The life and times of an ethnically ambiguous little lady.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

What's so precious, anyway?

July 4th has a lot of meaning for me. Not only is it the holiday of binge eating and drinking, not only do we get to see fireworks--one of my favorite things--but it's also my parent's anniversary. And this year marked their 30th.

My parents were married on July 4, 1976. Their invitations look like the Declaration of Independence, signed at the bottom by each of their parents. I find this to be both adorable and corny. Some people use these adjectives for me as well, so perhaps the apple does not fall far from the proverbial tree.

Due to the fact my parents never corrected me, I thought the fireworks that take place every July 4th were in honor of them. It took me a while to realize—and by a while, I mean 20 years--that there was no way my parents knew all of Philadelphia, not to mention those citizens of every other city in the USA, who also have fireworks.

As this year marked a big anniversary for my parents and they haven't killed each other yet (quite the achievement), I threw them a surprise party with the help of my grandmother and brother. This turned out to be ridiculous amounts of work, the climax of all this being the day before the party when I came home to Philly early to get things together.

I woke up Saturday morning, not sure if I was drunk or hungover from the night before. This is what happens when you meet your friend’s boyfriend who befriends you with conversation and free drinks. This continues to happen when you go to the club your brother works at after and he then gives you more drinks. This also apparently causes you to hit your boyfriend across the face repeatedly because he doesn't want to dance and then wake up at 7:30 AM in bed fully dressed, dying for water.

Anyway, I get on the bus Saturday and head home. I spend the whole trip trying to get comfortable and sleep as my seat won't recline. Then the bus breaks down. Then I want to cry. My grandmother doesn't have a cell phone so I can't call her. The conversation on the bus then turns to whether it's possible for an entire busload of people to try and hitchhike. This conversation took place in both English and Spanish for our bilingual pleasure. Finally, the bus driver managed to work his magic and we get to Philly only an hour late.

My grandmother, thankfully, is there and we spend four hours trying to get all the last minute errands done. That’s a lot of minutes. She drove because we were using her car. She's 85. It was a little scary. Whenever she's not sure which way she wants to turn, she moves into the middle of both lanes and slows down. When I yelled at her for doing it the forth time she explained she was "thinking." I explained to her that the other cars were decided and she was going to kill me. It was not until later in the car ride when we had plants and a cake in the backseat that she declared she should probably "drive carefully because she has precious cargo." Apparently granddaughters don't count.

After all the errands--which included me doing a face plant as I tried to run up the stairs with my arms full of flowers (hey, get it? face plant? urgh.)--she then drove me back to the bus station so my parents could "pick me up." Or at least think they did.

According to my mother, she only had an inkling about the party. Her clue? I straightened my hair. That's right. The fact that I looked nice made her think I was up to something. Always good for the self esteem.

Then, in the car on the way to the restaurant for the party, my grandmother pointed out that I looked pretty and "did I know I had a few gray hairs?" she said, giggling.

All in all, the party went off really well, my parents were happy, and my mom shared with me that "I was still in the will."

Now if only I could find a filter for my family.


Blogger micah said...

Great story — even the second time 'round!

7:52 PM

Blogger ambulancechaser said...

Hey Emily, it's Matt Haicken

10:01 PM

Blogger Will McKinley said...

Congratulations to your parents on their anniversary!

And congratulations to you on the gray hair. It's all down hill from here!

10:46 PM


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