"So last night sucked, as it usually does, and all I could think was how much I wish I was home with the imac... then I saw your email and I was like, LUCKY you got to be on the computer while I was out - does that make me a super nerd? is that even normal?
I LOVE being HOME and having controlled FUN."
M & i were married in Vegas in a rather impromptu fashion (NO, I wasn't pregnant!) at the Graceland Chapel. Hey - if you're going to do Vegas, what's the point in trying to class it up?! (I will have you know for the record that Jon Bon Jovi was married here, and the sign outside proves it). Dissapointingly, we were on a tight budget, and couldn't afford to have Elvis himself seal the deal. Instead we had some lady with a seriously outdated hairdo conduct the ceremony. We requested no music, no flowers, no walking down the aisle, no religious references. "Can we just STAND HERE and you say what you have to say?" I asked. (why perpetuate the myth that all little girls grow up fantasizing about their wedding day?).
She seemed to have a problem with the fact that we wanted no music, and kept pushing, saying, "ARE you sure? But are you SURE?" So we opted for what she promised would be "classic standards," played at a very low volume. She pushed play, and the strains of "Unchained Melody" began. Not exactly my first choice (which remember now, was nothing), but it certainly wasn't offensive. She began the ceremony, and frankly, I wasn't hearing a word she was saying. All I kept thinking about was the fact that this was a most surreal situation, and when would it be done so we could go have dinner back at the Venetian?) I guess the Eisley Brothers finished, because when I snapped back to attention, it was to Peabo Bryson and... whoever... crooning "Tonight, I Celebrate My Love For You." SERIOUSLY. How bad is THAT? In that moment, all I could do was smile... then giggle... then laugh... and laugh and laugh and laugh. All the way through the remainder of the proceedings (thank god they didn't last anymore than 15 minutes). M., trying to respect the solemnity of the occasion, squeezed my hands tightly and tried to stare meaningfully into my eyes... but C'MON! Vegas? Graceland Chapel? Bad hair? Peabo Bryson?
Anyhow, when all the vows were said and done (and I swear I don't remember a word), we signed our Marriage Certificate, and sprung for the commemorative $15 "Graceland Chapel: Our Wedding" album, to keep it safe from harm. I have to wonder, though, if the marriage is truly legal, as Ms. Outdated Hairdo botched the date, and had to apply liquid paper to the document, then re-write the appropriate date on the line. Hmmm... something tells me that liquid paper on an official document would NOT hold up in a court of law... I mean, she didn't even put her initials by the corrected date. Yikes.
When we were little, he would stand in front of the tv with his hands on his hips while my brother and I were watching cartoons on Commander Tom, and in a mock-lecturing tone would demand: "Is this educational? What are you learning from this? Tell me one thing you've learned from this today!"
He loved salmon sandwiches for lunch, Nanny's tea biscuits, and cucumber slices in vinegar. He always turned the small kitchen radio on so he could listen to the news while he ate. And when the meal was done, he would say, "Well, if that's lunch - I've had it." If I stopped eating before him, he would invariably proclaim, "You might be full, but I'm "Fuller"!!!" (This joke never seemed to get old). While Nanny did the dishes, I would run the length of the living room to pounce on him in his lazyboy, and he would always playfully beg, "Oh, no, no, no, please don't jump on me, no!" It would make me laugh, because I knew he was really egging me on.
He took me along bowling a few times. We played cards, checkers and Tiddly-Winks together. He shared his Humbugs with me, and everyone knew that his favourite chocolates were Turtles.
He took me to Baskin-Robbins, and when I ordered vanilla, he was incredulous. "Why do you want vanilla? Don't you want to try something else?! They have 31 flavours!" I'm not sure if I told him or not, but I ordered vanilla because it was his favourite, and I wanted to be just like him.
He only got mad at me once. I was teasing my brother when he was sick, laying on the couch trying to rest. Poppy asked me not to, but I stubbornly persisted. He took me firmly by the arm, deposited me in his room with stern words, and shut the door, leaving me there alone. It upset me so much that I had angered him, and I cried. I don't think I ever gave him reason to be angry with me again.
He never passed judgement, or ever wagged his finger at me, telling me how I should be. He was nothing if not warm. And he was unfailingly affectionate.
He lived so long in this this town that everyone knew him, (there is a street named after him, in fact), and people would constantly stop him to say hello when we went on our walks to the post office. Because I was so young at the time, it seemed to me that he was like a celebrity. I felt proud when he introduced me as his grandaughter. When passing the cemetary on these walks, he would ask me the same question: "why do they put fences around the cemetary?" Sometimes I would pretend not to know, and other times I would blurt out the answer before he could: "Because people are dying to get in!"
The last thing I ever said to him (thankfully) was "I love you, Poppy." Even though his Alzheimer's was advanced and he'd seemed distant that afternoon, I wanted him to hear it. I saw something behind his eyes flicker in recognition, and his eyes filled with tears.
When I got the call that he'd passed just a few months later, I got on a plane the very next day with no hesitation, even though it meant postponing that evening's big plans: celebrating my 1st wedding anniversary with my husband.
I have a sweater that belonged to him. And a hat that he often wore. And when I'm playing a joke on someone, or trying to pull one over on them, I try hard to supress my smile so that it doesn't betray my fun... and I hope that others see my eyes sparkle, just like Poppy's did.
So, I "discovered" some new music today. I was working on a listening post header card for MusicWorld yesterday (english & french - yeesh), and a featured title was, she wants revenge. The description read as follows: "evoking the deep bass moodiness of Bauhaus, Joy Division & Depeche Mode, She Wants Revenge walks the fine line between dance & goth with their self-titled debut album & explosive first single, “Tear You Apart.” How could I not be intrigued? The bands they're compared to are among my favourites of all time, and as such, I felt I had no choice but to promptly give it a listen to decide for myself.
Yes, they are eversomuch, absolutely, definitely paying homage to Joy Division. Depeche Mode? Um, yeah, I can see that. Bauhaus? I've picked out a few guitar bits that are reminiscent. Are they walking a fine line between dance & goth? Well, the record companies just love to throw in the word "goth" whenever they get the chance, don't they? (those "Hot Topic" kiddies will be sure to respond to that!)
It's a good little record - I've listened to it several times over already. It's making me want to look up the lyrics because the bits I'm picking out sound rather.... frank. I'm so pleased I happened across it. I have a feeling it will be getting a lot of circulation on the ol' "on stage" in the coming weeks.