For the record, the florist just replaced my Aunt J'Nelle - and those were pretty big shoes to fill. My mother could go on for days about how my Aunt had wasted her life and could have done anything with her multiple degrees, how she thought she was better than anyone else when she came back from Boston, and then could never admit how pea green jealous she was of her college roommate - Liddy Dole. (My Aunt J'Nelle was a die hard liberal democrat, who dreamed of being a Kennedy.) But I digress.
Oh my Aunt had her own triumvirate - how provincial my mother was, the fact that the republicans were going to ruin the country, and the God awful manners most people exhibited at the dinner table. The perfect storm was the two of them in the same room. Then the aftermath followed. They each had fodder for weeks. And the rest of us just had to endure the fallout.
Meanwhile my dear Aunt Kat kept to her matronly topics, the Presbyterian church, her cats, and her best friend, Mary Ella (a fellow old maid). Her most racy comment most likely would have concerned Martha McCorkle putting onions in her chicken salad for the church homecoming dinner. But even that would have been said in hushed tones and not in mixed company.
I was reminded of all this just this morning when (in a moment of total insanity) I asked my mother, "What's up?" "Oh, you wouldn't believe it. I know you are busy, but to make a long story short, that florist down the street has just added more topiaries to his driveway. It's starting look like Disney World." "Now, I wouldn't say that. So far he hasn't added any characters." (I just couldn't help myself.) The remark was lost on her, because she moved. "And, did I tell you Harriett died. The funeral will be tomorrow. But, it was for the best, she was in bad shape." All, I had to do was bide my time, the Sunday school class was on deck.