Feeling Gilroy grateful and ‘pretty Princevalle’

Last year I wrote a column about gratefulness, and I think I’ll revive the idea this year. Twice = tradition. This is my “second annual gratefulness column!”
I’m thankful for the Garlic Run, an inaugural fundraiser for the city’s Recreation Department. The T-shirt was without a doubt the coolest run shirt I’ve ever gotten, and the course was fun and incredibly well-organized. Thanks, volunteers, who stood there making sure we knew which way to go. Thanks, booths with bananas and muffins afterwards. Thanks to Roller Derby chicks who acted as unofficial cheerleaders. Thanks to donors for fun raffle prizes. Thanks to whoever had the brainstorm for the event. It was all-around a cool day that made me happy to live in Garlicville.

I’m thrilled about two new drive-throughs. I’m not a typically lazy person, but in this era of clicking and unclicking carseats and trying to keep children from running rampant into various knife edges, it is a nicety of modern life to be able to roll down one’s window and return home to eat in relative safety. So, thanks to the new bagel place (where It’s A Grind coffeehouse used to be), and thanks to the new Subway (near Sonic).

I’m grateful for the St. Mary’s spaghetti feed, because it is so sweetly small-town American that I felt like I myself was becoming an apple pie. The kind with fancy braided latticework on top. This year I took advantage of the service where they bring your food to you, for a negligible $2. The line is fun, especially when people circulate with their wine bottles, but this year we were happy to simply plunk down on the blanket and inventory the glow sticks.

I’m grateful for Isabel Bernal, hair stylist at Shear Creation, because she always makes me laugh and because she lets me come, in between cut and color, to trim my bangs. I walked in the other day, no phone call in advance, and within 30 seconds I was in the chair while she snipped away so my eyes could again be seen.

Okay, this one may sound wacky … but I’m grateful that the people at DMV are so nice. I’ve done my time in other cities’ DMVs, and Gilroy’s branch is seriously like a bastion of sunshine and rainbows. (Hint: it’s easy to make an appointment online and then you don’t have to sit on time-out in the sea of chairs. I had a 9 a.m. appointment and was talking to a clerk within one minute of my arrival.)

I’m grateful it didn’t rain on Halloween night and wasn’t too cold, so we had perfect weather to trick-or-treat. I’m grateful for that cool family that gives away full-sized candy bars.
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I’m happy about the bring-a-friend-free weekend at Gilroy Gardens. Although weather forecasts threatened rain, it was a great time to show friends the splendor of our unique theme park, and I think one friend was considering buying a season pass for next year. (However, I still believe GG needs to do much, much more to make its presence known in the Bay Area. Huh, is this record broken? I think I’ve heard myself say this a bevy of times.)

I’m grateful that even though my GPS was stolen from my car, I generally know where I’m going. By the way, it was out of sight in the console, but that’s not good enough, apparently.

I’m grateful that I’m getting old, because as my Dad always says, “it’s better than the alternative.” Twice now, people have said I don’t look like my column mugshot, so I’m updating to a picture taken in the last month. The old picture was taken in 2006. One person referred to it as a “glamour shot” (as if!) but that was how I used to look back when I had time to actually shower and blow-dry my hair instead of throwing my multiple cowlicks into a ponytail. I was also pregnant with my eldest, so perhaps a little “glow” showed on my face. And I had yet to experience the onslaught of sleep deprivation, conundrums about why robots don’t actually live in Gilroy, and trying to make sure creepy shadows don’t manifest into monsters. Oh … and yeah … five years.

Finally, I’m grateful for Gilroy jokes. Yesterday morning, I stood in the kitchen in battered pajamas and a wretched blue floral robe, and said, “I’m going to get dressed; I feel kind of dowdy.” My husband said, “Actually, you look pretty Princevalle to me.” Maybe you have to have lived in the environs of Dowdy Street to get that one, but once it dawned on me, with some prodding, I did laugh pretty sincerely.
Erika Mailman is acting all Eigleberry over at www.erikamailman.com.

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