Saturday, August 16, 2008

And Introducing...

Well hello there! It’s today’s Mystery Guest, Judy, aka Susannah and Andy’s Mom, Zoey’s “Grandma Glitter” and… oh, screw it. I’m a lot of things and I’ve tried to write this post so many times telling who I really am and, well, I can’t do it. At least not in the space, time and writing talent allotted me-and after trying to describe my many identities, I realized neither none nor all are WHO I am. I shall retain the mystery.

I was surprised, flattered and very nervous when Sus asked me to do this post. Amazingly, the ONLY limits she gave were regarding length (several times, in fact). This is too big a responsibility for me. I am truly in awe of Susannah and all you bloggers. I marvel at your dedication, bravery, wit, intellect and TALENT. I am a lot of things but, as I have commented before, I am not a writer. I am a talker, for sure. I can talk anytime to anybody about anything--there are some who would say too much and too long. But sit me down to write and I become self-conscious, dumb--though still not brief. Never brief (that's my motto). One of the things I so admire and respect from talented writers like Susannah, Andy and her Dad (HEJ) is the way they not only come up with fresh ideas but that they can write in many directions seemingly unrelated, and then, miraculously, pull it all together in a flawless ending. Be warned: this won’t happen today. If anything you’ll probably get to the end and say, “What the Hell?” And, if one can write about anything, then how to decide? Anyone who knows me at all knows that I am genetically challenged when it comes to brevity. Because my father? Oh, how he did talk. I could tell you a story but... There’s so much to say, to talk about, so many words, ideas. Good writers say so much in so few, carefully chosen words and, as I warned, I am not a good writer. It took me all those words just to say that.
Here I am. Susannah's mom, now referred to as “Grandma Glitter.” (I must say I read my “intro” describing me as Charo… really! Maybe just a tiny bit with regard to accessorizing but I don’t like her--except for her energy which I covet.) I’ve thought about what I, at my age, with my experience and, dare I say, some degree of wisdom, could presume to say to you. The sad thing is that no one ever gets wisdom handed to them-we must earn our own. But if I could tell you the things that after many years and many life experiences I think are most important, it would be these:
First off: Family and most specifically, children, are the most important thing, period. I spent the early part of my life with the sure knowledge that I would be “special”… somehow “famous” (does everyone do that?). I didn’t know what I would do to get my name in lights or print, but I knew I would. Then in my early 30’s (yeah, it took me awhile to lose the illusion), I realized I would NOT ever be famous… and it was okay. Now, I look at my life and say that while I am very good at what I do (Director of a Homecare Agency) and love it, the FINEST and BEST thing I have ever done in my life is raise my children: Andy and Susannah. I should be famous just for that. I love my family more than I have words to express and they give me so much. Your family is everything in whatever form it takes: by birth or by choice through making a family made up of friends.

Numero 2: Live in the Present. It’s all any of us can do anyway. Live out loud. The most miraculous thing I’ve discovered is that none of us have any clue what’s going to happen. Ever. “What’s the best way to make God laugh? Have a plan.” If anyone had told me 8 years ago that I would be working for my competitor, living alone in a studio apartment on the edge of San Francisco's Tenderloin District and that I would absolutely love it, I’d have given them a big Elaine two-handed chest shove and said, “Get OUT of here!” Life just happens and you have no choice but to be amazed.
3. Love yourself. Look in the mirror to find your best friend. When I was younger I didn't know this, never even suspected it. But now? Now I cherish my own company. Now I realize how much I need my space and alone time. My bed is my safe place and I make it as scrumptious as possible, quilts and sleek sheets, soft fuzzy things and scented candles. Give yourself what you need.

Quatro: Laugh… if I couldn’t laugh at myself, my life, my tabloid magazines, my parrots, the fire station blaring across the street, I’d go mad. I often look at myself as if I were in my own sitcom. For instance, I live a block away from the city's own Grand Central Tranny, a hot bed of prostitution. Not only do I often get great compliments on my way to work (they LOVE my huge metallic gold, crystal and metal studded purse! Susannah hates it) but just the other day I was solicited! I’m 63 years old for chrissake. I was dressed for work and trying to hail a cab. While I am less conservative in style than my daughter, I don't think I go around looking like Mimi from The Drew Cary Show either. A 30-some odd guy pulled up in a muscle car, rolled down the passenger window and gestured for me to come get in the car. I thanked him and declined. He persisted. At first I thought he was just trying to give me a ride and wondered if he thought I was stupid enough to get in the car with a stranger. Didn't he realize he'd have to offer me candy first? Then it dawned on me… he thinks I’m a transsexual hooker! Hm. Compliment? For me, probably. Yes, I decided yes. What I’d say about that (other than ridiculous) is embrace the contradiction!

Well, I’ve gone on too long. I haven’t even explained how and why I came to be called “Grandma Glitter.” But given my daughter’s intro for me and some of the above it’s probably evident. I wear a lot of jewelry. I have never been of the belief that you twirl around in the mirror and take off the first thing that catches your eye. Instead, I twirl around and pile on more sparkle! I am the Original Fancy Nancy, Eloise before she ever stayed at The Plaza. And Zoey has always loved my bangles. Whenever we meet, the game of transferring the bracelets one by one from me to Zoey begins. She especially loves and remembers my “Zoey Heart Bangle.” Now the parting drill is that she puts a kiss on the heart for me to keep as she hands over the bangles one by one. If I have to pick a regret (and I try to live without regrets--what’s the friggin' point? No do-overs allowed!) it’s that I am not the grandmother I had. For one I don’t have that Grandmother house, all gingerbread and cocoa. I work. My very best and most nurturing, life-saving memories from childhood revolve around my grandparents in North Carolina. To this day the smell of BenGay, Mentholatum and the ticking of a Big Ben clock make me feel all warm and fuzzy. I would just sit there for hours cupping the loose skin underneath my grandmother's arm, cup cup cup, so soft and cool to the touch. Of course Zoey will have her own unique memories of her Grandma Glitter when she’s my age. Perhaps the glint of a QVC moissanite ring will warm her heart, I don't know. I can only hope that whatever they are, they will mean as much to her as mine do to me.

That’s it, folks. Nothing neatly tied up--just sort of stream of consciousness. Just sort of me. And this is where I twirl and add some more! Grandma Glitter is over and out, just a trail of sparkle where once I stood.


Project Ecoart said...

You both are hysterical. SERIOUSLY.
I *heart* you both!

Rosalie said...

Ah, well worth the wait. Oh how I wish I could go back 25 years to when I was nine years old taking piano lessons from you and instead of being distracted by the kitty, Susannah"s toys and your macrame hanging plants, I would have paid better attention and then I would have been able to claim Grandma Glitter as the one responsible for teaching me where middle C is instead of Audrey with the cankles and nose hair.

Megan said...

Everyone should have a Grandma Glitter, what a great post! Zoe is one lucky little girl, Susannah and Andy too!

a judy fan said...

As one of Judy's friends, I would agree with the last two lines of her first paragraph, for she IS the embodiment of mystery, which is what makes her so glamorous, alluring and delightful to be around. Whenever someone asks me what my friends are like, I have to pause when I get to Judy. NO words could quantify her quirkiness, no colorful adjectives could adequately describe her gift for gab. Yes, she is a mystery, an enigma clad in a diaphanous gown, floating, landing and taking off again and again. . . leaving only a trail of fine glitter in her wake. But she is also this: a woman whose heart is bounded by nothing and whose honesty, humor and free-flowing generosity are both refreshing and invigorating. Judy's rare ability to love completely, and her willingness to share her precious space and limited energy with those in need (a.k.a. moi), have kept me going at times. She is human and superhuman simultaneously, a knight in shining armor and a Valium incarnate, a teacher and a healer all rolled into one sparkly, opulent package. I am HONORED to count her among my dearest friends, and I KNOW, without one fragment of hesitation, that she WILL be "that grandmother" to Zoey.

So, Judy? Please stop being so hard on yourself. I've seen you with Zoey--hell, I see you IN Zoey--and it's your warmth, laugh, nurturing embrace, undivided attention and incredible uniqueness that Zoey will remember. To her, you ARE famous. I guarantee it.

Exponential XOs,

SGM said...

Oh Judy. JUDY. This was an incredible post! Instead of saying "what the hell?" I'm saying, "I need to meet Ms. G. Glitter someday!"

Susannah is tres lucky!

zakary said...

"Be warned: this won’t happen today. If anything you’ll probably get to the end and say, “What the Hell?”

Girl, that is how I feel everytime I leave my house.

You need your own blog. Thanks for letting in all hang out.

I think you ARE very fancy. And famous.

Judy said...

"You love me, you really really do!" steal and misquote Sally Fields. I am overwhelmed by your kind comments...almost, but never, speechless. Rosalie, you HAVE Grandma Gitter at your disposal anytime-though I'm not sure I was ever successful at teaching you where middle C was.

Everyone else-most of all Susannah for letting me do this blog, fixing my mistakes and brilliantly adding the photos-thank you, thank you for such kind words.

Here it is the "Day After" and the wedding was perfect! Sus will be telling you I'm sure. Suffice it to say, she was right about the dress, my Spanxs were too high-waisted to wear but, Boy did I need the control. I leave you with one thing...Zoey out-classed, out-danced and out-lasted me yesterday and last night and I am telling you, that child can Shake her Booty with the best of them!!!!
Love You,
Judy/Mom/Grandma Glitter, and who knows!

Jessie said...

Judy, you're such a doll. And quite obviously a great Grandma, to boot!

Love that you own the fact that you may or may not have been mistaken for a tranvestite... and I am loving your advice on life.

I can hear your bangles jingling from here. :)

I *Heart* You said...

judy, you are such a joy. i love reading all of your wisdom!!! you need your own blog!!!!!!!!!!!!

Robin said...

So much fun to learn more about the fabulous Judy/Grandma Glitter. Loved the wisdom and stories too. Keep rockin the excessive accessories, clearly it works for you :)

Sparkie said...

OK, people. I'm worried. We've all been having a great time while the "parents" are away in this virtual vacant bungalow, but we've got to clean up after this party so they won't know we were here. There are loose Spanx, illicit cocktail napkins, glitter, and god knows whatallelse everywhere. Oh, and will you Trannys remove that passed out miscreant in the corner with "Anon=Doofus" Sharpied on his/her forehead? Drop it off in front of the nearest Supercuts on your way home to The 'Loin. I totally enjoyed the party but if anyone asks - I don't remember a thing...

Oh Brother! aka "Andy Boy" said...

Mom! YOU are a Supa-star!

Just so you know, really really know... I think I can safely speak for both myself and Susannah when I say, we ALWAYS thought you were famous! Bigger than life. A force of nature. From my earliest memories, perhaps even mamaries, to this very day; you have been our Super-hero. Truly.

You gave us a sense that anyone can do anything.

You showed us that bigger is both bigger and better, more is more!

You showed us bravo bravado.

All in all, I can safely say, you gave me all the courage to follow any and every dream with wild abandon. To live out loud!

I love love love you!

Your son and BIGGEST fan,

"Andy Honey Big Boy"

P.S. Come on Mom, go for it, Start your blog (then none of us can censor you! :) ... Your fans are waiting,

Jozette said...


(Can I call you Judy?)

Your post was hands down the best of the whole week. And I can say that because I was one of the guest bloggers. Now I kind of wish you were my mom (no offense to my mom.) Your whole family is so lucky to have you!

And... you really do need to start your own blog. That had to just be a teaser, I want more!!

Courtney said...

OH I love this - fantastic advice from a fantastic force: Grandma Glitter. How lucky are your children and Zo to grow up with someone so comfortable with who she is and what she offers!

thismslife said...

I am SO fascinated with you, OUR Grandma Glitter of the blog world. This reminded me of when I was a little girl and would run and sit in my own Aunt's lap and try on her bangles and rings. It was so comforting and glamorous all at once... This was such a great post and I can't wait to hear more from you- here or elsewhere (your own blog- I know, but I still want you to start one).