Tamára Lunardo

Author & Editor



November 2011



Hot Stuff

Written by , Posted in humor, life

My family’s eldest generation is proper New England society. They are a people of hors d’oeuvres– never appetizers– of daily cocktail hour, of Cape Cod summer homes; you say tomato, they say tomahto (quite literally). But when we all get together, the shenanigans begin. This Thanksgiving was no exception.

My parents were hosting, and there was a counter covered with hot hors d’oeuvres. So my dad, in his fine calligraphy, created a sign to indicate such:

I think the sign remained above the food for all of ten minutes. The first smart alec to relocate it chose an unsuspecting female cousin’s back. Amid cocktails, dinner, and snickers the sign migrated from my husband’s shoulders to my great-aunt’s butt to just below what my well cultured grandmother would call my bust. And it’s really not like me to cut short a good time, but I was a little afraid of seeing my elders go much further.

So I used the unwelcome, 82-degree Floridian “fall” temperature as an excuse to land the sign in its final resting place on the outdoor thermometer. I laughed a little at my unprecedented role as Guardian of Appropriateness.

And then out of nowhere and out of context, I heard an elderly female voice behind me bellow, “I smoke a joint every day!”

Evidently one family member had decided to spend a while on the bandwagon– no ordinary occurrence in a family of extremely social drinkers– but in place of Margaritas, she thought she might like to take up with Mary Janes. And, as one whose only experience with getting high was purely accidental, I was equal parts shocked and amused.

But what street cred I evidently lacked among my upper-crust, septuagenarian relatives, I made up for by being the resident tattoo expert. The unseasonable heat had lent itself to my wearing a tank top, so my large shoulder piece was visible to my extended family for the first time. I was prepared for disapproval, but I only got compliments and questions. I even provided consultation to a 70-something relative who was considering her first tattoo.

We discussed design, size, location, and pain level, and she seemed so thrilled at the idea, but then she asked me in earnest whether it would be appropriate at her age. And I decided right then that I would relinquish my short-held Guardian of Appropriateness title– I told her I thought it was great. Because I want to be just like these folks when I grow up.

They are Hot Stuff.


What did you do for Thanksgiving? Did you eat appetizers or hors d’oeuvres? And if I sent you the Hot Stuff sign, where would you put it?

  • http://theunderstander.wordpress.com The Understander

    Haha. I think I’m going to wait until 70 to get my first tattoo. Fun post.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Well, clearly one can get away with anything at that age. 🙂

  • http://mandiemariebee.wordpress.com Mandie Marie

    I need seniors like this in my life. My grandmother has been praying for my brother’s soul ever since he got his nipples pierced.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Hahaha! Come on down for Christmas. 😉

  • Mom

    Oh my! Started out laughing, ended up crying… so touched that our extended family and their cultured/inappropriate (but fun loving) behavior/shenanigans are a source of joy for you…and that you want to be just like them “when you grow up”. YOU are “hot stuff” too, my dear, not to mention my favorite daughter. I love you!

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      I love you too, Mom! Thanks for hosting such revelry. 😀

  • http://www.transformingwords.org/wordpress Don Sartain

    Oh, Tamara, I’m slightly disappointed to have read “smart alec” instead of “smart ass.” It seems your still assuming the “Guardian of Appropriateness” role.

    As for my Thanksgiving, my youngest brother got engaged! Which is awesome! But that means I’m the only one left now, so all eyes are on me, lol.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      You know I’d normally use my real words, but I just couldn’t bring myself to say “ass” in relation to my elders. I know, I’m so appropriate. 😛

      Congratulations to your brother!

  • Vicki

    Made me smile. Bet you can’t wait until Christmas rolls around…

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      I am literally counting down the days.

  • David

    Great post, Tamara, it was almost like being there….oh, wait, I was there!!!! Great to see you and the rest of the family. Love you.

    By the way, I’m a “tomato” person being that I’m a Cape Ann’er and not a Cape Cod’er!

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      It was great to sit with you at dinner, David, and not eat tomahtoes together.

  • Justin

    I love our family. Great post.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      And I love and miss you, baby brother. Can’t wait til Christmas. xo

  • http://ramblingbarba.com Ken Hagerman(The Barba)

    Clearly the sign goes near or on my wife. She is hot stuff. We met with what are now friends in the capitol. I didn’t know any of them at first but that didn’t take long to fix. We all had the U.S. in common and were thankful for the chance to waste time together.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      I have to appreciate a guy who says the sign goes on his wife– you’re a contender for sure!

  • http://ironicmom.wordpress.com Leanne Shirtliffe

    Stories like this make me welcome aging. Sounds like a fab weekend.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Absolutely. I have every intention of being a wild old lady. But not, like, the crazy cat kind.

  • http://yourpaljason.wordpress.com Jason

    I would put the Hot Stuff sign on my cat, Sexy Kitty http://yourpaljason.wordpress.com/2011/11/12/sexy-kitty/ . Was the aunt that was talking about a tattoo the same that smokes joints? Sounds like a cool older woman.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      “Mirror kisses every morning”– ha! Aw man, Sexy Kitty might just need that sign.

      The tattoo relative was not the same person as the pot relative. I’m telling you, it was a mad house.

  • http://deborahbryan.wordpress.com Deborah the Closet Monster

    Probably on the rear of my S.O.’s jeans. 0:)

    We didn’t do much here, a sentence I’m able to type thanks to the grammas putting on Thanksgving dinner. We sat around chatting, knitting and trying not to go a little nuts over endless plays of “Mickey’s Club House.” (OK, that last one might have just been me.)

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Grammas putting on dinner– perfect! And it sounds like you’ve got a pretty good spot for the sign too. 😉

  • http://stryka66.wordpress.com stryka66

    As a Brit I’ll go with ‘starters’ and tom-ah-toes…and thanks for including my name in you post – Alec

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Hey, at least I called you smart. 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the great post! Tamara if you were ever wondering why all the Simpson cousins are so close, and drive and fly for hours to be together now you know.
    Hot Stuff
    Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Oh ya, I have a tatoo too!
    Your cousin Judy

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Great to see you there, Hot Stuff, and your beautiful kids too!

  • Anonymous

    Ha Ha- Loved it- Did I have the sign on me ?? Since I know I know who coversation was with about Tatoo- I know who is not the “joint ” person !! By the way- I am not 70 Yet !! Too close for comfort tho. Glad you had fun– I did

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      I didn’t see the sign on you– but I can’t wait to see the new tattoo!

  • http://scream911.wordpress.com scream911

    Nothing better than family shenanigans! In a similar type event my gran announced that she sniffed Benzine! Say WHAT?!?!?!?! As for the tattoo, I would recommend any sprightly seventy year old get one, or two… whatever! If they’re high, the more the merrier 😉 (within a certain level of appropriateness of course).

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      I say better late than never on the tattoo. And laughing about your gran!

  • http://christopherlongshowbizguru.blogspot.com/ Christopher Long

    Another engaging post, Tamara. It only further validates the “age is just a number” theory. And BTW, “alec” was the better choice.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Thanks! I think it just goes to show that you are who you are, no matter your age. (And it doesn’t hurt if “who you are” is a feisty lady!)

  • http://www.goannatree.com Anna

    Laugh out loud funny! This is awesome! My grandmother I were so close exactly because she was so irreverent much of the time! She thought that life was to enjoy and laugh about, that way that which was to be regarded and held close was even more special! I saw her dress up in spectacularly silly costumes and tell funny jokes (jokes which even some of her friends disapprovingly thought she should be telling in front of her grand daughter. She used to say, “no, I’m not pretending to something i’m not. We know each other for who we are, and I like to think that we can be friends!” 🙂 I’m tearing up a little because she passed away last january. but your story and my own made me think of so many happy, laugh out loud till your stomach hurts moments! thankyou!

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      I’m so glad this was a reminder for you of your special memories. Your grandmother sounded like a wonderful lady.

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  • http://blog.jorgesilvestrini.com Jorge Silvestrini

    Something always happens when the whole family gets together… Thanksgiving was weird this year, my dad wasn’t there because he was feeling sorta sick, we all said – oh glad he stayed home. Now one wants to get sick in the holidays – my mom looked at us (children) and we just didn’t know what to say next! Awkward… Well – we will see dad and mom this Christmas eve for SURE! Bring the “LECHON”…

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