Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Grandmother's Wisdom

I would tell you the story of what's going on with my eye today, except if I write any more posts with gross medical details I fear that LL Cool Joe will unsubscribe from my blog and furthermore never speak to me again. Suffice it to say that I'm not seeing very clearly at the moment so if there are spelling mistakes I'm blaming it on that. Also, Freaking Owie Ow Ow! Stupid eye.

Not to worry, I should be alright within a few days.

I went out for Chinese noodles with my 93-year-old grandmother on Saturday. Initially we were going to go to the Japanese restaurant in the mall, a 15-minute walk away. My grandmother had assured me that she can certainly walk 15 minutes, no problem. However, she has slowed down quite a lot since I last took a long walk with her. I soon realized that her 15-minute walk wouldn't take us as far as the mall. So we stopped at my favourite noodle restaurant instead.

On the way there we talked about the things she does to keep busy. She's very involved in all manner of activities at her senior's residence, including hosting groups of university students for discussions relating to aging and the perspective she has gained from her many years.

"Kids are so different these days," she said, referring to the students. "Everything is about sex. Everything has to be sexy."

Never one to miss an opening, I asked if she'd like to hear my favourite dirty joke. Yes, she would.

"What did the man with five penises say?"

She thought about this for quite some time. I had to laugh as I wondered what possibilities were running through her mind. Finally, she gave up. I delivered the punchline.

"My pants fit me like a glove!"

That got a laugh. I love that joke. It's not really sexual so much as anatomical, but it's funnier when I set it up as "dirty".

We enjoyed our lunch. My grandmother struggled a bit with her noodles, but she was determined to use her chopsticks, even though I'd asked our server to bring her a fork. I could see that she enjoyed the challenge. She often complains about the food that's served in the senior's residence, and I can guarantee that there are never chopsticks on the table.

We chatted about this and that. About how my mother's parents, my other set of grandparents, are being difficult and refusing to either move from their large house or accept any outside help, even though my zaidy is frail and blind, and my buby is not that much better off. They refuse to have groceries delivered, insisting instead that their three daughters chauffeur them to the stores several times per week. They refuse to have a cleaning lady to help them tidy the house. They're driving their daughters crazy. (Yes, there is enabling going on. That's a whole other can of worms.) My grandmother moved into her senior's residence voluntarily, after only slight prompting from her sons. She's a practical woman.

We discussed how my grandmother feels about my conversion to Christianity. Or rather, she told me how she feels and said that there's nothing I can say to change her mind. Basically she doesn't mind what I believe, but the fact that I got baptized feels to her like a betrayal. She and my grandfather suffered a lot from anti-semitism back in the day, and for this she blames "the church". As though there were one church with one opinion that can be held responsible for these past wrongs. I'm sorry that she feels this way, but I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I told her she can tell me how she feels as much as she likes, so that this issue can come between us as little as possible.

Finally, we walked back to my place. On the way, we were passed by a young fellow who was wearing enormous trousers. You know the type - his pants were so low-slung that he had to swagger instead of walk, keeping his pants up with outward pressure from his thighs. Plus there was a huge, baggy crotch area that was down almost to his knees. My grandmother watched him walk ahead of us.

"Why do they wear pants like that?" she asked. I shrugged.

"I don't know," I told her.

Then suddenly she was laughing. Breathless, she clapped one hand on my shoulder and giggled:

"Maybe he has five penises!"


Anonymous said...


That's HYSTERICAL! Awesome line!

You know, there's a YouTube video of a guy wearing his pants like that being frisked by a policeman. The officer inadvertently grabs the guy's junk from behind during the search and asks "What's this?"

And the man being frisked very calmly states, "That's my penis."

Okay ... very awkward. But such are the habits of the pants around the knees. You never know when you'll be crunched.

Anonymous said...

OH, here's a link should you be interested. I won't embed. Heh.


DarcsFalcon said...

Your grandma sounds awesome! :D

I hope your eye heals fast. :)

NicoleB Egypt said...

OK, your Granny IS awesome.
The last one was just awesome (baggy pants).

Sad that she feels like being betrayed.
Can't really blame her though.
I'm not the biggest fan of "the church" myself.
For Europeans there were only two types of Churches (Catholic and Protestant), nothing like in the US.
And I am no fan of either or any more.

wigsf said...

Probably had this discussion before, but is the plural for penis penises? Or is it penii?

I only ask because of my current situation (ie having more than one penis), it would be nice to use the proper nomenclature.

Sparkling Red said...

darcknyt: Yeah, that was some pretty sweet comedy. I used to do improv, and the technique of referring to a previous joke unexpectedly was known as a "callback". That was a classic callback.
I love the video. I bet that policeman is traumatized for life!

DarcsFalcon: Thanks! It's the next day now, and I'm 90% improved. :-)

NicoleB: Christianity is its own worst advertisement. Amazing that something with such potential for good has been used as an excuse to cause so much harm. I love my own little church, but it's not perfect either.

wigsf: Interesting question. If it were spelled "penus" you could then pluralize it as "peni", like alumnus/alumni. Or you could go for a French twist and pluralize by throwing an "x" on the end like tableau/tableaux. I think "penix" sounds pretty cool. "I have many penix!" Try that one on for size.

Lil Red said...

Love your grandmother! OMG, that last line is hilarious!! :D

As for her feelings on Christianity, I can see and respect her feelings, but like you say, all churches are not to blame.

Having said that, I've had too many negative church experiences to believe in any of them right now. Christianity, on the other hand, is all good!

Dianne said...

how lovely and wonderful she sounds!! and what a sense of humor

Happy Thanksgiving sweetie :)