Toad in the Hole

April 05, 2007

A Jeanne Story

I've asked the rest of the family for Jeanne stories, because we spent a couple of evenings sitting around at Pat's and drinking beer and laughing our asses off at Jeanne stories. Our niece Angela sent me this one.

Jeanne would've been, oh, a highschool junior or senior in this one; "Mom"/grandmother here is my own mother.

I was 4, maybe 5 when Mom (my grandmother) bought me a Hollie Hobby play set. Perfect for the domestic goddess in training. It included a lovely bonnet, a cute little apron, and a tiny broom so that I could begin my domestic goddess training in style...

Now, I may be 5 years old, but excuse the fuck out of me? I don't know who was worse, the person who invented such an evil "play set", or the person who purchased it for me and thought it was a good gift idea!!!!!!! (Sorry, Mom, I know you meant well, really.)

Either way, there was no way, not in a million years that I'm putting on this ridiculous gender biased piece of crap!!!! Screw off!!!

Then along came Jeanne. Coming over to Harris Lodge (Mom's apartment in Harrisburg) for a visit. She arrives just as my grandmother and I are beginning to argue about it.

"What's going on???" she asks. My grandmother proceeds to tell her about our little disagreement. Jeanne tries to console both of us, and decides that the only solution to this mess is to show me just how cool my new threads truly are... She puts on the bonnet, she ties the apron around her tiny little waist, but not covering up her leather belt with the beer tab buckle.

I tell her she looks great and that she should keep it. It really compliments her glittery cobra shirt and her clogs... So she thanked me and wore it all day. As each hour passed, I grew more and more envious, and started seeing the "coolness" of that apron and bonnet.

I then started to think, "Hey, I don't have to sweep with the broom, I can ride on it around the house." I wanted it back. I wanted it back so badly that I was sulking, but far too stubborn to let on my feelings.

So, as Jeanne was leaving, walking out the door in the bonnet and apron, carrying my broom, I stopped her and said, "Are you really going to take that?" (big crocodile tears in my eyes)

She said "Well, you said I can have it, I was going to wear it out tonight, but if you want it back, I guess you can have it." She took everything off and handed it to me; I immediately put it on. If Jeanne thought it was cool, it must be cool. Jeanne was so cool.

I spent the rest of the afternoon wearing the apron, wore the bonnet around my neck like the hood of my pretend cloak, and rode my broom around the apartment calling myself the "Witchy Holly Hobbie."

I was so cool....

This is the first vivid memory I have of her.

Posted at April 5, 2007 04:30 AM


What a sweet story--and a wise woman.

Posted by: Sally at April 5, 2007 08:02 PM

what a great story! and from the next generation, yet. can hardly wait to see what jeanne's sibs want to tell [although it may be too soon yet, to want to give any of those memories away]. xoxoxo

Posted by: kathy a at April 5, 2007 11:32 PM

Great story. I can just picture it...

Posted by: Pica at April 6, 2007 03:16 PM

Hey Now. Ron’s brother Patrick out of lurk mode with a Jeanne story that also involved headgear, a costume of sorts I guess. The date was 10/26/85 at a Grateful Dead concert in Tampa. After becoming separated from our designated driver Johnny and Jeanne’s first husband Cowboy, (a story of its own), a girl I knew at the time Caroline, Jeanne and I walked into the venue. I used to have this funny hat - it was a baseball cap thing, black with a yellow stuffed forearm on the bill, middle finger extended. Jeanne thought it would be great to wear it that night so into the show we went. We were just beginning to get into the frame of mind typical for these occasions and we were walking through the crowd, Jeanne a step in front of Caroline and me. The people walking the other direction would get a big grin on their faces as they walked by, some pointing and laughing. It took me a second or two to realize what they were laughing at, and right about that time I saw Jeanne’s face. Her eyes were as big as saucers and she had this look of horror. Holy shit! She’s forgotten that she’s wearing the hat! I pointed this out to Caroline and we of course stated losing it. This went on for a little while longer and Jeanne finally turned around to see us laughing too and says “What the hell is going on? Everyone is laughing at me!” “Its OK Jeanne, they’re laughing at the hat!” We stopped for a minute and all hugged, laughed hysterically about the situation. The rest of the show she embraced the attention as usual, proudly wearing that silly hat. It was a strange, funny and unforgettable night for a lot reasons, but that part still stands out to me all these years later. One of many great times I had with my beautiful, smart, funny and fun sister Jeanne. Patrick.

Posted by: Patrick at April 10, 2007 02:09 AM

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