She Was Just “Differnt”

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

She Was Just “Differnt”

I have this little trinket. It sits among other miscellaneous trinkets in my purse. It is my toothpick holder and it holds more than toothpicks, it holds a story….

I bought this little wooden toothpick holder years ago in my hometown, the name of which is printed on the side in “touristy-type” writing – Torrington, Wyoming.

I don’t remember why I was back in Torrington but I was downtown one day doing some reminiscing that I called shopping. When I ran across this tourist gift trinket I knew I had to have it.

I spent most of my formative years gleaning little tidbits from my stern, correct-your-grammar, wrinkly-faced grandmother. She carried one of these little wooden toothpick holders in her purse. It looked just like mine – little cylindrical cedar tube with a wooden stopper. I don’t remember if hers had any writing on it but, now that I look at mine, hers just might have originally and wore off over time like mine is doing. She always had to have a toothpick after she finished a meal and they were always close at hand in her little wooden holder.

Toothpicks were somewhat precious to my grandmother, who by the way had all her own teeth when she died. I remember her being a little prickly when someone asked to borrow one of her toothpicks. A piece of gum, no problem. A calculator, she always had one of those too. But asking for one of her toothpicks was like asking for her last toothpick.

My grandmother’s toothpicks were not ordinary round toothpicks either. No, she preferred the flat ones; said they got between her teeth better. She was a practical woman if nothing else. Why fight with a round toothpick if you can’t get it between your teeth?

Every time I see my little wooden toothpick holder in my purse I am reminded of many of my grandmother’s eccentricities. She was fantastically eccentric. She would say she was just “differnt.” And she was just OK with that. In fact, I think she preferred it.

I think tomorrow I am going to buy some flat toothpicks to go in my Torrington toothpick holder.

I miss you, Marcie. You are forever in my toothpick holder.

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