Thursday, July 8, 2010

Writer's Workshop: My Favorite Collector

My Grandma didn’t collect typical “Grandma Things”.  Sure, she has figurines, pictures and crafts her grand kids made for her and maybe even a doily or two.  However, I would never classify her as a collector…except for one thing: UPC Codes.  You know, the bar codes on every product in the grocery store?  Or the thing my brother has tattooed on his leg.

Yes, honestly, that’s his tattoo.  It’s for Easy Cheese, in case you were wondering.

When I think of her kitchen, I think of the little pile of cardboard codes, cut out from boxes of cereal, sitting next to the sink. Those things were basically the currency she used to buy us little gifts. By mailing in a few codes from a Kellogg’s product and some spare change in shipping and handling you get a little random something or other brandishing a corporate logo.

With every birthday, there were always two boxes from Grandma.  One had our “regular” gift while the other came to be known as the “Fun Box”.  You knew it was the “Fun Box” because there was always a post-it note over the wrapping paper designating it as such. The fun box was filled with an assortment of things Gram had picked up.  Freebies from local stores, little inexpensive gadgets she thought we might like and the crème de la crème of the “Fun Box”, things purchased with UPC codes. As kids, we thought they were awesome while my mom probably looked at them as more things that we would leave lying around the house.

Looking back, the variety of UPC goodies is pretty amusing.  I polled my siblings about memorial “Fun Box” items and came up with following things:

-Purple Welch’s Grape Jelly Wrist Watch
-A plastic California Raisins figurine
-A collection of Model A Matchbox Cars with the Apple Jacks, Rice Krispie and Raisin Bran logos.
-A fleet of Kellogg’s Matchbox racing cars
- A Pilsbury Doughboy button up denim shirt
-An Olympic "Dream Team" warm up suit that was made of paper. 

Now all the grandchildren are over 20 and birthday gifts are morely like to be a check. The little collection of UPC's on Gram's kitchen counter are gone.  However, I know all 7 grandchildren would smile a little if with that check, a little Tony the Tiger beach towel came with it.

Oh, and this is my bad ass Grandma.

Mama's Losin' It


Deanna said...

Stopping by from Mama Kat's! Your grandma looks awesome...I bet she's a blast!

Anonymous said...

This was so much fun to read. Your Gram sounds like an awesome are truly blessed!

Jo Anne said...

That is awesome! My grandma was no where near as cool as that (but I assure you, I love her as much as you love yours!!!)

Inés Beatriz said...

Your grandma sounds so awesome! I love the motorcycle haha that's so perfect :P Thanks for stopping by my blog :)

Jenna said...

That is so fun! Nothing is more awesome to a kid than random crap like California Raisins. :)

Your brother's tattoo seems like something one might regret at some point, but at the same time is really, really hilarious.

Cyrene said...

Awesome post! You have one bad ass Grandma that's for sure. You're lucky to have such wonderful memories of her to pull from. Not all of us get to have such relationships with our grandparents.

Cecelia Winesap said...

Wow, I love Easy Cheese too. I never would have thought of tattooing the UPC code on my body. Genius. :)

Dani G said...

Obviously your grandma is awesome. But, I gotta say... sounds like your brother is pretty cool, too. I'm seeing a pattern here!

Deirdre said...

So, is your brother's tattoo an homage to Grandma? Or just his love of Easy Cheese (not even sure what that is btw). :)

WeeMasonMan's Mom said...

Most hilarious tattoo I've seen in a long time!

Vanessa said...

The fun box! What a great memory. You did a great job of capturing it in words.

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