Saturday, October 23, 2010

AJ, the Greatest Roommate

To save money and to get to know my dad's side better, I've moved in with my great aunt. For security purposes, we'll call her AJ. I say "security purposes" for two reasons:
     A) She's very particular about who knows what about her
     B) She keeps a gun in the house

AJ is one of the coolest people I've ever met. She's basically Bea Arthur

but much prettier. And as evidenced in this previous post I'm pretty much living a dream so wonderful that I never even dared to dream it in thinking it could never come true.

There are numerous wonderful things about living with a real-life Golden Girl. Here's just a few:
     A) We both keep our own hours and never get in each other's hair about it. I get up and go to bed whenever I want and she's not the typical aunt that would worry and call my mom if I wasn't home by midnight. In fact, about half the time I'll get home for the night and AJ's car is still gone. And we're talking 1 or 2 in the morning. Where is she? No idea. But I'm not going to go call her kids if she doesn't call my parents for the same thing.
     B) Her house is really awesome. She and her husband traveled all over the place before he died. There's souvenirs on every bookshelf from places like Thailand and Paris and everywhere in between. And the walls are COVERED in pictures of her family. My grandpa (AJ's brother) and my grandma divorced years before I was born. It's surreal to look at pictures that not only have my grandpa as a young man in them, but that also have my grandma standing next to him with my dad and their other children. It's neat to see my grandparents together. I've never seen that in real life. Another thing about seeing pictures of my grandpa is realizing how much of the Nelson side we kids have in us. I think I've always seen Pinegar in me because that's the side I know better, but there's this picture

that's right outside my bathroom and every time I pass it I have to do a double-take because it looks so much like a young version of my brother Derek.

     C) Possibly the most awesome thing about living with AJ is her doors and windows. I mentioned earlier that AJ has a gun in the house. She has one because she's been burgled (real word) twice in the last little while. So, her son had her go out and buy a gun and learn how to shoot it. To scare off potential theives, she has one of these

or one of these

on the outside of every door and window in her house. And she's a great shot. When I first moved in with her I was afraid she'd forget that I would be coming in late at night and accidentally shoot me. So we worked out a system where I can let her know its me. Our conversation went something like this:
     AJ: I'm going to have to get used to you coming in at night.
     Me: Oh?
     AJ: Cause I sleep with a gun in my room.
     Me: Right. The targets.
     AJ: And I don't want to get burglarized again.
     Me: Well, I could maybe do a bird call when I come in so you know it's me. Like this, "Caw!"
     AJ: ... or I could just say, "Who's there?" and you could say, "Brooke."
     Me: That would work, too.
I told you AJ is like Bea Arthur. That's because not only is she a tall, powerful woman, but she has sarcasm that's as dry and sharp as you can find. Every time we have a conversation I make mental notes about the genius of her humor and delivery. She's hilarious but in such a non-chalant and "serious" way that you're not sure whether or not she's "serious" or serious. She keeps me guessing, laughing and a little afraid for my life all at the same time, all the time.
My roommate is cooler than yours.


Michael said...

this blog made my week. I'm so glad you finally posted again. I also love AJ, and am proud to say that I have met a real live Golden Girl.

Robinson Fam said...

This was a great portrait you painted, Brooke! Sounds like a great education.
Oh, and happy birthday ! I thought of you -- but am a little late in saying it to you.
Love you!

The Nelsons said...

That pic totally looks like Derek!!! It further confirms my thoughts on him looking like Uncle Scot. I am so glad you are well. She is an awesome lady and so are you. I am sure she is enjoying having you around too.

Lisa and Family said...

I love this whole thing! You couldn't have described her better and I think of her as your more subtle version of yourself. She's a family treasure that all the kids need to get to know and I need to get more of. Keep us updated -- so glad you took this opportunity to be with her.