I introduced everyone to my grandmother a few weeks ago. Just last night I made another visit and so the story continues.
Hubby has made his return from rehab at the nursing home so we have a new character this time. The dynamic of their relationship I may never understand. Regardless, it turns out to be pretty fantastic for those on the outside.
My grandmother is one of those women. You can’t tell her anything. Nothing. That is not an exaggeration. As a matter of fact if you try, she will immediately set off and do exactly the opposite just to be doing something.
‘Don’t spend your money on that.’ She buys two.
‘Don’t buy that car. You won’t like it. It’s too small.” She buys that very car. She never likes it but she also will never admit to it.
‘I think you should do it this way.’ You must’ve been talking to the table you’re standing beside because you certainly weren’t talking to her.
Poor Hubby. Not only does he get that but it is also my grandmother’s sole joy in life to antagonize, tease, and just generally drive him insane. It’s like she’s getting paid she enjoys it so much.
So last night I’m at my grandmother’s house. I’ve been there about 30 minutes already before she brings this out:
It’s all newfangled and high tech with it’s handheld sprayer. She’d seen a wasp fly by the window outside which prompted her to pull out the brand new bug spray she just bought to show us.
That quickly turns into her wondering how it works, which then turns into her needing to read the back of it to us.
“Says here it kills ants, fleas, centipedes, firebrats? What’s a firebrat? I guess they mean firebugs. Silverfish, Ticks, Boxelder bugs? Have you ever heard of a boxelder bug, hubby?”
“Well it says it kills them. Says here, ‘Remove all exposed food and cooking utensils. Well, I’m not spraying this inside the house anyway.”
“No, we’re not spraying this in the house anywhere.” (Hubby)
Back to reading.
30 seconds later. “It says here ‘Do not spray in the air!’ Well where am I supposed to spray it then?!?”
“Just spray it in the bushes and around the back porch, I guess.” (Hubby)
She then stops reading to tell me how she just bought a new bulb for her bug zapper and includes all the gory details of cleaning it out. It’s still not working.
After that sidebar she focuses back on the bug spray packaging. The sprayer has a hose that is wrapped up in plastic.
“I wonder what this is.”
“We’ll figure it out when it’s time to use it. Just leave it alone.” (Hubby)
“I’ll need to know how to work it before I need to use it, Hubby.” As if Hubby had not spoken at all, she proceeds to try to open the plastic container.
A minute or two later. “Well why won’t this thing just pop off? I wonder why they make it so hard to open.”
“Joan, you don’t need to open it right now. We’ll figure it all out later. Just go put it up.”
Now struggling to pull apart the plastic. Her voice is strained with the effort. “You’d think it’d just pop off when you pull it.”
“It doesn’t need to be opened.”
“They got this little hole here where the hose comes out. Well, that’s to my advantage.” She gets up to grab some scissors from the kitchen. “We can just leave it right there next to the door when I put it together.”
“You’re not leaving it by the door.”
“And that way if I see something I need to kill it’ll be right there. I can just reach over and grab it.”
“No hell you’re not leaving it by the door.”
She turns from the door and grins really big at me with a wink. Because 92% of everything my grandmother says is for the sole purpose of ruffling Hubby’s feathers.
A minute later she’s back from the kitchen with the scissors cutting open the plastic. “Ta daaaa!” She holds up the hose in victory.
“Joan, just leave it like that. Don’t open it and put that hose in it.”
“I’m just gonna put this hose in the bottle so it’ll be ready to go when I need it.” And she proceeds to do just that.
With everything complete she now sits back to continue her reading on the back of the bottle.
“I’ll have to wear gloves when I use it. The chemicals, you know. Oh! It says here it’s made in…..I’ll give you three guesses where it’s made, Hubby.”
“I don’t know. Germany.”
“No. Try again.”
“Yes. It says right here, Made in China.” She turns to me, now completely serious. “Everything’s made there now. That’s who is stealing all the jobs from Americans.” Drag in the soapbox. “We need to get our jobs back or pretty soon we won’t have any left. Start making stuff here again. Did you hear about the crops?”
“No ma’am.” (Me)
“With all this weather…you know most of the crops we eat comes from up north. Well, with all this bad weather and flooding it’s killed most everything. They say we’re gonna come up on a major shortage of crops this year and you know the prices are gonna shoot to the moon. I told Hubby ‘cans’. Carrots and green beans. The next time I go to the grocery store I need to get at least 12 cans of stuff now before the prices go up. Carrots, green beans, turnip greens. You know. It’s gonna get so high people can’t afford to buy food to eat!”
“Yes ma’am.” (Me)
You just know watching them that it’s been that way the entire expanse of their marriage (which has to have begun before I was 12 or so). The funniest part of the whole thing is that Hubby and his comments made absolutely no effect on my grandmother and what she was doing. She didn’t miss a beat. And it’s like Hubby already knows this, already expects the reaction, has given up the fight, but he’s still saying it just to get to use his voice some.
And what I realized as I was watching the back and forth…..that is sooo me.