Monday, October 05, 2009

Walking Tall, A Lesson From Grandma

There's not a lot of good things one can say about going to a funeral. One could argue, though, that one nice thing about funerals is the dress code. I mean really, what could be easier? Wear a dark suit. Poof, you're done. How can you mess that up?

This morning, as I parked my car at Dulles Airport and walked to my US Air flight, which would deliver me to Los Angeles, and my grandmother's funeral, I was noting just how nicely everything was coming together. My grandmother had passed away on Friday, and yet Shira had managed to get me a non-stop ticket (at an amazing price) to California with almost zero notice.

As I walked to the terminal though, I noticed something was off. Uh oh. Oh dear. I checked the black suit I was wearing. Oh my. It had a satin strip running down the leg. Oh crap. I wasn't wearing my dark suit at all, but my tuxedo. Crap, crap, crap. How does one make this mistake? Seriously. I'm going to show up at my grandmother's funeral wearing a frigg'in tuxedo. Argh. Who knows, maybe she would have wanted it to be black tie? Don't think so.

And you know what my grandmother would have said to all this? What's the big deal? Who cares what other people think. Be yourself. Be proud to be yourself. And if I may be so bold, screw the rest. This, after all, was the woman who wore the famous umbrella hat - which managed to embarrass not only us grandchildren, by my parents - who to my knowledge were impervious to that emotion.

Yeah, my grandmother really wouldn't see the big deal in all this. She was a confident, reliant and tough lady - not usually qualities you associate with a 4ft something grandma. But, that was her. And that's how she taught me to be.

So I wear this tux proudly, and I wear it for you Grandma. Here's to walking tall while doing our own thing, regardless of what the rules say.


  1. Umm... Benj, you did get on the correct flight, right, cuz I didn't but you a ticket on USAir. Oy, can we say unaccompanied adult?

  2. I can say it (oh, I'm still laughing at Shira's comment). But a great lesson about grandmas the world over. Great perspective.

  3. Ben I am really sorry about your grandmother. I haven't spoken to your MOm yet because of the holiday. I found out right before Sukkot. Please send my condolences and Nate's to the whole family. I think even your Grandmother would have laughed at you wearing a tuxedo!

  4. Anonymous1:43 AM

    I think this post should be renamed to, "A lesson from my pants...and Grandma."

  5. Thanks all for the wonderful comments!

    And USAir, United, really what's the difference?