Share This Post

Family and Motherhood

BITCHES GET OLD

grandma

Everyone needs a Mawmaw Lessie. A precious, chubby, short grandma that loves to cook and loves being a grandma. When you visit, you gain three pounds just walking by the kitchen. She hugs you tight when you walk in the door, and you never ever have a doubt of how much you’re loved and treasured when you leave. I had a Mawmaw Lessie for a little while, so I know what I’m talking about. But my other grandmother…. Well. She is the anti-Mawmaw Lessie.

When I tell people that my grandmother is a bitch, people are always shocked. She’s a grandmother! How could she possibly be anything but sweet and cute? Short and wrinkled, filled with years of wisdom and advice, surely I must be wrong?! No, I assure you, I am not. People ask, “How can someone that’s a grandmother be a bitch?” And my answer is, “Bitches get old too.”

One of my worst memories of her was when I was 17, getting ready for my senior prom. Finding the right dress is a big deal to a teenage girl and I had found the perfect one! It was a black and white, floor length, A-line, timeless, classic dress. While most girls my age were wearing dresses with cutouts to show their stomach or slits to show off their legs, I had picked a dress that covered almost all of me. The only part that could be considered even slightly immodest was the tiny white spaghetti straps, but even that could be covered with a satin wrap, black on the outside and white on the inside.

My grandparents came over to visit one Sunday afternoon (they always visited on that day) and I was so excited to show them my dress! I ran to my room and put it on to model it for them. My grandfather said nothing, as usual, and my grandmother looked me up and down disapprovingly. Finally she said, ‘Well, at least it has a shawl to cover you up.’ I was absolutely crushed.

I went slowly back to my room to change. I sat down on my bed and my mom followed me in. She came over and hugged me and I started crying. She said, “Don’t let her get to you. You look beautiful. There’s nothing wrong with that dress.” I sat up and dried my tears. My mom said, “Don’t ever let her see that she made you cry.” I changed out of my dress and went back out to visit them with a smile on my face.

Years later, after I graduated nursing school, I struggled with my weight and eventually I lost the forty pounds I had gained in college. When my grandmother saw me, she told me not to lose any more weight because my face would get saggy. I told her I planned to lose about ten more pounds and I would be done. As I stood to leave and turned my back on her, she said, “Oh yeah, I can see where you need to lose ten more pounds.” I just shook my head and didn’t respond. Her remarks lost a lot of their sting once I decided her opinion didn’t matter.

My grandmother was never one to congratulate me on my achievements. There was no praise for getting straight A’s on my report card, or when I got scholarships for college. She never told me I looked pretty or that she was happy to see me. After I was grown and out on my own, when I would go back to visit, she never said she was glad I was there. She would only complain about how long it had been between visits. Eventually I moved a few hours away and I stopped visiting altogether.

Because she’s a grandmother, you might have in your head a picture of a tiny, frail woman, confined to a wheelchair or a walker, bitter and angry at the world, saying hurtful things to make others feel as bad as she does. But that isn’t my grandmother either. She’s a tall, robust woman, healthy and strong, strong-willed and independent. She walks with a cane now, since she had her hip replaced, but mostly she leaves her cane standing against the wall and forgets to use it. She says hurtful things because she thinks she’s being helpful. She’s giving constructive criticism. She likes to think she’s shielding you from the things the rest of society is thinking about you. That, of course, doesn’t make the hurtful things any better.

Despite all this, I have learned so much from her. Her negativity has taught me valuable lessons I might not have learned otherwise.

For years she hasn’t traveled because she was ‘too old.’ She was convinced she would go somewhere, get sick and end up in the hospital. So for over thirty years, she hasn’t traveled. She’s stayed in the same house she raised all three of her kids in. She goes to church a mile away. She goes to the grocery store in the next town over and that’s the extent of her travels. She even missed my wedding because she was afraid to go that far away from home. She would never say she was afraid though. What she said was, “Why in the world would you get married so far away? You could have your wedding in one of the churches here.” I continued with our wedding in New Orleans. And for over thirty years, she’s barely been sick and has only been in the hospital for planned surgeries, like her hip replacement.

She has never worn dresses. Despite living in the Bible Belt and going to church every Sunday, my grandmother refuses to wear a dress. She says she’s too big for it. To hear her tell it, you’d think she was massive. So giant she has to turn sideways to go through doorways or between aisles in the supermarket. She isn’t. She’s slightly taller and slightly larger than most women. For the same reason, she never wore shoulder pads in the 80’s. ‘They make me look like a man.’ she would say. In reality, no one would ever think my grandmother was a man.

Growing up with a force like that in my life, I could have cowered, bowed down to her and become the mouse she wanted me to be. But I didn’t. I rose to the challenge. I am no longer afraid of my grandmother. I don’t allow her to make me feel inferior. I insist she treat me as her equal. And she does.

Because of my grandmother, I will never be too old to travel. I will never be too large to wear what I want to wear. There were positive lessons in her negativity. I will never let society dictate what I have to wear. The opinions of others will never outweigh my opinion of myself. I will never let my anxieties keep me from living my life. Most importantly, I will try my best to never say hurtful things to my loved ones. I will not be a bitch.

 

 

Author: E. Wilson
Email: Elizabethrbk1@gmail.com
Author Bio: I’m a 34 year old wife, nurse and two time cancer survivor. I am a fighter. I love to travel, I love music and I love my family.
Link to social media or website:http://www.movellas.com/story/201609150052187600-leukemia-its-not-for-wimps

Share This Post

1 Comment

  1. this was awesome.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Lost Password

Register

Share This
sensation
sensation
sensation
sensation