Fear is a powerful motivator. Please support this brave person as she shares her story.
This is her story:
She would stop talking to me if she read this; I would be excommunicated from the Church of Grandma. Some of the rest of my family might stop talking to me too, as she spreads the story far and wide. Even now I'm hesitating to write this because I'm so afraid of making her angry.
Don't get me wrong - I love my grandma - but I'm afraid of making her angry.
We went to dinner recently; she told me over and over about how she and I are the same - we're both rebels. In some ways it's true and in some ways it isn't.
She told a story - she was IMing with my sister and my sister typed something in Spanish. My grandma wanted her to translate it; my sister told her to look it up - it would be good for her. My grandma went round and round with her for two days, refusing to talk to her other than to demand that she translate the line.
She offered this up as an example of how awesome she is and how ornery her grandkids are.
Sitting there listening to her tell my beau the story, all I could think about was when I was a child and I made her angry. Not letting her lick her finger and rub something off my face, being tackled to the ground, pinned down, and having my face licked all over.
I think about the time that she took my (future)ex-husband and I on my graduation trip to New York City. We were on the last ferry to Ellis Island. I have family that came over through Ellis Island; their names are on the memorial wall. The museum closed in 20 minutes. She had to go to the bathroom. We started wandering the museum and lost track of how far we'd gone.
Before we realized it, the call to go back to the ferry went out. I got yelled at the entire ride back on the ferry. I don't remember how long it took me to stop crying; I'm sure it wasn't long, she doesn't put up with crybabies. After all, it was she that was hurt by my actions. Weeks later, when she gave me copies of the pictures she had taken on our trip, there were several rolls of film of her pointing at names on the memorial wall.
I wanted to see the memorial wall, I really did, but I also was glad to have seen the museum. Maybe it was more valuable to me to understand what my family endured going through Ellis Island than to see their names on a wall. Not that I could explain that to her then (I didn't have the words) or now (it would just piss her off).
We walk on eggshells.
Don't be a child who dares to say that they don't want to drink the tap water because it smells like sulfur.
Don't be a child who dares to say that they don't want to water-ski even though she dug the child-sized skis out of the shed.
Don't dare ask for money toward a car as a teenager, she might just buy you a car and then hand you the payment book (this happened to my mother).
Don't imply that it was cruel not to take the cat to the vet when it lost an eye somehow.
Don't offer evidence to back up your argument, no matter how logical or well thought out. If you get a token objection in, just to not betray yourself completely, feel like you did all that you could.
Don't respond to any of those posts. You might imply you don't believe in her religion and you don't think that this should be a Christian nation. This will cause a lot of trouble.
Don't be yourself.
Be quiet and smile. Just let her talk. She's her favorite topic and if you just smile and nod, she'll talk about herself all night long.6 Comments