Thursday, June 16, 2011

I carried a watermelon.

The following is a true story that took place in the few days we had in between packing for our move and physically getting on a plane. As I put it all together, this little gem stands on it's own... 

The scene: a BBQ at my aunt's house on my mom's side of the family.

Nona (my grandmother): "Ah! We forgota the watermelony." (In a strong Italian accent)
Nana Lu (my mom): "Oh that's OK. Another day."
Nona: "Do you want watermelon?" (to me)
Me: "No, I'm fine."
Nona: "Something in Italian."
Me: "Do you want me to want watermelon?"
Nona: "No, do you wanta a watermelon?"
Me: "I can want watermelon, if you want."
Nona: "You do?"
Me: "Sure, I want watermelon. Do you want me to go and get it?"
Nona: "NOOOOO. Is 15 lbs." 

Me: "OK."
Nona: "But you wanta a watermelon?"
Me: "There is no way the watermelon is 15 pounds. Is that even possible? I'll go get it and bring mom."

It's maybe a 10 minute walk tops- from my aunt's house to my grandmother's house.  If there really was a 15 lb watermelon in our future I wasn't going to schlep all that in the heat; or if it were cold, if I'm being honest.  All I wanted to do was get this damn watermelon so my grandmother would stop talking about watermelons and so that I could come back and say "I carried a watermelon" and likely be the only one in the room to get it. 

My mom & I get in the car (which is parked in a driveway, facing down - toward my aunt's car) and for some reason I feel uneasy. I feel like I can't go in reverse. Truly. Everyone starts laughing at me (fine 1 cousin and my mother - but to be fair, that was everyone who could see me). I got the ball & chain and asked him to get us out of the downward dog facing parking spot we were in. He laughed, threw the car in reverse and crashed INTO my aunt's car which was parked in FRONT of us. The car wouldn't go in reverse, for real.  My uncle & husband tried to PUSH the car up a 45 degree angle - but since they don't have super human powers we went with waiting for AAA.  

As we wait, I crack watermelon jokes. Dessert is served? I say, "You know what would be great right now? Watermelon." Someone says, "Do you want anything to drink?" I say, "Nah, but I sure do wish I could have some watermelon." My grandmother asks if I want a brownie, I respond with, "No. I just can't stop thinking about that watermelon!" I find this hilarious. My grandmother? Not so much would be an understatement. She's all in an (Italian) huff about something that I don't really understand and since it isn't all that strange for her to be in any language of huff - I keep cracking watermelon jokes. One might think it's obvious that my jokes are what is making her cranky, but if one might think that one might never have spent any amount of time with Nona. It could have been anything.

Unfortunately (and of COURSE) AAA sent a SUV instead of a tow truck as requested - so this leaves more time for me to make watermelon jokes. The ball and chain starts to realize that Nona's crankiness is escalating and since it was his car that was trapping us all there decides to walk to my mom's and get her car and provide an exit strategy.  Eventually, the tow truck comes, and though the angry mechanic (who didn't think I could drive the car - and should we 'get a man' to come) thought the car was totally broken - it turns out HE was wrong and I was in fact right - it was just reverse. 

The. Car. Stopped. Being. Able. To. Go. In. Reverse.

As soon as we get the car going forward, out marches my grandmother, asking if we are going to go to her house to get the watermelon. Cause when you have a car that only goes straight, your first priority is to get your watermelon on.  I tell her no, cut her off about the damn watermelon and tell her I was joking and really don't want watermelon. In a frustrated pregnant haze I may have yelled to my younger cousins something to the effect of - don't try to be funny, no one in this family will ever get you or humor. 

I don't know that I convinced her - but off we went. Me in the car that would just go straight with the kid and husband and she with my mom who now had her car as well.  They drove off and I'm fairly certain they were still talking about the god damn watermelon. (Side note: this is going somewhere, I promise.)

As we get back to my moms - which is where we were staying that night since we couldn't go in reverse to park, we had to circle the block and drive past my grandmothers (they live next door-ish to one another - we call it the compound).  There they were. My mother in the car, my grandmother in the drive way - screaming at one another about ... you guessed it the freaking watermelon. I hopped OUT of the car, yelled for them to stop and said - something to the effect of - open the damn door and give me the god damn watermelon you crazy bats. And then - that's when I saw it. The biggest watermelon I have ever seen. This thing was fair win worthy. 
(troll used for scale)

And so, I came home - carrying a watermelon.

Now why? In the delicious summer fruit's name was my grandmother SO obsessed with this freaking thing? It turns out, that there is a superstition that when a pregnant woman is craving something she must have that thing she craves or the baby she is carrying will have a birthmark the shape of the food she is craving in the place the mother touched her skin after saying whatever it is she craved.

So there I am, with all this talk about watermelons, thinking I am HILARIOUS touching my face, arm, hands, neck - my grandmother is seriously concerned my child is going to come out with watermelon shaped birthmarks around his or her body if not completely covered in them. Legitimately worried about this. What's a girl to do? 

Eat that delicious watermelon and eat it I did. I cut it up (as directed) for her, my aunt and us - and delivered the HUGE ass third of deliciousness to all. I carried a watermelon to each door and with each delivery my opening line was, "I carried a watermelon." And for that moment of our week, all was right with the world. 

More on our moving story - in it's completion tomorrow.

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