Thursday, January 8, 2009

small town

exciting day! comparatively, of course. probably not an exciting day for say... someone in a war zone. or the obama family. or someone giving birth. or someone getting married (wait. who gets married on a thursday??). still, exciting for me. (apologies in advance, rcs, this is gonna be long.) go go go.

today was the day of grandma. i woke up late and had to rush to get ready. i was driving down the normal city street and tried to change lanes so that i could make a left turn and realized that i had absolutely no control of the car. the road was about 3 inches thick of nice, slick ice. i was turning my wheel to the left, but the car kept going straight. good thing i'm an experienced ice-driver. i did not panic, pumped the breaks and turned into the curve. or wait. is it considered turning away from the curve? if the car curves to the right, i turned to the left. into or away from - i turned the right way. i gained control of the car and thought, "love it! absolutely love it!" it was like the time when i was in high school and took a wide left turn onto a curvy ice-topped road and promptly did a 360. the whole time, i was turned in the direct opposite way of our turn which prevented me from continuing to turn and go off into the ditch. score. and i just realized that now that i have made a big deal about driving on the ice, i will probably get hurt doing just that.

anyway, after stopping at the pharmacy drive-thru, i picked my grandma up for her hair appointment. she was in good spirits. we were in the lobby of her building (she lives in an assisted living complex) and the woman at the front desk said, "Cece, where is your cane?" my grandma laughed, "oops! i dont have it." she told me about 10 times on the way to get her hair done how she had told the woman at the front desk that she has needed a cane for 27 years, after having her first hip surgery at the age of 50. her doctor told her at the time that she would need her cane every day for the rest of her life. now the woman at the front desk knew it, and that was the only thing on grandma's mind. her first hip lasted her 15 years and the second one has lasted 20. i didn't point out that this would make her 85 instead of the actual 77 that she is. we finally pulled up to the stylist's and i suddenly felt like a mother. i took her hand to help her on the ice since she, despite what her doctors have told her, did not have her cane. i walked her in and dropped her off like i was taking my daughter to her first day of kindergarten. "what time should i be back?" i asked the stylist. "i like to have her a few hours," she replied. literally, that was her reply.

keep in mind fargo is not big. taking more than 15 minutes to get anywhere is annoying, and since fargo is growing, it now often takes more than 15 min to get places. it's about 15 miles from north to south. my family lives on the north side and my grandmother lives almost out of town on the south side. after driving all the way across town to get her, then across the short way (east to west), i dropped her off in the western part of town at the salon. then i headed back north to my house to get my cell phone charger. while briefly at home, i checked online where the nearest post office was to the stylist - i had to mail a package to my friend in london. it was in the grocery store that was in the same building as cvs, another place i had to go, a few blocks from the salon. i drive across town again to cvs and gleefully spent my $12 in extra care bucks. zaz! i then went into the grocery store called sunmart. sunmart is kind of the ghetto grocery store in fargo, if you can imagine anything being ghetto in fargo. after realizing that there is not actually a real post office, just a check-out lane that mails things for you, the cross-eyed woman manning the checkout line informed me that they actually don't process international packages. she could do international envelopes, but not boxes. wtf?? i've been deceived! BACK across town i zip to the real post office (which is actually quite near my house, so i could've just gone there in the first place!). blah blah blah...

i end up back at the stylist a half hour early. no prob, i sit and play games on my ipod and call people (annoying those of you who didnt pick up!). apparently my grandma's stylist, marianne, couldn't handle the water hose and drenched my grandma's shirt. while her top was in the tumble dryer and my grandma was sitting under the hair dryer, marianne came and sat next to me. "so, you're going to russia?" she asks. i smile and secretly sigh. the "no-idea-what-i'm-doing-how-do-i-make-not-doing-anything-sound-good?" talk. "no, actually, it's africa," i replied (long story, will explain later). we chat for a bit then she goes to finish grandma's hair. don't worry, there really is a point to this.

we then go back a few blocks to another grocery store, this time not the ghetto one but to hornbacher's, where we get groceries for grandma. it was kind of funny. i caught her putting candy in her cart a few times when she thought i wasn't looking. it's not my job to tell her what to eat, so i didn't say anything, but she looked guilty every time i saw her quickly drop something into her cart. when we were standing in line, she suddenly became very quiet. as we were leaving she explained why, "don't look now, but the man behind us in line WINKED at ME." this absolutely 100% made her day, although she would not admit it. "it must be my new hair!" her hair did look good. this was our conversation all the way back to her apartment. "grandma, you should've blown him a kiss!" "i'm sure he has a wife at home and he wants to step out on her with me!" "grandma, you could've told him to turn around and pinched his butt!" "i hope he doesn't think i'm going to marry him!" after unloading her groceries, i hung out with her a bit at her place talking about my potential next step-grandfather ("make sure he's rich and doesn't have any children") then left to head home for dinner.

called my dad on the way and asked if i should get something for dinner. he suggested i get chinese, which just happened to be in the same building as a comic store - my first time in a real comic book store! i went in and bought two issues of the CHUCK comics (based on the tv show - zaz!). back to the point, in case you can't imagine, there are not a lot of chinese restaurants in fargo. the one my dad wanted me to go to is owned by the mother of a girl i went to high school with. get this: they don't accept credit cards, but do accept in-town checks. since i don't have "in-town" checks i had to do the "i'm tom erdmann's daughter" and "i went to school with your daughter" speeches for her to accept my boston-addressed check and california-addressed license. this is the benefit of a small community.

my father and i are munching on chicken and broccoli when i hear from the other room the news. a name of a girl with whom i went to high school (not the chinese resto daughter). i jump up and run into the living room. this girl, i won't post her name her so as not to get hit with any searches of her name, but click on this link, was arrested for child abuse. i've known this girl for 20 years (un-zaz, that makes me feel old that i can say that) - we went to elementary school together. sad to say, this girl was never the brighest bulb in the pack. wait. is that right? brightest bulb in the toolshed? sharpest knife in the drawer? anyway, read the article and you'll see.

whew. i'm exhuasted just writing about this. i don't think i can take many more of these exciting days.


  1. what a day...

    a) i need to meet your grandmother.
    b) i hate small towns...
    c) brightest bulb on the tree.
    d) that link doesn't work.

    love the fargo recap. your life is out of control!

  2. in my defense... fargo isn't REALLY a small town, but the john cougar/cougar mellenkamp/mellankamp song was on and i thought it fitting...

  3. guess you need to log in to view the article. in case you havent, let me summarize... woman takes her 11 month old son to the hospital because his head is swollen. why is it swollen you ask? because he fell out of bed. how do you fall out of a crib? easy when you're not in the crib. the 11month old and her 2 year old son sleep with her in a queen size bed. the 11month old has fallen out 5-6 times. the docs call the cops because the kid has at least 3-4 skull fractures. doctors talk to her. she admits to having a crib but the boy doesnt sleep in it because its full of diapers and clothes. she never thought to clean it out. so cops go to the home. where they witness the boys take stuff from the trash, which has spilled all over the house, and put it in their mouth. there is dried, burnt food in pans on the stove. and the pillow cases on the bed, which were originally white, are now BROWN full of dirt. oh and the cops asked the dad why he didnt clean out the crib. and he said that it was the mom's job. and i say all this with no sarcasm. it is very sad.

  4. Oh that is sad. Just reading about your day with Grandmas has tired me out.

  5. try this link instead:

  6. subject: one might expect this song to be by john mellencamp. or john cougar. or john cougar mellencamp. but this is actually by morcheeba. one of my favorites.