“Jenny, would you like my bedroom set?”
“Why would you give away your bedroom set?”
“You know. For when I die.”
My ticker stops for a sec. Too matter-of-fact.
“I don’t want to talk about that,” I tell her.
“Well we’ve got to.”
“Not today we don’t. Besides what are you going to keep your cute pajamas in if you give away your bedroom set?”
“Well it’s good to be responsible about these things,” she tells me. “I’d like you to have my bedroom set cause your mother tells me you STILL don’t have one. There. All done! That wasn’t so bad. Now, what fun things shall we talk about?”
Responsibility isn’t always fun to talk about. But tonight it’s fun to remember.
A brief list of responsible things I learned from my Gam . . .
1 It’s OK not to talk to anyone first thing in the morning until you get your grumpies out. (More later)
2 When you go swimming, you always wear sunscreen. But no higher than a 4 or a 6 SPF or else you won’t get a nice tan.
3 Ice cream tastes the best after the news was finished (When I was little I couldn’t understand how Dan Rather could ever be more exciting then going for ice cream. Oh well.)
4 Good neighbors always have a pot of coffee going for drop-ins. Always.
5 When you’re going out, you always wear lipstick and always wear earrings. Always.
6 You go to church on Sundays and you raise your hands or else you don’t love Jesus. (More on that later.)
7 Clean the house BEFORE the cleaning lady gets there. Not because you need a cleaning lady, but because you know someone who could use the work.
8 Treat maintenance men and waitresses with your utmost respect. When your cat runs away or you need an oversized Geisha portrait hung in the perfect spot, you’ll have plenty of help.
9 Say thank you with huge tins of brownies.
10 Decorate your place how you want to, with things you love. Even if that means you have a Christmas tree hung with nothing but homemade stuffed cat faces with google eyes.
11 Take long walks with your dog even if you go so far you get lost.
12 When you say you’ll pray for someone, do it. God listens to anything you put on your fridge
13. Ask for hugs when you need them. Sometimes you just need a hug.
14. When in doubt, tell someone you love them. Even if its three times in a row and you feel silly saying it.
15. Starbucks coffee is overrated and “smells like burnt socks”.
16. Family is the most important thing you’ll ever have.
17. Don’t stare at people who look different than you, even if they have an extra thumb. They’re probably the nicest people you’ll ever meet.
18. Oatmeal is so much more fun with rainbow sprinkles.
19. Old Bay seasoning makes anything taste perfect.
20. Cheer for your favorite teams.
21. Knowing the words to The Wells Fargo Wagon is a resume-worthy life skill.
22. Corgis are God’s favorite dogs.
23. Feed the hungry; you’ll find a best friend. (Even if its about stray cats.)
24. Swear words are sometimes necessary.
25. Keep your life savings in a sock under your mattress.