â€œA ladyâ€™s gotta carry a pistol,â€ my grandmomma used to say. Grandmomma used to say lots of yimmer-yammer â€˜fore she passed on, God bless her. After she died, daddy got her all set up real nice over on the hill there up behind the house. I got her a real marble, inlaid headstone so everybody knows itâ€™s her theyâ€™re kneeling on, just like grandmomma wanted.
When she was livin’, grandmomma used to share lots of her gems up there in her kitchen. Sheâ€™d have me sittin at her table, a glass of sweet tea or lemonade on a doily by my wrist faster than I could say gotchya, and sheâ€™d be fixinâ€™ a sandwich more like than not. Sandwiches were her specialty.
I always brought grandmomma presents whenever I came up to visit. Nice vase of flowers, lilies like her name. Grandmomma always liked those even when she was livinâ€™. Iâ€™d bring her those cookies she liked with the chocolate icing inside, and weâ€™d have a talk. Really, grandmomma would be givinâ€™ me the third degree â€˜bout when I was gonna go on and finally get married, but at least her mouthâ€™d be movinâ€™ like it was a real conversation.
Course the first time I brought it by, she noticed my brand-new, cherry red Corvette outside. â€œWoo-ee! Where you gettinâ€™ the money for that spitfire, girlie?â€ Grandmomma demanded, juttinâ€™ out one hip under her apron with the little blue hearts, and clampinâ€™ her hand down on it like she was sixteen. â€œYou ainâ€™t got a husband I donâ€™t know about, do ya, darlinâ€™?â€
â€œNah, Grandmomma,â€ I told her, gulping down my lemonade so I didnâ€™t have to fill her in on my private business.
â€œI want an invitation to the weddinâ€™, ya hear,â€ she laughed, sitting down across from me. â€œNow ya know I just want ya to be happy, darlinâ€™. Ya know that, right?â€
â€œOf course, Grandmomma.â€
â€œSo whoâ€™s makinâ€™ the payment on that shiny red apple out there, girlie?â€
â€œMe, Grandmomma.â€ I didnâ€™t bother telling her I paid cash for the car. â€œHave some cookies, Grandmomma,â€ I opened the tin and pushed it over near her. She couldnâ€™t resist.
Nobody wants a crook for a grandbaby, â€˜specially if that grandbabyâ€™s a girl. Still, round here, people prefer mayhem to the cold, hard truth. Ainâ€™t no way I was gonna break my dear, sweet grandmommaâ€™s heart with the news that her favorite grandbabyâ€™s grown up and can take care of herself. I made more money in a month than daddy ever saw in one place.
Grandmomma had a lotta gems up there in her attic, but she never knew squat â€˜bout makinâ€™ rain, how a lady can make the bigwigs at a conference table blush just by shifting her thighs, how she can make the big shots fill her purse if she plays her cards right. Grandmomma wouldâ€™ve wrung my neck if Iâ€™d opened up, so she died not knowinâ€™. Itâ€™s too bad, â€˜cause she woulda laughed, too. And she probably woulda liked knowinâ€™ how right she was â€˜bout the pistol thing.