My grandmother is a hoot. She's in the winter of her life and yet, she's just as spunky as they come. Since moving her down to Dallas last summer, we've been able to visit with her more than we ever have. Even though she had a little health bump in the road and wound up in the hospital around Thanksgiving, she's finally back in her little apartment and feeling fit as a fiddle.
The funny thing about Grandma is that she has slowly been losing her filter. By "filter" I mean that inner block that stops you from saying things out loud that may be inappropriate. This filter usually keeps a person from making comments out loud that really should be kept to himself. Well, there are a select few who flat out ignore that filter, but that's another story.
Grandma just happens to say whatever is on her mind. She is seventy-seven years old and after that long, maybe she's just tired of blocking what she thinks. Grandma is a typical south Louisiana Southern Belle where manners are of the utmost importance. Either way, it always makes for a very interesting time with her because you honestly never know what she's going to say and more importantly, where she will say it.
Well. Grandma watches a lot of news and keeps up with her current events like no other. She's a human CNN scrolling newsreel. She loves to tell people about what she's read and get a good discussion going, but she has a habit of picking up controversial topics of discussions in public places.
Case in point, the other day while at lunch with my mother and grandmother, we were visiting with one of the restaurant's managers. This particular manager knows my mother and I as we frequent the restaurant for ladies lunches. He is in school to be a baker and upon hearing about my upcoming nuptials, he has given us business cards, pictures, and samples of his cakes, I'm assuming, in hopes that we'll hire him for a job. I have no idea what kind of cake I want; I don't even have a venue yet! Nevertheless, he's a very nice man and always stops to visit with us.
As we're chatting with nice manager man over his latest cake samples, Grandma chimes in. Oh lordy. "I know something you should make." Here it comes. "It's all the rage in London." Sweet Martha. "Breast milk ice cream." Neither Mom nor I had gotten that far in the newspaper. We're officially in the rabbit hole and going down fast.
There it is. The inappropriate topic for the day. There's no stopping it. I'm sitting there with my mouth on the floor and Mom is trying to hard to leave the table to hide in the bathroom. Chicken. Miraculously, the nice manager man had read the article and was completely comfortable with chatting with Grandma about it. He certainly had his opinion about breast milk, breast feeding and boob jobs. He chattered on in his thick Spanish accent much to Grandma's delight and there I still sat with my mouth hanging open.
Meanwhile Mom was stopped on the way to her hiding place by a table of women who also had serious opinions of breast milk ice cream. Then some waitresses stopped by to chime in with their two cents on the whole discussion. I was trapped in the Twilight Zone, everyone joining in this wildly weird conversation--but that's Grandma. She can bring a whole room full of people together even in the most peculiar ways.
As our elders grow older, they worry about becoming invisible. I know that's the last thing Grandma wants, which may be why she reaches out to people, inviting them into her interesting trains of thought. This is the strength that keeps her going. I love my Grandmother, I respect her a great deal, and I'm so happy to have this time with her. She adds a great deal of entertainment to our ladies lunches these days. Awkward though it may sometimes be, Grandma may not be the belle of the ball she once was, but she's definitely not invisible.