The Fugly Duckling

I always admired a duck that I gave to my Gma for her birthday when I was about four years old. My mom told me that I could pick anything out in the only jewelry store in the tiny Iowa town where I was raised and I selected the most beautiful piece of poultry that my young eyes had ever seen.  I mean, what’s not to love about a greenish, purplish, blueish, yellowish, its color depends-on-the-kind-of-light you hold it in (my motto of the gaudier the better began at birth, apparently) four-inch duck figurine?

You know you want one too. Admit it.

I assumed that Gma absolutely adored this duck. She kept it in her china hutch for as long as I can remember, prominently (I clearly mistook for proudly) displayed on the front shelf and every time she caught me peering at it through the fancy glass doors, she’d remind me that I gave her that bird. When she moved to a new address and sold the duck’s hutch home, she moved its nest to the top of her TV.

As Gma has gotten older, she downsized her square footage and began weeding out her ‘pretties’ (as she calls them).  And the gift givers have received their presents of past back (I now own a frame with “Best Grandma Ever” engraved on its front and a magnet that says “Home is where your Grandma is,” – lucky me). Because of her love of the birthday duck, I was shocked when it was one of the chosen pretties she handed to me a few years ago.

Take your duck and shove it.

Take your duck and shove it.

Never one to mince words, Gma said “that’s the ugliest damn duck I ever saw,” (I now see where I inherited my bluntness) and put it into a box for me. Wondering why in the hell she ever kept the ugly duckling in exhibition for decades, as I went to set it next to her picture in my mini manse it dawned on me.  She kept the heinous bird out for the same reason I’m keeping it on my beautiful mirrored dresser (where the duck sticks out like a quack in a pack of meows) – it reminds me of her.  It’s one of the best gifts I’ve ever received.

She still has to tolerate the damn bird, as it taunts her picture daily!

So as Gma turns 90 years old today in Iowa, the ugly duckling and I (and of course, Teddy) will be toasting our Skinny Pirates in celebration of her feistiness (and the fact that the f’ing duck never got sold at a garage sale since she thought it was so unsightly).

Happy Birthday to one helluva lady!



35 thoughts on “The Fugly Duckling

  1. aliciabenton says:

    Best Grandma Ever?! Hilarious!

  2. Your grandma sounds awesome like mine. Mine would have pawned it and used the proceeds to go gamble though.

  3. SerachShiro says:

    Happy birthday granny, and the duck it’s watching you ! 🙂

  4. That is an adorable story and sounds like my mother.Fortunately for me,I have received few presents from my grandkids…seriously, it is a blessing.(Even if flowers are ugly, they die!)
    I love that you taunt her picture with the duck!

    • Ha! Good point on the gifts to grandparents…whatever do you do with them? Every time I see my Gma, she wants to give me something I gave her 100 years ago. At least now I have a baby niece and can just hand the ‘gifts’ off to my sister! 🙂

  5. Happy birthday pawesome gma! Love the fugly duck! =^.^=

  6. Mine would have Ebayed that thing before I got out of the driveway. Having said that, I think it has a certain charm to it, it’s kinda like a mood ring with feathers.

  7. renxkyoko says:

    That ‘s actually very sweet of your Gma to keep that freakin ugly duck for so long… not to hurt your feelings, mind you, ha ha. Your Gma is funny.

  8. Hey, um, happy birthday Gma, and call me weird, but the duck’s okay…


  9. ha, yeah, grandma is a feisty one! She’s probably been savoring the thought of giving you that duck back for years!

  10. kellisamson says:

    You two are two peas in a pod. This was really sweet!

    • We really are. And I almost can’t wait to hear what she says because she has. no. filter. It’s apparently where I inherited the “say whatever is on your mind” gene. 🙂

      • kellisamson says:

        Does she read your blog? I’ve tried to show my grandparents (same age) how to do it so they can see more pictures, etc, but they can’t seem to get with the program ;).

      • Oh HELL no she doesn’t read the blog. But if someone visiting has an iPad they’ll pull up her posts and show her. She’s now telling me what I should post about her – like, remember that one time I came home from a basketball game and my parents had moved? She’s full of good stories!

      • kellisamson says:

        Wow. I love it – “Write your blog about me!” Grandma’s are hilarious.

  11. Phil Lanoue says:

    Congrats to Gma on her 90!
    How long before Ted jumps up there and sends that technicolor water fowl to it’s untimely demise?

  12. Happy B’day to the best Gma ever!!!! She’s sounds so sweet. Muah!!!!

  13. Will this be joining your other pretties in your new walk in?

  14. […] a two night layover back in my own Nashville bed, I headed up to see my spunky Gma (you know, the one who pretends to hate Jell-O shots and wheels around the town square in style) as […]

  15. […] when my Gma passed away two years ago. Not only was she one of my best buddies, I know I inherited her brutal honesty, ornery streak and love of having my fingernails […]

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