Let me start by saying that living with a grandmother like mine wasn’t always easy. When my parents were still together and we were still living under the same roof together, I used to only see Grandma every now and again. Like when she was visiting us or when we were over at her place. Suddenly I had to live with her every single day in the same house under her rules. Worst part was that she had the habit of waking me up by entering my room, turning on the light, pretending not to know I was sleeping in the guest room and just walk into the room bare naked going through the cupboards at 6.30 in the morning looking for her undies she knew were not there! Waking up at 6.30 and seeing your Grandma bending over forward in the altogether is not a good start of the day. Her behaviour was quite understandable the first week, but after five months I kind of got the feeling it wasn’t an accident anymore.
Mum was devastated after the break-up with Dad, but Grandma didn’t really seem to notice. Most often when she saw Mum crying out her eyes, she’d ask her if she had something stuck in her eye and then she’d say that Mum should see a doctor about it because maybe it was infected or something. Mum snapped a couple of times screaming how hard the break-up was and that Grandma wasn’t really helping Mum to get over it by making stupid remarks. Grandma would shrug and say,
’ When Ivor died I didn’t cry so much.
’ Then Mum would say,’ Ma, he was your cat! And you still keep his ashes in that urn!’ Grandma would look at her, roll her eyes in a very weird way (I think I saw something like it in a horror film once) and say,
’ Cats, husbands … same thing. Would it help if we put him in an urn for ya?’
‘ No Ma! No! That would not help. My husband is still alive.’
‘ That’s a problem we could easily solve.’
As you can see, there was just no reasoning with this woman. Grandma had her very own world and there was just no getting through to her sometimes. To that respect she hasn’t changed a lot, well, maybe it has gotten worse a little.
Grandma also had her sweet moments. Sometimes she’d try to help me with my homework, if you can call it helping. For some reason doing homework on my own always went quicker and I’d not have as many mistakes as when Grandma had helped me. With each and every subject she’d say,’ I used to be so good at this in my days.’ Eeeeuh, yeah, Grandma, that was like 40 years ago and times have changed. The only thing she was really good at was at history. But that was probably because she was there when history was made. After a couple of weeks teachers started noticing. They knew when Grandma had helped me with my homework and when I had done it myself.
This one time our maths teacher had written down something in my notebook next to a wrong answer and Grandma called him up to tell him how wrong he was and how right she was. She didn’t have any other argument than having lived through two world wars and that that should be enough to know a thing or two about life and maths. I can’t recall the entire conversation, but I do recall my maths teacher to apologize for his mistake and that he would never write anything in my notebook again. I still have no idea what made him change his mind about my answers, they were, after all, still not correct.
See me tomorrow.