From the Blog

I’m A Butt Grabber

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I admit it. I’m not proud. I come from a long line of butt grabbers on my mother’s side. It’s near compulsive. Thankfully, however, I have yet to grab a stranger’s butt. Riding public transportation can put the kibosh on such behavior, no matter how deeply ingrained.

I grew up in an active household. We would wrestle and tickle until my sister would yell “I have to pee!” in order to get away. Incidentally, she still does this. And my mom would play a fun game, where she would hold her hands over my mouth and nose so I couldn’t breathe and say, “See you in heaven!” This sounds like a fun childhood memory. But to this day, the most dangerous seat in the house is on the couch between my mom and dad.

I’m relating this because teasing and tickling has always been a sign of affection for me. I’m always delighted to meet someone who is MORE ticklish than I am, or someone who might be embarrassed if I fondled their ass in public.

Visiting family reinforces these deeply ingrained patterns. For a time, my parents lived in Florida. For the holidays, my sister and I would visit from our respective corners of the country, where ever we happened to be at the time. My paternal grandparents wintered not far away in Daytona Beach, and they would join us for Christmas.

This would sometimes present us with a problem. My grandparents were devoutly Catholic. And me, my sister, and my mom and dad, we were something a little, um, less than devoutly Catholic. So when my grandparents visited, they were expecting us all to go to Christmas Mass.

My grandparents are absolutely charming. They weren’t stern or judgmental or guilt-inducing about going to church. It was just an honest expectation. And whatever our own convictions were, out of respect, we always scrambled to find the nearest “Saint Such and Such” and pretend we went there all the time.

We did draw a line however, about going to church on actual Christmas Day. Because that day is supposed to be all about presents, isn’t it? So we would go to the “midnight” mass, usually around 10 pm, on Christmas Eve. Our family also always gets Chinese food on Christmas Eve. Chinese food in Florida is terrible, BTW.

But there were a lot of churches, thankfully, as Florida is known as “God’s Waiting Room.” I’m sure it’s nice to be able to settle up before you go. We would find our “Saint Whoever,” and go to Christmas Eve mass.

Now. I’m an adult. And my mom is an adult. In fact, she is MORE of an adult than I am. And she’s my mom, so I do what she says (sometimes). So isn’t more her fault than mine if we giggled and sang all the mass hymns like this? With the deep breaths and everything? Loo loo loo?

And we diligently tried to conceal our obnoxiousness, but probably failed, as evidenced by my dad’s deeps sighs and withering stares. I think my grandparents got a chuckle out of it. Probably.

When it was time to receive the Eucharist, my mom, dad, sister and I all abstained, as none of us could be called practicing Catholics. So my grandma and grandpa had to shuffle and squeeze past us in the pew. And WOULDN’T my mom reach out and grab my grandpa’s bum as he tried to get by? On the way to receive the Eucharist? On Christmas Eve? During the ONE TIME we go to church for the year?

My grandpa is ticklish and spry as a teenager. He jumped a mile. He swatted at her and said “You guys!” He laughed and scooted away as fast as he could.

My dad never saw that my mom grabbed grandpa’s ass. He only heard him say “You guys!” And my dad thought grandpa was showing disapproval that we were not taking part in the Eucharist. I think my dad agonized over it. But then we told him we were just being admonished for grabbing grandpa’s ass. Then I think my dad felt better after that.

So, I will likely be arrested one day for this butt-grabbing affliction. And for sure, I’m most certainly not going to heaven. Probably for that “loo loo loo” thing.


  1. I, too, come from a family of butt grabbers. I have a feeling there will be plenty of that going on at the next big family get together.

    Which happens to be my grandfather’s funeral.

    My parents are Methodist, and have for decades been ushers. Which means they carry the collection plates up to the altar.

    And often will skip back down the aisle, hand in hand.

  2. You make light of your predilections, but what about your victims?!

  3. All that tickling and affection leaves a wide path of turmoil and destruction behind me. I can’t help it.

  4. While not from a family of hiney touchers, my mom blows raspberries on my neck (kind of hard to explain, but without the tongue action). It sounds weird, but whenever she gets that gleam in her eye, my shoulders go up to protect my uncovered neck. I’ll likely pass that onto my kids – they’re doomed.

  5. Auntie Laurie says

    Hi Heather. Your Mom and Dad gave me your blog, name? address?, and I have spent the last hour laughing myself silly. I really like the picture of your parents pointing at the waterfall, you told them to do that didn’t you? Anyway, I really have enjoyed myself and will be a frequent visitor from now on. And to all of your friends, It’s Amazing the poor girl turned out as “normal” as she did. Love Ya Ther

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