Whilst talking about my family to friends, I often receive looks.
Looks that say quite clearly "whatever Beth, you are exaggerating" (Peoples' eyes are generally a lot less polite than their voices)
(With the exception, that is, of the lovely Francesca. Her eyes usually say something like "Hahahaha! Tell your cousin I said Hi". Fran, having met most of my family members, knows the TRUTH.
She also, incidentally,witnessed the following Event ...or at least I think she did? Did you Fran? Did you?)
My grandparents like to travel. For as long as I can remember, they have packed up their little yellow caravan and hop.hop.hopped all over the country (it only takes about three hops, this is New Zealand). Sometimes they bring back gifts...Awesome, right? Right.
Their last "big" trip was to the South Island...
On their return we were subjected to two hours of "and look there's another lake..." photos.
I dutifully sat still and "Ooohed", because I am sweet. Um, or because I am a mercenary little soul and love presents...and I'd been promised a Very Special Present.
After an eternity (metaphorical of course, ha), present time had arrived.
Giddy with anticipation, heartbeat racing into overdrive, I tore open my package...and made a noise that went something like this
and bared my teeth in a terrible rictus of a smile.
Eager to display the Very Special Present, my nana swooped down and grabbed the unisex Yfronts from my (confused) fingers.
Holding them aloft in all their androgynous glory, she proceeded to explain their Special status...
"Now Bethy Buttons, these are Very Special Pants. I bought them in Queenstown, at the ski resort.." pauses to beam "They are very fashionable! All the Japanese girls are wearing them...and even some Americans!"
I smiled, hugged her, said thank you properly (because I'm a polite brat) and excused myself.
I spent five minutes hiding in a linen closet, in hysterics.
Once I had sufficiently recovered, I plastered a beatific smile on my dial and re-entered the room, clasping the treasured article to my chest in a (rather convincing) display of enamoured appreciation.
My grandmother then succeeded in destroying my composure (and caused me to once more take flight) by remarking briskly "So glad you like them m'dear, now remember, these are nice pants. They're for good, not for everyday! And they're just for you. So don't you go sharing them around!"
I have never been able to ascertain exactly how my grandmother determined the undergarment preferences of her fellow tourists..
Or for that matter, work out what she imagined my extracurricular activities to be...Underwear swappage? Orgification? Some mysterious activity/ ritual involving the removal of underpants from my body...to be placed on someone elses?
Why you may ask, am I recounting this sordid tale of bizarre benefactory and ungrateful granddaughters? Dredging up the past? Ahem, er, airing dirty laundry?
My grandparents get back from Christchurch in a week. Ima' gonna start practisin' my happy face...