Monday, May 9, 2011

Farewell to Lan Lan. And my sanity.

Yesterday I came home from work and was met at the door by a clearly distraught Audrey. She wiped a tear from her cheek and drew in a deep breath before telling me, "Lan Lan ... is ... gone!"

My mind raced. Lan Lan. Lan Lan. Who the hell is Lan Lan?

A classmate of hers? No.

A relative? No.

One of the turtles? No, we haven't named them yet.

I decided sympathy was in order regardless of who Lan Lan was so I gave her a warm hug and said, "Oh sweetheart, I'm so sorry for your loss."

And then, gently, "Now remind me, who was Lan Lan again?"

"My dolphin!" she yelled indignantly, as if I had blanked on the name of my own grandchild. "Grant poked a hole in her and she deflated!" She ran to her room and slammed the door.

I knocked on the door and tried to comfort her with the fact that Lan Lan had gone to be with her Maker. Probably somewhere in Guangzhou.

She yelled at me to go away.

I went to find Grant, who was stretched out on the guest bed watching a Chinese drama about fighting the Japanese in the 40s. On an interesting side note, you can turn on the T.V. at any time of the day or night in China and see a dramatization of the fighting with the Japanese.

Well, I think that side note is interesting.

Anyway, Grant showed no remorse for his crime.

"She poured 酸梅汤 (sour plum juice) in my water gun so I killed her dolphin!" he cried.

He said it with such conviction, as if the dolphinticide were his God-given right. As if he had killed in self-defense. As if the dolphin had been armed and Grant had no choice but to take him out.

I felt compelled to say something but I didn't know where to start.

"Grant, you can't just..."

"Do you really think killing a dolphin is..."

I gave up because I couldn't think of way to complete those sentences that wasn't completely ridiculous.

Alright, Downtown Diner customers tell me what you would have said to Grant if you were the lucky woman God picked to be his mother. You can also leave condolences for Audrey, in the Comments section.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My niece hugging the "First Woman"

April 29th was "Take Our Daughters to Work Day" and for my sister Christi, that means she took her daughter to the White House. Christi is a White House correspondent. I'm a little bit proud of her.

I saw Mandy on Friday and she told me all about it. Her highlights were:

  1. The "necklace" they gave her at the door. That was her press pass, which you can see on the lanyard around her neck.
  2. Hugging the "First Woman". I thought about telling her she's called the "First Lady" but her expression was just so darn cute...
  3. Wondering why the press can't clap when the First Woman enters the room. We talked about how the press is supposed to remain impartial and that's hard if they're in the habit of cheering for lawmakers. Mandy was unconvinced but I love the fact that she's learning first hand about the importance of journalistic integrity. She might just follow in my sister's footsteps one day. If that happens I will straighten her out on the whole First Lady vs. First Woman business.

As for me, I love the way Mrs. Obama is holding that little girl's face in her hands.

She is taking her so seriously.

And cherishing her.