devonly randomonium

Sugar-coated effery and shenanigans.

My Mama’s Mama and My Daddy’s Daddy

on June 8, 2011

When I was a kid, I swore that I would never be like my parents. I would usually make that vow after being whooped, cussed out or grounded for the umpteenth time.

But now, it’s kind of scary because I find myself acting more and more like my parents. I can be stubborn just like my dad, but I also have his quick wit. I have my mom’s work ethic and her protective gene. Having the protective gene means that I’m always trying to look out for those close to me.

Lately, I’ve been spending more time with my grandparents. Because of this, I now understand why my ‘rents act the way they do.

Theresa Sr., also known as Grandmother, is my mama’s mama. She is 93-years-old, about five feet tall and super sassy. Back in January, I started visiting my grandmother on the weekends to keep her company. She’s on  a walker but she never stops moving. She worked as a housekeeper back in the day, so she is meticulous when it comes to keeping her house neat and clean.  She is also meticulous about pretty much everything else as well. I’m serious. She insists that her Neapolitan ice cream is scooped evenly, one flavor at a time!

After spending one weekend with my grandmother, I didn’t think that I was going to make it through too many more. I had a hard time understanding why it took 20 minutes to pick out a hat for church. I also didn’t understand why you need to turn down your bed at 4:30 p.m. when your bedtime is at 8:00 p.m. And we’re not even going to talk about the pooting situation. But I guess when you’re her age, you just don’t care anymore!

My grandmother has a habit of examining what I have on and insisting that I get it for her. The first week, she asked if I could take her to the MAC counter so she could get some makeup. I would, but I know good and well that she is not going to pay MAC prices. She won’t. She almost passed out when I told her that her Revlon Age Defying makeup costs $12 at CVS!

Another week, she looked at me and said, “What kind of bras do you wear? I need to get some because I want my breasts to sit up like yours.” Woooow! Mind-blowing isn’t it? All I could do was laugh and talk her down.

My grandmother and I have had our ups and downs, but I think I understand her a little bit better now. I can also see where my mom, Theresa 2.0, gets her mannerisms.

Clifford Sr., or Papa, is my daddy’s daddy.

Papa is 84-years-old and in good shape for his age. He’s now pretty much unstoppable thanks to Lasik surgery. (He’ll tell you that too.) Papa can drive at night, he still hangs out with his buddies and he likes to sit in his armchair and watch court shows. To him, life is pretty darn good.

My sister and I try to take Papa out to lunch once a month.  It gives us a chance to catch up with him and listen to his latest criticisms.

He likes to talk about how things have changed since he was growing up. It drives him nuts that “the young boys walk around with their pants sagging off their butts.” He also says that he feels bad for us because most of the men out there aren’t about anything. He says, “Men don’t realize that women can do things now. They don’t really need men anymore. Women are going to work and the men are staying at home with the kids. And the men don’t know what to do.”

Another thing that Papa doesn’t understand is why young black men are obsessed with becoming professional athletes. “All these boys think that they are going to play pro ball. But if they get hurt and don’t make it, what are they going to do ? You’d think they would go to school and get an eduction but they don’t want to do that,” he said the other day.

He makes a lot of valid points in his rants, but it always cracks me up when he closes them  out with, “Well, I’m just an old man so what do I know?” He knows a lot and we always enjoy listening to what he has to say.

And thanks to us, he now has an appreciation for the Cracker Barrel.

This post is dedicated to my friend Dana Little-Chambers. Dana has asked me to write a post about my grandparents for months now. So Dana, I hope you enjoy this one!

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