Grandma: “How is your blah doing?”
Me: “My what?”
Grandma: “You know, that thing you write on? How is it spelled? B-L-A-H?”
Me: “Oh, you mean my blog?”
Grandma: “A what?”
Me: “A blog! Like ‘log’ with a ‘b’.”
Grandma: “A blog?!”
Grandma: “What the hell is that?”
She had a very excellent point. What the hell is a blog and why is not called blah?
My mother and grandmother’s behavior has been very ‘blah’-worthy as of lately.
Blahworthy being code word for slowly turning into The Beales.
But instead of dramatic New England accents and dozens of cats looking for attention, we have Jewish nagging and my Grandma’s boyfriend, Lionel- a crusty old man in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s and looking for attention.
It’s all started with my Grandmother’s horrible back pain. Being the stoic Depression-born woman that she is, Grandma was in complete denial about it. She walked buckled over in pain, near the point of throwing up, but refused to take any medicine. Wait- let me rephrase that. It has nothing to do with being born in the Depression and everything to do with martyrdom.
Grandma: “Ooohhhh….I’m in so much pain!”
Mom: “Is there something I can do for you?”
Grandma: “No, no. I’ll just suffer.”
Mom: “Are you sure? I can cook food for you? Clean the house? What do you need?”
Grandma: “No, I can do it.”
Mom: “Are you sure?”
Grandma: “Yes. I do everything myself. I’m used to it.”
Mom: “But I just offered to help!”
Grandma: “No, I’m fine. I’m just going to get down on the kitchen floor and start scrubbing,”
Mom: “You’re in crippling pain! Why the hell would you need to clean the kitchen floor right now!?”
Grandma: “Because it’s dirty!”
Mom: “You cleaned it two days ago when you were in horrible pain and shouldn’t have been cleaning the floor in the first place!”
Grandma: “Well, who is going to clean it!? No one offers to help me!”
Mom: “I just offered to help you!”
Grandma: “You won’t do it right. Now let me go so I can scrub the kitchen floor.”
Finally, when the pain became unbearable, she asked my mother- who lives across the street- to take her to the Emergency Room. That is where they told her that due to falling and Osteoporosis, she fractured her back…in multiple places…and that she would have to wear a body brace for 5 weeks…and take narcotics.
This did not sit well with my Grandmother who owned a clothing store and despite being 84 years of age, is still the sharpest dresser I know. Forget that the body brace felt like strapping a turtle shell to your back- it was visually displeasing to the eye. This fact may have finally been the clincher in convincing my Grandmother to take her narcotics and forget about reality.
So, Grandma’s drugs. This plays an important role in a the story I’m about to tell you.
My friend Levi told me I’d be blogging about this story in no time. I didn’t believe him. I figured he was just saying that to pull back from the figurative ledge I had just climbed up on and was positioning myself to jump from. However, it’s six days later and I’m blogging about it, so I must be over it. I just hope TO DEAR GOD that my mother doesn’t decide to take a gander over to my blog today.
In short, last Saturday, my Mom was absolutely convinced I was lying dead in the gutter and she not only contacted all my friends on Facebook, but sent the police to my house.
This panic came when she could not reach me for four hours because I was AT MY FRIEND’S HOUSE TRYING TO RELIVE MY PAST BY WATCHING FOUR STRAIGHT HOURS OF KIDS IN THE HALL, OK? I had set my phone aside and attempted to zone out for a bit.
My mother had talked to me no less than 24 hours prior to this freak out, yet because I was unreachable for those four hours, I was decapitated somewhere in East Texas or shredded in a wood chipper, obviously. I even spoke to my Grandma a few hours before my mother’s meltdown, but because she was higher than a kite, she couldn’t remember if she spoke with me that day or the night before- when my mother last spoke with me. As I mentioned earlier, my mother worked herself up in such a frenzy that from New York she called the police and sent Facebook messages to everyone she knew I was friends with in Austin. Including people I’m not particularly close to who were probably like, “What the f?”
I came out of my Kids in the Hall dreamland to finding 20 missed calls from my Mom, a few from her friends, and a couple from my friends. I called my mother back and she was wailing. The sound of a woman who was 100% convinced that her daughter was dead. She told me what happened and I started yelling. Then I started crying. Nowhere in there was I laughing. I was upset at her for overreacting, but was trying to empathize with a woman who thought she just lost her daughter. My mother has been particularly stressed dealing with my Grandma and Lionel’s respective ailments and her nerves have been frayed.
Me: “I talked to Grandma a few hours ago! What the hell do you think happened to me in that time?!”
Mom: “She couldn’t remember if she spoke with you this morning or the night before!”
Me: “I talked to her for almost an hour! She doesn’t remember the conversation?!”
Mom: “She’s on drugs, Lauren, ok?”
She was right. My 84 year-old Grandmother was on drugs and I was mad at her and I was mad at my Mom for using Facebook as her parental bullhorn. And I was mad at myself for being mad at them. How could I be upset with them? They love me. A lot, apparently.
I think my biggest frustration was the realization that we’re changing. Life happens. Parents and grandparents get older. They do weird things and the only way I can deal with it is by exploiting them through my blah.