15 October 2008

Conversations with grandma

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: family

I got my first flu shot yesterday and I feel like total crap. My injection arm is killing me and I feel as though I’ve been hit by a truck. Hmm why don’t I normally get the flu shot?  Hmm, I can’t remember right now, oh that’s right, I don’t like to feel like crap. Got it.

So I’m keeping this kind of short today, I hope you can forgive me. 
I’ve been meaning to blog for a bit about my grandma, god love her. She’s always been kind of quirky with no internal filter on what comes out of her mouth, but as she has gotten older, she’s a little more bold with what she says. I can always count on a rude comment coming out of her mouth toward me at Thanksgiving and a scowl of disapproval toward my city lifestyle. This of course has been capitalized upon since my baby brother got married this summer. Thanks to this, I’m totally in the clear of her worrying because she said – and I quote – “we’re so glad we were able to stay alive to see one more good thing happen.” Yes, I’m dying alone, thanks for the memo.
Because of grandma’s somewhat loose lips, I have become a bad granddaughter and I don’t call her and my grandpa as much as I should. I do love my grandma, but all of my calls to them start with me psyching myself up, saying “they don’t know any better, they mean well.”
Below is a snippet (taking some creative license) of a recent conversation with grandma about her favorite topic, my love life.

Scene: Me working in the kitchen (not cooking) and doing my obligatory bi-weekly touch base call

Grandma: Jessica how is your love life?

Me: *crickets chirping* Non-existent?

Grandma: Oh well you mention this boy all the time

Me: *sigh* He’s just a friend grandma, guys and girls can be friends

Grandma: Oh well you just mention him a lot and I thought maybe it would turn into something more than that

Me: Nope, just friends

Grandma: Well you’re too skinny, guys don’t like girls who are too skinny

Me: I definitely wouldn’t say I’m skinny, let’s not talk about this anymore

Grandma: Well then, you’re definitely not as heavy as you used to be

Me: Thanks

Grandma: Just remember that your job can’t cook you dinner

Me: Yeah well it sure pays for things that reheat well. Okay I have to go, I’ll call you guys again……..soon
Sign me up for an express ticket to h*ll! Fingers crossed for a window seat in the dry heat section!
Hmm I should actually call to check in again this weekend, I wonder what the topic of conversation will be this time. *shudder*


  1. TKTC says:

    Wow…I feel like you have field a lot of speculation about this boy:) And Pop Pop used to do this to me too only his conversations ended with “Just go get laid. You’re young, easy on the eyes and it’ll be good for you.”

    Do I really need to wait till I’m 89 to be that, errr, forthright??

  2. Sandy says:

    Haha, I think everyone has some type of communication problem with their grandparents. My grandma was the same in that she had no filter between what she thought and what she said- pretty much all of her compliments were backhanded. What will always be my favorite? “I love your hair cut, but the color.. it’s so.. mousy..”
    It’s the sole reason I never go too long in between dying my hair. Thanks, gram!

  3. The Odd Duck says:

    I wish I had that same problem. Whenever my grandmother brings up my love life it’s to say I should break up with my girlfriend and meet so-and-so from her church. Be sure to save me a seat in Hell as well. I’m sure I’ll need it.

  4. Erin says:

    I’ve had the flu once in my life…immediately following the one and only time I’ve gotten a flu shot.

    My grandma never commented on my love life…but we did have to have extensive conversations about how my mom was a terrible person and how she was killing my father. Fun.

  5. Jen K says:

    Oh no worries, I am totally dying alone as well :(

  6. Megkathleen says:

    My dad’s stepmom is the same with the non-existent filter. My favorite is when she tells me I’m going to hell. Yeahhh…I’m not as good as you, I’ve stopped calling.

  7. brookem says:

    ha, your grandma kind of cracks me up. i love how they always ask about our love lives.

  8. Rebekah says:

    Hooray for no filter!

    I’m so glad my brother got married and had a baby so my grandparents leave me alone about that now… sigh.

    Flu shot still hurting from Tuesday here. Slept on that arm the other night, big mistake.

  9. Daisy says:

    Haha, this is classic – you’ve gotta love that generation’s way with words! I’m just lucky that my gay cousin always takes the heat of the rest of us! She went to his flat and was so confused that there was only one bedroom for him and his “housemate”!!

  10. Katelin says:

    haha wow. your grandma sounds like quite the character, props to you for not saying anything too rash in rebuttal, haha.

  11. Bobbie says:

    Grandparents are weird. All of mine have passed away, well before I got to an age where marriage might be a question, but I feel your pain. My boyfriend’s father is always asking us when we are going to get married and have kids, because neither of his older brothers have kids, nor do they want kids, and he is his dad’s only hope in continuing his bloodline. I guess I’m lucky with my family, though, because they don’t really ask me that kind of thing, nor do they pressure me. My dad has tons of grandkids; in fact, I’m the only kid in the family who doesn’t yet have kids of her own.

    And I love when relatives tell me I’m too skinny! It’s really not true at all, but it makes me feel good. Just keep telling her thank you :) And that you can cook dinner for yourself, and have dinner parties with your friends. It’s such a different mindset that her generation has — it’s probably hard for her to wrap her mind around the fact that being a self-sufficient, smart, free, independent woman is a GOOD thing. Plus, no one complains when the netflix movie that arrives is ‘sleepless in seattle’! :)

  12. Kayleigh says:

    First off, congrats on being the featured blogger! I don’t know how long that’s been going on but I wanted to say congrats!

    And I totally know what you mean regarding grandparents and relatives pestering you and making somewhat backhanded comments about love life stuff. I’m 24, and seriously one side of my family has pretty much already written me off as destined to be alone and that I’ll always be single. It’s so hurtful and downright insulting. I’m like, um….am I 50? No? OK great…so shut the HELL UP. I don’t get it, but it always makes me feel like utter crap.

  13. Katie Killary says:

    lol – I love what you say at the end about things that reheat well.

    Also, I am getting a flu-shot soon. I didn’t know they hurt though! Sounds like a tetanis shot, something I recently got. OUCH!

  14. ToughGirl101 says:

    For the flu shot – I’ve never had one. I’ve also never had the flu either.

    About your grandmother, she seems … traditional? I think it’s more of a generation gap than anything. They don’t understand how the times work and how women these days think only about a relationship. Just because you might not be with someone doesnt mean you’re dying alone either.

    My gosh, think about the hoopla when I told the ol’ traditionalists that I was getting divorced! Oh, not only was I a woman not standing by my man, but a big part of it was a conflict with an over bearing mom-in-law. How could I leave a man because of his unhealthy relationship with his mommy and choose a life of solitude and independence!

    I’m obviously a lesbian.

  15. Stephanie says:

    You need to post more Grandma conversations stat. Hope you feel better soon! :)

  16. The Modern Gal says:

    Oh man, this brings back memories of my grandmother. Whenever we’d go out to eat together and would run into a guy I knew, she’d always ask if it was my boyfriend. *mortification* No grandma, if he was my boyfriend I’d introduce him as such.

  17. thatShortChick says:

    Yeah well it sure pays for things that reheat well

    hahaha…that's my favorite line. and i may be using that in future conversations with my friends&family.

  18. Miss Grace says:

    I love the double edged sword of you’re-too-skinny/at-least-you’re-not-fat-anymore. That is pretty choice.

  19. Melissa says:

    Oh my. Oh, oh me.

  20. The Maiden Metallurgist says:

    Grrrrandparnts. What can you do. And take heart that you might feel crappy for a day or two right now, but it beats the hell out of feeling super crappy for a week or two later.

  21. laura marie says:

    I have never ONCE called a grandparent on the phone. It just wasn’t a thing we did or our parent’s ever asked us to do when we were younger. They’re all gone now, but I wonder if they knew what I did on a day to day basis what they would say about it. Before they died they all were only about as clued in as to whether I was graduating something or really just still alive and causing problems for my mom.

    To be honest, I’m not really sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

  22. Cheryl says:

    My grandma wasn’t like that, bless her. That’s ok though. I tend to put enough pressure on myself for lots of grandmas.

  23. Katie says:

    love reading your blog!

    i hate to the be the debbie-downer, but i just recently (1 month ago) lost my grandma, and i would give absolutely anything to just have one more of those conversations with her. admittedly, we had a great relationship and she was always supportive of my choices. it kills me that she will never see me get married (uh, if that every happens…) or know that i now wear all her cute 50’s style dresses.

    i know talking to your grandma may not be the most pleasant experience, but i admire you for still calling her every other week. i think that someday you will look back and be so glad you made those calls. i’m jealous that you still have your grandparents to talk to.

  24. lifeintheleftlane says:

    I know what you mean about the flu shot hurting. I got one last year and thought my arm would fall off the next day. It sucked a bit. I think maybe it happens if you accidentally tense up a little.

    Aww, grandmas can be funny characters sometimes.

  25. Maki says:

    Awww I love your grandma!!!! I miss all my conversations with my grandmas..

    I hope you feel better from the shot. My Ju Ju had to get four shots all at once and it was horrible to look at!!!

  26. Jessica Lawlor says:

    this is so funny! my grandparents are hilarious, and i love them, but i seriously just laugh for about an hour when we get off the phone!

  27. maris says:

    UM I got the flu shot on Tuesday also and actually had to call out sick yesterday b/c I felt so horrible all Tuesday night/yesterday. Hmm…

  28. Ben says:

    My grandmother after seeing my house.

    “It makes me sick that young people have such nice things.”


  29. wontletlifedefineme says:

    Have you tried agreeing with her on everything she says? People who are used to giving criticism are usually completely thrown by that tactic.

  30. Princess Pointful says:

    Ugh… it is funny those few people we have to tolerate such things from!
    My grandpa is amazing, but becomes a little sexist whenever my boyfriend appears. All the sudden he gives all tasks, directs all smart questions, etc, to him, whereas I was seen as totally competent earlier that day!

  31. EP says:

    My grandmother is the SAME way. She’s hilarious in doing it, though.

    Like when I bought assorted goodies for my cousin’s bachlorette party (that my mother, her sisters and my GRANDMOTHER attended.) She was SO upset that I bought them. I think her view of me was changed forever…

  32. Heidi Renée says:

    When I visited my grandfather in May he told my sixteen-year-old second cousin (his great-granddaughter) that it sure would look nice on his obituary if he had some great-great-grandchildren. This after he went to the emergency room because his ankle was bleeding, called us to come be with him there, then took a cab home before we got there without telling us he was leaving the hospital.

    My grandmother died the day I moved in with my now-husband. It wasn’t unexpected, as she’d been ill for a long time, but the irony is kind of funny (now at least). She would have loved him–it was sad to have my wedding without her. We used something she wrote about her own wedding in our ceremony.

  33. ...love Maegan says:

    ugh…those things are so difficult. I have a similar problem with my Father-in-law. Think about it this way; if it were someone else’s grandma, how would you react? … it really works ;) because it takes the emotional ties out.

  34. jess@thehomebound says:

    Keep letting her tell you that you are too skinny. Next time say, I know, I love it. Grandmas are the best even way the are sort of the worst, aren’t they?
    Maybe you should find a job that will make you dinner. Perhaps, a food critic?

  35. cousinclara says:

    Make her happy, tell her you met a nice man named , let’s say Ahmet he’s 10 to 15 years older and is of a different religion and race, but you have really hit it off and as soon as he has some spare time ( he is a world traveller ) you will bring him by for her to meet.

  36. Angela says:

    When my grandpa (who has 9 children, 25 grandchildren, and ~10 great-grandchildren) found out that I had a boyfriend a couple years ago, the first thing he did was examine my left ring finger. Keep in mind I was only 19 at the time and had only been dating him for less than a year. My grandpa said he didn’t care how long we’d been dating, he just wanted us to get married and have babies so he could have some more great-grandkids.

    I guess the fact that it’s no longer 1950 doesn’t matter and that most people don’t get married at 17 and 20 (which is how old my grandma and he were when they did) anymore….

  37. LBluca77 says:

    I think your grandma and my grandma are the same person.

  38. A Super Girl says:

    My grandma also used to make comments about how she was afraid she wouldn’t live to see her grandchildren get married. I’m the oldest, but luckily the next eldest cousin got married this year, so she’s at least seen one of us tie the knot! It makes me sad though to think she really believes she won’t see me get married someday — and depending on life and all of that — it’s possible that could happen.

    It’s a different generation, you’re right, they mean well, but it can be annoying to take sometimes.

  39. Mandy says:

    LOL, my grandma is the same way and would get along with your grandmother so well. When I call my grandparents house, I ask to talk to my grandfather.