“A lady’s gotta carry a pistol,” my grandmomma used to say. Grandmomma used to say lots of yimmer-yammer ‘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 it’s her they’re kneeling on, just like grandmomma wanted.
When she was livin’, grandmomma used to share lots of her gems up there in her kitchen. She’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 she’d be fixin’ 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 livin’. I’d bring her those cookies she liked with the chocolate icing inside, and we’d have a talk. Really, grandmomma would be givin’ me the third degree ‘bout when I was gonna go on and finally get married, but at least her mouth’d be movin’ like it was a real conversation.
Course the first time I brought it by, she noticed my brand-new, cherry red Corvette outside. “Woo-ee! Where you gettin’ the money for that spitfire, girlie?” Grandmomma demanded, juttin’ out one hip under her apron with the little blue hearts, and clampin’ her hand down on it like she was sixteen. “You ain’t got a husband I don’t know about, do ya, darlin’?”
“Nah, Grandmomma,” I told her, gulping down my lemonade so I didn’t have to fill her in on my private business.
“I want an invitation to the weddin’, ya hear,” she laughed, sitting down across from me. “Now ya know I just want ya to be happy, darlin’. Ya know that, right?”
“Of course, Grandmomma.”
“So who’s makin’ the payment on that shiny red apple out there, girlie?”
“Me, Grandmomma.” I didn’t bother telling her I paid cash for the car. “Have some cookies, Grandmomma,” I opened the tin and pushed it over near her. She couldn’t resist.
Nobody wants a crook for a grandbaby, ‘specially if that grandbaby’s a girl. Still, round here, people prefer mayhem to the cold, hard truth. Ain’t no way I was gonna break my dear, sweet grandmomma’s heart with the news that her favorite grandbaby’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 ‘bout makin’ 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 would’ve wrung my neck if I’d opened up, so she died not knowin’. It’s too bad, ‘cause she woulda laughed, too. And she probably woulda liked knowin’ how right she was ‘bout the pistol thing.