• Marilyn Woods

Carly Comes Calling

Updated: Feb 18, 2019


It's always cool when Carly visits...





Carly came calling this weekend. It pleases me that as a twenty year old, when her parents leave town, she wants to spend the night with me. Carly is my fourth granddaughter and in some ways the most like me.


Tall and slender, she always points out her long slender fingers and fingernails and credits my genes. She is a go-getter, an old-fashioned term for what I too used to be. She is entrepreneurial and entertaining, which I still may be occasionally. She is also cursed with my size ten feet, however. “Thanks Neeny for these,” she regularly comments as she sticks out a foot, usually clad in some kind of hipster shoe fashion.


Carly is anxious; always has been. As a little tiny girl, she had to hold my hand, wouldn’t walk into the next room alone, clung to me when strangers were near, certainly couldn’t fall asleep without constant reassurances. Throughout her school years, often with difficulty, she managed her anxieties, but many persist. Unfamiliar circumstances, crowds and loud noises unsettle her. Staying in her parents’ home alone would make her very uncomfortable, something I couldn’t bear.


“Of course, I’d love to have you Saturday,” I texted. She knows all she has to do is ask. I adore her company. And that’s why Carly came calling this weekend.


We went to the movie theater to see The Green Book, a film that most likely will win multiple Academy Awards. Like me, my granddaughter loves popcorn, Diet Coke and Milk Duds at the movies, which we shared.


Carly is a film major now in college so her insight into movies is different from mine, informed and educational. After the movie, I asked, “Was he playing the piano for real?”

She took great care in explaining how someone else’s hands were probably substituted for Mahershala Ali’s in his remarkable portrayal of Dr. Don Shirley, the striking and dignified black concert pianist in the 1950s and 1960s. “If you look closely, Neeny, you can see a slight hint of a blur at the sleeve line. It’s most likely photoshopped.”


At home later, we tackled the peanut brittle and my social media dilemmas, which she had assured me would be no big deal. We sat facing one another in the living room. She flicked her long blond hair back over her shoulder and with great pride, declared, “No worries Neeny. I am now your SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER.”


To begin, I asked her how to post on Instagram and before I knew it, I had links, a domain name, a twitter account and website directions, all of which she orchestrated in dizzying fashion. Gently, she had taken my laptop from my lap to hers and her long fingers with the silver sheen fingernail polish and multiple dainty gold rings rapidly connected me to the social media sphere. It wasn’t lost on me that this world she navigated so easily was the world that caused so much of her anxiety.


After a breakfast bar and a banana the next morning, she offered, “Time to go home, Neeny. Thank you so much. Love being with you.”


Car keys in hand, she put her cellphone in the back pocket of her black slashed jeans, hooked her millennial pink backpack on her shoulder, kissed me and headed for the door.

I stayed in my chair near the fire as she bolted out through the kitchen.


“Oh no,” I heard her say in dismay seconds later.


I went to her and in my laundry room Carly stood in an inch or two of water, which I had turned on earlier and now flowed from my sink there. Her sleeve was sopping wet; she had reached down into the deep basin to pull the stopper and let the remaining water drain. I had turned on the water to soak labels off a few bottles which I intended to recycle and fill with olive oil from our trees.


A deluge of embarrassment washed over me as my first reaction. Now she thinks I’m losing it. It’s not enough that I’m a technical albatross; I can’t even manage my household activities. Quickly, I pushed these thoughts aside and dove into the action, alongside my SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER. Ten bath and beach towels later, the water was sopped up and the washing machine hummed as it laundered the towels.


Carly hugged me, patted my back in an understanding manner and was out the door.


Before bed, a bit braver with technology thanks to Carly’s visit, I sent her a text. “Thanks for all your help with social media…and the flood!”


Thumbs up emoji back from her.


I love when Carly comes calling.

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