As I pulled out the iron to touch up a pillow case that came out of the wash a bit too wrinkled, I caught myself thinking about my Grandma DeLaMare. I chuckled as I decided that was exactly something I might have teased her for doing years ago. She was the epitome of "proper" to me. Her Victorian style home decor, complete with lace tablecloths, doillies and covers on the arms of her armchairs, was always dusted and clean. She would decorate each month by putting out her assortment of ceramic pieces appropriate for each holiday and dressing the stone goose on her doorstep. She taught me to write a proper thank-you note. She reminded me how address people correctly and politely. She would rebuke me if I dared to wear slacks instead of a skirt to a baby shower at her home or on a Sunday. I remember her exclaiming how shocked she was that women don't always wear nylons with a dress to church. Almost every time I came to visit, she would steer me in the kitchen and show me her oven to make sure I knew how clean it was, because I told her once as a 5 yr old that her oven was dirty. She collected enough of 2 kinds of formal china so she would have enough place settings for her entire family (around 50 people) to eat on for Sunday dinner or other events. I got a thoughtful note in a birthday card every year that would arrive on the right day or just before...never late.
And then I got thinking...that sounds a lot like my mom, too. My, she is a lot like her mother. And really, that's not a bad thing.
But, oh, I am beginning to see myself as well. And not just because I iron pillowcases. The one thing I was adamant about having on my wedding registry was china. Not just because I was told to get it (like my friends that haven't used theirs in 10 yrs since they got married), but because I wanted it and knew I would use it. I love to cook and entertain with food, just like my grandma. I like to make things look nice and composed. I dress up to go out to a concert or dinner, or wedding receptions (when I see so many people there in jeans or shorts). I write thank-you cards and put personal messages in them.
What would the world be like if we didn't have grandmas and moms to remind us of etiquette, courtesy and respect. Dismal, rude and uncouth, I would venture to guess. I am so glad that some of her has rubbed off on me. I miss her tonight.