Last night we went to a surprise party to celebrate my uncle Gene's 50th birthday. Uncle Gene is my mama's baby brother, and I think he looks like a salt-and-pepper haired Kevin Kline. I've possibly heard him speak five or ten times in my whole life. Once when he was little, the family was celebrating my uncle Barry's birthday, and they all got to singing happy birthday, and even though nobody was singing to him, Uncle Gene was so embarrassed that he slinked under the table. He handled himself much better last night, probably thanks to his fabulous wife Kathy. She is truly an all-star, that Kathy, and I love her to bits. She makes up for Uncle Gene's terseness, but in the good way and not the way that makes you want to crawl under a table. One of the first times she ever met Mike, she had a lengthy discussion with him about vegitarians and how it's a personal choice but God made animals to be eaten and hell if she isn't going to take advantage of that.
The party was a lot of fun, despite a few hiccups. Aunt Kathy had the party at restaurant and everybody was supposed to get there at 6 and sit down so we could all be there to surprise Uncle Gene when they arrived. But we were late. Surprise! Didn't see that one coming, did you, Gene? Then, despite ample warning and advising from Aunt Kathy, the restaurant staff was ill prepared. I never counted, but I'd guess there were probably 40 of us. And without giving away too much information, I can tell you that it took far too long for the cheddar bay biscuits to show up, and when they did, the baskets were all one biscuit short, forcing a lot of that "we can share it" baloney. We can share it. It's a biscuit, not a math book. Get your own. We had to all but send up flares to get a refill, and then good luck getting the waitress not to pour tea into your empty Dr. Pepper glass. And there wasn't even a free birthday dessert! Lastly, and most troubling, my granny nearly choked herself to death. Thankfully she made a timely recovery, despite every attempt from the waitstaff to leave her with an empty glass in a time of crisis. Still, it was scary to watch. And a little frustrating. I love my granny like a madman, but for heaven's sake, WHY does she insist on shaking pepper all over everything? Of COURSE she's going to have a coughing fit at every meal. But it always seems to take her by surprise. ::hack hack:: I don't understand. ::cough, wheeze:: What could be the cause of this? ::eyes watering:: Can't identify a culprit! ::hoist another forkful of peppered food to mouth::
Oh Granny. There are plenty of times when I love her slap to pieces and it's all I can do not to melt because she's so cute, like when she buys me decorations for every single holiday or when she cracks up while watching one of those goofy prank shows. Ha ha! You thought the water was going to come out of that spout, but look where it's coming out instead! On your pants! Man she's cute. She really is, and she's a great granny. She just sometimes makes me a little crazy. Is this normal?
Also, if a heart for the elderly isn't my spiritual gift, I am wont to wonder if perhaps my talent falls more in the realm of eating a lot of biscuits. If I could just figure out how to use my abilities to glorify the Lord.