Supper at my grandparent's was always a lively occasion. Both of my mother's parents enjoyed fun debates with my father. Those banters could range from politics to idle gossip to the economy to farm issues to sports. Although my grandparents were not "drinkers" per se, when my parents arrived with the liquor bag, everyone had a little nip. Dinner was never a passive affair.
Let me set the scene here. My grandfather had been a big tobacco farmer and had sold the farm and bought my grandmother her dream home in town. Finally, she was able to live a civilized life. He had always promised it to her and he came through in style. Although all of us loved the old farmhouse, this one was more formal and we knew how much Grandmama loved it. Supper was always served in the dining room with my grandfather at the head of the table and my grandmother seated at the other end. This particular evening must not have been during Christmas, because I was seated at the dining room table (ie the Big table), a status I did not achieve during the holidays until I brought my DH to meet the family.
Anyway, my brother and I were seated at the dining room table with my parents and my grandparents. My Aunt J'nellewas in and out of the dining room bringing the serving dishes to the table. The conversation had started with football and had somehow worked its way to how drugs were going to be the downfall of this young generation. My brother quietly took a piece of fried chicken and passed the platter to me, both of us lying low with fear that we would be dragged into this discussion. I could tell from the look in his eye, he too, wanted to join me as part of the wall paper. My father was just commenting that he had read that marijuana was as dangerous as heroin when my aunt entered the room with the bowls of rice and gravy. As she placed them on the table in front of my grandfather, she looked at my father and non-chalantly said, "I don't know how you can say that, I smoked marijuana and I didn't think it was that dangerous." With that, she turned on her heels and went back to the kitchen to get the beans. Well, with this one statement suddenly all the assumptions of my "old maid" aunt went out the window and the order of my universe was changed forever.
When she returned with the beans and sat down, my grandfather said grace and quickly asked my father who he thought would win the ACC title this coming fall, my grandmother asked my brother how school was going, and my mother got up to freshen her drink. I looked across the table and caught the twinkle in my aunt's eye. I had studied genetics in school but looking at my aunt and my mother at the same table tested any theory I had about the gene pool.