I have to go to the post office today to mail my father a calendar. I KNOW. It's March. It's the middle of March. And by the way, two different times yesterday I mentioned the Ides of March and got a confused look from people. I said, "Beware the Ides of March!" to a receptionist yesterday and her reply was, "Ma'am?"
The education system in this country upsets me.
And we have a new rule on this blog. There is a no "I don't know what that is, either" rule. You may not leave that comment. You must GOOGLE IT rather than leave that comment. That is why God invented Google.
Yes, I do know that I am a school marm.
Anyway, the calendar. I was on the phone with my father the other day, who was mentioning how he was glad it was a leap year, and I don't even know why he was glad it was a leap year. Why would anyone be glad it was a leap year? He wanted someone to ask him to the Sadie Hawkins dance? I can't recall. All I recall is the part where of course it is NOT a leap year.
"Father," I asked, "don't you have your cheery holocaust calendar?"
For years, my father has been getting my grandmother's holocaust calendars, which she got for free because she used to send money to some organization, which I will guess was maybe the Holocaust Museum? Maybe? At any rate, if you knew my upbeat grandmother, the part where she has a holocaust calendar is perfect.
My grandmother was the very first emo person. Had my grandmother been born 50 years later, she totally would have been goth.
She lived, with her optimistic self, with my father in her twilight years. This is why he is getting her mail to this day. I guess whatever organization that sent her holocaust calendar finally caught on that she is no longer sending a donation, so they stopped sending a calendar. It is very my-father-ish that he, then, did not get another calendar, but rather soldiered on.
"No, I didn't get the calendar this year," he said. "I just have the pin in the wall."
"So you were hoping it'd work like kind of a sun dial?" I asked. "Oh, look at the way the sun shines on that pin. Must be a leap year."
My father also was getting Grammy's old lady catalogs, which I think I have told you about before, because he and I got way into them. Old lady catalogs are hilarious, and I do not mean, of course, that they literally sell old ladies.
"Mildred, 87, loves her stories and lilac dusting powder. On sale now for $179.98, just in time for Easter."
No. I mean that they sell stuff only old people are into. Like those toenail clippers that are way long, so you can clip your toenails from the comfort of your La-Z-Boy without bending over.
Or those magnifying glasses you wear on one eye so you can tweeze your brows.
My father and I would read this catalog and pee our leg, the stuff in there was so hilarious, and finally he wrote the company and told them to start sending me my own copy, so we could call each other and page through the catalog over the phone.
And then you know what happened?
I'll tell you what happened. We started getting into the stuff in the catalog. That's what happened.
"I don't know," he'd say. "What about that plastic disc that has different-size holes in it, so you know how many servings of spaghetti you're making?"
"Oh, father, that's a terrible waste of plastic," I'd say. "But ooo. Fleece-lined reading-glasses holders. In black and tapestry."
We both own the fleece-lined reading glasses holders. In both black and tapestry. See what happened? We went from reading the old-lady catalog ironically to being paying customers. Somewhere we crossed a line.
So I have an extra calendar of pictures of Los Angeles that my friend Kista sent me, which was sent to her by her County Commissioner or something. They are pictures of our neighborhood that she and I both lived in, and I was enjoying them, but I had already bought a main calendar that I had put all the dates in, of birthdays and so forth.
And by the way, Grammy, the one with the holocaust calendar, not only put in birthdays, she also put in death dates. I noted the year after my grandfather died, on October 18 she wrote, "Chuck died," which you'd kind of think she'd remember, since he was her husband and all.
But you know what? She got dementia, and she remembered his name all the way up to the end, but there is no way she would have remembered the date he died without having the date on that ever-cheerful holocaust calendar, so she was right on that one.
Maybe just to be a jerk, I'll note the date on the calendar before I mail it off to my father.