Dear Marc, I've read that you spent a lot of time with your grandmother growing up. I'm jealous. The closest thing I've come to growing up with a Jewish grandmother would have to be when I went to see my mom's close friend Judy who lived on Riverside Drive. We stayed with her and she told us stories about her amazing life. Her older brother was a composer in Hollywood back when my favorite movies were made. She told me that "The women had so much make-up on, they didn't impress me. But the Hollywood leading men, they were unbelievably handsome in real life." I also got to meet Judy's friends, hilarious ladies. One of them told me the following story:
"E, you know, I am an ordinary grandma with an ordinary husband, ordinary kids and an ordinary cat. There really is nothing about me that isn't ordinary except for one thing: I'm obsessed with Robert Redford and has been since he first made his appearance on the screen. I just think he's the most wonderful thing that has happened to this planet. Anyways, one day a few years ago, I went out to buy Christmas presents for my grandchildren.
I shopped and shopped and suddenly felt faint and decided to have an ice cream. So I went into a fancy ice cream store and ordered a cone, when out of the corner of my eye I saw something very familiar . I saw the face of Robert Redford. I got so nervous I didn't know what to do. But I finally pulled myself together and took a seat at a table. I was sitting there, shaking, torn between the urge to run up to Mr Redford to declare my admiration and the desire to behave like the respectable older lady I look like.
Let's just say admiration won over dignity this time. But just as I had decided to walk up to Robert Redford and ask him to marry me, dignity returned and I heard my inner voice loud and clear: "You silly goose, what would people think? And besides he'll just think you're a pathetic old hag."
Scared by the fierceness and potential truth of this message I ran out of the ice cream parlor. Well out on the street, however, I realized I'd forgotten all about eating my ice cream. I decided I would not let a man I had never talked to stop me from enjoying an ice cream cone I had paid for. Robert Redford or not. So I went back into the store again and asked the boy behind the counter where my ice cream was.
"I gave it to you, vanilla and chocolate" he replied.
But I insisted, I had neither received nor eaten the ice cream. The argument was about to
take an ugly turn when a smooth voice interfered:
"Excuse me, but I think I can help you sort out this misunderstanding. You are both right, you my lady paid for the ice cream and you, son, gave it to her"
I almost died when I realized it was the voice of Robert Redford.
I had to say something. "But then where did it go? I know I never ate it."
Robert Redford smiled and said "Well, I don't know why, but for some mysterious reason you put it in your purse."
In shame, I walked out of there and lamented both the poor impression I had made on my dream man and the effect the ice cream had had on my favorite bag.
Did your granny tell the same story? I don't believe that actually happened to Judy's friend, but who cares, she told the story so much better than I tell it back now.
And since I can't quit talking about my kids, let me also tell you that my daughter dreams of becoming a grandmother one day. I feel obliged to tell her the awful truth. "Yes, but then you will have to be a mother first". She won't have any of this. She wants to be simply a grandmother. Moms are too unglamorous .
ps. Do you make ice cream-proof handbags? I need one.