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Conversations with My Grandmother
If I had to choose two age groups that I am drawn to that would be a no brainer. I love children and the elderly. Both groups speak their minds; one because they know no better and the other because they know way too much and have been through it all. I have much respect for the elderly and I love hearing stories about them and from them. I recently heard about an elderly friend of the family that turned 90 and at her birthday she danced the Electric Slide that was simply amazing to me and also warmed my heart. The elderly have so much to share and I am just the one to sit down and listen. I think that my views of the elderly is why I was so close to my grandmother she had amazing life stories because she was truly an exceptional person. My grandmother was born in Vienna, Austria and then came to the United States where she and her husband built a life for their three daughters, the youngest of which is my mother. My grandmother was a very funny person although she didn’t always try to be. She was funny because she was honest and told it like it was and that can be hilarious at times.
When I think back to the times I had with my grandmother there are so many times that make me miss her and just as many that make me chuckle to myself. Now my grandmother did not have a one tracked mind at all (she was a bit more versatile than that) it just so happens that most of these conversations had sex or sexuality as a theme. This may be solely due to the fact that an 80 year old woman speaking honestly about the topic of sex can be funny.
- BI-SEXUAL – One time I went out to lunch with my Grandmother we were talking about everything going on in the world and in my life. There was nothing spectacular going on at that time I was just happy to be with my grandmother. So we sat and talked. At the restaurant the tables were really close together and the restaurant was full. We were having a great time talking and laughing. At one point in the conversation my grandmother said something in German to me and I told her what I thought she said. My translation must have been dead on because she screamed out excitedly and loudly, “That’s right I didn’t know you were bisexual!” At that moment everything stopped as everyone in the restaurant was staring at our table. So I responded quietly, “That would be bilingual not bisexual.” “Oh yeah that’s right silly me!” she laughed as I was turning beet red and laughing too.
- THE MILKMAN – One day I went over to my grandmother’s house to visit, I did this often because my parents lived a block away from her house and my aunt (my mother’s eldest sister) lived next door to my grandmother. I loved going to visit my grandmother; I had my own key because after all I was her favorite granddaughter (ok, truth be told I was her only granddaughter). I would go to check on her, to help her out or just to sit around and talk to her. This day she was in rare form she was in her late 80’s and still ornery as ever which made me love her even more. We were talking about old times, my grandfather who I never knew and what her kids were like growing up (she had three daughters all completely different personalities). While I was talking to her I realized that my mother was the only one in her family that had green eyes. My grandmother and her two older daughters have blue eyes and I knew that my grandfather had brown eyes because everyone says I have eyes like his; big and brown. I mentioned to my grandmother that my mother has green eyes and without skipping a beat she smiled and said, “I know it was the milkman.” I was shocked and had to think about it for a moment. She was joking. Right?
- GOOD SEX – My husband also used to go visit my grandmother all the time. At the time we were dating and not married. My grandmother had a house full of people and was talking to my husband about the two of us getting married. The conversation started off innocently enough. I should say that my husband is rarely ever embarrassed or taken aback by anything. Let’s just say he has had a very interesting past and has seen just about anything a person could see. But this has got to be one of those times where he was slightly embarrassed and a little shocked by my grandmother’s question. So while everyone was there and she was giving him grandmotherly advice she turned to him with a very serious look on her face and said, “Is the sex good?” My husband was speechless and laughed nervously (I am so glad I wasn’t there I would have died on the spot). Of course he still hasn’t told me what his response was but at this point I still don’t think I want to know.
- BAD SEX – When I was in college my grandmother came down to Santa Barbara for a visit. She took me and my roommates out to lunch and my roommates thought that she was hilarious because she was. She had a great sense of humor but her humor was more based in truth. She said it how it was and that was funny. We had a great discussion my grandmother learned about my roommates and they learned a lot about her. On the ride home my grandmother thought it was necessary to give us all some advice. Her parting words I will never forget, “The only bad sex is no sex.” How can you argue with a 70 year old woman?
- MAKE LOVE NOT WAR – My grandmother was a peace activist always fighting for others rights. She was all about peace in the world and I loved her for her tenacity. When I got married she made a toast, a toast similar to the toast she made at my mother’s wedding to my father. The end of the toast has always been my favorite after hearing about it for years and years it was simply, “Go make love not war!”
I love my grandmother very much and miss her everyday. She was truly one of a kind. The memories that I have of her are so hilarious that all I can do is smile and laugh at the thought of her.