Sometimes living with Grandma feels like I am stuck in Groundhog Day. It's the same thing over and over again. I try to be patient, but really how many times can you answer a question about the bus schedules? It's boring the first time, imagine how it is the 22nd time. You start off engaged, but your answers get more terse with each repetition. My best friend suggested recording answers so I could just playback a tape. To give you a clearer idea of life with Grandma, here are some of her favorite topics of conversation:
*Seeing Alice's son*
At least once a week Grandma brings up how she ran into her friend's son, my dad's childhood friend, just the other day. In reality, she saw him sometime back in March. I feel like we should tell him that Grandma has such positive and lasting feelings for him.
*Bus schedules and bus fare*
"You have the schedule? What do they charge now? $2.25! It used to be a nickel, but that was when we had the trolleys."
*Train schedules and train fare*
"How much does it cost to go to the city? $6! I used to get a monthly commutation for that! Oh, but I haven't been down there in a while."
*Is Aunt Dee away?*
We all know how wily Aunt Dee is, so you can't really blame Grandma for having trouble keeping tabs on her. What's really sad about this is that Grandma will ask where Aunt Dee is days or even hours after Aunt Dee has taken her out to eat. Of course that could also be because Grandma has a habit of guzzling rather than sipping her glass of wine....
*Tofu? Never heard of it! What's that made of? Soybeans?*
"Never heard of it" is the response a lot of my food gets, even the things that I regularly make and Grandma regularly eats.
*Where'd you get such a big frying pan? I never saw such a thing. It would make a good weapon.*
Every. Single. Time.
*Do Middle Bro and Little Bro live together?*
I'm not sure where she came up with this one. My brothers have never lived together as adults.
*Where are your slippers?*
Grandma is really, really against bare feet.
*I could use a nice piece of cake*
This usually launches Grandma on a discussion of all the bakeries that used to be in the neighborhood.
*How am I supposed to know?*
Grandma frequently pulls out the plug that controls our cable and internet, then complains that the TV doesn't work. This is even though I've repeatedly taped signs over the plug explaining what it does and why it cannot be unplugged. This also applies to when she puts metal in the microwave. Grandma will pull down the signs and say, "You don't need to tell me!"
*They're only picking up garbage once a week now?*
This was something the city threatened, but didn't go through with. Unfortunately, the proposed plan really resonated with Grandma.
*Look at how she hangs clothes! I'd tell her off, but she don't speak English.*
On our poor, hapless tenants and their shameful laundry efforts.
*Why is this light on? You should see my bill!*
Um, because it is dark out? Sometimes I call Grandma "Con Edison" when she's really worked up about the lights.
*I don't need a babysitter! I told her not to come back!*
This is Grandma's standard line about her health aide. I think she's just mad because her aide comes at 9 and Grandma prefers sleeping until 9:30 or 10.
*I'm too weak. I lost 18 pounds, you know.*
One of Grandma's sisters was recently in the hospital, so we had Grandma send a get well card. Not to be outdone, Grandma was sure to mention her weight loss in the card.
and of course, was there any doubt? Grandma's number one repeated phrase is....
AUNT DEE TOOK IT!