Oh, dear. Even Steven may have taken a 17-year holiday, but he returned well-rested, in full strength yesterday at the viewing for my dear sweet mother.
Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is like an elephant. That's what Farmer H told her many years ago, when the #1 son was just a twinkle in Farmer H's good eye. That earned him a roll of toilet paper chucked at his head as he ran from the bedroom. To this day, he swears that he was talking about Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's mind, which is like a steel trap, since elephants are rumored to have good memories. And not, as Mrs. HM assumed, about her size.
Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has not forgotten the funeral of her father all those 17 years ago. How Sis and I stood in the receiving line with Mom, greeting a multitude of well-wishers, in a three-deep, standing room only crowd, my dad having been a 32nd Degree Mason, belonging to two lodges, with a plethora of cronies paying their last respects. As folks moved from one of us to the other, Sis made sure to elaborate, a number of times, when folks said they sometimes forgot which daughter was which: "I have red hair. My sister has black hair. But she colors hers."
Seriously. Is the relationship between Mrs. Hillbilly Mom and L'Oreal any business of funeral-goers? I think not. I did not let on that her comments bothered me. After all, Sis was not valedictorian. If pointing out my doctored, prematurely-white locks made her feel better, then let her disparage my tresses.
So last night, and also earlier in the day, in our travels to the funeral home, bank, and cemetery...people kept commenting that Sis was the older sister. BWAH HA HA HA! I am 18 months her senior. Yet not one person who had not been in either of our high school classes thought I was the oldest. They would shake my hand, and say, "Now you're the youngest, right?" Au contraire. I readily admitted to the length of my teeth. "No, I'm the oldest. Sis it the youngest." They would not let it drop. "OH! I always thought YOU were the youngest!" And I would caution them, "Don't let Sis hear that. I don't think she can handle that right now."
As the family was getting ready to leave at the end of it all, my niece overheard the funeral director, one of a set of twins, say to me, "Now which one of you is the oldest? Sis, isn't it?" Again, I set both of those twins straight. "No. I'm the oldest. But you wouldn't believe how many people asked that today." Niecey piped up, "I KNOW! They just kept saying that my mom was the oldest!" Sis overheard her.
"YES! They ALL thought I was the oldest!"
"I know. Isn't that funny?"
"And this is my REAL hair color!" She held up some locks of her dark auburn hair.
"Well, I guess you'd better start coloring it to look younger."
This is just to say
I have colored
all these years
while you haven't
you say yours is real
my doubts Sis
I shook hands
with your hairdresser
knows for sure
Something is fishy in Hillmomba. Sis's hair used to be more orange than auburn.