Loop-Da-Loopy, or Gonilla, Meet Orangina

Day Four of Being Sick. I now have a semblance of a voice…not quite sexy enough to be mistaken for Kathleen Turner, not quite husky enough to sing a baritone duet with Bea Arthur. Nor am I on the right side of the mortal coil for that, either.

The last time I was this loopy was about a week before I got married. I was getting over Whooping Cough (thanks, students!) and the one person on staff at the school where I worked who kept track of these things organized a breakfast for me and for the other Dude who was also getting married that weekend. The “Sunshine” Club liked to host breakfast and give cupcakes to people on their birthdays and other milestones.

Chief Sunshine was a lovely ESL teacher whose heart was about as big as her fear of public speaking. (Actually, many teachers have a fear of public speaking in front of adults!)  She started talking about me and what I meant to the staff and to the students. Then…trouble…and please keep in mind I was loopy.

“Jackie…well, I learned a lot about Jackie by looking at her wedding registry. She likes big things.”

So, me being me and having the maturity level of a 13-year-old, burst into some fierce church giggles. Chief Sunshine, bless her, didn’t notice and kept going, but I was laughing into my own cheeks for a good 10 minutes.

Today, I’m loopy on drugs and high on a really special Memorial Day gathering yesterday.

I spent some time thinking of my grandfather, who served in WW2 as what can most easily be coined a “spy”…he also was around to liberate Auschwitz. I don’t have memories of him, as he passed away when I was very young, but he is my connection to the wonderful type of person who sacrifices, fights, and exemplifies “honor.”

11 family members were here for a potluck. My little ones played with their two older cousins. It was a beautiful sight to see such love and ease among the boys.  At the moment I saw my little ones being piggy-backed by their cousins, all four laughing their musical, beautiful laughs, I released all guilt at turning down the SEVEN! show invitations I received. That was hard, because I know most folks want to share their craft and fill the seats, and my saying “I’m with my family” gets old, but on holidays I do have to hold firm.  I want holidays to be about family, and I want to imprint that joy and laughter into my boys forever.

My key lime mini-pies and the gigantic strawberry cake were hits. I love it when desserts are a hit, especially in my family. My relatives aren’t big sweet-eaters. They aren’t the kind to eat out of pity, either, so the licked-off plates and the take-home bags were a source of great pride and joy for me.

The best moments for me, as usual, came when something struck me as terribly funny. And, as usual, they struck no one else as funny. And, as usual, I got weird looks, which makes me laugh harder.

One of my relatives started talking about her manicurist, who is a lovely lady named Gonila. Or perhaps it’s spelled “Gonnilla.” Don’t know. Don’t really care. I looked at another relative, who is a doctor, and said, “Hey, can’t you take penicillin for Gonila?” He started laughing. The relative with the Gonillaed nails dressed me down a little, because I guess Gonilaaaa is a Swedish name.

I’m certain Gaaaanillla is really sweet and lovely, as most Swedes are. My funny bone, as mentioned, is 13-years-old, trapped in a 38-year-old body.

Once my Gonilla Giggles subsided, the topic of conversation switched to beverages. (We’re a dynamic, scintillating group). My doctor relative started talking about Orangina…but he pronounced it with a long i.

At this point, I gave up all hopes of couth. I passed up the obvious, “So THAT’S why it’s so tangy” joke and just went straight to “My OB/Gyn had a cooler full of OrangIna in her waiting room. Kept the husbands happy.”

This may explain why I am no longer invited to family events.

What can I say? I may like things big, but sometimes big ain’t classy.

Happy Tuesday.


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