My grandmother is pretty major part of my life. She isn’t my mothers mother that I see once at christmas and once during an agonising Sunday Lunch on her birthday. I see my grandmother every other day. Sorry, I saw my grandmother every other day until I moved to Portsmouth.
Now, she FaceTimes me once a week to get her update on my life. I don’t actually know why she’s so interested, my life is currently a monotonous grey thing that is all good and happy and sparkly but I can never think of anything excellent to report to her. Nevertheless, she is so interested and so invested in my every day boring-ness, I kind of like telling her about it. She knows all my friends and new flatmates by their first names and stalked them on Facebook so much she can probably trace their family tree back to the 1600’s, I’m fairly certain she’s memorised my timetable and we can have an entire conversation just by subtle raises of eyebrows.
I suppose, she’s the only female influence or role model or something smooshy like that I’ve ever had. What I’m trying to say without this post taking an exceptionally emotional turn, is that my Grandma means a lot to me, and I get a lot from her. Now, this never rung as true as it did this Wednesday, our weekly face time was mid session and she’s sitting in her mediterranean villa in precisely the same position as me in my dark, albeit cute, uni room. Sipping coffee, exactly the same way, giving out about things in exactly the same dry, ever so slightly sarcastic tone. These are just a few of the little quirks I’ve since realised we share:
Coffee Addiction– I’m calling it an addiction purely for the purpose of print. It’s not an addiction. I can give it up any time I want, and I’m not nearly as bad as I used to be (ironically my Grandma would say exactly the same thing) but it definitely comes from her. My grandpa gets up at about 5am every morning, she’ll surface around 9 and its dangerous to even attempt conversation before at least 2 coffees, at best she won’t remember what you’ve said. He puts the kettle on as he hears her come down the stairs.
Sarcasm- We are the most sarcastically snarky cows when we’re getting aggravated. Whats worse is we bring it out in each other. Acrimonious little devils we are.
People Watching– We have lunch or coffee or an outing of some kind quite often, more often than not we will sit in complete silence and we’re listening to other peoples conversations. We’ll report back to each other once the interesting conversation is over or they’ve left the premises.
If You Say We Can’t Do It, We’re Gunna Do It Just To Spite You– I’ve watched my grandma carry a bag of compost across a huge carpark, just because the young sales gentleman implied she was incapable of doing so. It’s not that we’re vindictive, we just really like to prove people wrong. In fact, I think if anything motivates me, its the feeling of proving someone wrong. Maybe thats a little twisted, but it comes from her. Being the only girls in this family of gargantuan males, we’re often told not to do things, or its just suggested we don’t even attempt something. It gets old quickly. I’ve never asked her, but I find this gets me into some trouble when drinking. I will down this entire pint because you don’t think I can…whoops.
The Black Thing– All clothes are better in black. We have the exact same wardrobe, it ranges from black, dips into grey and brown, maybe a few stripes thrown in when we’re feeling adventurous but that is definitely it.
Gracelessnes- My Grandmother is poise itself. She is classy as you like…until she’s not. She can turn it off and on, able to fit in at fancy functions and afternoon tea and she knows how to sit and cross her legs and hold her head high…as she walks away from whatever she’s just spectacularly knocked over or broken, or the poor person she knocked over to save herself. I’ve not mastered the seamlessly slipping away bit, but the tragically embarrassing, gracelessness attribute comes from her.
The Yen Thing– My Grandma got offered one chance when she was younger to travel to the Philipines…the catch was, if she did, she couldn’t marry my Grandpa. She chose my Grandpa, and I know not even in the slightest does she regret her decision, but I also know how much she would have liked to see the world. She’s travelled a lot, but even she always wanted to do more, and she doesn’t think she can now. If I won the lottery, one of the first things I’d do is take my Grandma to Asia. Its just this yearning thing, to see these places and just be there. Its a desperate, blazing wanderlust that both of us struggle to express with words. We can spend hours just talking about different places, where we’d like to go to, what we’d like to do there. She encourages me to go to new places- she also frantically worries and pesters me about other places- and loves hearing about them when I get back. I’m glad I get to share this one with her.
Theres more, there are so many little mannerisms and almost infinitesimal traits, but they’re all from her. I think you’re supposed to learn domestic things from your Nan; how to cook; how to sew; how to wrap presents. She’s awful at that stuff, the woman would burn water, so maybe I missed out on all that bonding stuff. But I’ve found nothing bonds two people together better than silently sipping your first coffee in the morning, stewing and hating the world.
She’s pedantic and high-maintence, slightly erratic and unusual and she’s a bit fiery when you get the old girl going -I’ve got that to look forward to- but I still think she’s pretty bloody amazing.