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unions:
clare & stephen
amy & scott
andrea & jonathan marc & liza

blackout:
grandma's window
underwater
state of mind

snow:
blizzard
sledding

hair issues:
my pink hair mistake
my purple hair mistake

family:
chinatown/little italy
thanksgiving 2003
nature

worklife:
moving day
our new digs
garden of stones

parties:
eleanor turns 26
halloween
deb turns 27
deb's birthday collage
susan's holiday party
new year's 2004
rich turns 30

happenings:
jenny miller in nyc
goldenbears
lakeland, fla
the unveiling

wallpaper:
zina and me
i and the matzo

randoms:
our ira visit
gators v. vols
ny state drivers license
the nobel manatee

Oxygen

05.31.04
My family is still here for my brotherís graduation, but I wanted to share with you a memory.

The first time I remember seeing fireflies was when I was maybe six years old. We were visiting friends of the family in Parsippany, New Jersey. The fireflies were like stars we could catch in our hands. In the inky darkness of the backyard they would suddenly appear, tiny lights burning, glowing, suspended in the night. Then they would disappear. Then they would reappear again.

My sister and brother and I each got glass jars from the family we were visiting. We each caught handfuls of fireflies and put them in our jars. When it was time to leave, we screwed on the jarsí metal tops.

We hardly got down the block in our ride back to the city when our fireflies stopped glowing. They stopped buzzing around. They fell to the bottoms of the jars in a lump. My sister and I screamed. What was happening?

Bugs are like people. They need oxygen to survive. When we closed the jar, the bugs ran out of oxygen. Now they were dying. We had murdered handfuls of New Jersey fireflies.

We started our voyage with jars of stars and a few blocks later we each had a jar of dead bugs.

This story means nothing. Except that I donít think Iíve tried to catch fireflies since.

05.28.04
With my old mobile phone, text messaging was a complete mystery.
I recently switched carriers, and now I can send and receive text messages like they're going out of style. Especially if "going out of style" means it costs me ten cents to send a message and two cents to receive one.

Several weeks ago, we were walking to dinner with my grandmother and Brian came up behind me, whispering, "Get any text messages lately?"

I checked my phone, and told him no. He looked puzzled. Then he checked his phone.

"Oh my god," he said. "I sent the message to the wrong number."

"What did it say?"

He told me he had written: "Hey, Assface."

Well, what goes around comes around. On Tuesday, Brian was walking around town with some of his lingering family members when he received a text message from an unknown number. It read: "Hey, sexy. What class you in?"

We debated whether to message back, and if so, what he should say. He was worried the sender might feel love unrequited because Sexy didn't reply about what class he/she was in. In the end, we agreed that it had already cost Brian two cents to receive the message and it would be an additional ten cents to send the new message. This stranger was not worth 12 of our hard-earned cents. We left well-enough alone.

05.27.04
We are entering upon the second day of Shavuot.
Because my museum observes all major Jewish holidays, I get yesterday and today off. Which is very nice. Yesterday, I shopped for new clothes the whole day, as I have not purchased new clothing items in nearly a year. Today, I will try not to repeat such nonsense. Shopping gives me heart palpitations and makes me break into a cold sweat. Itís nasty.

Let me speak briefly of my job. People sometimes ask what I do for a living, and I tell them I work in a museum downtown. Then they ask, ďare you a docent?" and I say that, no, I work in scheduling. Then they say, "Oh. You give tours?" Then I scream in their faces that I just said I was not a docent and that I worked in scheduling.

Anyway, truth be told, I, along with many other employees of the museum, are supposed to be ready and able to give tours should opportunity arise. In the year I have been working there, I have given tours for two separate groups of developmentally disabled adults, one tour in which I pointed to artifacts for a group of 25 Hadassah women, and I did a co-tour with my cubemate Mike Thompson when a rowdy group of 70 high school students appeared at the door once they discovered the ferry to Ellis Island had been shut down. I tried to be informative and politically correct, which caused the students to talk loudly and not pay any attention to me. Then Mike yelled at them and plopped them down in front of a video of the Warsaw Ghetto, which shut them up, and it was easy sailing from then on.

The moral of my story is that on Tuesday, I was forced to give two tours. Alone. To two different school groups. It was okay. I realize this is not meant to be my lifeís work. Last night I dreamt I was stuck leading tour after tour of rowdy high school students. It wasnít exactly a nightmare, but it wasnít exactly not.

I spoke to Uncle Ira last night, and he was in a bizarrely good mood. He had gone up for another forensic examination on Monday, and felt he did well. Right now, he has something called a "red card," which allows him to walk unescorted around the grounds of the mental institution during certain times of the day. This forensic examination was to see if he would gain the privileges of a "green card," which would allow him unescorted movement around the facility at all times, along with passes to attend counseling sessions at 125th Street. For someone who has been described as a "flight risk" because of the frequency with which he has ducked out of mental hospitals when he was under a commitment, this is a pretty big deal. He told me that he would soon earn day passes and weekend passes, but that I shouldnít worry. I could continue to live in his apartment for as long as I needed until I found other housing. He said, "Donít worry. Iíll live upstairs with mother." He talked about how we could get together for meals.

Did I mention that along with being a "flight risk," my uncle has also been categorized as a "fire-setter?" My, my, my. I hope Brian gets a job soon. Brooklyn, here we come.

05.24.04
Brian graduated this weekend.
He is now officially a Fordham lawyer. Or, would a Fordham lawyer be a lawyer who is employed by Fordham? He is at the very least an alumnus, which means we will get wonderful slick calendars in the mail with pictures of rams on them and notes asking us for money.

I feel tired. We've had family staying with us (in our studio apartment) since Wednesday, and will continue to have family here through tomorrow. then my sister and her dog will be here from Saturday to Wednesday (for my brother's graduation.

Overcome with sentimental feelings, co-worker Sam Neuman recently logged on to wikipedia and added me as one of the many wives of Ernest Borgnine. I feel touched. Truly touched.

Can I speak for a moment about my deep and abiding love for Ernest Borgnine? How long had we been together? It feels like it was only yesterday that Ernest walked into the Randall School of Drama in Hartford, Connecticut. We were both so young at the time, though his gap teeth and the deep-set lines in his face made him look so much more mature, so much more dashing.

Oh, how reckless we were! I remember the time that out of pure jealously I burned all of his love letters from his previous wife, Ethel Merman. I told him it was because I was angry. Angry that I had mistaken her for Jewish when this whole time she was of Lutheran and Presbyterian origin. It wasn't true, though. It was just jealously. How terrible I was. What a temper. Is it any wonder why our marriage didn't last?

Still, I have no regrets. In the end, out of spite or of love, Ernie's previous wife ended up marrying my co-worker at the Museum, Sam Neuman. It did not last long. Neither of them were happy. I always said it looked like a marriage of convenience.

Look at us now. We are all an unhappy lot. How hard it is to be famous and in love while one has constant internet access!

05.20.04
Guilty.
That's what we voted. On numerous counts for numerous defendants. It's true. And now I am done. Done, done, done. No more jury duty. I could cry.

Brian's graduation is this Sunday. His sister and her boyfriend got into town last night and his mother gets her today. Maybe she's here already. I wouldn't know. I'm at work.

Let's talk more about jury duty. It was fun. I miss it. Deliberation was very emotional. They should make it into a reality show. I mean it. 12 strangers trapped in a room together for 7 hours a day, several days in a row, no phones, no computers, forced to discuss the guilt or innocence of more strangers. It would be intense. But really boring. Just like reality.

Let's talk more about my fellow jurors. I miss them. I think I'm suffering from separation anxiety. And being at work makes me feel so strange. Each morning I come in, people look at me with shock and surprise. "YOU'RE HERE AGAIN TODAY!" they scream at me. I don't know if they mean to be charming or rude. It scares me.

The thing I enjoyed most about being on jury duty was that when people would ask where I'd been, I could tell them, "I was caught up in the criminal justice system." How snappy.

I want to write more about the trial, but I can't think of what to say. I was selected for jury service on March 1st. The trial began on March 8th and we came to a final verdict at about 4:30 PM on May 17th. It was very emotional. I had to have two scotches afterwards.

There were no reporters in the court room when we read our verdict. There has been no news coverage of the trial since the trial began. Eleven weeks. Of my life. If you want anymore details about the case, just email me. I'll spill the beans.

05.17.04
Last night, while walking to dinner, my grandmother turned to me and motioned to her forehead. She said, "I see youíve cut bangs for yourself."

I told her that I've had bangs for quite some time now (about eight or nine years). It was true, though, that in the last month or so, I had been wearing them shorter than usual.

"You know," my grandmother said, "The way youíre wearing your hair now, you remind me of Mamie Eisenhower."

"Is that was a good thing?" I asked my grandmother.

"Not particularly," she said. "I was never really fond of her, and I didnít much like her looks."

Our apartmentís lobby is getting a makeover. An easel is up, and on it are two different swatches of carpet and wallpaper, along with "computer simulations" of what our lobby would look like in each. The truth is that neither choice looks particularly nice. But when we came in from dinner last night, my grandmother remarked that the swatches looked like someone had vomited on them. "They are both disgusting," she said, turning to our doorman. "We have to choose between UGLY and UGLIER. The president of the co-op has absolutely no taste."

Then my grandmother spotted the co-op president on her way back into the building. She said to our doorman, "Quick, William, ask me how I like our choice of carpets."

William smiled, waiting for the president to cross the threshold. Then he said in a loud voice, "So, Mrs. Schwartz, which carpet do you like better?"

My grandmother smiled devilishly and shouted, "They are both disgusting! We have to choose between UGLY and UGLIER. The president of the co-op has absolutely no taste." Then she pretended to only just notice the co-op president, and turned to her to restate her comments. "Thatís very nice," said the co-op president, walking to the elevator. "You always have something nice to say, Mrs. Schwartz. Our design committee worked long and hard to choose a new look for our lobby, and all you can say is how ugly it looks."

"You see these chairs our 'design committee' had re-done. They were fine before. Now they look like someone vomited on them!"

My grandmother and the co-op president continued to exchange words until she got into the elevator. Her last suggestion had to do with "If you hate our choices so much, why donít you join the design committee." My grandmother called back, "What? I canít hear you!" and the president said, "Of course you wouldnít." The elevators doors closed and she was gone.

My grandmother thanked the doorman for his good work, and they both had a bit of a chuckle together. Brian and I were mortified.

We went back to my grandmotherís apartment (which is three floors above ours) because she said she had something for us. She gave Brian a bottle of champagne for his graduation, along with a sizable check. Then she gave me a nice necklace. And the necklace really was nice; it did not look like someone had vomited on it. My grandmother gave us both strong kisses and said how much she enjoyed seeing us happy. We thanked her and left feeling enormously confused.

05.13.04
To paraphrase the immortal words of founding father Benjamin Franklin, "Jury duty is a dull and endless voyage."

Thankfully, I have a few moments each evening after I am released from the court, but before I fall into the deep sleep of the utterly bored and despondent. As you heard regarding the night before last, sometimes Brian and I pay five dollars to sit in a basement and watch strangers tell jokes. And then there are nights like last night . . . when I make discoveries!

I have had my crappy Epson 1670 scanner for over six months now, and last night, I finally figured out how to use the negative and slide attachment. Wow! It was crazy. It actually scanned in my negatives.

The scanner came with this awkwardly shaped piece of black plastic with some holes in it, and I was positive it would work just as well as if I placed a negative on top of the actual scanner bed. But the crappy piece of black plastic really did facilitate the scanning of my negatives. So I scanned in a whole bunch.

Donít thank me. Thank god. For giving me the curiosity and the know-how to discover the use of a plastic attachment to my scanner within less than a year of purchasing the item.

Many moons ago, I had promised people a picture of myself wearing a wig and sitting in a suitcase in the Gainesville Regional Airport circa 1999. Well, here it is. The other person in the picture was Brianís roommate at the time, soon to be published writer, and local Gainesville bon vivant William Bowers.

I also scanned in an image of our friend Josh Trotterís hands and of Heather Sobush nee Patterson bowling. Also, another picture of me in a wig as well as an image of a shopping cart at a crime scene. All pictures were taken back in 1999 for a black and white photography class.

Okay, I have to get ready now to bang on the table and argue with my fellow jurors. Joy.

05.12.04
Us
By B. Herman Geller

While Deb Schwartz is off deliberating, I have hijacked her blog in order to describe our return trip last night to the sketch comedy/standup show, Giant Tuesday Night of Amazing Inventions and Also There is A Game.

We laughed. Oh, how we laughed. Have you ever laughed like that? Yes? Oh, OK. Sorry.

The show is hosted by "Franicsco Guglioni," (comedian Andres du Bouchet). Guglioni claims to hail from the country of Boliviguay -- a small nation situated between Bolivia and Paraguay. It is a country that, according to Guglioni, you can't find on any map -- "unless I have gotten to the map first." Did I mention that he said that in a Spanish accent?

So he was funny. And then there were several other short stand-up comedy acts and sketches. The highlight -- I thought, and I'm sure Deb would agree -- was Bob Powers, who enlisted an audience member for a five-minute staged reading of his alleged new play, an erotic thriller titled "Love is Difficult." Also charming was a girl who sang a song about meeting hot guy with Tourette's Syndrome at a wedding. The last comedian of the night, Todd Levin, similarly acquitted himself well with a story about his attempts to sponsor an impoverished foreign child.

Deb and I had been to this show a couple times before, about a year ago. It recently got a nice little review in the New York Press. So when we returned, I expected a larger crowd. It was, but only slightly.

It's raining now. So I guess I should stop.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.

05.11.04
There were some issues with the shower again.
At our last visit to my uncle in the institution, Uncle Ira loudly talked about the staff coming to the erroneous conclusion that he had not bathed in three days, when, in fact, he had showered once during that time. On the day that he showered, he explained, the staff member on duty wrote down in the shower book "IRA," because she is very familiar with him. He told us that most people just write "SCHWARTZ," but this staff member writes "IRA" and sometimes, because she is not a native speaker of English, she spells his name "AIDA." Surely, several days ago, an AIDA had been logged in as taking a shower. Well. Case closed.

My uncle preceded to complain about the institutionís staff. Mostly, he said, they were just there to give him a hard time. It was proven that they were unnecessary. He leaned in close to me, and pointing to the nurse by the door, he said, "There are computers everywhere. This whole place is wired. The computers are everywhere and they can tell what you are doing at all times." Then he repeated that the only reason the institution maintained a live human staff was to give him "a hard time." He reminded us that we really should read Robert A. Heinleinís short story They, which is apparently, according to my web searches, not a very popular story. But it has been described by one random person as "simply a tale of paranoia justified." Oh, Uncle Ira!

Very exciting news: today the jury begins deliberation. This means our lunch will be provided by New Yorkís tax payers (which means I am essentially buying my own lunch, as usual).

05.10.04
On Friday night, I was a movie star.
Kind of. We attended the Tribeca Film Festivalís shorts program. One of the seven short films in the program was the 14 minute Belle, where I play the non-speaking walk-on roll of mature hussy.

Most of the shorts employed non-actors like myself, but Rosie Perez starred in one of them. She actually came to the theater that night and sat in the row behind us. When we were leaving, Brian said, "Rosy Perez saw you in a movie." Itís true. She did.

On Saturday, I arranged a large group of people to to see Godzilla. I insisted that everyone buy tickets online hours before the film started because it would surely sell out. I wanted everyone in our party to get to the theater 45 minutes before hand, because the line would probably be down the block. I kept in constant contact via cell phone all the disparate members of our party to make sure we all got seats. I was sure the people who couldnít get tickets would start rioting in front of the theater. I was so wrong.

The theater was only about three-quarters full. I felt very bad that I had badgered everyone in our party so much. But one never knows.

In any event, I loved the film. I laughed, I cried, Iíd see it again. With itís restored footage and new translation, it is a film about people living with the psychic memory of the ravages of the H-bomb. Brian said, "Hiroshima Mon Amour is like Godzilla without the monster." I concur.

Iím thinking of interviewing more people as if they were other people. Itís very post-modern. Let me know if you have any suggestions.

05.07.04
Interviews are in the air
So over interoffice email, I decided to interview my co-worker Sam Neuman as if he were Jackťe Harry, one of his favorite TV personalities.

Deb: Can I interview you as if you were Jackťe Harry?

Sam: OMG yes. that is a great idea.

Deb: We are lucky to have with us today actor of stage and screen, TV personality, ex-school teacher, and former Hollywood Square, Ms. Jackťe Harry. Hi. Jackťe. Thanks so much for joining me today.

Sam: Hi, Deb. It's great to be here. I have a lot of irons in the fire right now, so it was hard to find the time. (Muffles microphone with hand). Can you also mention that I'm very sexy? And an *Emmy-winning* actress? Eat it, Justine Bateman!

Deb: Irons in the fire! Well, that's a phrase only a genuinely sexy person could use. Tell me, does being so sassy get taxing at times?

Sam: I get this question a lot, and as I always say, SANDRA! Seriously, the only time I had trouble was on the set of Living and Working in Space: The Countdown Has Begun, which I did with Kathy Bates, who kept trying to upstage me. I turned the Sass-o-Meter up to 20 - lips were pursed, arm flying in the air, body bent completely forward to show off the dťcolletage, and it resulted in one of the greatest performances of my life, the character of Charmayne (who lived and worked in space and was sassy). Unfortunately, it also put me in the hospital for two days. SANDRA!

Deb: Oh, Jackťe. You are too much! I must ask: What can we expect from the fabulous Ms. Harry in the near future?

Sam: I just finished my one-woman show, Lady Day At Emerson's Bar and Grill, in which I played Billie Holiday and reinvented the character as a brash, wisecracking, man-hungry woman with an inner core of sassitude that really defined her as an artist, a musician, and a woman. By "just," I mean "after five performances in a theater in Delaware in 2002," of course. There's talk of moving it to Broadway. By "talk," I mean "I talk about it a lot," of course. I'm sorry, what was the question?

Deb: You sound like you were one busy lady. In 2002. Can I ask what your up to presently?

Sam: Well, with my 35th birthday approaching, I've been focusing on really spending time on my greatest role: mother. Not that I have any children. I'll tell you honestly, Deb, I feel like I've already done it all: long-running TV shows, starring in feature films like You Got Served and Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child, guest spots on "Dolly" and "Ask Rita," the Nick at Nite Holiday Special... it's like, remember how I played Ida Early in The Incredible Ida Early? That's me. I'm incredible. To answer your question, I am spending a lot of time watching reruns of Sister, Sister in a windowless room of my house, stewing in self-pity and muttering "one day they'll all know my name again" under my breath.

Deb: Jackťe. You are incredible. 227 would have been nothing without you. I mean that. Want a tissue?

Sam: Thank you. Thank you, honey. (muffles microphone) Make sure to put in that I'm sexier than ever and really talented. Maybe someone will read it and... it's a lot of irons in the fire, you know? You just hope one will catch. (weeping) Also, make sure to put that I'm 35.

Deb: And thank you so much for joining me here today. Let me tell you, for a 35 year old busy actress with a whole lot of irons in the fire, you sure are one sexy and talented lady.

Sam: Thanks! Please use one of these heavily airbrushed images to accompany the story. SANDRA!

05.06.04
I started blogging this morning, but it got erased.
Now Iím annoyed.

I was talking about my last creative writing class at the 92nd Street Y, and how I bought a dumb box of cookies to celebrate, but how everyone else brought elaborate things like bottles of wine or champagne or cheese and crackers or kalamata olives or a homemade cake. Then I felt cheap.

I was saying (before what I wrote disappeared) that we workshopped a story of mine, but I donít remember much about it, because I was too busy finishing off one of the bottles of wine. I took notes, though.

On Tuesday, I got out of jury duty an hour early, and went to Korea town to buy a new wig. This is in preparation for the grossly overdue update to my news page. Itís only been about a year and seven months since I last updated it.

In the wig store, a nice girl was helping me, and in between cell phone calls, she asked what I needed the wig for. "You in a show or something?"

I told her sheepishly that it was just for fun, and that I liked to buy wigs and take pictures of myself wearing them. Behind the wig lady was another customer. As soon as I finished explaining myself, the woman said, "I need help. I want a new wig that looks just like this one, but in brown." She pointed to the wig she was presently wearing. I thought of walking out of the store with my new wig on like I sometimes do when I buy a new pair of sneakers. I could say, Just put my old one in the box. Iíll wear the new one now.

I am very excited about my wig. Iíve already taken a whole bunch of pictures.

My trial is in high gear now. I think I may be done in another week, so if you have any guestblogs youíve been keeping folded up in your pocket, let them out.

05.05.04
I am presenting the first 3 and last 15 lines of a "true dialogue" story written by the 12 year old daughter of loyal DebCentral reader S.Turtle. The transition from beginning portion to end portion is denoted by a series of asterisks.

Scene: a car on a sunny afternoon outside of the school.

Jane: Mommy, you were sleeping werenít you?

Carol: I know, Iím really sorry. I thought Iíd lie down for ten minutes before I picked you up and I just fell into this deep sleep. When I woke up and it was 3:40 already, so I got here as soon as I could.
Last night, at around 3:00 am, I was in the kitchen for some Alka Seltzer Ďcause I had a stomachache. And I thought I heard something on the floor. I looked down and I saw a MOUSE run across the floor! So I woke up daddy and asked him to set up a trap so that by tonight it would be dead. Heís not afraid of mice; he grew up with them as pets. I hate mice! So after that, I couldnít sleep.

Jane: I wish you hadnít told me that, EW!! Wow, now I feel like there are mice crawling all over me, aah! I hate them!

* * * * *

Carrie: Hold on! Mommy! Iím really hungry. You said when I got home from the game you would make me dinner.

Carol: Iím sorry! I didnít tell you what happened yet; I have a good excuse though.

Carrie: Can we have angel hair pasta?

Carol: If you get it out we can. Itís in the freezer.

Jane: Arggh!! Never mind!

Carrie: Itís not in here, Mommy, did you eat it!!??

Carol: No!

Carrie: Jane? Did u eat it?

Simultaneously Carol and Jane: NO!

Carrie: Uh, this is so annoying! Iím so hungry!

Carol: Uh, thereís too much excitement around here!

Jane: I have to do my homework.

Carrie: Mommy, can you make me dinner?

Carol: Okay, I have those frozen Mystic Pizzas from the Food Emporium.

Carrie: EhÖ okay fine.

05.03.04
9 Weeks.
Thatís how many weeks Iíve been on jury duty. But there appears to be an end in sight. Pray for me.

Brian is engaged in his third-year finals. I try to leave him alone so he can study. Most of the time, I end up sitting beside him on the couch as he tries to read, asking him hypothetical questions about what vegetable he would bring with him if he were trapped on a desert island. Squash or zucchini? Pressing questions demand immediate answers.

This past Friday Sam Neuman and I went to see High Noon, which starred an old Gary Cooper and a significantly less-old Grace Kelly. I had seen the movie when I was about ten, but all I remembered of it was a bunch of hay and some shooting at the end. I suppose I was not the most cognitively-advanced child. At 27, I think I appreciated the movie much more, the lack of makeup and glitz, the allusions to the Hollywood blacklisting of the McCarthy era. But what I appreciated the most was the theme song, which was repeated over and over throughout the movie. What a snappy tune. I hope it sticks in your head as well.

One last note about my weekend: After I had my hair dyed but before I wrote about it, I went to the Met with Susan to see their special exhibit Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the 18th Century. It was fun, because the exhibitors had dressed mannequins in fancy gowns and suites and then posed them as if there were indulging in lewd activities. Susan and I laughed. Some people carrying Bloomingdaleís shopping bags kept blocking our view of the labels and commenting on period dress using highly accented French. We hated them. Then we sat in Central Park and watched children roll down the hills and dogs run around idiotically and pee on each other. A family playing with a rainbow kite managed to get it stuck up in a tree. We laughed at this too.

I am so excited for the release of the un-cut, un-censored, un-dubbed Godzilla. Check out the trailer. Itís just wonderful.

05.02.04
I got a haircut.
And color

And what a color it is! I think it looks swell and all, but itís a bit loud, reminiscent of some other colors my hair has been, whoopsy kinds of colors. But this one I paid good money for. I went to an Aveda Concept Salon, and a professional colorist insisted that the look would be funky, yet serious. I had asked for streaks of blonde and red, and he said, "No, no. That is not you. On you, it will look cheap. My idea is much better. Trust me. Do you trust me?"

I trusted him.

Truthfully, I do think it looks delightful, which may suggest that I have some chromosomes missing. My hair is now the color of my bat mitzvah dress back in 1989.

Nevertheless, I ran around today with a shmatte on my head just in case I should run into my grandmother (we live in the same building). I fear for my life. What the professional colorist calls "funky, yet serious," my grandmother is going to call "UGLY, UGLY, UGLY!" She will shout this in my ear with her shrill voice until I dye my hair back a normal color.

About a year ago, I had my hair colored a more subdued shade of red. My parents came to visit, and my grandmother spoke to my mother loudly, making sure I was within earshot. She said, "Elaine, will you PLEASE tell your daughter that her hair is an ULGY UGLY color!"

My mother said, "I think it looks fine."

"She could be such a nice-looking girl if she didnít dye her hair such an UGLY color."

"I donít mind it," my mother said.

My grandmother became frustrated. "The way your daughterís hair is, I can hardly bare to look at her. Because itís so DISGUSTING."

"I donít know what youíre talking about. I think it looks just fine."

"WELL I DONíT!" And my grandmother stomped off.

That was over a more subdued shade of red. What is she going to say to fuchsia? Iím 27 and married, yet I am terrified my grandmother will yell at me. But her yelling is terrifying. So it is shmattes until I think of something better.



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