Composition experts

Jeannie: [driving through Denver] Up here I’ll show you where [partner of nine years] and I met. It’s called the Hornet. I always like to call it the Whore’s Net.

Jeannie: [commentating on the country song playing, “Letter Home,” by the Forester Sisters] That’s a line in the song. Sometimes she goes out with the girls at work, and their pants still fit. That’s a big deal. You know, like they didn’t turn into lard asses. OK, listen to these words.

[Song plays] Jimmy found somebody else; he told me that on New Year’s Day/ He said he felt like a man with her, and I watched them drive away/ Children and rent: There was no time for tears, just time to carry on/ I didn’t know how to tell you, so there was no letter home.

He “felt like a man with her, and I watched them drive away”? How do you feel with this boot up your ass.

Jeannie: [commentating on the country song playing, Loretta Lynn’s “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man),” emulating Lynn] I always liked this song. Bitch, step on up.

Sarah: Step on up.

Jeannie: She’s such an Aries. Bitch, you want to get on my bad side? Come here, let me pull off your wig.

Jeannie: [describing hijinks as a real-estate agent in 1990s Wichita]  I don’t know what possessed me and [best friend and fellow agent], but we bought these underwear that were like these 4x big-girl. They were like– ::gestures as though holding up large underwear by waistband:: And we put them under [friendly male agent’s] seat, in his car.

Sarah: How did you get into his car?

Jeannie: It must have been open.

Sarah: Was he married?

Jeannie: ::nods::

Jeannie’s partner: And you liked the guy? I thought you said you liked him.

Jeannie: I did like him. He was a dork… Yeah, but we stuffed these underwear under there. He had this [car make], one of the early models. And we knew at some point, someone–

Jeannie’s partner: Was gonna pull the underwear out. Probably at the car wash.

Jeannie: Or his wife.

Jeannie’s son: Did you ever tell him you did that?

Jeannie: Oh God no. I’m trying to think of his wife’s name.

Jeannie’s son: Is he still married?

Jeannie: I’m sure. He probably thought they were hers.

Jeannie: [driving toward a restaurant in downtown Denver and speaking to cell phone’s voice-recognition software to text-message her partner and son, who are visiting a marijana dispensary] Be there at four or we’ll assume you’re finding somewhere else to sleep tonight.

Betty: [from back seat] And no “ha ha” or “LOL.”






Being patient

After Jeannie described receptionist as dramatic character whom patients and medical staff call by nickname

Sarah: Does he know people call him Mr. [name]?

Jeannie: I think he likes it, so he sort of perpetuates the sick cycle.

Nurse: The doctor will be in soon.

Jeannie: Tell him to make it snappy. I’ve got things to do too.

Jeannie: I understand if people need to see it this way, but don’t tell me this is a fucking journey.

Commenting on house-sale process as former real-estate agent

Jeannie: It will happen when it’s supposed to happen, which is probably now-ish.

After Sarah hooked up new cable box for Jeannie, whose partner said she wouldn’t have started by the time he got home

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When our mouths write checks, our asses cash them

Ending a long, seasonal hibernation, things Betty did in a three-hour period this afternoon, in chronological order:

–Say to me in her kitchen, “I complain about being bored, and then I think, ‘You sit at home all day. Get off your ass and go do something.'”

–Paint her nails frosted pink

–Clean house, vacuum stairs in spite of two busted knees

–Text me, “Do u have plans for the night?”

–Decline my offer to join friends and me for crocheting and sketching later in the evening, offer to buy me a drink

–Shower, do her hair and make-up

–Meet me at an Irish pub and drink bottle of Bud Light (“Waitress better get her ass over here with my beer, or she’s fired”)

–Drink second bottle of Bud Light

–Make plans to go out Tuesday

What a dog

Sarah: I’ll know a good man when he really loves cats.

Betty: He doesn’t like cats?

Sarah: He’s ambivalent about cats. I mean I guess he likes cats.

Jeannie: [nodding and squinting eyes with deep suspicion] But he’s not passionate about them.

Grandma Betty on my deck about an hour before I drove her across town and realized, as we slowly passed a parked cop, that she had an open Bud Light can in her hand

“I remember how we’d all sit on the hay rack and throw firecrackers, until [General, retired K9 she adopted via friends on the Wichita police force] caught on fire.”
“Her boy just got out of the joint. Shame he got sent up at 17.”
“I was like [to husband who accused her of having affair with gay priest in small-town Iowa], give me some fuckin’ credit. I would never have an affair with a man who wears tennis shoes.”

Least interesting things said at impromptu, tri-generation drinking session last night, in descending order of sobriety

Jeannie: “Men march to a different drum. It’s called the Dumb Drum.”

Betty: [on a perceived offender and items whose possession is in dispute] “I’m like, I already got the come around, so you’re gonna get the go around. I’ll piss on it and set it on fire.”

Betty: “He thought he was the coolest cat in the world. But what you have to remember, she told me, is ‘he’s dead, and you’re alive.’ Let’s party.”

Jeannie: “Mom, that guy with the white hair is kind of good-looking. In the booth by the wall. Sarah, don’t turn around–he’s the only one back there.”

Betty: “That grandpa on the end? He ain’t bad.”

Jeannie: “But here’s the thing: He’s wearing tangerine.”