Thursday, April 26, 2007

My Grandparents: Part 1

When I was a little girl I loved to spend time with my Grammy & Grandad. For those of you who don't know me really well, those are my maternal grandparents. When their first grandchild was born (I was the second) they got to pick what they wanted to be called and my grandmother apparently decided she was still a bit too young to be called Granny, so she changed the "n"'s to "m"'s and we've been stuck calling her that ridiculous name ever since. It wasn't anything I noticed as a kid, but once I reached high school and beyond I began referring to her as "my grandmother". Anywho, I'm getting way off course here.

So, as I was saying - I used to love to spend time with my Grammy and Grandad. My days there were filled with fun as a youngster. I have such great memories of Grandad teaching me and my brother to play pool on the pool table downstairs, of always getting to play in the sprinkler in the front yard, of eating macaroni & cheese with peanut butter on toast off of plastic Ronald McDonald plates, of getting to watch MTV back in the 80's when it wasn't offered through the cable provider we had at home. Oh, and Nickelodeon too. I always wanted to be best friends with Moose on "You Can't Do That On Television". None of these things would be memories if it weren't for getting to spend so much time at my grandparent's house.

They were such good, attentive grandparents too. Always willing to go out of their way to do something special everytime we visited. And there were summers where Chuck and I were there all day Monday - Friday while Mom & Dad were at work. It's not like they did something special because they only saw us 4 times a year. We were there all the time. Oh, I almost forgot to mention the tire swing in the backyard. Man, we spent a lot of time on that tire swing. It was hung from the perfect tree, in the perfect location. I can still see the extra thick black & white rope that Grandad used to hang it with. I never could figure out where he got such a thick rope that wasn't even rope-colored.

We got a lot of ice cream there. In fact, that's probably where my ice cream addiction first began. There was also a lot of Jello and Jello Pudding. My grandmother was even one of those people who would actually make the gelatin or pudding and then actually put it into individual little parfait cups (like the directions say to) in the fridge instead of leaving it in the mixing bowl and spooning it out for use later (which is what I do). It will really make a kid feel good when they not only get a dessert, but they get their own little individual dessert cup which has been lovingly topped off with whipped cream and a cherry.

I don't know if she still does that for people or not. I do know she doesn't do it for me, and honestly if she did I guess I would never know it. See, my grandparents and I don't speak anymore. At all. And yes, I'm the one who stopped speaking to them. So, in theory I'm the asshole of the story. But let's take a closer look at what happened.

We'll start with the fact that my mother and I have never had the best relationship. A lot of fighting and stubborness between us. But I had a very happy childhood and never hated Mom or anything. However, when I first went off to college I started noticing changes in Mom's attitude towards me. It seemed like the more I enjoyed college, the more I was in trouble and getting yelled at by her. Eventually I realized what the problem seemed to be. She didn't want me to have a big group of friends and enjoy being away from her because in her mind that meant I didn't need her for anything and didn't love her anymore. It wasn't hard to figure out that's how she felt because if she called me to come home for the weekend and I already had plans she would scream "YOU DON'T LOVE ME ANYMORE" into the phone and then hang up sobbing hysterically. Of course, I have always been Miss Guilty Conscience U.S.A. so that would really eat at me.

After years of that crap happening constantly, I began to realize that she developed that behavior because her mother, my grandmother, was the exact same way. It wasn't as noticeable to me in the beginning because I had a pretty good habit of stopping in to visit Grammy & Grandad several times a month. They were always happy to see me and there were never any issues. But the older I got, the busier I became and by my mid- to late-20's my visits to my grandparents dwindled down to about once a month. Not only was I working full-time and paying bills and living a life, but I also had a social life to attend to and my grandparents lived approx. an hour away from where my job and social activities all centered.

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