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Groupies Are Eternal

8 Jun

Grandma, hotter than Megan Fox.

As long have there been boys to strum guitars and throw balls, there have been girls there to fawn over them. I know this because I am currently living with one who is 90 years old.

Grandma had the golden egg in her youth. She was beautiful and she had a lot of brothers. Boys, being boys, have boys as friends. But one brother stood out among the band of brothers. Bob was the brother in a band.

Bob played guitar, along with his band mates, they’d hit the local taverns for a gig. Same as today, no one expected much in terms of money, just a paid bar tab and a piece of ass. I do just love how the more things change and all that…

Grandma met Madelyn at one of these taverns. How they became friends is a muddled story, just like we do it today. Everybody has that one friend and asks the eternal question, ‘how did we meet?’ and there is always that one friend for which there is no good answer. Kind of like maybe your dog, or that third cat. Alcohol may have been a factor.

Madelyn was married to Joe, brother of a really, seriously-famous baseball player of that time. She loved to entertain her Brother-in-Law and his team mates when they came to town (St. Louis) for games. Grandma loved all things taverns and parties and apparently, men. It must be said that during all of this time, Grandma was married. But in her defense, please see Guilt Cards. Everyone was married. It was what you did. There was only one ticket out of Mom and Dad’s and it was stamped and filed at the court house.

One afternoon, I’m assuming after some hair of the dog, Grandma found herself surrounded by Major League ballplayers, courtesy of Madelyn. Bob had played with the band the night before, my Dad was with his Grandma and who the fuck knows where Grandpa was. Madelyn brought up swimming as a pre-dinner diversion.

Grandma didn’t have a suit. Turns out that ball players on the road don’t really care. Same as today, as long as you’re wearing your good underwear, you can pull it off. As she told me this story last night, she wrapped it up with, “and they were really nice boys.”

I am so not putting that through the Grandma translator.

Grandma. Groupie. Fuck Yeah.

Oh Helen.

7 Jun

Well. I certainly didn’t see that coming, but as I live with someone Helen’s approximate age, I can’t say that I’m shocked. I wanted to get Grandma’s opinion on Helen’s unfortunate video taped comments and ended up with something even funnier.

I showed her the video and she just stared at it, not really reacting. I braced myself for the analysis or at least casual commentary. What I got was, “Who the hell is that?”

I refused to believe that it was possible for someone who has watched every televised Presidential press conference from Eisenhower to Obama to not know who Helen Thomas is. I explained and showed her various photos of Helen, who has, what I believe to be one of the most recognizable faces in America, to no avail.

“All old people look the same,” which is true to an extent, but I’d still like to believe that I could pick my Grandma out of a line up. Although, if she doesn’t start showing a bit more of a personality, I am not sure it’s worth doing. I pushed forward with this non conversation.

“Well, what do you think of what she said?”

A few seconds passed before she said, “I don’t know.” Again, feeling on the precipice of some Grandma wisdom, I pressed on, “You don’t know what, Grandma?”

“I DON’T KNOW ANY JEWS!”

Point taken. Grandma 1, Stacey 0

The Silverware Paradox

25 May

This morning I asked Grandma to unload the silverware from the dishwasher. I have several small chores that are delegated to her to raise her sense of self-worth and contribution to the household, to stimulate her mentally, give her something to do besides and annoy me with questions about the news, and in general, they are things I don’t want to fuck with. It’s a win-win. The silverware in the dishwasher is at the top of that list.

This morning, as with all silverware sorting mornings, I set before her the silverware holder from the drawer and the silverware basket from the dishwasher. Each was half full. I went about my business, putting away the rest of the dishes. When I returned to the table to take the drawer, it was completely empty. Grandma had sorted all of the silverware back into the dishwasher basket. All of it, all 12 place settings were now neatly arranged, just in the wrong place. Or were they? There are times that I have asked her, before a dinner on the patio, to take them from the drawer container and put them upright in a carrying basket. The dishwasher basket is very similar.

As I opened my mouth to make light of the situation, I suddenly stopped. When she looked up to me, I saw pride register across her face. She felt she had accomplished the task perfectly. And she had. I had a sudden memory of what it once felt like to be in that place. To be perfectly sure and proud of what I had done, only to be told after that it was wrong. But it really wasn’t wrong, it was simply different.

I thanked her and moved the rack to the counter. I made a mental note to communicate better, and I stared in amazement at the perfectly arranged rows of matching silverware within the basket. I wondered, am I teaching, or am I learning?

Duh.

21 May

Me: “Hey Grandma, did you know Pac-Man is 30 today?”

Grandma: “Did you get me a card for him?”

Me: “No, he really doesn’t like for anyone to make a big fuss.”

The End.

You Can Not Do This to Me.

20 May

Okay, first of all, whichever asshole on the local news got so bored that they reported on this, please recant immediately.

First Thelma Lou and now Billy Graham, are you trying to kill me? Please, I am begging you, please stop. And don’t you dare even think about reporting from the Bass Masters tournament from anywhere. Under no circumstances are you to mention the names of the two guys on the tour from North Carolina, because that is a game of ‘You Know, That Guy,’ that I do not want to play.

“Billy Graham is going to do another sermon!” says Grandma, first fucking words out of her mouth this morning. I spent the next five minutes pissing her off by insisting he is dead. I mean, like he’d have to be, right? Shit, Franklin Graham is like 70.

“HEISNOTDEADHEISGIVINGANOTHERSERMON!”

To the Google I go. And man you just have to love auto-suggest. I can barely get out ‘is Bil’ and the Google is on it. 1st on the list, is Billy Graham dead? and second, is Billy Graham still alive? Of course I was not content to let it go at that. My sick sense of humor required me to type in ‘Why won’t Billy Graham die?’ To which Google replied:

“BECAUSEHEISGIVINGANOTHERSERMON!”

Oh yeah, right.

Local news people? Newsflash. Billy Graham is 91 motherfucking years old AND in poor health AND crazy enough to believe that God has given him a timeline for his death. Please stop telling Grandma that he would like to do another sermon because all Grandma is hearing from you is that he is; and she will annoy the shit out of me with this until he does, and we all know that ain’t fucking happening.

Thank you.

Man. This fucking week. Did somebody give Grandma some sort of sick North Carolina  bucket list? Or maybe a redneck bingo card? What’s next local news people? Live coverage of the gun show in the parking lot of Lowe’s Motor Speedway?

Christ.

Grandma, Ornithologist

19 May

Grandma:

I see you have two different kinds of birds here. (Where Here=NC, not Home IL)

Me:

Which two kinds?

Grandma:

The kind that build nests, and the kind that don’t.

*Please make a note of that.

I Am Sorry Iron Hen.

18 May

You are too hip. Almost tragically so…

You are not Grandma-friendly. I can’t go to you. I can’t wheel Grandma in and spend twenty minutes at your ultra-rushed counter trying to explain why you have taken a perfectly simple thing like slaw and fucked it up with red cabbage, walnuts and wasabi/horseradish sauce. I just can’t. There are some things that just are, slaw being one of them.

Don’t get me wrong, you have some good things. You know you do and you sell the shit out of them every day, but really, sweet potato chips? Really? They are pretty to look at, but they suck. They have the consistency of a scab and salt will not stick to them, and really, if a side can’t even hold salt, what’s the fucking point?

Gluten free this and eco-friendly that. I am tired just thinking about you. You wear me out. I guess maybe 8 years ago I could have mustered some enthusiasm for this slowcavore stuff, but not now. I am Earth Day’d out. I just want a sandwich. I don’t want to stand in line, I don’t want to wonder what in the hell Tasso gravy is. I don’t want a photo of my wait staff on my table.

Actually, I think Grandma and I will just head into Brown-Gardiner and try and decipher your fauxhemian menu over a patty melt and toast our good decision with an orangeade. Though I fear in doing so, we may accidentally be giving ourselves the ultimate hipster reach-around in going old school.

Maybe we’ll both wear our Converse high tops. But only ironically, you know?