Monday, January 23, 2006

Mama's Big Fat Non-Greek Birthday

This past weekend my grandmother, Mama Vada, celebrated her 90th birthday. Since this event doesn't happen very often, the entire family gathered in West Virginia for the party. All of her children and all but two of her grandkids were in attendance for the momentous occasion.

On Friday, I flew from Austin to Charleston via Atlanta, and a couple of things stood out. First, on the flight to Atlanta, a man a few rows in front of me was playing Spider Solitaire on his laptop. He played the same game for over 45 minutes and never finished it. I wanted to smack him upside the head, take his laptop, and finish his game for him.

Second, on the Atlanta to Charleston leg, I noticed a woman checking me out in the airport and on the flight. Ok, so maybe I imagined it, a point driven home by the fact that her boyfriend was waiting to pick her up. Oh well, at least I didn't have a dryer sheet stuck to my butt like last time. (See I Thought I Still Had It for details).

The party itself was on Saturday, and it was attended by well over 50 people, several of whom I didn't know. One older woman came up to me and Ron and asked if we remembered her. We told her we didn't, and she replied, "Oh, I haven't seen you two since you were in diapers." I responded, "Well, that's probably why we don't remember you." :)

At the party, gifts were opened, cake was eaten, and pictures were taken. Although this picture of me, Mama, and Ron caught Mama with her eyes closed, she still looks mighty good for a nonagenarian.

On Sunday, I flew back to Austin via Cincinnati. And although I didn't suffer any delusions of women checking me out, the flight did endure some roller coaster-like turbulence for almost 30 minutes. Fortunately, I was in the very last row next to the lavatory, so if I was going to get sick, I didn't have far to go. And on the plus side, I got to reach over and open the lavatory door for a couple of people because they couldn't figure out how to pull the handle that said "Pull" on it.

I have one final note. Apparently, giving directions isn't a forte for some of the residents. I (or my brother) called a restaurant and a department store asking for directions since we weren't from the area. On both occasions, we told the person that we were coming from the airport area, which is where our hotel was. And on both occasions, the directions were wrong. Maybe they just don't know where their airport is.