Tuesday, December 27, 2005

she's full of holiday spirits

On Christmas Day/Hannukah Eve my grandmother called to wish me a happy holiday. While my half of the conversation was spare -- I generally loathe the phone and tend to clam up when forced to use it -- Grandma rambled on about the Hannukah party her friend was throwing for a new great-grandson that night. She was sort of sad that not all her friends could be there but she planned to go and enjoy herself anyway.

"Some people might sit around and mope, but I'm not the kind to become a shriveled old prune. I choose to be around people. I choose to have fun." This was what came out of her mouth; Her tone, on the other hand, sent a more pointed message: "Your mother told me you decided to skip the Matzo Ball last night. Nice going -- you just bought yourself another year without a man."

(Year after year the Matzo Ball has been at best a disappointment, at worst a spectacular nightmare. Ten years of ex-boyfriends and one-date disasters convene to haunt me on Christmas Eve, rattling about Lulu's bar like the Ghosts of J-Date Past.)

"You know, Grandma, some people can have fun without being party animals," I countered. "Look at me: I like company, but I also need a lot of time alone. And I prefer to be with only one or two people at a time. Crowds make me uncomfortable."

"Well, sure," she said, "that's your choice. You can find yourself one nice young man and be alone with him..."

"No, I was talking about friends. One or two friends, like to sit and have dinner. I'm just saying I don't always enjoy a big to-do."

"Well that's something different!" She was getting louder. "I'm talking about a boy. Why can't you meet someone, get married, have a family? I mean, let's face it--" and then she began to sing off-key -- "the clooooock is tiiiiiick-iiiiinnnnnng, la la la laaaa deeeee daaaaah..."

Had I been paying closer attention I might have realized sooner that I'd been drunk-dialed by my Grandma.

"Conversation over," I said. "Happy Hannukah." Click.

And then I thought, "Nice going -- you just bought yourself another month without a tedious phone call." Happy Hannukah indeed!

18 comments:

I-66 said...

Sheesh. The worst I ever have to deal with is my mother every time she hears of a female friend of mine who she hasn't met/heard of before:

"Who is she" she says, in that "are you dating?" way... and then she's almost disappointed when I deadpan "just a friend, mom."

Velvet said...

Something is just different with prior generations. They think that getting married is a financial necessity or something.

The Daily Rant said...

Well, it could be worse. I guess she could be calling you a trollop for seeing so MANY men.

That's one I've heard from my mother before....except my mother is a Bronx girl - she'd never use the word "trollop".

Vixen said...

My kid sister got engaged over the weekend. Thankfully, I wasn't on the phone when she notified my parents so I didn't have to hear the slight and barely feigned censure in their voices that the younger daughter is getting married before the oldest.

Reya Mellicker said...

Sometimes I feel sad that my parents died so young, that my grandparents are long gone, but when I read a story like this, in my heart I feel a secret sense of relief! Yikes.

I'm sure your grandmother is wishing for your happiness and safety, like Velvet said. It is completely unique in history that women can now be independent, even when we don't really want to be.

Washington Cube said...

Some day in the not too distant future, people will get drunk text messaging from their grandparents. Drunk dialing? That is so 2005.

Kayla said...

I am very impressed with your grandmother... I mean, this is the woman who held the cell phone upside down and talked into the ear piece! Our grandparents married when they were in their twenties, their parents married even younger. You were lucky if you lived to be 30. Now, we will live to be 100 so, seriously, what's the rush to get married?! You can marry at 50 and still be spending 50 years with that person. Yipes.

Jamy said...

I don't know--this crazy story makes me miss my long gone crazy grandmas! Neither of them ever drunk-dialed me, though. I think.

Good call on skipping Matzo Ball :)

Chairborne Stranger said...

Your grandma sounds pretty cool. Drunk dialing?? LOL.

Divine Calm said...

Ahhh...grandma guilts are the worst.

Barbara said...

Look at it this way, if you were to get married, she would just be insisting that you make babies -- you know the old BIOLOGICAL clock is ticking scare tactic. I can't tell you how many times that came up, with the horror stories of deformity if we waited too long, for the first 7 years of my marriage until we finally produced a grandchild. It only let up after #2 showed up. I think this is part of the Jewish mother/grandmother job description.

Phil said...

Nothing to do with your grandma, but the quote of the holiday season comes from my friend Bon's nephew (4 yrs old) who told his great grandma at Christmas Dinner "Grandma you need to take a bath. Your breath stinks."

Eric the Something said...

My grandmother tried to pull the "It's just another day." routine with us. But we dragged her out anyway. I think something happens to their brains when they start getting Social Security. Luckily, since her favorite (And only.) son is still a bachelor, there is no pressure on my brother or I to get hitched. Whew!

Lior said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA



...I assume you haven't used the "you're next" tactic on her yet...that would have scared her sober, even in the most drunk state.

Kristin said...

My mother wants me to stay single so I can entertain her in her old age - that or she thinks nobody wants me. Can't win for trying.

I am amused by the drunk dial as well impressed by your ability to say "conversation over."

Janet M. Kincaid said...

OMG! Your grandmother sounds like my landlady... a lovely Jewish woman who sings all the endings of her sentences. As in: "So, did you and Brenda find a hoooooouuuuuusssssseee yyyyyeeeetttttt? Won't it be wonnnnnnnnderfulllll when you doooooo?" Love my landlady, but she freaks me out when she does that. I usually hang up, too.

Claire said...

LOL, yikes. I think I'm fortunate that at age 5 I announced to my family that I was never getting married. I don't necessarily believe that now, but it seems to have kept them off the scent. ;]

Anonymous said...

I'll show you Matzah Ballz!

http://www.myspace.com/drunk_dialers_hotline
http://www.thedrunkendialer.com