Friday Flashback: Old Folks Home

August 12, 2005
(NOTE - This was originally titled - Friday Flashback: In With the Old, and Out of My Mind - which is much cleverer than the current title, but since STUPID HALOSCAN doesn't let people leave comments on loooong titled blogs or something - I had to compromise.)

I don’t know if I ever mentioned the fact that my bro, sis and I were practically raised to be timid little nest-clingers – but we were. Hence, the reason that I didn’t official “fly out on my own” until I was 26. Yes – lame I know.

Anyway – even when my mother sold the house and moved to Minnesota when I was 25, I still wasn’t ready. And thus, I did something far, far scarier than locking myself into a crumbly studio apartment and hoping that I could scrape rent together from month to month.

I moved in - with my grandparents.

(My brother and sister went to live in my dad’s two spare bedrooms – where the J$ still resides.)

First let me say that my grandparents are “children of the Great Depression” – and if you don’t know what that means, I suggest you go to my Granny’s some day for Sunday dinner. If you’re a woman –you’ll most likely be called to “help clean up” afterwards – but if you’re a man, you can certainly watch. I will demonstrate this “Great Depression” phenomenon by picking up the pot of leftover green peas – which now have the equivalent of ¼ cup of peas in it – and then I will attempt to empty said peas in the garbage. You will then hear a GASP from one of them – and swiftly be handed some tiny old Benocal Butter container that was meticulously cleaned and saved for just this moment. (These people have not one, but TWO FULL SIZED deep freezers that are PACKED TO THE BRIM with everything you could ever think of.)

When you live with these people, this “lifestyle” applies to every single minute aspect of life – there is no wasting. We don’t waste food. We don’t waste containers. We don’t even waste time.

You can rest assured that you’ll be watched like a hawk to ensure that things are done “properly.”

Oh – and they’re also germ freaks for the most part – this mostly comes from Granny who’s a retired nurse and knows what can happen and well if you don’t believe me just look at this lovely full color photo from one of my medical books.

I lived there for one year until I finally moved into an apartment with my sister (who, might I add moved in with the grandparents after I got married and has her own share of horror stories).

My therapist, whom I saw on a regular basis while living there, said it was the most damaging environment I could have ever put myself in and that I needed to get out as soon as possible. And that’s not to call them bad people –they’re actually great people whom I love a ton. In fact – they’re some of the most loved people I’ve ever known – because they’re so loving and funny. In relatively small doses, that is. It’s the living with them that will drive you nuts.

I will try to pick just a few instances (of the thousands) just to showcase what it was like:

Once I hung a damp towel in my closet on a hook. My Granny discovered it a little while later and nearly had a heart attack. She then proceeded to go into an hour lecture about killer molds and how this one towel could have started a chain of mold reactions that could KILL US ALL!

They also regularly commented on how little time I took brushing my teeth. The first time it happened I was horrified. Here I was – 25 years old –and I came out of the bathroom and was instructed to get right back in there and brush those teeth for at least 2 more minutes. What’s the matter with you girl?

Once my PawPaw happened to notice that a book of stamps was sticking out of my purse. He pointed it out to my Granny. “Why do you have stamps in your purse? Are you doing your bills at your desk at work? Are you? Because that is unacceptable and you will get fired.”

They were particularly paranoid about my job and what I was or wasn’t doing there. And not ONE DAY went by where my PawPaw didn’t come in to wake me up for work. Even though I set my alarm every single day. He didn’t understand the snooze concept.
He’d come in – “Girl your alarm went off 5 minutes ago!!!” and I’d be all “I’m snoozing.” “Girl do you want to LOSE YOUR JOB!” I tried to explain the snoozing concept to him once and was met with a look of disgust.

The worst thing, though, is probably the fact that, in my “Happy 26th Birthday” card, my Granny actually mentioned the fact that I’d left dirty underwear on the floor of my room on more than one occasion and that I couldn’t expect a man to marry me if I was going to leave dirty panties all over the floor.

Okay – so it wasn’t worded exactly like that, but the words “dirty underwear” were definitely included – IN MY FREAKING BIRTHDAY CARD! RIGHT UNDER THE PARAGRAPH OF SCRIPTURE!

I think I saved it – just for laughs and I swear – if I can find it; I will scan it so you all can see the absurdity.

Sadly, I will say that just a week of so ago – Chad made a very crude comment about dirty underwear left on the bathroom floor – so Granny, I guess you had a point.

However- he’s still married to me – dirty panties and all.


9:57 a.m. ::
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