Just yesterday my mom turned 80 and even though Jeremy and Coco did not come to her party (made you look), there were two dudes who bore a close resemblance to each. My brother Derek called my niece’s boyfriend Jeremy pretty much all evening. To his face. Yes, he is a tall, athletic Asian guy and he does look a whole lot like him. I wonder if he can dunk. One of my nephews has hair so large it fans out, Coco style. He actually looks more Tim Lincecum, face-wise, but the hair ruled and moved him across the Bay. It’s been an arduous road for my brother with the three sons; let’s just say their route to the ball has occasionally been questionable (as the Son says about certain right-fielders). So it was actually joyful (not an overused word among our people) watching them all together, upright, 70% employed, chatting with my kids. Then bald Keith started wearing Tim/Coco’s 59/Fifty hat sideways (gangsta style) and we got distracted. All that star power and we still had to collect money.
Here’s a photo, apparently circa 1883. Please note the clarity of the water pipe in the upper right corner.
Moms had a swell time, though, and we were lucky enough to have a toddler in the crowd, flashin’ his toothless gums and Elmo pajamas. Vallejo cousins came down, happy to reminisce about all those weekends they cleaned my brothers’ clocks in pick-up basketball, then trapped them in the rollaway beds. “Meet the Press,” they used to call it, while they spun the bed around and took turns slapping their heads. Now they all play golf together and swing out of their shoes. At some point Keith whipped out the directions to the restaurant from his pocket; he’d written them down on the back of a torn Catholic Charities envelope. I asked him if he’d ever heard of a thing called the internet, or even a GPS. “Nah, this is old school. My GPS is pissed off at me anyway.” And my mom? She wore a sweater dress and heels and was pleased with the veteran waiters’ attention. “My mom is turning 81 this week,” the veteran waiter told me, “and she doesn’t look like that.”
Earlier that day, my biological father had called. I didn’t pick up because I wasn’t in the mood for shouting into the phone while he adjusted his hearing aids, but it turns out he just wanted to know when the kids were playing ball so he could drive down and visit…from Oregon. I told my mom about this plan. “Ask him if you still get that $10,000 from his Navy policy,” she said.
I am 2/3 of the way through Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, by Jenny Lawson and I have some advice:
1) Don’t read it in public. You will laugh so hard your face will break into that wretched hysterical face where you just can’t stop it even though you’re sure you look completely insane and are maybe crying, and everyone will stare. I have firsthand experience with this.
2) 100 pages into the book I’d already lost count of the dead animals. This is a good thing. You’ll have to trust me, even though there are plenty of gross parts. Keep in mind it begins in west Texas; this fact will help. Unless, of course, you are from west Texas.
She’s an impressive writer, complex, manic, brave and brutal. And completely hilarious. Cross your legs and check it out.