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Saturday, January 4, 2014

THE Age of Respect

   "Why does Grandma hate you so much?" It's a question I have been asked for almost a decade now! 
I always chuckle and shake my head at such a funny question like this, for my grandma is a lady who is never happy, at least with me! Since she is the last of all my grandparents I feel that she has more to teach me in how to handle such grumpy negative people like her. I have (along with many other family members) found ways to be around her and not let her biting judgmental words hurt. When my husband first met her he asked me later on bewildered "Aren't Grandmas suppose to be NICE??? I never met someone like her scary!"
There are many parts to my Grandma, who she is with family is NOT who she is in public or with her new friends I've noticed. I would like to see who she is when I am not around in hopes to see those good character traits, because she changes for each and every family member there are those she likes, those she favorites above all else and those she just tolerates. BUT for me unlike any other family member she personally hates me GREATLY. For many reasons and moments I can list in my behavior towards her through out the years like my saying "Try and be NICE Grandma." or "Stop complaining and just say THANK YOU."  or one of my most favorite lines "You hate facebook because now your kids can be friends without your help." THAT comment of mine made her storm off in a pout! For I know she is thinking when she looks at me,"Oh that Debby thinks she is SOMETHING, but I'll show HER and not make eye contact or give her any of my attention now!"
When this happens I become even more kind, sweet and overly close to her, it gets more under her skin then if I actually fought back. It's even funny or kinda sad to watch her act like a kid on a play ground trying to get her own way and not allow me to "play with" her. It nice when others notice this situation unfolding and ask me about it and why I am not at all choked up over her meanness, I've seen my Grandma play games all of her life with everyone and now it's my turn but unlike some who hope to ignore her when she is like this, I call her out on her shit and this is why she will forever ever hate me..............
...OR maybe it was THIS story that unfolded back in 2007;

        The morning had been so beautiful! I drank my first cup of coffee in my lovely condo facing the mountains. I even sat the big vase of roses in the center of the living room. Feeling happy to have a day off work in the bright glorious sunlight!
  As my phone rang I race around to answer it "Oh, Hi Mom!" 
I said cheerfully as she replied in a very tight voice like she was under such pressure "Hi." I waited a moment in wondering why she sounded so alarmed if not really upset. She explained quickly with no usual small talk "Your Grandma is here RIGHT now."  I chuckled as it all was making sense, Grandma Eva and my mother played more manipulation games then a presidential election!  
Mom continued "We are just arriving at the mall and Dana is with us too so come meet us at Sears I want the kids picture taken. Your Grandma needs to get her hair done too." I felt a slight dreaded feeling sneak up in me even though this mall Mom mention was 2 minuets from my condo I usually could walk over in 10 minuets so I agreed to show up after I showered while asking myself "Do I have enough energy for This?" 

   Now it was a good hour later, after I showered and dressed that I found my family, Mom was on her cell phone while my 3 little brothers were wrestling on the floor squealing My sister and Grandma looked frustrated as I arrived with such a gust of new energy  "Hi EVERYONE!" I swung out my arms in the center of Boise's mall hugging my brothers, waving at my mom and saying "Wow Grandma, your hair looks Amazing!" She half smiled as Dana gave me a warning look of all she had been through that morning. While my brothers hung on me asking to get ice cream cones or go somewhere else that was fun to them I just chuckled. Grandma spatted out at me "YOU are LATE. we have been here for a whole hour now." I nodded with smile "Didn't Mom tell ya I had to get ready first." The boys began to run around in crazy circles with each other as Dana mumbled "They are driving Grandma crazy!" Suddenly Grandma grabbed one of the boys by the shoulder "Just stop, stand still while we talk." The boys were not use to this kind of attention, I exclaimed happily "LOOK! it's Build-a-bear right over there! I've always wondered how that works!" The boys all zoomed into focus and calmness. Mom got off her phone long enough to say she wanted to go into JCpennys. While Dana mumbled her need to smoke and Grandma rubbed her forehead as the boys began to pick on each other again. Mom's cell phone rang again as she was leaving to talk Grandma called out at her "Why don't you pay attention to your kids first?" Dana and I both burst out laughing in agreement that Mom never took a hard line with our baby brothers, it was always chaos of them unaware of tripping into a passerby. I snapped into action like I always do in challenging these young boys to use their minds and remember thier manners. "Let's go check out the Build-a-Bear! i wonder how much its cost to make a teddy bear?" The boys cheered out all 3 together getting off the floor and following me across the mall from the bench Dana sat nursing her baby. Suddenly Grandma freaked out shouting out after us, it all took me by complete surprise! She yelled out "DEBBY!" I stopped walking and talking with my brothers looking back in awe as she continued "DEBBY! YOU GET BACK HERE! GET BACK HERE RIGHT NOW!" Her face was all crazy looking and she was pointing at me like I was in REAL trouble now.....
The hairs on my neck stood up, I could see 3 pairs of eyes watching me in such fear as my brothers stood frozen at the entrance of the shop, I gave them a comforting reassuring smile  "It's okay you guys, Go on, Learn all you can so when I get back you can teach ME all about it I want to know how it works AND remember to read EVERYTHING through." Little Davey had been holding my hand as we could hear Grandma continuing to scream at me "DEBBY! I SAID GET BACK HERE!" I felt something inside me light up as I leaned into him saying "Don't worry about me, Go have fun!" I let him go but he had a look of almost crying for me. So I made a goofy face explaining "She can't spank me, I am to OLD." He then giggled and ran off to be with his 2 older brothers. I waved them all on into the store as I swung around to face my Grandma. While another set of demands were made by her "DEBBY! YOU NEED TO LISTEN TO ME! I SAID GET BACK HERE NOW!" Grandma was all red face by now standing over by my sister. I noticed Dana's eyes were huge as she fixed her shirt to lay her sleeping baby back into the stroller. Grandma looked all crazy with anger. I was walking straight and steady thinking to myself on how shall I handle this? even reminding myself "Be nice now, she is just an old and worn out lady today." 
My blood was boiling either way I thought over it, my lips were pinched and my eyes were darting at her, my crazy miserable Grandma.
(AND so THIS is why Grandma hates me so much to this very day)
I shouted out on equal volume with her with my finger pointing back in her face just as soon as I walked back to her shouting self!
"HOW DARE YOU RAISE YOUR VOICE AT ME." Dana step back out of the way I grew bigger facing my Grandma head on, Dana mumbled "Oh Holy Shit!" to herself as Grandma's eyes grew wide and helpless, I could see my level headed ideas were being washed out by my sudden anger. I continued to shout out "WHAT? WHAT YOU THINK YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN SHOUT??? HOW DOES IT FEEL NOW? BEING SHOUTED AT? NOT SO NICE HUH? HOW DARE YOU YELL AT ME!"  Grandma was trying to to hide behind Dana who stood up quickly giving me warning signs putting up her hand to stop me from getting so close to Grandma's face. I knew I looked crazy too, getting so upset by all that shouting and yelling I took a deep breath and knew exactly what to say next;
"OKAY SO YOU DON'T LIKE BEING SCREAMED AT?!?!? WELL NEITHER DO I" Dana chuckled and nodded her head like she was very proud of me. Then she sat down knowing I wasn't going to start swinging and hitting anyone. But Grandma looked around sickly and avoiding eye contact with me completely. I felt suddenly very sorry for her. I lowered my voice and made sure I was about an inch from her nose as I said very confidentially "YOU need to learn some respect! I am a married woman now. Don't YOU ever raise your voice to me AGAIN! ....Got it!?!"  
I waited a second with my finger still in her face as she was looking at her feet helplessly. Dana patted Grandma's arm "Come sit by me. Let Debby watch over the boys and give us a break."Grandma sat down on the bench quite quickly looking far away over my head as if I was NOT there. I found my cheerful self just like that again as i smiled big and explained what was going on "Okay so now with ALL that being said, I am going to go teach the boys how to have fun a in the mall without acting like monsters, then when I get back we will ALL go for ice cream cones as my treat! just let Mom know. See ya soon!" I winked at Dana as I turned around in carefree light hearted way and left them.  
Knowing as I did as I walk on back to my original happy go lucky self that from THIS day on Grandma will NEVER like me again. It was such a FREEDOM feeling to leave them on the bench with all things said and done.
It was going to be the best memory of my life with my Grandma, the day I stood up to her and told her how NOT to behave! I was at this empowering age of respect and there was NO going back now! I never left more alive and happy then when I calmed down and respectfully bought my Grandma an ice cream cone even though she ate it without another word spoken to me directly....ever again.

( Also my 3 brothers happily showed me how to build a bear when I found them again, so it was a GREAT day over all)

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