Lipstick in the Shade of Confidence and Love

November 15, 2007
By
She hobbles forward to our front door. Her polished swollen fingers are holding two trash bags full of presents. There are four other trash bags in her little white car and presents are falling out. “Merry Christmas!” she yells when I open the door.

“Merry Christmas Grandma Di,” I replied as my dad and uncle rush out the door to catch some of the presents that have already escaped the car. As she comes in exasperated, she greets all she can with smiles and Merry Christmas’s. The presents are thrown in the middle of our living room. She’s determined to get all the presents in the house even if she is the least qualified to move.

Some time during the course of the day is the Relative’s Presents Hour. Everyone gathers in the living room to open or watch people open presents. Grandma Di takes a seat on the large couch situated in the middle of the room against the wall. All the piles of presents are in a sort of semicircle with the couch being the straight line. She watches each person intently open his or her gifts. Even if two people are opening their presents at the same time she finds a way to see both. Grandma Di feeds off the happiness of the gifts. If she was the one that provided the happiness it’s a special bonus.
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The lunch date is started with her lipstick fully applied. Once the orders are in and we’ve received beverages she’ll take a tissue, kiss it, then take her first sip. She’ll do all this out of old habit and class. She can fully hear what I am saying and prepare herself, like a proper lady, to eat. She’ll sip on her drink leaving her kiss on the glass like a faded memory and listening to what I have to say. “How’s school? Are you still enjoying soccer? Is there a special boy?” she’ll ask me, honestly wanting to hear the answers. Commenting when she feels the need, but mainly leaving me the floor. The food comes along with a few more kisses left behind. The lunch is consumed so her lipstick needs to be reapplied. Her proper somewhat elegant fingers twist open the gold tube of luscious red lipstick. Her hands know the way from tedious practice but her other hand holds a mirror for quick assurance. She is now ready to face the world, with her lipstick on.





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