I play Where’s Waldo, except I call it Where the hell is Aunt VeVe?


Remember my 84 year old Aunt VeVe?

She’s still 84 years old because I jumped the gun last year when I wrote about her and made her 84 years old a couple of months before God did, a lapse in judgment that I regretted for four entire months while hearing BY THE WAY, I AM NOT 84 YEARS OLD YET, THANKS A LOT, to be followed ten minutes later by DID I MENTION I’M NOT 84 YEARS OLD?

So, she’s still 84 years old.

But, she is an inch shorter. Possibly two.

I have to walk very carefully when I go to her house so that I don’t accidentally step on her and squish her.



My mother is up visiting from North Carolina and she, Aunt VeVe, my kids and I all went shopping at the mall the other day.

If I had a dollar for every time I asked “Where’s Aunt VeVe?” and shook the racks hoping she’d fall out of one of them, I’d be wearing approximately two-thirds of New York & Co., right this minute instead of an Old Navy flag t-shirt from eight years ago.

Conversely, it’s relatively easy to spot my mom, even though she’s almost as short as Aunt VeVe. That’s because my mom is always the one with the freakishly high eyebrow arch, standing at the opposite end of the store playing air traffic controller by frantically waving both hands in the air while shouting YOOO HOOOOOO! ANDY! YOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Also, you can see her hair from space.



You can’t see Aunt VeVe’s hair from space. You can barely see her little tuft above the sale rack from two feet away.

And I’m pretty sure Aunt VeVe has never emitted a YOOO HOOOO in public and for that, I’m eternally grateful.

It’s no picnic being the subject of a relentless YOOO HOOOO. People look at you funny and the ground never opens up and swallows you whole, no matter how hard you pray.



Should Aunt VeVe and I ever venture into retail land again, I think I shall outfit her with one of those harness/leash contraptions they make for toddlers who like to wander.

Not that Aunt VeVe wanders, because she doesn’t. She walks with a purpose.

At least, she used to and I assume she still does. I can’t really be certain though because she only comes up to my knees and hence, is out of my field of vision by about two feet.

So, maybe the harness? Except if I yank on it and she wails, we’re liable to draw attention to ourselves and it’s common knowledge that I don’t draw.


Unless we’re talking short sticks. Then I draw all the damn time, whether I like it or not.

Ooh, and conclusions! I’ve gotten so good at these, I don’t even need any information beforehand. I can draw them out of thin air!

Fat air, even!

But anything else, like pictures? Weapons? Water from a well? Attention? Especially undue attention?

No. It’s in my contract.

And God forbid my mother persists in yodeling while I’m yanking and Aunt VeVe is wailing, we’ll probably be kicked out of the mall entirely and my kids will never speak to me again.


Decisions, decisions.



Maybe I’ll go the old fashioned route and place a little bell around Aunt VeVe’s neck when she’s not looking?

But then, I risk inadvertently driving her batshit crazy because she won’t know the bell is there and will have no idea why her ears are constantly ringing, forcing her to repeatedly holler WHAT THE HELL IS THAT GOD AWFUL NOISE? DOES ANYBODY ELSE HEAR THAT? And I’ll have no choice but to look at her strangely and respond “What noise? I don’t hear any noise” and then throw her in the car and drive to the local mental health clinic and commit her.

Because no way in hell am I going to admit to my Aunt VeVe that I put a bell around her neck, let alone drove her insane, albeit unintentionally.

You do not want to be on Aunt VeVe’s shit list. Especially if she’s insane.



Aunt VeVe always wears earrings. Her ears have never been naked since the day I first met her, back when I was living in utero.

Maybe I’ll attach a beacon to her earrings and it can shine a strobe light?

She’ll be like a lighthouse!

Except shorter.

And nowhere near water.

Then again, the strobe light might hamper her vision and she’ll wind up seeing spots. Then she’ll start bumping into walls and exclaiming OUCH! FOR GOD’S SAKE, ANDY! WHY ARE YOU STANDING IN MY WAY? AND WHY ARE YOU WEARING POLKA DOTS? And I’ll have no choice but to call out “I’m standing all the way over here, Aunt VeVe,” and then throw her in the car and drive her to the local mental health clinic and commit her.

Because if I can’t admit that I tied a bell around her neck and drove her insane, I sure as hell can’t admit I blinded her.

Or that I haven’t worn polka dots since I was seven.



Perhaps a GPS unit somewhere on her person, in a spot where she won’t notice it.

Maybe on her shoe? She never looks down. She’s too busy looking up, trying to peek over the shoulders of the rest of the world.

But what if she changes her shoes? What then? Fling my body on her feet, beg her not to and refuse to budge when she swats me?

I think she’ll be suspicious.



I could simply call her on her cell phone to ascertain her location but Aunt VeVe refuses to use her cell phone unless it’s an emergency.

She’s got a pretty high standard when it comes to what constitutes an emergency. Careening off the fairway in a wayward golf cart and subsequently smashing her knee to smithereens did not meet the threshold. Neither did participation in a three car pileup which shut down a nearby road for hours.

Somehow, I don’t think the fact that I am unable to see her over the clearance rack in JC Penney is going to warrant non-essential cell phone usage.

I could simply shriek AUNT VEVE! WHERE ARE YOU? every five minutes.

But you know how I feel about that whole undue-attention-world-swallowing-me-up type of thing.

And besides, she might get annoyed and tell me to hush up and then where would I be?

I’m running out of options.

A trail of bread crumbs?

Smoke signals?


Any ideas?



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24 thoughts on “I play Where’s Waldo, except I call it Where the hell is Aunt VeVe?”

  1. Avatar

    Every one of your posts inspire me to think of another idea for a TV show.

    This could be a reality show where celebrities have to run through shopping malls, searching for Aunt VeVe, and there could be lots of other “look-a-likes” but only ONE Aunt VeVe!

    What do you think?

  2. Avatar

    I’d be mad if you made me a year older before my birthday, too.
    But it’s very nice of you to be careful so that you don’t squish her. Does shrinking run in your family? You may be the dwarf one day….

  3. Avatar



    If you do it right, she’ll never even feel it.

    Sheesh, why do I have to be the one to think of everything?

    At least I can be The Thinker, since I am not Commenter the First today. Or even Heather the First today.

    And what’s up with the freakishly high eyebrow arch? Does she pluck it that way? Draw it on? Just raise her eyebrows a lot? Wait – is your mom the female equivalent of Sam Waterston? If so, how often do you hear the “CHUNG CHUNG” noise?

    By the way, I’m bringing my camera to lunch. Just saying, consider yourself warned. I need blog material today, and I’m fresh out. 😀

  4. Avatar

    A pole with a pennant flag (color of her choosing so she feels involved in the process) stuck down the back of her pants : ) It’s easily seen above the racks. Or attach one of those blue lights they use in K-Mart to the tip of the pole – a ‘blue hair’ special.

  5. Avatar

    picture I’d like to see:

    Andy and her relatives next to one of those “you must be this tall to ride the big grown-up rides” signs.

    You still measure up in our book though… Thanks for a great post. Second the microchip idea -don’t vet’s do that? Do you have a cat carrier big enough for Aunt VeVe?

    Stan at Scrappersworkshop

  6. Avatar

    LOL!! Hey! You didn’t have a photo of the top of your head!! Thought you were about as tall as Aunt VeVe? Almost? 😉 J/K!! NOT! lol!! Isn’t it funny how we shrink as we get old? My luck I’ll shrink in height but not girth! sigh.. yup. Officially wider than I will be tall.

  7. Avatar

    I am 5 feet tall on a good day so I am sticking up for Aunt VeVe. Us short people have got to stick together. That way at least you will see us better or at least hear us. Short people can be really loud because you Amazonian types never look where you are walking and we always have to say “hey Yao Ming, down here, pay attention to where you are walking”.

  8. Avatar

    Microchip too expensive. Get one of those tall flags they put on bikes, and ask her to hold it. Tell her it’s a homing beacon so you don’t lose the kids, and stare into your cell phone like you’re reading the signal. She’ll participate voluntarily, and you’ll see her coming a mile off! If she gets tired of holding, you can always duct tape it to her.

  9. Avatar

    Okay, this was pretty darn funny! I’m sorry to laugh at your expense.

    Okay. I’m not. But if you didn’t want me to laugh, you wouldn’t have posted, right? thanks for sharing!!!

  10. Avatar

    OMG, I cannot stop laughing at those pics….I love how you circled her head with a huge red circle, just in case we couldn’t see her! She’s so cute! You all must be a hoot to go shopping with!

    BTW, meant to thank you for the info on the comment #’s. I still can’t figure it out so it must not be a blogspot thing!

  11. Avatar

    What about a nice bright clown wig? Then her hair would even be easier than your mom’s to find. Is there some sort of law that as you get older and shrink you must make your hair higher to make up the difference?

  12. Avatar

    omg. spewing and adult beverage on my keyboard. but alas so worth it. *i wanna write like you* whining incessently*.

  13. Avatar

    Your aunt is probably an NBA basketball player compare to my little aunts! Cherish her, though. In the last 6 months two of my teeny tiny aunts have died, and I miss them very much…

  14. Avatar

    Personal tracking device? 🙂
    Happy Saturday to you! I am slowly making my way around to all the blogs that visited me when I was featured on SITS to say “Thank you”. It is indeed a fabulous SITStahood.
    Be blessed!

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