The Steinbeck Grounding…


I’m reading East of Eden by Steinbeck.  It’s a classic.  I figured it was time to re-read it.  And since I’m all into the Constitution and religious freedom I thought it would be a good time to re-read this modern re-telling of Genesis.


I read it in high school.  I spent a good part of one of my summers in high school reading Steinbeck.


It didn’t end well. Obviously – it was Steinbeck.


The infamous grounding…

By the time I reached Of Mice & Men I cried so hard and moped around the house for so many days my parents told me to stop and if I didn’t stop I was grounded.  I didn’t stop moping.  So I was grounded and I was forbidden to read anymore Steinbeck again.


Why we were never sick…I grew up in a house where there was never a dull moment and looking back now those moments were pretty funny, I was the baby so of course it was wonderful – but they were parents.  Like when we weren’t allowed to watch more than ½ hr of television A WEEK.  And bedtime for me was 9pm when I was in Junior High and 10pm when I was in high school.  No joke.  I had a bedtime in HIGH SCHOOL.  If you call my mom out on this fact she will proudly say – but none of you kids were ever sick.  She’s right we weren’t.


The house of extremes…There were also very funny extreme statements made by both my parents.  When I was sixteen AND DRIVING MYSELF HOME FROM CHURCH – and I rear ended a lady and totaled my car AND her car in front of the Trumbull Fire House while they were having a fund raising picnic – my father showed up on the scene told me to get in the car and then when we got home he yelled at me and said:  IF YOU ARE CRASHING CARS AT SIXTEEN YOU’RE GOING TO BE IN PRISON BY THE TIME YOU ARE TWENTY. At which point our neighbor (who was over for a BBQ) stepped in and calmed my father down.


Why my grandmother rocked…So it wasn’t out of the realm of reality that I was grounded for moping around about Steinbeck.  It sucked.  But was secretly fun because books became contra band for a little while.  My parents “wanted me to do something other than read all the time” and I put that in quotes because they said that to me.  It still makes me laugh.


My grandmother, who I was really close to, she got wind of the Steinbeck grounding and decided to step in, in her own little way.  She handed me Danielle Steele books and a few other books with Fabio like characters on the front covers fiercly embracing some maiden type woman with a bustier.  And she said – enough of these “classics” here are some good books, but be aware there are a lot of creamy white breasts and throbbing members.  My grandmother wasn’t like that.  But she was like that with me when no one was around and it was fun.  I knew a different side to my grandmother.

Let me say on record – those books aren’t that bad.


The last summer she was at the Cape (our family spent summers at the Cape – West Yarmouth – it was my grandmother’s favorite place to go) her and I had what was our last excursion to the bookstore together.

The Pick-Up…Ever since I could drive I was in charge of picking up and dropping off my grandmother for family functions, holidays or dinners.  I loved it – it gave my grandmother and I time to chat – mostly about boys and sometimes how stupid other family members had acted at said function we had just attended.

The Doors Off The Wrangler…I waitressed from the time I was 16 until I was 25.  I got enough money and bought my first car – a Jeep Wrangler soft top – red with khaki interior with cash at the age of 20.  The first person I picked up in it was my grandmother – I took the top down and took the doors off and my grandmother and I went to Timothy’s ice cream in Black Rock and then we sat in my new Jeep at the seawall and hung out.  She got a real kick out of the no door thing.  I got a real kick out of shoving my grandmother into the Jeep – it was high up and after her hip surgery she had trouble but we managed with a good ol’ push on the butt.


The last excursion to the bookstore…This particular time at the Cape we went to dinner with my parents – we were in two cars and my grandmother was with me.  After dinner we stopped for ice cream and then I said – let’s go to Borders.  We did.  This was before cell phones and we didn’t tell my mother.  We were cruising around Borders and we were in the Romance section and we bought a few books.


The perfect exit stage left line…When we got home my mother was clearly upset (at this point my grandmother wasn’t really that healthy and she would end up dying not even a year later) she met us in the driveway and said – is everything ok?  Where were you guys?  My grandmother got out of the car and without skipping a beat said – oh we were at Borders we needed to get some books – you know the kind with creamy white breasts and throbbing members. And kept walking into the house leaving my mother in the driveway.


I’ll let you know about Steinbeck – maybe I’ll have a different perspective on it reading it now.  I can assure you there probably aren’t a lot of creamy white breasts or throbbing members in it.





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