light when I step outside. The side is plastered with an advertisement for a new TV show, Nashville, starring Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere. I spend the next several minutes crafting a rant on the subject. I mean, seriously, Connie Britton is fabulous, no one is going to convince me differently, but what this poster says is that a wise person gave her a development deal and then handed over the reins to someone who must have said, "I don't care what it's about just make sure we pair her up with a young woman who has long, blonde hair. That's what made Friday Night Lights a success!" No, no it didn't. Friday Night Lights was a success because of Peter Berg. And Kyle Chandler and a room full of awesome writers and the aforementioned Connie Britton. It was a success because it was an intelligent reworking of a proven concept. Twice proven, as a matter of fact! It wasn't because Connie Britton looked great next to Aimee Teegarden!

When I was well and truly lathered I had a moment of pause and wondered if this was really what I wanted to be using my heart and brain for on what would have been Auntie Blanche's 102nd birthday. Probably not.

AB 102nd So I finished my lunch time health walk. Health walks were kind of Auntie Blanche's thing. She walked at least a mile a day for decades. People on the street called her the "little old lady in tennis shoes." Then I bought myself some m&ms, plain ones, because those were kind of her thing, too. She knew they were the sort of simple magic that could turn a kid's day around or give her courage. She always had a big bowl of them at piano parties (don't call 'em recitals, bitches!) and we couldn't touch them until we'd all played our pieces. When I got back to the office I took a couple of pictures of my little package of m&ms because doing what you love was totally Auntie Blanche's thing. I emailed one of them to ChemE, partly to remind her (she doesn't need reminding) that it's Auntie Blanche's birthday, and partly because I know that me and ChemE were Auntie Blanche's thing, too.

The year I turned 26 I went to school in London. I traveled when school was over but planned my return so I could drop my things in Brooklyn, hug my friends, and get myself North in time for Auntie Blanche's birthday party. I gave myself a couple of days cushion. Through a farce of immature attempts to be polite to our hotel's owner my companion and I arrived at the airport almost exactly as the hall to the gate for our flight was closed. In my head I'd been home since the night before. I loved London and I loved traveling but I belonged in Brooklyn and I couldn't wait any longer to get there. I could not seem to take the 3 hour delay and roll with it. Having spent the last 9 months studying drama I put it all to use, worked up some tears, and spun a yarn about missing my grandmother's birthday and she was old and what if this was the last one? WAH!

The airport workers didn't fall for it which was, frankly, perfect. Auntie Blanche wouldn't have put up with that sort of display, either.

M & AB 1969
Still missed: Blanche C. Bailey 1910 - 2008


  1. lovely story about Aunt Blanche! And lately I've been loving M&Ms :-)

  2. love it. what an awesome 102 she would have made, from what you tell of her ...