Monday, May 31, 2004

The Gauche Death

Mrs. R died a few years ago, I think around Memorial Day weekend. It was way after the forsythia were in bloom, after the lilacs, but a little before the rhododendrons’ heads had fallen off. That, under a normal spring weather circumstances, would have put it around this time of year. If I even recall that; this was over a decade ago.

I never went to Mrs. R’s funeral; just the wake. I remember so many different things about being at her house, her sons, her husband; the Jehovah’s Witness that came to the door one day to whom she said, “I am a devout Roman Catholic” and left life at that; elegantly, quickly, resolutely, and kindly. Religion can make one take so much in stride. It’s a little sexy.

So it’s Memorial Day for the rest of us; I have no relatives nor do I know anyone who is to be poppy-ed. Several holidays like this are vague to me; I understand them to be significant for some of those around me and promise not to be gauche.

I was gauche three times in my life; I’m normally always good at doing exactly what one should, with the correct amount of joie de vivre, je ne sais quoi, savoir faire, and meccaleccahimeccahinieho. I have been rough around the edges, like when I fell onto a table and cut my head open at a party which required a trip to the hospital and deeply embarrassed and traumatized my dad and made him furious at me. I was also racing a car on my bike when I was little and ended up falling down and now I have little stones in my knee and in my palm. But that’s not gauche. That’s just rough around the edges.

Back to being gauche: the three. Once, when I imagined the woman at the banquet was waving to me and not to the mayor of WeiHai (whoops). This was just a social gaffe, and she was too ugly to really have been waving to the mayor in the first place. The second time was the time I asked my friend why she was walking funny (she was pigeon-toed, which makes me feel even more gauche that I never noticed it in the first place). The third was when I was talking about The Lincoln Park Porch Collapse. This last one was the worst one; I was joking about it because, well, because—I was being an ass, OK. And my very dear wonderful friend I was joking about that with had a friend whose son died there. OH GREAT did I feel like a stupid ass.

So, today, no gauche, plus de chic, and happy.

Now, if I can get my website working life will be good.


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