Not so perfect, not so young

Thursday, August 24, 2006


You know the scene in “Billy Elliott” where Billy opens the fridge and starts chugging from the milk bottle, and suddenly his deceased mother is there with him in the kitchen saying, “Now Billy, what have I told you about drinking straight from the bottle?” and then reminds him to put the milk back in the fridge when he’s done?

Well, here at work, I just had that moment, except it was my Grandpa’s voice.

I slammed the tray of the printer shut, and heard him say with a wince, “Oooh, you’re going to break it if you keep closing it like that!” If Grandpa were really here, a short and very predictable lecture about the fragility of the latching mechanism would follow.

The nice thing about my moment, unlike Billy’s, is that my Grandpa is still alive (*insert preferred superstitious gesture here*), and I can give him a call later to tell him I was thinking of him. Or, alternatively, that his many years of gentle nagging have achieved their intended impression on me (except for the part where I slammed anything in the first place) and I can’t get his voice out of my brain.

A funny little story about my grandparents is that shortly after they met, my grandpa witnessed my grandmother unplugging her iron by PULLING ON THE CORD. My grandpa asked, “Is that how you always unplug the iron?” Again, presumably, a lecture followed. When I was a teenager, I sarcastically suggested that Grandpa could save his breath by numbering his lectures and saying "Lecture 62", for example, rather than having to tell me exactly why I should never wear my shoes in the house and what sort of filth they may have picked up on the sidewalk and what types of illness those bacteria might cause.

To counter my grandpa’s “fussiness”, my grandmother has maintained her general indignance and outright disgust that he insists on enjoying peanut butter on toast and taking naps after meals. Their daily script of mutual annoyance and affection has been perfected by 55 years of married life.

I love my grandpa very much. How could you not love a man who has reasoned that there is an appropriate direction in which twist-ties ought to be twisted, along with a particular number of twisty-rotations that ought to be executed to ensure sufficient closure as well as ease of re-opening? I will be hearing his voice in my head for the rest of my life.


  • At 10:01 PM, Anonymous Crystal said…

    "And who will tie the twist ties to the left?"


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