Archive | 12:48 am

Ruby Tuesday — Live or Memorex Edition

1 Jan

Crazy Aunt Leonie's Rat Terrier Statue

Look what my mom gave me for Christmas!

Every family has their crazy aunt, right? (Or in the case of Miz S their Aunt Crazy). In my family, it was Aunt Leonie. Poor Aunt Leonie was a recluse who lived alone with her mean, old smoking self in Southampton, NY. She smoked like a chimney but didn’t die of any sort of a lung-related illness. She loved dogs and when I was a kid, she had a dachshund named Peter. Peter and Aunt Leonie were well-matched — it was hard to tell which one was meaner or liked kids less. She wasn’t actively mean — like a vicious, sneaky, pinching aunt — she just didn’t want anything to do with kids. She died quite a few years ago but she is still an active presence in my life. I inherited a small writing desk of hers. For years, whenever I’d open it up, I’d get a strong whiff of cigarette smoke — we called it “The Ghost of Aunt Leonie.”

Is it more absurd to store your furniture in the entry way

The best picture I could find of the writing desk — from when we had the carpets cleaned last year

Aunt Leonie loved dogs and that may be what I inherited from her — hopefully I didn’t inherit the craziness from her as well. (Fingers crossed!) What I remember best about her is that she had little dog statues all over her house. My mother went to move Aunt Leonie out of her house before she died after a brief stint in a nursing home (it was her time — the nursing home was fine — no horror stories here, step away from the monitor, nothing to see, move along now, move along). She packed up some of the real treasures that Aunt Leonie had — like my writing desk. She also took the above dog statue. This was many, many years before we got Ruby. In fact, at that time, if someone had suggested to me that I’d have one of those little dogs, I’d have laughed hysterically. I was a Labrador Person — signed, sealed, delivered. I was committed to that breed and that breed alone. I felt vaguely sorry for people who had other breeds of dogs.

Is it live or is it Memorex?

But, life is change and today, I have a little dog. My mother passed along the crazy Aunt Leonie rat terrier statue to me. Doesn’t it look like my Ruby? I had to hold her tennis ball in my left hand and click the picture quickly with my right hand to get the shot of them together. Ruby wasn’t feeling cooperative. She isn’t remotely interested in the statue in anyway. But, I think she’s really glad that I didn’t try to put a big pink bow around her neck too.