Sunday, June 7, 2015
The day I've been waiting for since I was a chubster bucktooth in the '70s watching the Derby with my grandmother (some people called her a pip) on her naugahyde recliner in her living room (referred to as "the bird room" because of the knockoff Audubon-print wallpaper she loved so much) eating unsanctioned sweets and too allergic to horses to even feed the glorious animals apples without getting hives, is here.
I'm not a sports fan of anything except American horse racing every year in the early spring and World Cup soccer every four years (but I married into that) so when American Pharoah crossed the finish 5 1/2 lengths ahead of Frosted yesterday on Long Island I hollered. I felt Seabiscuit's soft ghostly nose brushing my cheek. Mama's getting a new pair of shoes! I spluttered.
Mama's getting a t-shirt with Victor Espinoza's face on it! I fangirl squeeed. "Kids," I said to the kids, "you are have just witnessed history." I wept. I blubbered. I'm not ashamed to admit it, I miss my grandma.
She always wore little red and bright-colored pumps (she was kind of a peacock) fit for elves all in a neat row in her closet and complicated hair ornamentation geisha-ish. She would have been toodooleeedooing and slapping the couch saying "Hot Damn!" and things things like, "Mercy!" and carrying on about making a horse-shaped cake to celebrate. She had that kind of skill set.