This is 2 posts in one; a continuation of my series on things in my house, and 5 Favorite Gifts, for which I was tagged by Ms. Fran . This little sign happens to be one of my five favorite gifts, listed here in no particular order:
1. The sign. The silk cord that it used to hang from broke, so now it's sitting on top of another picture in my kitchen. My grandfather, who died in 1994, was a man who liked his hooch (he also very much liked the word "hooch"). He had a little bar in his basement (where he also had collections...of guns, of plaques from ships he helped build during his 30-year career at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, of WWII memorabilia, including his Silver Star) and the hooch and highballs flowed freely every evening. I have many fond memories of sitting at a macrame-seat barstool with a Shirley Temple and some pretzels, listening to my grandfather talk. Don't get the idea that this was kindly Grandpa Walton grandfather talk, either...he was one of the most profane men who ever lived, and he didn't self-censor for the benefit of the grandchildren. This was one of the reasons we loved to hang out down there...who knew what kind of new words you'd hear after Granddad had a few drinks. This sign was among many little plaques and trinkets that decorated the bar, and I always liked it when I was little. I liked it even better when I was in 7th grade or so...we were learning about Prohibition and the Temperance movement, and our textbook had a picture of a Women's Christian Temperance Union demonstration. The women were holding picket signs that read "Drink! The Curse of the Working Class!" (the clever reversal of this slogan pictured on the sign is generally credited to Oscar Wilde...just one more reason to love him). It's fun to finally get the joke. My grandmother gift-wrapped this sign and gave it to me for my 29th birthday, right after my grandfather's death. It's been displayed in every place I've lived since then.
And as I've noted before, Work really IS the Curse of the Drinking Class, isn't it?
2. While we're on the subject of my grandfather, another favorite gift was on my 21st birthday. My grandparents gave me a sweater or something, but my GRANDFATHER gave me a bottle of Dom and a $100 dollar bill, which he ordered me to waste. This was the only time I got a separate gift from my grandfather. It was the best gift I got for that birthday, and one of my favorite gifts ever. Soon after, I was visiting my grandparents. When I went to the basement to see my grandfather (if he wasn't asleep or eating a meal, he was in his basement), he OFFERED ME A DRINK. Awesome (and nothing like getting a buzz on with your grandfather).
3. I have several things angel-themed things...a small plaster figurine, a very beautiful clock, a silver necklace with a tiny angel pendant...all of which were given to me by friends after a horrible event, which I'll probably write about eventually. I still wear the necklace pretty often and the clock hangs in my kitchen (it's the one my husband complained about here, and I'll probably add it to the series.)
4. A pair of small hinged hoop earrings, brushed white gold with a diamond. They're very simple, almost industrial-looking, and were exactly what I would have picked for myself. My husband gave them to me when we were engaged, after a fight that was bad enough that I handed the ring back to him. I'm not a dramatic person, so he knew I was serious. We've never had another fight like that, and I wear the earrings almost every day.
5. Every single picture, flower, seashell, rock, leaf and Lego construction my children have ever given me.
I can still think of many gifts I've received that I've really loved, so I'm lucky. I'm tagging whoever wishes to do this one...I just tagged a bunch of people on Monday, so I don't want to wear out my proverbial welcome. Merry Christmas!