I've written about my fabulous, classy, and badass Grandma Barbie before. She is 86 today, and is still fucking amazing.
She's seen it all: the stars (of the past and "that lovely girl Uma."). She's an LA lady, and a world traveler. She's the only woman in my family I actually respect (Mommy Dearest-yes you overcame a lot. Doesn't give you the right to beat me down. But I digress). Barbie makes those damn toys look like trash.
Born in 1927, to a sheriff and a mentally unstable, jealous mother, Barbie was one of a bunch of boys. She was a sharp shooter, a cowgirl, and a progressive Catholic. She went to college, and beat the odds. And such a knock-out that Clark Gable, and, as I've just learned, Errol Flynn ("So handsome, but something felt off".-look up the accusations about underaged girls.) wanted to be with her. She met Bette Davis ("Oh, VV, that woman was cold as ice. But she was sharp as a tack!") and looked suspiciously like Miss Monroe ("Oh that sweet girl!"). She was sneaking into Hollywood clubs by 1943, until she left town and married a legit genius at 19 ("I loved him, but he had that depressive Irish temperament. But such a beautiful and talented writer of poetry."). She lived in Europe and still drinks the finest champagne. She collected old school Coach purses ("I can't stand these modern ones!"), which she gave to me. She had 6 kids, one of whom committed suicide. But she saw his ghost, and came to terms with it. And she actually loves me.
Not to brag, but I freaking love her and her stories. And they are 100% true. Never lies-she is a good Catholic girl at heart, after all! And she had proof-a scribbled note that she showed me once, with "Clark" written on it. It got lost in the move. I think someone tossed it. Probably my mom. Because she thought it was trash. And that "Clark" was just a boyfriend from forever ago, that "Barbie has probably forgotten, so she doesn't need it anymore".
Today I called her, and she's calling me back soon. Right now she lives in a nursing home, which she loves because of the Nuns. She has always comforted and encouraged me. She sends me beautiful rosaries (I'm spiritual, and they're pieces of her I hold dear), and her old prayer books. I hate that I live so far away. But she says that LA is the best place to be for me right now, and that I have to make the most of it. She says we're the most connected people in the family, because we get each other. Barbie doesn't judge me. She's perfect in every way. And she's gonna be around for a very long time (the VV clan has a habit of living to 100+, and still looking young).
Sorry to ramble and brag, but I had to share. In honor of her glamorous nature, I present to you this:
This is basically her, except Grandma Barbie is more fabulous. Thanks for indulging me.