On one of her “good” days, Gam was in storytelling mode.
“When you were little, I asked you and Patty what color mashed potatoes you wanted. You said ‘yellow!’ And I asked Patty, ‘what kind of mashed potatoes would you like?’ And she looked at me like I was a crazy lady and said ‘They don’t come in colors,’ and I said ‘You wanna bet?”
I think it’s funny how our little personalities are set in little bodies, even a big long time ago. I’m a day-dreamer and a spacey creative and a little odd. Yellow mashed potatoes? Of course! Why not? Patty’s very practical; she’s an analyzer and she’s sharp and very bright. Potatoes are not supposed to come in colors.
Anyway. So she plated our potatoes and used the magic of McCormick to make blue and yellow mashers, respectively–and from their respective box of flakes. Gam always preferred the boxed brands to peeling the real stuff.
(She also used to ask us what color bath water we wanted . . . which did wonders for her towels.)
“That’s so fun,” I tell her.
She smiles. “One day I’ll make colored mashed potatoes for your babies.”
And right there at the kitchen table, I’m suddenly sad. And angry. Because the truth is she won’t be able to. And my babies won’t be able to know their Gam. Sometimes I’m feel like I’m growing more OK with not having a family of my own–it does get hard at 30. And then sometimes, like this time, I’m not so much OK. And I ask God why it’s so much trouble. I would love for my babies to have colored mashed potatoes. Moreso, I’d love for them to know their great-grandmother, even just a wee bit. Because some of the stories are hard to believe. And because every kid needs colored mashed potatoes.
If I’m ever so blessed, I’m going to make the mashed potatoes anyway. I don’t know if you know this, but they come in colors.