Wednesday, December 16, 2009
A pop psychology favorite question of the late 1970’s was, “If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?” The answer was a window into your psyche. You consider yourself a Giant Redwood? Narcissist. You’re a Weeping Willow? Depressive. In 1981 Barbara Walters infamously posed the question to Katharine Hepburn who replied, “I’d probably like to be an Oak. They have great strength.”
My mom tells the story of a time years ago when she asked my grandmother the tree question. My Gram Melva announced that she would be a Christmas tree. Melva was a fun, sparkly, center of attention type, the life of the party. She loved glittery costume jewelry and sweets, and “Santy Claus.” In 1981, she instigated a legendary whipped cream food fight at my Great Uncle Leon’s kitchen on Thanksgiving. When she turned 65, she took up bellydancing.
If you asked a Christmas tree what kind of person it would be, it would undoubtedly say, “Gram Melva.”