Family

Decemberness

December started with my grandmother in the hospital with pneumonia. I’m happy to say that she beat it, turned 99 the week after, and complained about not getting out in 3 days, instead of what ended up being almost 2 weeks. I kept having to remind her that pneumonia kicks the ass of humans a fifth of her age.

“But it’s so boring here!”
“I know. Want to play cards?”
“Too tired.”
“Ok, I’ll deal.”

I laid out two piles of cards.

“Alright. What game are we playing?”
I suck at cards, so I said “I don’t know. You choose.”
She thought about it for a second and said, “We’ll play the game where the winner ends up with all the cards.”
“How does that work?”
“Like this.”

Which is when she collected both piles. Even with an oxygen tube, she’s still pretty swift.

We’ve since moved her to a convalescent home. It’s bright and sunny and the residents do crosswords and play bingo. My grandmother doesn’t think much about bingo. She’s always been more of a Bridge kinda gal.

She felt guilty about how often we were all visiting, so when I had my office party, she was like, “Go. Have fun! Don’t worry about me.”

———————————————————————————————————

So I went, and it was just like last year: cocktails, dinner, loud music, and an escape to the Irish pub with some colleagues.

By the time I showed up, Bob and Carol were already there with their friend Susan. Susan was pretty. Pretty drunk. Or so I thought, until Carol filled me in, “Oh she’s always like this.”

We talked a lot. About traditional Irish music which I knew little about, and Billy Bragg who I know more about. It was cool. Especially with her buying me drinks.

The band got looser. The guy playing the tin whistle switched to a Telecaster and the duo did a kick ass version of I Walk The Line. She showed me her wrist tattoos. The left said “Saves”. The right said “Jesus”. I looked at Carol, who laughed. Susan bought me another pint. Bob went out for a smoke.

Susan was soon sitting next to me thrusting her iPhone in my face with intent.

“Find a way…to get my number…into your phone…and call me…”
“Ok…”
“Or else I’ll fucking kill you.”
“OK”

Focus….her phone…my number…no…her number…my phone…her number…phone…

Then Bob was talking to me, “Hey Mike, this is Joe. Susan’s husband.”
“Oh hey, hi.” *Shakes Joe’s hand*
But Susan was persistent, “You got it? My number?”
“Oh yeah, I got it. It’s in here” *points to forehead*

On our way to the car, I was just a little curious.

“So Carol. At what point were you going to tell me she was married?”
“Didn’t you see the ring?”
“No actually. I didn’t.”

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  • Mikewj

    Why would a pretty, married woman with “Jesus Saves” tattooed on her wrists get you drunk, talk to you all night and then threaten to kill you if you don’t put her number in your phone and call her?

    Puzzling.

    Alienating.

    Frustrating.

    Sorry.

    My advice: Stick to cheeseburgers, Mike. They’re less complicated, and there’s little to no possibility you’re going to have kids. We got a Cheeburger, Cheeburger right here just a few miles from my house. Come on down when you’re ready.

    Oh, and I love your grandmother. I hope I’m that spry—physically and mentally—when I’m 99. I’m glad she made it through another Christmas.

    P.S. — My mother had drinks with Billy Bragg at a pub in England. She brought me back an autographed CD. I like Billy.

  • Your grandmother is 99 years old? And she kicked your ass in cards? And she beat pneumonia? = My new HERO.

    That Susan sure sounds like a real handful!

  • Mike, don’t go calling that floozy. She was trouble right from the beginning. You have much wilder times at office parties than I ever did. Oh, except for that one time. Uh, yeah.

    Your grandma sounds like an amazing woman. God bless her! I hope she makes it to the big 100.

  • How great that you still have your grandmother in your life and she’s still so with it.

    As for Susan — you saw the wrist tattoos and you still stuck around? Mike, Mike, Mike… (shaking head in wonder)

  • Merry (Belated) Christmas to you and your granny! She sounds as ornery as mine – always wanting her way (and usually getting it). Oy!

    Heh, heh. “Jesus Saves”? Well, he certainly wouldn’t be saving you from Sandra’s husband had that encounter went any further *wink-wink, nudge-nudge*.

  • I’m thinking she wants a threesome.

  • Those are excellent questions, BonyMike. However, cheeseburgers don’t buy you free drinks.

    My grandmother is indeed awesome. Physically, she’s much weaker than she was before the pneumonia, but the wit is still there.

    Your mom is lucky to have met Billy. He seems like a stand up guy.

  • Yeah, she totally tricked me with that card move! She’s my hero (heroine?) too.

    Susan was a nutbar.

  • It’s funny, how I immediately forgot her number…

    Hmm…sounds like you have a story to tell us too. But only when you’re ready 😉

  • Two words: Free drinks.

    Also: blog fodder. I always stick around until everything plays out.

  • hahaha…well judging from his reaction, he seemed unsurprised by her behaviour.

  • Sweetie, there’s no such thing as a free drink.

  • Mikewj

    What I was thinking is what Linda implied, and what Ziva said.

  • Mikewj

    STicking around had nothing to do with the fact that she was pretty and seemed deeply interested in you and your fascinating self?

  • Who doesn’t?

  • I didn’t imply anything, Michael.

  • Yeah, there was probably some of that too, don’t you think?

  • Me.

    At least not if it involves me, her and Jesus.

  • There was tons of that.

  • Well, that’s a comfort. I thought you were being a little more interested in getting free drinks than you were in her admiration. I’m glad you weren’t!

  • Oh I don’t want a three some with her and Jesus either.

  • Mikewj

    A threesome with Jesus would be interesting, you have to admit. Uncomfortable, perhaps–He is Jewish and the Son of God, after all–but interesting.

  • God Bless her 99 years OMG.

    I wish you and Nicky a Happy Cheesy New Years. I appreciate so much having you both as blogger friends. Thank you, thank you 🙂 Oh sheesh, I mean a Happy New Years to the whole family and have a feeling, 99 years and going strong must be from all the Muenster.

  • Okay, I went from laughing to gasping in shock at the end of this post.

    Laughed my head off at Grandma’s card game — Grammy’s awesome.

    And then Susan… I actually gasped, loudly, when her husband walked in. Damnation. But before that I really spent some time thinking about those tattoos.

    Were the words upside down from her perspective so you could read them easily or were they right side up from her perspective so you had to look over her shoulder to read them.

    Also, when reading left to right did it say “Saves Jesus” or “Jesus Saves”?

    I thrash about in details — just like Demi Moore swimming in cash on the bed as it rained down upon her in the movie “Indecent Proposal.”

  • I was so caught up in deconstructing Susan’s tattoos that I totally forgot that she said she’d kill you if you forgot her number.

    On a different note, if Susan was not betrothed — not married, not dating anyone — would that behavior seem attractive? Seriously, would you look at her invitation as a one-time thing or would you look at her as a potential long-term relationship?

    I was looking for something that would last when I was dating and coming on so strong would have totally freaked me out.

    Especially if it was a chick coming on to me.

  • 🙂

  • Thanks Glenn! Happy New Year to you too!

  • You know, I’ve been wondering the same thing. I actually can’t remember the orientation of the tattoos anymore. I keep wondering if they were oriented as a reminder for her, or as an advertisement for the public.

  • CG, 10 minutes into the conversation I knew that this was going to a no-term relationship. By the end, I was already running out of patience, so I was kind of relieved that it played out the way it did.

  • Oh… so that’s what the trinity is all about. I always wondered how that worked.

  • Ah, Mike, Mike, Mike… you should have stayed at home to play cards with Grandma!

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