The Sh*t my Grandma Says is better than the Sh*t your Dad Says

I worship my Grandma. When I was little, I believed she was a Saint. Saint Marie, who God hand-picked to make the world a happy place. I used to try to wrap my head around how God would give her wings if we buried her in the ground when she died. It gave me nightmares.

I spent a lot of time with her and my Grandpa as a kid, all my Grandparents for that matter. Blessed. Grandma may have single handedly got me through my parents' divorce. I could talk to her about anything, and still can. As an adult, that now goes both ways and in recent years I've met the woman behind the wrinkles and does she have one hell of a story to tell.

Not that she's done living. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

Saying I am Catholic is not entirely accurate. On paper, yes. In practice, not really. She, on the other hand, religiously went to mass, gossiped about the congregation, and is still bitter that her least favorite priest baptized me as a baby. When she leaves this world to join my Grandpa, all I want is her Christmas nativity scene. Dibs on the retro-fabulous plastic Baby Jesus.

So she tells me the other day that if she had to do it all over again she wouldn't be Catholic. Because of those perverts. And she whispered it, hiding from God herself. Naturally, because she has something to fear, at least under Catholic law. This is the same woman who told me a few months prior "you don't have to get married, just live with him, what's the difference." Followed by, "don't tell your Mom or Dad I said that." Sinner.

The woman also loves to gamble, drinks beer, does her own yard work (and owns a "collection" of saws), and will judge you 'til the gavel beats you dead. But still refuses to mutter a curse word and refers to things she doesn't agree with or like as "not nice".  As in, "that's not a nice President".

During our conversation last week, I was telling her about my adventures in house hunting, and that I had I found a place I liked but it was slightly more than I wanted to pay for a home. Her response?

"Maybe you can Jew them down, honey."

Jew them down? Like she was talking about the sun coming out. It did not even cross her mind that this may be offensive. To be a fly on the wall at her ladies' lunches. I had to laugh.

And at this too. The other day, she drove up to a toll booth where there was supposed to be a cashier, but no one was there. She thought it was too dangerous to back up, but not to get out and walk across the toll lanes to the next open booth. Seriously.

She is not afraid to tell you what she thinks, either. No shortage of opinions. Especially about her own children. Seeing as my father is one of them, you would think she'd censor. Not so much. Then again, my Dad tells me to not have children...despite the fact that I am, yes, one of his children. Must run in the family.

Discovering that your parents are people is one thing. Learning your grandparents are people is another entirely. And Grandma isn't the only one of the "atricarchs" in my family living to the fullest. My 90 year-old Pop-Pop? Got himself a girlfriend (my deceased Nana's best friend nonetheless) and a dry sense of humor that might one day get him shot.

It's been awesome getting to know these people on a different level, especially Grandma--being the polar opposite of the opinion I held of her for 30 years. They have stories to tell of times we can only imagine, and they continue to approach life as if we don't live in the morally bankrupt world of today. But even more than their history, is their here and now. Their "golden years" where they just don't  give a damn anymore and are free to be who they be.

We could learn a thing or two from their generation.

Now go call your Grandma.


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