I once went to grad school and lived with my grandmother, AT THE SAME DAMN TIME! Remarkably, I lived to tell about it. Negotiating that arrangement was probably the most difficult, and rewarding, piece of grad school.
Prior to rooming together, Grandma and I never had a very good relationship. It was bad enough that, when I announced I’d be living with her, my parents freaked out a little bit. It WAS difficult, our personalities DID clash; friction was inevitable. A lot of the motivation for my decision was financial (grad school is expensive, Yo) but Grandma was my last surviving grandparent, and I wanted to connect.
The blog began as an outlet and a means to vent, but it evolved into a vehicle expressing the humorous, tender and poignant moments which tend to crop up when generations collide. Initially, I planned on compiling these crude posts into a book of essays (which would become a best-seller, ensuring fame and comfort, obviously…) I may yet do that, but much of the content is still too fresh and too painful to edit and workshop as rigorously as I’d like. Grandma passed away 17 months after I moved in, just a few days shy of her 90th birthday, and I miss her dearly. I still get the urge to call her up and have a good chat, and my eyes always sting when I realize that’s no longer possible. Until I’m able to revisit and revise, I’ll be posting my old Grandma blogs, from the archives. Below, and linked, is the first entry I made in that blog. Enjoy.
Monday, August 24, 2009
My grandmother just tried to feed me cat food.She doesn’t own any cats, of course, so this was cat food that she thought was REAL food. After rousing herself from a deep post-Bridge-party nap she announces that we are to top yesterdays leftover salad with chicken. CANNED CHICKEN. This is dinner, she explains calmly.Her Ukrainian home health aid, Mona, buys all her groceries for her (a responsibility soon to be thrust my way, I imagine) and has a membership at Costco. Costco sells massive cans of food for unreasonably low prices. Why in gods name anybody would pay ANYTHING for canned chicken (in water!) is beyond me, Costco should be hard pressed to GIVE it away! However, if Costco were in the business of handing out white hunks of chicken suspended in cloudy water, I would probably find myself eating it more often, so thank heaven for whatever minimal price they ask! I say RAISE the price of this horrible hacked up floating non-food!Cautious of things in cans, I mention to Grandma that I am skeptical, that I didn’t know chicken CAME canned. I volunteered to try it, but suggested that I probably wouldn’t eat it. Given Grandma’s advanced arthritis, it was up to me to crack open the mysterious aluminum vessel. I began to gag as soon as the viscous “water” started to drain. There was no way I could give this a good old brownie bite. Oh no. I was a serious cat sitter in high school. This stuff is meant to be dumped in a heavy ceramic bowl, and put on the floor. That is all.I managed to avoid Grandma’s proffered bites and subtle hints to try it. She, evidently, quite enjoys canned chicken. Or her taste buds just aint what they used to be.
There’s another half-can in the fridge to avoid tomorrow. Wish me luck.