Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum
This past week Andy Griffith died and I loved Andy Griffith. Of course, I didn’t know him personally, but he has been in my home for years. I was introduced to him as Sheriff Andy Taylor and I thought Mayberry, North Carolina, seemed like just about the best place in the world to grow up. Sometimes, when they are running the Andy Griffith marathon on TV, I kid my husband about watching episode after episode, but I find myself listening for that whistle that starts the show and checking out the beginning just to see if I want to join him for the next thirty minutes. The death of this TV icon has me feeling a little nostalgic this week because time seems like it is getting away from me. I was a kid when we watched the original show and when I see that it first aired in 1960, I can’t believe that I am now on the other side of fifty and how all that time seemed to pass in the blink of an eye. I am sure I am not the only one who remembers sitting around the one TV we owned with most of our family, munching on the popcorn our mothers just popped, and watching so many of the shows that are now considered classics.
I just spent a week at the beach with my husband’s family and on one of the really hot days; my nieces and I watched a movie and my husband popped some Jiffy Pop popcorn. They were not nearly as impressed with the Jiffy Pop popcorn as I was, and in fact preferred dipping pretzel rods into chocolate and peanut butter they had melted in the microwave, but I was giddy with my popcorn. I guess it was because I remembered what a treat it was when my mom would spring for the “good stuff” and I almost hardly ever got a whole one to myself. Another aunt didn’t think my nieces were following their mother’s instructions about eating a balanced meal, but I said if their mother wanted them better supervised, she should have stayed home and the nieces and I continued to happily eat our snacks. I guess you could say I am the aunt who lets them melt stuff in the microwave and worries about the consequences later.
On the way up to the beach, we stopped at IHOP for lunch and I got my first ever Senior Citizen discount. I am not counting the time my husband and I went to the movies and the girl behind the counter rang us up as seniors without even asking. When I saw senior on our tickets, I almost went back and showed her what an irate almost senior was capable of doing to a youngster, but my husband reminded me about the individually wrapped candies I was hiding in my sweater pocket and I didn’t think I could free up a fist, since I was already holding onto the guard rail so I didn’t fall and break a hip. Besides, it would have been embarrassing to come back into the theater late and yell, “John, where are you? I can’t see where I am going!” Anyway, at IHOP, my wallet won out over my pride and I looked right at the waitress and said, “I would like that from the senior menu, please,” and then was a little perturbed that she didn’t ask to see my I.D. I feel like at my next high school class reunion, I am going to be walking around like Haley Joel Osment did in the movie, The Sixth Sense, saying, “I see old people,” to my husband.
Maybe Andy Griffith’s death has me feeling particularly nostalgic, because it came at a time when I was at the beach with lots of nieces and nephews, and it seems like it was just yesterday that some of these “adults” were toddling around in diapers. My one nephew insists on playing me tennis every year. When we first started playing, he was no bigger than the racket, but that didn’t stop me from beating him and from the way I carried on you would have thought I just put Pete Sampras in his place rather than a kid just entering first grade. For me, what I lack in skill on the tennis court, I make up with an over exaggerated sense of self and a whole lot of trash talking. It is what keeps my opponents coming back year after year…the strong desire to put me in my place. Well, this year the nephew enters high school and his tennis skills have improved considerably and we both know my time as the victor is coming to a close. He has been working on a shot called “make Aunt Laurie run by dropping the ball just over the net,” despite the fact that I have told him repeatedly the game will go longer if he hits the ball directly to me and I really prefer not to move too much. Luckily, my saving grace, so far, has been my long arms and you would be amazed how far I can reach just so I can yell, “looks like this old lady just opened a can of whoop ass on you,” followed by a little dance move and some serious fist pumping. Sadly, I didn't think the arms were going to save me this year, so knowing that this year could be the year he was going to beat me, I did the only mature thing I could think of and ignored his desperate pleas begging me to play tennis and instead came up with excuse after excuse why that was not going to happen. Sometimes, with age comes wisdom.
In some ways at the beach, it seems as if time has stood still. Year after year, my sister-in-law and I play a game called, “I Got You Last,” which involves the both of us slapping each other all the way to my car in an attempt to be the last one to touch the other. The game started when she was in Fifth grade and she is now 47. In fact, at one point, I yelled, “We need to stop playing this game. I am 55 and you are 47 and we are mature adults,” but since I ended my declaration with a hit to her body, for some odd reason she continued to hit back. Usually, I have my husband hold her while I get in the car and lock the door and then I continue to scream, "Got you last, loser!" and if he ever seems to be reluctant to help me, I always threaten to withhold human affection and other things that he holds dear, but this year my sister-in-law and I both noticed that my threat seemed less effective than in years past. It was only after I played my trump card and added that we had a nine-hour drive ahead of us and I was feeling particularly chatty, IF he didn’t hold his sister back, that he jumped right on board.
Normally, I don’t run around all day saying, “I’m getting so old,” mostly because I am too busy looking for my car keys, my eye glasses, or my cell phone, but I thought it a lot this week. I thought it when I said goodbye to the nephew we started calling, “Little John,” when he was three, so “Big John,” (my DH) didn’t get confused every time we said, “John, go potty before we go to the beach.” Now, Little John is taller than Big John and off to college in the fall. He also has stopped saying he wants to ride in the car with Big John, and adding, “but her can’t come,” pointing his little finger in my direction as he hopped into the back seat. We still laugh about that one. Don’t worry, though, I’ll get over this feeling and file my thoughts back into the part of my brain I like to call my, “Denial and Avoidance,” file. The age file goes somewhere in front of the weight file. I knew Andy Griffith was getting older. After all, I have a mother who watches Matlock every morning and God help the person who calls her during the show. It is just that for me Andy Griffith will forever be Sheriff Andy Taylor and a part of me will always be that little girl who loved watching that show.