Monday, May 10, 2010

Fencing Challenge...

In deference to Mother's Day, this week's Monday Funday post is an ode to the women in my family--most notably my mother, grandmother, and aunt--and the things we get ourselves into all in the name of competition and winning.

About three years ago--in the late fall--a cousin of mine got married. I point out the late fall bit because I have lived in the sun for far too long to be able to tolerate the frigidity that is Michigan, even in September/October. I am literally a block of ice within moments of stepping foot off the plane. I'm pretty sure my cousin knew about all this when he set his wedding date but just wanted to cause me discomfort. **shakes fist at him**

That week was a constant swirl of motion. There wasn't a moment to spare as the wedding loomed closer, and since it had been so long since either my mother or I was up for a visit, we were pulled in a million different directions at once. One such direction was by my mother's youngest sister. We shall call her Aunt Poison--not because she's toxic, but because one of her fave bands of all time is the epic 80's hair band. Anywho, Aunt Poison's oldest son was co-captain of the Varsity football team, and we just had to see him play (Go Bronocs!)

The four of us, Grandma, Mom, Aunt Poison, and I, all loaded up and made the 45 minute journey up to Vassar where our guys were set to fight the Vultures. Sadly, we lost, but that is not the point of this story. The real action came AFTER the game had ended.

As we were picking up our stuff to go home, Mom and Aunt Poison were discussing how we should get back to our car seeing as how we'd had to park nearly a mile away on a side street. In a moment of sheer brilliance, Mom decided that she and Aunt Poison would cut across the football field, hop the fence that surround the school grounds and get to the car, which they would then drive up to the front entrance so that Grandma would not have to walk all that way.

Not to be outdone, Grandma waited until they'd taken off and then turned to me. "Let's go," she said, an evil gleam in her eye. "We'll go the normal route and still get to the car before those fools. We'll show them."

Off we went, weaving through the crowd, racing for the finish line. And, people wonder where I got my competitive streak from.

We were out the front gates in no time and strolling along the sidewalk when Grandma happened to glance over. "Well, look at those fools!" she exclaimed, slashing a finger through the air. Sure enough, Mom and Aunt Poison hadn't even made it across the field and over to the fence yet. Since we are loving and supportive of our family members' endeavors, Grandma and I ambled over to the chain link fence and waited until the twosome got over to us...and we pointed...and we laughed.

"How'd you get over here so fast?" Mom demanded. "Poison, give me a boost."

My aunt, ever the helpful one (at times to her detriment), bent down, laced her hands together, and boosted my mother up and over the fence. Once over the fence, Mom shot questions at us like missiles. How did we get there so fast? And, why was I making Grandma walk all this way when she doesn't need to be?

While all this is going on, Aunt Poison hefted the blanket she'd been carrying onto the spiky top of the fence. Then, she started climbing up, hitching one leg over the top, and then an arm.

And then, she stopped. More than half of her was still on the opposite side of the fence. Only one leg and two desperately clinging arms were in the clear.

Mom and I were still bickering, and Grandma was chiming in with her two cents worth. None of us were paying any attention to my aunt. That is until Grandma glanced over. "Poison!" she shouted in her most authoritative voice. "Quit messing around, and get down here!"

"I can't," she hollered back. "I'm stuck." At which point, Mom and I burst into loud giggles. "Don't just stand there. Help me!" With Herculean effort, we stifled our giggles and stepped forward, intent upon rescuing her from the evil clutches of the fence.

"Wait!" Grandma shouted. Startled, Mom and I backed away, hands up as if we were surrounded by police. We turned to see her frantically digging in her purse, but before we could come to her aid, she whipped out the small pink camera she'd only just bought. "I have to get a picture!" Which shoved Mom and me back into a fit of loud laughter.

Aunt Poison started complaining again, demanding that someone help her, all the while Grandma snapped picture after picture. When all was said and done, my aunt came away from that ordeal with only a small hole in her coat from where the fence had hooked her...that and a nice collection of embarrassing photos.

Life Lesson Learned: Being able to laugh at yourself is key to enjoying life and saving yourself some major embarrassment...especially when my grandma and her camera are around.

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