“You are not going out with that boy unless his parents are driving and that's that. I'm not just Spitting Grits here, young lady!”

. . . My father, John Thomas Cravey, USAF, to me in 1956.

“Paris! We’re Going to Paris!”


So it was time to query Joanna Leigh about the trip this summer.

(If the “so” at the beginning of the opening sentence is like fingernails scraping across the blackboard, go here. It’s simply the newest thing in words.)
Anyway, as I was saying, I needed to make sure she would not be afraid of a big airplane. Or flying over a big ocean. Or going where she might have to eat new food.  I waited until after I put her in the bathtub. I got started while she was a captive audience.
“Honey, I need to talk to you about a big trip. If you go some places, you have to fly in a really big plane for a lot of hours and you have to fly over an ocean and. . . .”
Figure 1, The Eiffel Tower, Paris
She jumped up in the bath water, waving her hands in the air and screaming, “Paris! We’re going to Paris! I just know it. Oh, I’ll get to see the Eiffel Tower. . . .”
I’m thinking, “What does she know about the Eiffel Tower? Or Paris?”
“I just LOVE their clothes,” she says.
I’m thinking, “Whose clothes?”


More here about COCO CHANEL. . .who put Paris couture on the map

My eyes are getting dangerously wide, like maybe they’ll pop out of the sockets.
“And their desserts! Oh I just love their desserts!”
At first I just stood there, speechless. Then I had to leave the bathroom, go into my bedroom, and silently scream, “Wwwhhhaaaatt? What the hell does she know about Parisian clothes and desserts??? What about wines? Has she been reading up on Burgundy, too?”
I had to break the news. I walked back into the bathroom, holding out Truth in my hands. “No, honey, not Paris this time (I’m thinking, ‘Like maybe there’ll be a next time?’).”
“Ooohh. Ok, where are we going?” she asked, sitting back down in the water.
“Well, we’re going to the country just past France. It’s Germany. I need to know if you want to go.” Then I ran through all the items that might be scary to her.
“I want to go. When can we go? Where is Germany? Do they have pizza and French toast? Will we fly over Paris?”
Figure 2, Neuschwantstein Castle, Bavaria
The questions were coming fast. We talked it out until I felt like it was safe to nail down airline tickets, reservations for side trips, like a tour to Mad Ludwig’s fantasy palaces in Neuschwantstein and Linderhof. I tried to imagine all the new stuff, like riding a train and a subway, crossing some really big mountains, not understanding the language, and on and on. She said she couldn’t wait to do it all.
We talked a while. I laid down the law on certain things, like how she would do what I say, when I say it. I started brushing my teeth.
Then she said, “Jo, here’s what we’re going to do.” She got out of the tub and got her towel.
She has this manner when she takes on the role of the Boss. She puts one hand on her hip and gesticulates with the other hand in a kind of Queen Elizabeth position. So there she stood, in the pose, making decisions, bossing.
“When we get on the airplane, here’s what you need to do. Tell the pilot. . . .’
I’m thinking, “What does she know about the pilot of a Delta Airbus???”
“. . . the pilot that when he flies over Paris, he needs to fly really low and go over the Eiffel Tower kind of slow, so I can see it.”
I nearly blew my toothpaste onto the mirror.
So as it stands, we walk down the covered walkway to the plane, enter, she spots one of the pilots greeting guests, and . . . .
I don’t know. She’ll decide.

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