Sunday, January 29, 2012

Willard Scott? Willard Scott?


This post has nothing to do with food.

My grandmother -- who has appeared regularly on this blog over the years -- turned 100 on Friday. It felt like a national holiday. Family came from Guatemala and Texas and Rhode Island and friends came from all over the San Francisco Bay Area for the party.  My aunt did an outstanding job with the guest list and the menu and the venue and when it was over I was sad.

Justine and I read a limerick:

"She was born Julia Aida
But to us she's always been Dita.
She grew up in Guatemala City
And word has it she was quite pretty
Which makes sense 'cause she still is at fifty. . ."

It went on, but -- hard to believe! -- deteriorated from there.

I then gave a brief, earnest toast about Dita's wonderfulness as a grandmother, citing her steadiness, her absolute consistency, her ability to listen, all of it true and all of it heartfelt, all of it maybe a little boring and missing the impish je ne sais quoi that is so integral to her charm and character.
1997: Isabel could look a lot better. Dita couldn't.
What I really wanted to say is that my grandmother, who comes across as a very proper and polite, is deep down mischievous and zany. She appears so prim that people approach her like a fragile little doll and sometimes look like they're about to kiss her ring. But encouraged just a tiny bit and she proves to be adventurous and wacky and hilarious, especially after half a beer or a watered-down old fashioned.

1993: after two margaritas in Panajachel
I know better!

At the party with our friend Ayelet
I didn't take a single picture Friday so I had to swipe the photo above off Facebook. Too busy making toasts, swallowing happy tears, swallowing wine (oops), and avoiding the crab cakes. 

*I had this post all written on Saturday but couldn't bring myself to push the button on account of this baby picture. I think it's adorable, but my grandmother detests it. She thinks it makes her look fat. Which it does. But she was a baby and a lifetime of slenderness cancels out a chubby phase circa 1912, doesn't it? I still feel sheepish about posting it, but I'm posting it, mostly because she doesn't read my blog. 


  1. She gives great hope to moms of fat babies everywhere. And you are right--when a BABY, one should have rolls. Great post. Glad it was a great party.

  2. She looks fantastic, at a few months, at 85 and at 100!

  3. (Now I miss my grandmother.)

  4. I LOVE the post-margarita picture. Your grandmother looks like a spunky, lovely lady. Happy birthday to her!

  5. Clearly the root of your awesomeness. That last one -- is that her at 100 this weekend? Because I'd take that at 65.

  6. She sounds like a pip. You should write her life story.

  7. Very nice. Happy birthday to your grandmother. :)

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