So the last few months have been rather dreadful. My grandmother died suddenly at the end of January. I've been feeling the full force of grief, which is unusual for me. As I've mentioned in earlier posts, I'm a feelings stuffer. However, I've been doing less of that in the last few months. I've cried nearly every day and can't stop thinking about her and my grandfather, who now are both gone and in the ground. I've been dreading this for years. They were both such great people and the gold standard for grandparents. They always, always made me feel loved and appreciated and seemed to genuinely enjoy spending time with me. What a gift that has been for me.
But, unfortunately, it hasn't been only about my grandmother.
On top of the grief from losing this extraordinary person, my father decided that the day she was buried was a good time to try and talk to me about his wife. He was openly hostile and angry with me. I've managed to avoid this woman for nine years, which has only recently become a problem. I gather that she gave him an ultimatum: you're not to have anything to do with her until she accepts me. This explains why he only calls me when he's away from home, usually driving.
He had failed to show up at the funeral home, or the funeral. This was a shock to all of us. The first thing he said to my mom when he found out that she was divorcing him was, "Can I still go to your mother's funeral?" He always liked my grandmother and she liked him. After my father moved out into his own place, while waiting for his mistress to divorce her own husband, my grandmother---his mother-in-law!---cooked him dinners that he would pick up on his way home. She knew he wasn't eating.
So him not showing up to pay his respects was salt in an old wound.
But enough about that. Or him. On a brighter note, because that's what I'm hanging onto these days, before we made the trip to West Virginia for the funeral, I went to Talbot's to buy Kari and myself some appropriate funeral clothing.
Here's the thing: we both have church lady suits in various sizes, but our respective weights fluctuate so much, that at any given time, the suit that actually fits might be several years out-of-date. And it's important to both my mother and me that we represent the family in a presentable way and not look like a bunch of hayseeds when we're going to see people we haven't seen in years. Funerals are strangely social events, at least they are where I come from.
Kari sent a note with instructions for me regarding what she wanted. It reads:
pants, not skirts
jacket--long is better to cover hips
tasteful, tailored, not funky
v-neck, not rounded
collars, not collarless
hot color blouses okay--hot pink, etc. No red. Maroon, purple--ok.
NO puffy sleeves (I will kill you.)
Stiff material, nothing that will show the shape of my fat ass
Somehow, the sales clerk got the idea that I was buying a suit for my aunt. I'm not sure how she got that idea, but I didn't disabuse her of the notion.
I also did not buy anything with puffy sleeves.