It’s time for another installment of Senior Moments and the genius that is my 90-year-old grandma. We’re back in the dining room again, but this time the meal is not the center of attention, but rather the lack of a beefcake in my life—a subject that has been brought up on more than two (or 202) occasions.
Seeing as my grandma was married when she was 18, the fact that I’m 30 and single still baffles her mind. However, at 90 years old, people who refrigerate their perishable items still baffle her mind.
At any rate, I’ll set the scene.
It was me, Gram, a resident we’ll call J and her (single, middle-aged) daughter, B at the table—the usual crew. The nurse doing meds in the dining room was not a crowd favorite, and Gram loudly proclaimed her to be a pain in the ass multiple times throughout the meal. I didn’t tell her to be nice. The nurse is a pain in the ass.
The pain in the ass walked by our table and in a fake smile on her face and told J she was looking nice. Gram looked at her with disgust, picked up her fork and pointed it at J before saying, “That woman can eat shit.”
I grabbed Gram’s arm and did the, “Gram, shush” thing before she dared me to “shush” her again with her death stare usually reserved for ballgames and people trying to take away her mashed potatoes.
“She can eat shit,” Gram continued, keeping her eyes on me before looking back at J, “because J knows she looks nice every day. She doesn’t need that pain in the ass to tell her that.”
I was glad I didn’t shush her.
With that she winked at J, set down her fork and proceeded to go on dispensing advice like a Polish Dr. Laura. Apparently two of the young aids were talking to Gram about dating that week, something she felt the need to tell me and B about over her pistachio pudding pie and coffee.
We were told the following things:
- When I was younger, it was about finding a good Polish man. If you were bored, it was because you were too picky or not trying hard enough. If he’s boring, go bowling with him. There’s nothing boring about bowling. Just remember to let him win once or twice.
- Don’t be so stubborn. He doesn’t have to look like a movie star or make a lot of money. You don’t want ugly kids, but if you wait too long, you won’t have any kids at all.
B and I met eyes at this, and it’s possible I rolled mine, prompting Gram to say, “Did I mention you by name? Did I say that you’re too old and too picky?” before moving on with a shrug.
- You have to spice things up. I remember your grandpa would come downstairs while I was doing the washing and bend me over the washing machine. Sometimes I was annoyed, but it never lasted long enough for me to care.
- If you’re in a car with a man and he starts to get fresh with his hands, tell him to knock it off. If he doesn’t listen, open the door and kick his ass out of the car. Tell him to go find a floosy on the avenue and then take yourself out for ice cream.
With that she returned her focus back to finishing her coffee before leaning over and conspiratorially whispering, “Abby, come here. You see that woman at the table across from us?”
I looked and saw the same 85-year-old woman that always sat across from us gumming at a cookie.
“Look at how her bra strap is showing and her shirt is falling down,” Gram said with disgust, wiping her hand on her John Deere “clothing protector” before continuing. “Men don’t find that attractive. It’s sloppy. Take note of that.”
“I don’t think she even knows it’s showing Gram, as her oxygen tube probably moves her shirt around,” I said, not adding that an 85-year-old woman was probably not trying to snag a man when she couldn’t even snag a pea with a fork.
“That’s no excuse,” Gram said with a scoff. “She looks cheap.”
A male aid walked up and wheeled the senior slut away, providing an opportunity for Gram to tell me that when she was my age, “Well, I would have been married for 12 years at that point, but if I wasn’t, I would sink my clamps into that beefcake.”
Drained of the will to argue much more or explain that the definition of “beefcake” for a 30-year-old woman in 2011 wasn’t a homosexual male nurse with bigger boobs than my own, I simply looked at her and felt a wave of affection wash over me.
“Gram, come here,” I whispered conspiratorially. “I love you.”
She turned to me and with said with a sigh, “Abbuchucka, I love you so much that it hurts.”
She was quiet for a moment before adding, “Then again, that might just be gas from the crap that I ate.”
With that I gave her a kiss, smoothed back her hair and told her I had to head home. She gave me the standard warning to be careful and not pick up any strange men.
“Then again,” she said with a wink, “maybe you should just take what you can get.”
Well played, old woman, well played.