Aunt Julie looked like a wild woman, but I adored her. She cackled like a hen when she laughed with her crinkly black hair standing up like a nest of stinging worms. I saw her comb it once or twice, but it didn’t make a bit of difference. Fortunately, she was easy going and didn’t seem bothered by it. She was a skinny, little woman with a big stomach and pipe-stem legs. The legs of her pants bloused out and never touched her. Had I not known her since I was born, I’d have thought she was a witch. She had a filthy mouth, peppering her language with forbidden words. I learned early on Mother would warm my britches should I repeat anything coming out of Aunt Julie’s mouth.
One of Aunt Julie’s phrases always hooked me. She often prefaced statements with, “as the old saying goes.” I loved old sayings, so I was all ears waiting for what came next. Sadly more often than not, she finished with something perfectly mundane like, “I have to make a pan of biscuits.” I never failed to be disappointed, feeling she had not followed through on her promise. “Fortunately, from time to time, she finished up with a thrilling phrase like, “If I don’t get to the bathroom soon I’m gonna s___ my drawers.” Her use of forbidden language always brightened days moderated by Mother’s prudish language. We weren’t even allowed to say pee pee or doo doo. It’s rough being a gee gee-er in a world of kids who doo doo or donkey. I don’t think Mother cared how she marked us. More on Aunt Julie later.