When I lived in Wisconsin, I didn’t make many friends for one reason or another. One of the people I always got along with, though, was Special K’s grandmother Nana.
She is a surprisingly tough old lady who took care of Special K almost his entire life, so they have a very special bond that I think a lot of his family underestimates. She’s also very outspoken and doesn’t think twice about giving you a piece of her mind. Thankfully, she liked me. We would go over there often to check on her, help take down or put up decorations for holidays, and sometimes Special K would drive her to the doctor.
I liked Nana very much. Helping her was never a chore and she always saved articles or coupons she thought I would like. I wish my own grandmother was like her. But that’s another story altogether. This story is about Christmas, Special K, and fashion. Two of those three words don’t go together, and Christmas is not one of them.
Special K was always content to wear the same three or four plaid shirts over a white t-shirt until I came along, and even then the only thing I was able to do about it was get him to wear a few different plaid shirts over various colored or screened t-shirts. Oh, and a sweater or two. The baseball cap was something else entirely, we won’t even go into that.
One Christmas when everyone had gathered together for the traditional stuffing of themselves, Nana thought she would buy all her grandkids (and great grandkids) an article of clothing. Mine was a super-soft fleecy sweatshirt that I really liked and cannot find these days. It is not often that an 80+ year old woman is able to pick out clothes that young people like, but she seemed to have a knack. Special K’s cousin got a pair of rhinestone studded jeans that she thought were better than pie (she had no idea what she was on about), and Special K himself got a really nice hoodie.
“Thanks, Nana,” he said as he held it up for everyone to see. “I’ve really been wanting a nice sweatshirt with a hood.”
“Dear,” Nana replied, patting him gently on the arm, “The kids call those hoodies.”
Somehow I held in the laughter. I do that a lot. The rest of the family, however, were not quite as adept at it and had a good laugh at Special K, Nana, and the hoodie. I’m sure they still do, and Special K laughs with them because if there’s one thing he can do it’s laugh at himself. This is a good thing if you’re as dorky as him, and I say that in the most loving way possible.
I really should go back to visit him sometime. Just like squirting whipped cream directly into your mouth, Wisconsin is very nice in small, staggered bursts.