I spend a lot of time with my Aunt Batsy. I go to her house several times a week for breakfast or lunch. Sometimes just coffee. Most of the time I bring the kids. She likes to make ice cream sundaes at ten in the morning, so they like going there. Her pantry is full of Cheetos and potato chips and cookies. She only buys Oreos nowadays because someone told her that every kid can eat them because no kids are allergic to Oreos. She keeps them right next to the peanut butter.
Sometimes we take the show on the road and go to her hot spot, The Dollar Store. Taking an eighty year-old woman and four small children to The Dollar Store is my own personal version of hell. The last time we went, she spent over one hundred dollars. At The Dollar Store. I didn’t even think that was possible. She just lets the kids run wild and put whatever the hell they want into the cart. She doesn’t use the word no. It was pure insanity. I was sick thinking about taking all of that crap home. It would be all over my clean house. It would take me days to throw it all away when the kids weren’t looking. But it makes Aunt Batsy happy and you know the kids were beside themselves.
We tend to work up an appetite after a shopping spree like that. So our next stop is usually Huck Finn. A twenty-four hour restaurant that serves breakfast all day. It’s actually one of my fave places to eat as well. Just not with this crew. We always get the same big semi-circle booth as a way to try to contain the children. Sometimes it works. The kids are allowed to order donut sundaes for dinner. Yes, an ice cream topped donut. I don’t even care at this point because at least I know they’ll finish everything on their plate. Aunt Batsy likes to order the special, which tends to be liver and onions. If I order a salad I have to hear about how she can’t eat all of that roughage at her age. So I usually go with the omelet to avoid the conversation entirely.
Sometimes our outings are childless. Like today. We went to the beauty parlor together because as Aunt Batsy put it, she looks like something that was shot out of a cannon. She has a way with words. On the drive to the beauty parlor, she told me how she had to attend a funeral that morning. She was embarrassed about her hair so she wore a tiara in hopes that people would look at the tiara instead of the state of her roots. I bet the family of the deceased appreciated that. Me: Excuse me? You wore a tiara to a funeral? Her: Oh, it wasn’t a big tiara, it was just a little tiara. Me: Oh, it was just a little tiara. Okay, now that makes perfect sense. At a funeral. Who in God’s name owns a tiara? Aunt Batsy, that’s who.
You know you’re long overdue for a haircut when you have to start wearing tiaras to funerals. So thankfully, my fave hairstylist, Vicki, could fit us in. Aunt Batsy wanted the works. I just needed some highlights and a trim. I went with pink and tried to get Aunt Batsy to do the same, but she wasn’t having it. She said something along the lines of, are you nuts? Yeah, I’m the crazy one. I’m not the one wearing tiaras to funerals. But in the end Vicki did an awesome job and Aunt Batsy looked fab. And more importantly, no one would mistake her for being shot out of a cannon.
My cousin Shelly was at my house watching my kids and hers and probably about ten neighbor kids. And Beau would be coming home from work soon. Aunt Batsy was concerned that dinner wouldn’t be waiting on the table for poor Beau when he got home. And Shelly wouldn’t have dinner waiting for Quint since she was at my house. Gasp! This was a thought that never even crossed mine or Shelly’s minds. But Aunt Batsy insisted on buying us all dinner because what kind of a woman doesn’t have a hot meal waiting on the table for her hard working husband? Not me. Or Shelly. So we all dined on our favorite Chinese food. It was the perfect end to the perfect day. With Aunt Batsy.