>Last year, I went home for Thanksgiving for the first time in about 5 years. My in-laws (mother, father, and brother) and of course my husband came to Chicago with me. It had been awhile since the in-law family dined with my blood relations, but I figured they’d more or less known each other for 10 years and should know to expect the unexpected. Clearly, though, they were unprepared for the production of “The Vagina Monologues-Grandma Style” that brought dinner to a screeching halt.

My grandmother was telling us about her obnoxious neighbor, who has a misguided belief that she has the right to park in front of my grandmother’s driveway and block it because my grandmother doesn’t drive. However, when my aunt and my mom go to pick Grannie up, they would like to pull in and out of the driveway. One night my aunt came by and found the driveway blocked, so she called the cops who came and towed the car. After my aunt left around 10:30 PM, bitch neighbor came over and rang my grandmother’s doorbell and started yelling at Grannie about being an inconsiderate neighbor. (Unbelievable nerve, right? You repeatedly inconvenience your neighbor, and you call her inconsiderate?!?!? Picture Grannie: she’s a cute little shrinking woman, a little under 5 feet tall. She has white hair and glasses, just like Mrs. Claus. How anyone can yell at her like that is beyond me. She’s just so cute!)

As my grandmother is telling the story, my aunt interrupts and says, “You know what Suzanne would have done in that situation? She would have called her a bitch and shut the door.” My mom disagreed, “No, she would’ve called her a fucking bitch.”

That really got my grannie going. “Why did you use the f-word, Sherry? I hate the f-word. You can say cunt, but don’t say the f-word. Cunt is fine. There’s nothing wrong with saying cunt. I won’t say the f-word, though. You should say cunt instead...” and on and on about how you should never say fuck because it is rude, but calling someone a cunt is perfectly acceptable.

My cousin, who was about 16 at the time, nearly fell out of her chair laughing, but pointed out that some people are trying to reclaim the word cunt as woman positive, as evidenced by the popularity of “The Vagina Monologues.” I agreed wholeheartedly. My friends and I call each other cunts as terms of affection all the time. (Although the insult I save for the worst people is to call them cunt-face whores, so I guess I use it both ways.)

During all this discussion, my in-laws are sitting straight up in their chairs, staring at the wall, not eating. You can tell they clearly wonder how they hell they wound up at a Thanksgiving dinner with an 83 year old woman ranting about the proper usage of the word cunt. I think to myself, “Ah, home sweet home.”

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