Sunday, October 01, 2006
It’s been two weeks since I last posted anything meaningful. Not that my ass isn’t meaningful. We’ve been busy. I’m so busy I’m not even going to spell check this before posting it, a first for me.
Two weekends ago Maggie’s parents came from Houston to visit. They are very cool. Her mom is a great dancer. She was born in Yennan (sp?), China, and moved to Taiwan. Her dad is from Korea. He’s a jazz musician and plays saxophone, piano, and probably a million other things. He also learned English by watching American TV and collects old comedy stuff, like old National Lampoon magazines, Saturday Night Life scripts, and other harmless stuff.
When I first came here to stay, I don’t think Grandmother wanted me to stay here. At first I thought she thought I would be bad for the children, but later I came to find out that she was afraid she would lose her grandkids. Since that hasn’t happened, and Monsieur makes his boys talk to their grandparents once a week and write them letters and send them cards and so forth, they’ve stayed in touch and will always know who their grandparents are.
I think Grandfather was a lot more understanding about my staying here and was always trying to charm me and get me to laugh. He tells the worst jokes I have ever heard, and yet I laugh anyway. He’s like a Mel Brooks movie, only Korean. He tells these corny old vaudeville jokes and keeps the boys giggling. When they left the boys definitely felt his absence, and told each other “knock knock” jokes to make up for it.
I had met them at Maggie’s funeral, and also last year some time we took a trip to Houston so that the boys could visit their grandparents and also NASA Space Center. Back then I don’t think Grandmother said three sentences to me the whole time. I wasn’t sleeping with Monsieur, at least not openly, and she treated me like I was the hired help, which I suppose I was. Grandfather was more open and warm. “Good to see you again, beautiful,” he said to me.
Now Grandmother much more willing to confide in me a bit, usually to complain about Grandfather and his eccentricities. Mostly good-natured complaining, I think. Once she asked me if there were anything I wished I had. “Just Maggie,” I said, and she nodded. “She was our music,” she told me. She misses Maggie something awful. They both do.
Also, they brought Grandmother’s parents for a short while, from California somewheres. When the Great-Grands came, they all stayed in a hotel in Johnson City but while it was just Grandparents they stayed with us in Littlest Boy’s room. I learned how to say “thank you” in Chinese (xie xie but I never did pronounce it right).
Also, also, also, the other sign that Grandmother had thoroughly warmed up to me – she and Grandfather recommended that Monsieur and I spend the evening out by ourselves, which we did – the WHOLE night. Monsieur booked a room at the InterContinental Stephen F. Austin Hotel (Google it!), which is awesome.
We had a huge suite way up high, a view of downtown, and a huge bathtub, which we made good use of. He brought a bunch of music on his laptop, which he set up in the corner and had running all night. I can’t begin to tell you how wonderful he made me feel with it all, and after dinner, when the music was on and the wine was poured, he didn’t talk about kids or work or money or really, anything that would take his attention from me.
But for now, I gotta run to church, and the rest is a story for another time when I have thirty minutes to type it out, and another thirty minutes alone that I can just work out the tensions that retelling such a story might cause.
Anyway, xie xie to Grandmother and Grandfather for watching the kids all night, and letting us have an entire night off.