“I can wear this to get my new Boo”, Grandma said looking at the picture of the model on the leggings package. The leggings were the Christmas gift I bought along with a sweater. It was as inappropriate as the slang term she used to describe her future mate. It’s in style, but not exactly what you expect an 83 year old to wear or say. I take responsibility for both the phrase and the attire. Each year buying grandma her hoochie clothes and telling her of my dating adventures. Last year I took to calling everyone Boo.
“I am going to bend over just like that!” she said leaning forward over mimicking the model on the package. “I am going to get my husband.” She sat there looking festive with her red sweater and Santa hat on, and she was serious. Sweet Lou, her last husband passed away shortly after Pop. She completed the respectable grieving period and it was on!
Grandma was married five times. There were her early husbands; Watson was her first and my biological grand father, Binns and Jenkins. Then Grandma married Knight, Who I considered my Grandfather. They were together for over 30 years until his death in the 90’s. We thought he would be grandma’s last husband, but at 70 years old she married Louis Williams.
I thought it was ridiculous at the time, a 70 year old woman getting married. It was the first wedding party I was a part of as an adult. I laughed with my brothers all the way down the aisle. The same way we laughed today.
“Oh I can get a husband tomorrow! If I want!” She corrected us.
Sometimes I find it hard to believe I am one of Grandma’s offspring. I am 50 years her junior and I am not as self-assured. I got consumed by the news specials on the single black women and the is a shortage of men; black men in particular are an endangered species according the media. It’s the rhetoric best selling books are written on, but not what a woman needs to hear to feel empowered. What about Grandma’s dating pool? She is in her 80’s, how many 80 year old men are still alive. Even if she dates younger, she’s looking at a man in his 70’s. If she’s really a cougar, 60’s. That doesn’t inhibit her confidence.
I have to channel the Grandma spirit. The tenacity of a woman who at my age left a husband and everything she knew in Louisiana to build a better life for her children in New York City. The seductive ways she used to attract five husbands. The spunk that corrected her grand children when they laughed at her declaration of her abilities to get another. Most importantly her confidence. I have to be more like Grandma!
I have to remember Grandma next time I doubt myself. I know that she will walk down the aisle once more to meet some blushing groom. I better not let Grandma beat me there!!