Many call my Nana a “dirty old lady,” to which she replies, “I’m not a lady.” Everyone who meets Nana loves her. From her World War II stories, to her quick wit, to her songs and poems that make my dad blush, you can’t be around Nana without laughing, or hear about her without wanting to meet her. Nana also sings her own remix of Nelly…”Take off all your clothes, it’s hot in here!” because it was on the radio every time she came to pick me up from tennis camp one summer.
When out to dinner with my friends in college, Nana kept trying to poke our waiter in the butt with her cane. On another occasion, one of my friends left dinner early without finishing her drink, so Nana reached across the table with her straw. “Good til the last drop, and even that is good!” At age 91, she danced to “Turnt Up” by Lil Twist and Busta Rhymes at my wedding this past summer, and, of course, stuck out her tongue in my formal wedding pictures.
Nana is without a doubt, the life of any party. I still have no idea what she actually did in World War II, because all of her stories have to do with drinking and/or men. She claims her war injury was falling off a bar stool. Her and her roommate in the service had a map of the United States on their wall. For every guy they kissed, they would put a pin on the state he was from. By the end, they had gone through so many states that they would ask the guy where he was from first so they didn’t waste a kiss.
Nana is a strong, proud woman who I look up to, who doesn’t falter in her beliefs or self-worth, and who puts a smile on everyone’s face from receptionists to waiters to people who just overhear her talking in the hall. Nana signed herself in to the Coast Guard at age 21, graduated high school at 16, and waited to be married until 28 (which she still claims was too soon and was mad that I’m not still playing the field). When she finally did get married, she was the one watching football and baseball while Pop Pop was off listening to classical music. Now that I’m into sports and working out, Nana always tells me “Miss Abigail, you’re built for comfort, not for speed.”