Tuesday, May 1, 2012

My Favorite Place to Take Old People

My Grandmother willingly volunteers to anyone within earshot that I neglect her. I don't mind strangers receiving this information, but she tells my friends and then, later on, they scold me. The conversation goes something like this:

Friend: "Oh your Grandmother is so sweet! Why don't you spend more time with her?"

Me: "You don't see the big picture."

Friend: "She just wants someone to pay attention to her and listen to her. Can't you spend more time with her."

Me: "You don't see the big picture."

Friend: "If I were you, I would spend more time with your Grandmother."

Me: "Bitch. Please."

Once at a yard sale a woman practically beat me up because of some fabrication of truth my Grandmother--in front of me mind you--told some stranger. I almost committed elderly abuse in public that day but just left for the weekend instead.

The truth is, I live with my Grandmother as a courtesy to her, so I can ensure her safety. I am the only single member of the already meager family and anyone who is single realizes that, with absence of children and husband, you are automatically volunteered for these positions since "you have nothing to do."

Never mind I spend 8 hours on the road alone each week and have around 4 hours a day to do laundry, chores, errands, eat dinner, write, and finish (FINISH--HA!) any other thing I need to do. No one does mind this--not a Grandmother nor a judgmental friend.

But believe it or not, when time is made (and duties neglected...or more often SLEEP neglected) I do enjoy spending time with Grandma. I usually squeeze in several Scrabble games a week and today, I committed myself to neglecting the gym so that I could go straight home and assist her with gardening. By "assist" I mean that I handed her flowers: I am not a fan of dirt, bugs, or heat. The people I work with find this abhorrent (this is me, restraining myself from mentioning what I find abhorrent about them).

Then I decided to ask her to go out to eat. This is generally something she doesn't do--something about her teeth not working correctly--but despite her non-existent appetite this evening she decided to go.

We go to Country Kitchen on Lakeside Drive. This establishment has no credit card reader and still naively accepts checks from strangers with a smile. It is also full of old people. And a few Harley riders. And very competent waitresses. And it's cheap.

By the way, when I do spend time with Grandma she talks about how I don't spend time with her. And at this point I'm so used to it that I hardly pay attention. I redirect the conversation and it goes something like this: quilts, house repairs, hemorrhoids, do I owe her money, gardening, how I neglect my dog, she needs new teeth, do I owe her money, where is her (insert random item of the week), dry skin, do I owe her money.

And no, I don't owe her money. And no, I don't neglect my dog: she overfeeds and babies my dog (remind me to tell you the heating pad story).

We order--me, chicken and dumplings with a side of turnip greens and cottage cheese her, beef tips with gravy and whipped potatoes with peas.

She reminds me she won't be around for long. And I know. I remind her if she'd give me all her money now, I can quit my job and devote days to painting the dog's nails and chauffeuring her around. She asks me if I owe her any money.

I don't owe her any money but she owes me: I paid for dinner. Then after dinner I took her to one of my other favorite places to take old people--CVS. I bought Eucerin and hemorrhoid wipes for her. I really tried to talk her into adult diapers but only because I secretly want to borrow them so I don't have to get up to use the bathroom at night.

Then I dropped her off so I could go write this blog. She doesn't understand what blogging is, only that it's something that depletes her time with me. She admonishes me to come home as soon as I can.

I wait to make sure she gets in the house safely, then advise God that He need not admonish her in the same way.

Then I ask Him if He owes me any money.


  1. LOL! Great blog :) I love your gma.. and I know you do, too :) That pic of her made me laugh!

  2. I always take pictures of her when she has no idea I'm doing it. I think I have video of her threatening me bodily harm...