Friday, March 4, 2011

Generation gap - And my Gram is pretty awesome - Also I'm probably never going to settle down

It is horrendously cold. I just looked up the temperature in Austin and it is 70 degrees. Also there will be thunderstorms there tomorrow. Which makes me incredibly jealous. Although it will be a balmy 40 degrees here tomorrow it is going to rain cold, terrible, deathly rain drops. And right now the wind is so bad and going right through my window and I just put another blanket on my bed, so now I have four. And flannel pajama pants and a long sleeve shirt, and my smartwool socks. And I am freezing.
Also I hate snow.
Also I hate slipping and the ice.
It is 70 degrees in Austin right now.

I spent the evening with my grandparents. They are the absolute best people in the world. Except that they are old, and my grandfather is going senile, and my poor grandmother can barely walk yet my grandfather is always barking at her to do everything for him. She just smiles and hobbles along. Then she sits down and falls asleep. It's amazing how good she is at that. Doesn't even teeter, just sits, closes her eyes and is out. I'm a bit jealous.
Anyway we had dinner together because it has been awhile since I've sat down and chatted with them, and Bear and I were the only ones home tonight and we were going to order take out anyway (from our own restaurant because this lady is on a spending freeze!) so I figured, hey, let's hang out with the grandparents.
First thing Bear said when we got into the car was, "Does it smell like chlorine in here?" And I'm just about to blurt out "Actually, it smells like old people" because it really did, it was a real old person smell. But then I realized that of course it's an old person smell, my grandparents are old. But they've never smelled old before so this was a new thing. They have officially become old.
At dinner they asked me what I was up to these days and what my plans were. I was dreading this question. Before we left I told Bear we should take bets on how Papa would react to me moving to Texas. So I decided not to beat around the bush. "I'm moving to Texas!"
"Oh dear God" says Papa
"You can't move to Texas! It's too far away!" says Gram
"Texas is really great, you're going to love it" says Papa. Whoa, was not expecting that.
"Yeah, I am really excited to move to Austin, it seems to really fit with who I am, there are a lot of people there who are a lot like me."
"Oooh no," says Gram, cracking up and shaking her head vigorously "No one is like you!"
"Where the hell is Austin? I've never heard of it." says Papa
"Um, it's the state capital." And I try to make the shape of Texas out of my hands to point out where exactly in Texas Austin is, but that's impossible, what was I thinking.
"So what? It's not a city. Houston is a city. Dallas. What the hell is Austin? What are you going to do there? Are you going to finish school?"

At this point I pinch Bear because in preparation for this dinner she has been informed that it is her duty to keep the conversation away from getting my bachelor's. The last conversation we had he literally yelled at me to make me finish. "Go back to Rhode Island and beg them to take you back!"
"No Papa, I left Rhode Island because I was completely unhappy there. It was a terrible experience for me and I never want to return there."
"Who the hell cares about happiness??"
You should know my grandfather never got his bachelor's degree. Also when I was in high school looking at colleges he kept trying to convince me not to go to college. "I can teach you anything you need to know!" Which could be true. Because he never went to college and went from a traveling shoe salesman to a millionaire. But get your opinions straight buster, should I go to college or should I not?
Every year this man has a new opinion. He went from freaking out on me for trying vegetarianism one summer to the next summer telling me that MEAT IS DEATH! I can't handle this.

So Bear tries to cut in and start a new conversation about the shrimp he is eating - weak attempt there - but he cuts her off. "How old are you?"
"Uh huh, so this is your last little fling before you settle down and start a real life?"
"I don't know. Maybe not. There's still a lot of things I want to do."
"You know we had four kids by the time we were your age."
To which I try to reply that was crazy because they were married when they were 21, and that was just too quick to have babies (they had one set of twins) and even if I wanted to get married at this point my brothers would strongly object because I am way too young. Also I don't know where I want to settle down and have kids because it's definitely not here, and definitely not anywhere else I've lived. And I can't settle down and have kids until I find a man who wants to join me in this endeavor and I haven't found him yet and I know I won't find him here. Also we live longer now and I want to live in Texas but I also want to live in Kenya and I also want to live in London and I also want to travel all over the world and I wonder what it would be like to live in Asia... But while I am saying all of this he is going "Huh? What? What's that? Joanie, can you hear her?" Joanie's my gram. Papa pulls the "I'm deaf" card whenever he thinks we're talking crazy. Which is almost all the time with me.
Gram just giggles when I'm crazy. She thinks I'm awesome. "If I was your age I would totally go to Austin. Sounds rad." Gram also tries to be gangster. She once put one of those magnetic earrings in her nose and walked around with it for a whole day "I'm a cool Gram!" she kept saying.

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