taking the passive out of passive-aggressive

Sunday, June 01, 2003

So my grandmother came to town this weekend with her husband Bill (pronounced something like "Beel") and they were mostly the same as ever, except older. Nana (that's my grandmother) is getting cataract surgery instead of plastic surgery, but at least Bill was wearing his habitual track suit.

They drive a crab wagon all over the place all year long, selling crab cakes at state fairs and various festivals, which must be a really hard life for a seventy-some year old woman like my grandmother. Even Bill, who's maybe only sixty (I know he's a lot younger than my Nana) must be wearing down--after all, he had some kind of injury for which he was receiving workman's comp.

Anyway, they always come bearing gifts, and for me they had this framed print of herbs, which was fine, and for my one sister they had this set of decorative plates, okay, but then for my other sister? the older one? they bring a framed print of the Rapture. Yes, the Rapture! This version of it had all kinds of pretty ladies and babies being sucked up from earth on a beam of light. The ladies and babies were all much bigger than the earth, in terms of scale, and Christ up at the top of the beam of light was really tiny. And at the bottom all it said, in a bad font, was "The Rapture". It was a nice picture frame, though.

Now, I'm not against the Bible, per se, but Revelations was written by an insane, frothing, angry, and psychopathic monk. It's clearly the work of a lunatic, so painting pretty pictures about it is... well, strange. I have to imagine that my nana, with her cataracts, may not have noticed that she was giving my sister a picture of the Rapture--or maybe it was meant for my religious aunt.

Still, my sister always gets these strange gifts from relatives--muscleman beer-holders, strange teal caftans, QVC miscellany, pictures of the Rapture... why her? The weirdest thing I've ever gotten was a bunch of ill-fitting dresses from my dad, which I had to return under cover of darkness lest I hurt his feelings. But every Christmas, every birthday, she ends up with something just strange enough to be unsettling, but not strange enough to be funny.

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