Okay, let’s be real. I don’t really care if you want a funny story or not. It’s my blog and I can write what I want to. And, if you don’t want to hear my funny story, you can quit reading. And, if you read my story and don’t think it’s funny, well, that’s okay too. Because, I’ve felt down and out for a few weeks and today I feel funny and sassy and that’s my prerogative.
Before I start my funny story, I feel the need to clarify a couple things. Only because for once I actually read my blog before hitting publish and felt like I should give a little preface. If you don’t really know me, you can’t judge me. Let’s be real, we shouldn’t be judging each other anyway. But, seriously, if you haven’t known me since way back, or you don’t know my phone number or where I live, or some important details about my life, you are dismissed from judging my character. Because, these are words on a screen and you can’t see my face as I say them, or most certainly my heart. So, if you’re okay with that and taking me at my word, here we go. I am not a racist. If you know anything about me or my family, you would know this for a fact. As a matter of fact, if you have seen my baby pictures, my backside, or heard me talk, you would question whether or not I was 100% caucasian. But, I am in fact, a little (well not so little anymore) white girl, living in a predominantly white world. Grandma, who this story is about. She is a racist. It’s just who she is and how she was raised. I’m not proud of that, but I can’t make her put on clean panties every day, I certainly can’t change her character. If she had any clue this house was built by brown skilled people and paid for with primarily the fruits of the labor of brown skinned people, she’d probably sleep outside. I’m serious. It’s just how she was raised.
Anyway, back to my story. As I said, Grandma prefers white people. Jeff and I have found it so very odd that she loves going to Belvedere because her care givers are all predominantly dark skinned people. The only thing I can figure is that she thinks they are her servants. They cook for her, help her with chores, and clean up after her. And, we pay them to be there. I don’t know what it is, but she loves them. At 6:15 this morning she was standing on top of me asking if I was ready to take her yet. Keep in mind, I can’t take her before 7:00am. And, she hadn’t even remotely brushed her hair or teeth. Grandma was looking rough, but she was ready to go see her people. I told her it wasn’t time to leave and she needed to freshen herself up before she went. “Ahh, shit, I ain’t worried about that. Them old hags they all look worse than I do on their best day. They won’t be dressed at all until after dinner. And, ain’t a one of them got sense enough to pour piss out of a boot.” Sam is wide-eyed and says, “Gran Gran, be nice!” She looks at him, and say “Well, that’s the truth I tell you.”
On Thursday mornings, they do a live radio show at the care facility. Every. single. time she busts in the door hollering at them, “Hey, y’all. I am here!” Every time I try to get her to quieten down and keep walking past the room. She just grins and waves and dances a little jig. This morning I get her to the hallway where she stays. We walk in, she drops her cane and says, “Heeeeeeeyyyy Miss Lady (she can never remember the care givers’ names), are you ready to parrrrrtaaayyyyy?!?!” They all 3 look over at me like “Holy Crap! Please tell me you are not leaving her here today.” They asked if she would like breakfast. She says, “Nope. I’ve already eaten. I am ready to rumble.” At this point I am trying to run out the door as quickly as possible before they tell me she can’t stay today. Gran tells me she loves me and not to worry because she’s hanging out with her favorite N-er ladies today. I really wanted to die a quick and brutal death. Right there. Mortified. It isn’t the first time she has used that word to refer to people. But, it has always been strangers and I am living on the prayer that I never see them again. It’s that situation you don’t know whether to correct her and apologize, or pretend it didn’t happen. And, even though Grandma is racist, she would have never said that word in her pre-demenita mind. But, the girls didn’t act offended. It was just like she’s one of our own and that’s how we roll.
As I am leaving, the wing director catches me. She says, “Guuuuurrrrrllll. I don’t know how in the world you do this every day! Ms. JoAnn wears us out! From the minute you walk out that door she starts asking us what she needs to do, where she needs to sit, how long until you will be back, does she have to spend the night, what we’re cooking for dinner, how long is she staying this time, what activity are we doing today….. She asks us when is Misty coming back. When we tell her that you’ll be here after work she says. Shut up, you don’t even know who Misty is. She doesn’t work, she went home to take a nap!” Trust me, I know. I deal with it the 5 days a week she isn’t here. It somewhat validates my exhaustion to think she wears out the people that are trained to do this every day. It’s a memory care facility. Everybody there has some form of brain disease. Even the people that like working with crazy little old ladies can’t handle Grandma. I’m not the mean terrible one after all. She drives everyone bat shit crazy. I think the difference for them is that she is still highly verbal, and most of the patients no longer speak. And when I say highly verbal, I mean if a word even remotely tries to form in her brain, she says it. She talks non-freaking-stop. Her tongue is rolling by 5:30 in the morning, and it doesn’t stop until it is pushing Z’s. And, I’m not beyond admitting, sometimes I do come home and take a nap after I drop her off at daycare. It’s like when my kids were toddlers in MDO. Tuesday and Thursdays are the only time I have my quite house to myself. And, sometimes I just need a freaking minute to enjoy it.
Picking her up today should be very interesting. I’m wondering whether or not it is safe to bring her to the kids performances tonight. I can just see her taking the stage with them and dancing a little jig. Sam Woodford would totally crawl under the risers. He would probably pretend we weren’t his parents.
So, maybe my little story isn’t really that funny after all. After I read it back to myself it doesn’t sound that funny. But, trust me. This morning as it was all playing out, if you had been here in person you would have thought it was funny. And, after several days of crying my eyes out because our life is just hard right now, I am thankful to have found a little joy.