Thursday, January 20, 2005

Hugs and kisses

My grandma signed all of her cards with Xs and Os.

Sometime after I learned how to read, or perhaps sometime after I started reading the cards she sent me instead of pocketing the money and ditching the card, I realized this.

After her name, Grandma would write a neat, even row of Xs and Os. In the thank you note that I sent back, I put two rows of Xs and Os. At her next opportunity, Grandma would up me to three.

The birth of an inside joke.

We went back and forth. Eventually, Meg joined forces with me and, together, we would spank Grandma with Xs and Os. On the inside of cards. On the envelope. With additional pages inserted.

Dear Grandma,
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
Hugs and Kisses,
Your darling granddaughters

Grandma loved it. She thought, as any grandparent should, that we were the most adorable, clever little beings who had ever inhabited Earth. And so our cousins joined in, assaulting Grandma with Xs and Os so she couldn’t possibly think that Meg and I were more adorable or more clever than they were.

Our mothers got involved. They bought anything they found that was emblazoned with Xs and Os – picture frames, cards, stickers, socks, candy, stupid little figurines, pencils and plush toys – and put them away for Grandma’s birthday, Christmas or Valentine’s Day. We’d wrap up the XO-themed gift and giggle amongst ourselves when Grandma squealed with delight.

On Valentine’s Day, 2003, 17 days before my grandma died, my mom told Meg to pick something out of her Xs and Os stockpile and deliver it, along with a Valentine’s Day card, to Grandma’s house.

Meg misunderstood and emptied Mom’s XO gift warehouse. She brought Grandma everything my mom had.

I remember thinking that she was such an ass.

I swallowed the irony 17 days later.

My sister, my mom, my cousins and I all wear the same ring. Sterling silver, from Tiffany’s, my mom bought them for all of us. It’s a beautiful ring. And there’s something incredibly comforting about having a finger encircled by Xs and Os.



I wear mine every day.

Taking a little bit of Grandma with me, everywhere I go.

It's nice.

3 comments:

Pink Poppy said...

Awww...I LOVE that story! It's wonderful. And I love the ring, too. Another Tiffany's girl? Yes, you'll fit right in, Poppy on Ice. Cheers!

Plantation said...

Pretty ring. Grandma's rock. I lost mine in 1999. She was 93. I see you're getting some new customers from some of my blog reads. I love our little community!!!

Robert_M said...

That is such a wonderful post!

 
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