There are two types of Grandma’s in this world: the one that loves you and the one that loves your cousins.
If you think I’m wrong, you’re probably the lucky bastard cousin (disclaimer: cousins, I love you all, you’re all real rad people, and I think it’s awesome that Grandma loves you enough to spell your contact name correctly in her phone).
My loving grandma is affectionately known as “Nana” (her husband/ my Poppop, passed about four years ago) while my other grandma is known as just that, “Grandma” (married to Poppy). Devin and I have always been closer with Nana; she only lives an hour or so away, would always visit, and provides classic old lady humor on the daily. Nana gives off that classic grandma vibe; a plump little old lady who stashes cookies in her purse, knows that one can knit anywhere (even the toilet) and basically sweats out butterscotch candies. She’s just a lovable lady. She has always shown my sister and I great amounts of affection, and not in an overbearing suffocating manner. When I think of family, I think of Nana.
When I think of Satan, I think of Geometry. When I think of the thing that’s a teeny bit better than the flaming depths of Hell, I think of Grandma. Grandma is classic in a different sense. She’s religious, dresses very conservatively, lives in Florida, doesn’t understand technology, think’s that all single women are lesbians and that black people
are just really sunburnt. She’s a delight.
I’ve received some pretty scathing reviews from this woman, but mine are nothing in comparison to my sisters. Grandma loves to tell me how dry my skin is, how thick my legs are, and how sports were created for coordinated people. She has a comment for literally everything; one time when I was 14 I ate a cup of yogurt in front of her on accident (normally I hide my appetite from her to avoid tummy insults) and she asked me how my thighs liked dessert. It was a cup of light vanilla yogurt. The woman is insane. She absolutely slaughters Devin with insults and inquiries on every single thing she does. The past four summers my Florida grandparents have visited for about three weeks. Devin’s typical summer day involves going to work, going to the library, reading, cooking her own dinner (she prefers a lighter option than what my Mother typically makes), exercising and falling asleep pretty early. Grandma will literally go everywhere with Devin during this time and just make relentless comments. “Do you check out Food Magazines so you can just stare at the pictures? I know you’ll never eat any of it” “Why do you exercise so much you’re too thin” “Why can’t you eat with the rest of us?” “Do you only eat soup?!” “Your cousins dress so much nicer, and they eat their mothers meals”.
And with that we have entered the “cousin zone”. On Nana’s side, there are only four grandchildren; we’re all very close so Nana shares the wealth when it comes to love. On Grandmas side, there are six immediate cousins and many second cousins that seems to still hold priority of the firsts. Maybe it’s the distance between us, or just their lack of manners, but my grandparents have always been horrible at disguising their preference for my older cousins. The last 16 (yes, I’m anal enough to keep count) my Grandma has picked up the phone and called me by one of my cousins names; she then proceeds to shorte
n our phone calls just in case one of the other grandchildren want to ring her. This past christmas, she asked me to show her how to save a picture to her contact on her iPhone. As I was scrolling through her contact list I noticed that not only did she not have Devins and mines phone number, she didn’t even have our house number saved. I casually asked if she wanted the numbers, she reluctantly agrees to have me poison her precious phone, then proceeds to SPELL OUR NAMES WRONG. At least now I know I should be addressing Poppy in the thank you cards because she’s certainly not reading them.
Despite her constant criticism, I do believe that Grandma loves us in her own way. Nana shows it through love and affection while Grandma shows it through creepily listening in on every phone call I have with Poppy (you can hear her breathe through the line).
Devin and I have learned that you can’t win every battle, especially against your own family. So now, whenever they visit, we just go back to school.