They were all over the place, her paintings of voluptuous nudes – the one with dangling boobs next to the purple figure, the big one in the hallway with the pink flower vagina. As I mentioned back in September, Bubbie's house was like an erotica museum. And when I told her so, she smiled this mischievous sideways smile and then took a sip of her vermouth and jiggled the glass to stir up the ice.
I had one of those moments recently where all of a sudden the thought popped into my head, "I should call her. It's been so long."
Followed immediately by remembering.
So, I won't be calling her.
But I can tell you about how she was known to say an off-color thing or two, which maybe doesn't come as the biggest surprise, what with the erotic art and all.
There was the time I brought my future husband to meet her. And she welcomed him in the way a Jewish grandmother does: by gleefully stocking the fridge with cold cuts. In general her kitchen was a sight to behold, all the jars of jams and pickles and potato chips and cheeses and salted nuts and chocolates. And she stocked up extra nice for him, which I can tell you he really enjoyed and availed himself of, which in turn made her sort of purr, as a Jewish grandmother.
And at the end of that first visit she pulled out her fly swatter. She touched it to his left shoulder and then his right.
“I dub thee honorary grandson,” she said. Then with a smile and a big dramatic flourish of her hand to block her face from his view, she said to me in the loudest stage whisper, “IS HE CIRCUMCISED?”
Naturally my cheeks went red and hot. But I wanted to be game and play it cool, so I smiled.
“I don’t know," I said in a sing-songy voice, and I shrugged a big curious shrug.
“Good answer,” she said, nodding.