Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Not Your Average Grandma

It really wasn’t meant to be an insult.
I thought she’d be flattered.
I was wrong.
My eldest daughter, then aged 22 months, and I were manoeuvring
our stroller through the doctor’s waiting room.
It wasn’t crowded, but a few people had decided to stand, rather than sit.
A very few.
Okay, one woman was standing in the aisle apparently trying to decide if she was staying or leaving.
That’s okay with me; I’ve done the same thing more times than I care to count.
After a moment, she realized that we were behind her, waiting to pass.
“Excuse me!” she said and moved to one side.
“No worries!” I said.
Because that’s what I always say. It’s not original, I know, but it gets the job done.
Moving on . . .
At that moment, my aforementioned daughter looked up and saw this woman. Her little face broke into a sunshine sort of smile. “Gramma!” she crowed, holding out little, soft arms.
The woman stared at her, aghast.
It’s an expressive word – aghast.
It describes the look on the well-bred, perfectly-groomed face . . . ummm . . . perfectly
Truly, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone more shocked.
My own smile . . . slipped a bit.
The woman’s head drew back and her upper lip curled slightly. She took in a large, indignant breath. “I AM NOT A GRANDMA!” she said.
Loudly.
Very.
Everyone in the office turned to look at us.
I felt my face grow hot.
Trying to salvage something from the unfortunate exchange, I stuttered out an, “I’m so sorry. She has a very pretty young grandma!”
I didn’t know what else to say.
The woman gave an indignant sniff and marched out of the waiting room.
“Gramma!” my daughter wailed, arms still reaching.
Another sniff as the door was firmly shut.
Crimson with embarrassment, I sank into the nearest chair and bent over my daughter.
To the woman in the doctor’s office: You really were lovely and beautifully dressed and groomed. I’m not quite sure why my daughter’s affectionate greeting hurt you so badly. Although I’m fairly certain you were very near to my own mother in years, I don’t think it was a comment on your age. It must have been your resemblance to one of the kindest, most beautiful women I’ve ever known.
I wish you could have taken it for the extraordinary compliment it was . . .

16 comments:

  1. Oh, pffft to that lady. I feel sorry for her, not knowing that being a grandma is such an amazing feeling ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sooo true! Even for those who aren't actually grandmas!

      Delete
  2. Poor wee toad must have been confused when 'grandma' didn't respond properly.

    ReplyDelete
  3. That woman may have looked like Gramma, but she sure didn't behave like one. Hope she dad an attitude adjustment before she became one for real.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have such fond memories of my grandma. Maybe she didn't have such pleasant memories to draw from! :)

      Delete
  4. Some people get that way. I think because Grandmas are seen as old, or older, and those people fear getting old. I was very happy to be a grandma and told everyone, most of whom said I didn't look old enough to be one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do think it was an age thing. And you're right. Most people equate 'Grandma' with 'old'.

      Delete
  5. This is both hilarious and sad. Hilarious because your daughter made that comment but sad that it wasn't taken better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes, you just wish your so-talkative children would just. be. quiet.

      Delete
  6. I agree, too bad that woman couldn't see what a lovely compliment that was. I would be thrilled if a baby called me grandma!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I became a Grandma at the age of 47. I know I was definitely making demands of my married children by that time! :)

      Delete
  7. I will never understand why some women don't like to be called "grandma". It's my most favorite title and believe me I have been called ALOT worse!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, dear. You're so right about the 'lot worse'!

      Delete
  8. Too bad that woman hadn't just been able to smile and laugh. She missed out on an interaction with a toddler that could have been the highlight of her day.

    ReplyDelete

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