Juuuusstin, Juuuussstin

Becoming Old feels pretty nice. Because now I can say weird things and blame it on being Old. As opposed to when I was Young and I could say weird things and blame it on being Young.
Young people can get away with a lot, it's true. But Older people? They get away with everything. Just listen to your Grandparents sometime. I remember just thinking that they literally do whatever the hell they want. Their heart has beat, like, a bajillion more times than yours has, so shuddup and listen to them. They've earned it.
And that, to me, is awesome.
For example, my Gramma and GrampaMan Johnson used to take my 2 brothers and I to the movies all the time. We'd always run ahead of them and slip into the theater to get great seats, while my Grandparents would follow suit as soon as they could. GrampaMan pushing Gramma in the wheelchair. Gotta get the Diet Pop on the way in. Pop. My family's from up north and we called Coke 'Pop' for the longest time. For authenticity's sake, I'll call it Pop for this story only, and then never say that word again, cause it's a sound effect and not a noun.
So, we'd sit in the movies and keep an eye out down by the entrance to see when they'd get in, then we'd wave to 'em and they'd come to us and we'd sit and watch the flick. All was well. Thank you. Good day. Pass the Pop.
But this one time we cut it too close and the movie was starting when we got in. So it was dark in the theater. We barely found some seats in the frontish area.
A dark theater before the Grandparents got in spelled trouble. We knew that immediately.
We're sitting there and I'm looking for them. Squinting for them. Waiting. Nervous. Maybe I should go get them. No, don't wanna miss anything. The movie's about to do it's thing with the explosions or maybe there might be some nakedness. Let's just wait.
Then we see them. And GrampaMan's got Gramma in the chair and he pushes her to the front of the theater. He looks up to the crowd. He scans. I'm waving. Jon's waving. Eric's waving.
But our waving is not real waving. It's timid and low. A person 10 feet from us wouldn't have been able to see our little kiddy half-waves, let alone my Grandparents 50 feet away in the dark.
But he'd see us eventually, right? Wrong.
He cupped his hands to his mouth and yells 'Juuuuussstin. Juuuussstin.'
I turned red. Sunk in my seat. What if someone from school was in here and heard this and saw ME. I was already kinda a nerd, how much lower could I go.
He called out again, hand cupped to mouth, 'Juuusssssttttin.' I can literally hear it in my head right now.
Then Gramma shushed him and he said 'What? Where the hell are they? Do you see them?'
I was embarrassed. I think my brothers were, too.
And I regret that with all my heart.
I would give anything to have him yell my name again from the front of a dark packed movie theater.
Cause this time I'd yell right back to him. Or better yet, go get them and bring them to us. But kids don't know no better.
It's terribly tragically ironic how you don't know what you have until it's gone, especially with Grandparents.
Him and my Gramma Johnson passed away within a week of each other about 6 years ago. Real life 'Notebook.'
And now I may or may not be crying. Thanks, blogger. You always do this to me.

Gramma, GrampaMan and me, circe 1989. I look about 9 there, right? 7-9 range, I'd say. It's hard, the impeccable boyish good looks and tiny white polar bear graduation present throw me for a loop.
I also look to be in my 'Parachute pants' period in that photo. Similar to VanGogh's 'Blue' period, only with more zippers.

I love you, Gramma and GrampaMan.
BTW-check out all the mauve in that house. My Gramma LOVED mauve. I'm still the only 30 year old straight man I know that knows Mauve is a color, and for that, I thank my Gramma.