Phew, it was easier to crank this stuff out when I was on vacation! J
Not long after publishing The Fuckwad Report, I got a notification that I had a new follower on the blog: my grandmother. Those of you who are friends with me on Facebook might have seen a comment that I was somewhat alarmed, even though I had warned her that my language might be….graphic, shall we say. My dismay was unwarranted; later that day, I got the loveliest email from Grandma, telling me how much she enjoyed reading the blog, how long it had been since she’d read anything I had written, and that she had subscribed. And then she said,
“As for the ‘adult in nature’ language, remember Florence?”
Muahahahahahahahaaa. Oh yes. I remember Florence.
Let me just get this out of the way: sorry, Grandma. However, since you survived my telling this story at your 80th birthday party, surely this will be ok. (Huge grin, with a possible dose of begging for forgiveness)
Many of you know my grandma. Who am I kidding, the whole world knows her. You all think she’s amazing. Her column in the newspaper, your favorite teacher, this board, that committee, trail-blazing woman in the community, blah, blah, blah, zzzzzz……oops, sorry, I fell asleep for a second. Yes. She’s wonderful for all those reasons you already know. However, most of you probably don’t know that my grandma is the uber-badass grandma to end all grandmas. Yup. I have a couple of stories to illustrate said badasserie…I’m sure she’d like me to share them…oh my god, I’m so evil, I just called her to verify one of the details and I didn’t tell her why. (Also, three out of three friends surveyed just agreed that “badass” is one word.) Ok, story time!!!
Badass Grandma, exhibit A:
The summer between my junior and senior years at Michigan (wooo, Go Blue!), Grandma took me to Italy for a lovely vacation. We were there for about a week and a half, and other than being ghastly hot and G’ma almost selling me to a man from Africa (true-ish story for another day) it was a fantastic trip. And I would say that generally we got along swimmingly, other than when she soundly kicked my ass over and over again playing gin rummy. However, we did have one kind of rocky day, when traveling from Rome to Florence. For the record, neither of us speaks Italian, which might have added to our woes. Grandma had reserved seats, but somehow we ended up on the wrong train (still heading to Florence). We were ok staying on the train, but ended up sitting in some other people’s seats, who nicely didn’t kick us out – or if they did, we didn’t understand what they were saying. Maybe we were just jetlagged or something, who knows, but the day wasn’t going according to plan and we were crabby. When we arrived in Florence, I was helping Grandma off the train, and getting our bags. I set down my suitcase, and seeing as it was 1992, it was old school: 4 crappy, unstable wheels with a “leash” to pull it. It immediately toppled over, and rolled off the platform. I believe my grandmother was slightly annoyed by this. I’m sure I was pissed. I sighed and set down her carryon so I could retrieve my fallen suitcase. Her bag promptly tipped over, and off the platform. It had exterior pockets that were open, so magazines and whatnot came spilling out. Oops.
About one second passed. In my mind now, it lasted a year.
Grandma. My respectable, respected, proper grandmother, who believes in dressing for travel and taught me important things like you only use one hand to hold a sandwich. Grandma.
The words hung in the air. In bold italics. And then….
We absolutely dissolved in laughter. It could not have been a more perfect tension breaker. My. Grandma. Dropped. The. F-bomb. Instant classic. Some nice non-English speaking people helped us figure out the right coins to put in the thing to get a trolley to haul our bags. I’m sure they thought we were drunk or crazy, seeing as we were howling so hard we could barely stand up. End of bad mood, Grandma forever seen in a different light.
Badass Grandma, exhibit B:
A couple of years later, I was living in Michigan with my boyfriend (before he was my fiancé, husband, and ex-husband J ). We got home one day and had a message on our answering machine (gasp – remember answering machines??) from Grandma. It went something like this:
“I just fucking got home from fucking seeing ‘Pulp Fiction’ and I wanted to let you know that I really fucking liked it.”
I kind of wish I still had that little tiny tape.
So there you have it: my grandma rocks. I’m certainly not sharing this to shake up the iconic image you have of her; perhaps just to round it out into someone more relatable. And oooh, ooh, I just thought of this one – to show that I come by my trash-mouth honestly. Fuck yeah, I do!
And just in case she’s pissed, if you see her, maybe tell her how much you enjoyed this, dig?