Senior Moments: Dating

It’s time for another installment of Senior Moments and the genius that is my 90-year-old grandma. We’re back in the dining room again, but this time the meal is not the center of attention, but rather the lack of a beefcake in my life—a subject that has been brought up on more than two (or 202) occasions.


Seeing as my grandma was married when she was 18, the fact that I’m 30 and single still baffles her mind. However, at 90 years old, people who refrigerate their perishable items still baffle her mind.

At any rate, I’ll set the scene.

It was me, Gram, a resident we’ll call J and her (single, middle-aged) daughter, B at the table—the usual crew. The nurse doing meds in the dining room was not a crowd favorite, and Gram loudly proclaimed her to be a pain in the ass multiple times throughout the meal. I didn’t tell her to be nice. The nurse is a pain in the ass.

The pain in the ass walked by our table and in a fake smile on her face and told J she was looking nice. Gram looked at her with disgust, picked up her fork and pointed it at J before saying, “That woman can eat shit.”

I grabbed Gram’s arm and did the, “Gram, shush” thing before she dared me to “shush” her again with her death stare usually reserved for ballgames and people trying to take away her mashed potatoes.

“She can eat shit,” Gram continued, keeping her eyes on me before looking back at J, “because J knows she looks nice every day. She doesn’t need that pain in the ass to tell her that.” 

I was glad I didn’t shush her. 

With that she winked at J, set down her fork and proceeded to go on dispensing advice like a Polish Dr. Laura. Apparently two of the young aids were talking to Gram about dating that week, something she felt the need to tell me and B about over her pistachio pudding pie and coffee.

We were told the following things:

  • When I was younger, it was about finding a good Polish man. If you were bored, it was because you were too picky or not trying hard enough. If he’s boring, go bowling with him. There’s nothing boring about bowling. Just remember to let him win once or twice.
  • Don’t be so stubborn. He doesn’t have to look like a movie star or make a lot of money. You don’t want ugly kids, but if you wait too long, you won’t have any kids at all.

B and I met eyes at this, and it’s possible I rolled mine, prompting Gram to say, “Did I mention you by name? Did I say that you’re too old and too picky?” before moving on with a shrug.

  • You have to spice things up. I remember your grandpa would come downstairs while I was doing the washing and bend me over the washing machine. Sometimes I was annoyed, but it never lasted long enough for me to care.
  • If you’re in a car with a man and he starts to get fresh with his hands, tell him to knock it off. If he doesn’t listen, open the door and kick his ass out of the car. Tell him to go find a floosy on the avenue and then take yourself out for ice cream.

With that she returned her focus back to finishing her coffee before leaning over and conspiratorially whispering, “Abby, come here.  You see that woman at the table across from us?”

I looked and saw the same 85-year-old woman that always sat across from us gumming at a cookie.

“Look at how her bra strap is showing and her shirt is falling down,” Gram said with disgust, wiping her hand on her John Deere “clothing protector” before continuing. “Men don’t find that attractive. It’s sloppy. Take note of that.”

“I don’t think she even knows it’s showing Gram, as her oxygen tube probably moves her shirt around,” I said, not adding that an 85-year-old woman was probably not trying to snag a man when she couldn’t even snag a pea with a fork.

“That’s no excuse,” Gram said with a scoff. “She looks cheap.”

A male aid walked up and wheeled the senior slut away, providing an opportunity for Gram to tell me that when she was my age, “Well, I would have been married for 12 years at that point, but if I wasn’t, I would sink my clamps into that beefcake.”

Drained of the will to argue much more or explain that the definition of “beefcake” for  a 30-year-old woman in 2011 wasn’t a homosexual male nurse with bigger boobs than my own,  I simply looked at her and felt a wave of affection wash over me.

“Gram, come here,” I whispered conspiratorially. “I love you.”

She turned to me and with said with a sigh, “Abbuchucka, I love you so much that it hurts.”

She was quiet for a moment before adding, “Then again, that might just be gas from the crap that I ate.”

With that I gave her a kiss, smoothed back her hair and told her I had to head home. She gave me the standard warning to be careful and not pick up any strange men.

“Then again,” she said with a wink, “maybe you should just take what you can get.”

Well played, old woman, well played.

38 responses to “Senior Moments: Dating

  1. Wow, do we share Grams?

    Anyhow, my grandma is basically yours. Although she had a “polish jewish man” on her wish list. Mind you, my grandma isn’t even a native pole. My grandfather was and she loved poles.

    When I went to visit her recently, we had a “talk” and she also said “now, you dont want ugly kids and don’t pick weirdos.”

    Clearly, this is why I’m becoming the first Jewish nun.

  2. You are so lucky to have this Gram in your life. And we’re all lucky you’re writing down these stories!

  3. aw, I love your Gram!

    makes me miss my grandmas – one would walk into a room, snap her fingers and have everyone doing her bidding, and the other was the sweetest woman you could find, unless you mention anything that will bring out her racist tendencies. it was always a surprise coming from her.

    “if he starts to get fresh with his hands, tell him to go find a floosy on the avenue and then take yourself out for ice cream” – GREAT advice! I love this whole post.

    I request more Gram!

    • Ah, yes. The racist tendencies come out at the home once in awhile and they don’t even know what they’re saying is wrong. You just keep on wheeling them, change the subject (ooh! Pretty bird!) and they’ll soon find something else to judge, most often the food or what you’re wearing. 😉

  4. I love this it reminds me of my grandma whom I miss dearly. Quick as a whip, mouth like a sailor, hilarious as could be. And boy, is it just our grandmas or do all grandmas of a certain age get down right competitive when it comes to games (cards, bingo).

  5. I visited my Gram at the cemetary today. She died, suddenly, in November 2005 at the age of 78. That would make her almost 84 this year.

    Maybe older ladies treat boys differently than girls. My Gram stayed on my, affectionately, about being picky and not settling. I picked the wrong one in 1996. Gram never got to meet the Bobina, whom I met in 2008. Gram would always say “pick the right one. make sure she can cook, clean, and take care of kids. Also, smart is better than pretty. But if she’s pretty and smart then she’s like me.” Then she’d laugh like she’d killed at stand up comedy.

    Keep being a sweetheart to your Gram and one of these days a good one will come along that will be right.


    • The funny thing is when I did date someone seriously, she never liked him. She would tolerate him, but only tell me afterwards that I could do better or that the bread his mom sent over tasted like shit. I think regardless of your situation, they worry and just want the best for you, which is whatever they think is the best for you at that moment. Thank goodness you found yours, huh?

  6. Aw, makes me miss my uppity Nanny. Savor your time with her! (and she makes good blog material) #bonus

    • We’ve been savoring that time for 30 years, but the older you get, them more you appreciate things. And I wish she was always that sharp and witty, as the rough days are more than the good (not good blog material.) However, when she’s on, she’s on, and I’m grateful for one more of the “old” Gram, even if she’s bitching me out 😉

  7. “You have to spice things up. I remember your grandpa would come downstairs while I was doing the washing and bend me over the washing machine. Sometimes I was annoyed, but it never lasted long enough for me to care.”

    That’s the sort of advice that would make me spit my drink. Partially out of shock and partially because it’s hilarious.

    Your Gram sounds awesome. Can we trade?

  8. Love it. And I think your Grandma is secretly happy you’re rebelling against the 30-must-be-married-with-children rule. Then again maybe it’s the mashed up peas she just ate. Either way, Grandma is awesome.

  9. That part about your grandpa and the washing machine made me spit out my tea – thanks! Your grandmother sounds like my kind of people. When my mom’s mom was still alive, she would also poke and prod me in Polish about finding a “good boy”. I think it’s part of the job description of being a Polish grandma. I wish she was still here so that she’d get to meet LO – they would have been best friends and laughed like crazy people together. Your grandma wants the best for you in her own way, she sounds awesome.

  10. “You have to spice things up. I remember your grandpa would come downstairs while I was doing the washing and bend me over the washing machine. Sometimes I was annoyed, but it never lasted long enough for me to care.” Jesus, I love your gram! Your escapades with her leave me howling with laughter!

  11. “You don’t want ugly kids, but if you wait too long, you won’t have any kids at all.”

    There are just no words for how much I love this quote.

  12. This is hilarious. I really enjoyed it. I lost my grandparents when I was younger and don’t remember a lot of these things, unfortunately. I know I had some humorous things that happened, but I struggle to remember them all. I should have a little notebook with me so when I remember certain things, I can jot them down and one day make them into one big blog post! 🙂

  13. The washing machine story? Classic!

    My grandmother used to tell me to stay mysterious (her code for ‘don’t have sex’) because men like a mystery. She was a pistol.

  14. Haha oh boy. While I loved my grandmothers very much (rest their souls), neither was nearly as wry as yours. You are one lucky girl!

  15. I adore that she mistook her love for you for gas pains. HA! Your Gram still sounds like a woman I’d love to meet. And the washing machine story, me-ow, Gram!

  16. Oh man, your post reminded me of my Nanna, she comes out with similar gems of advice and musings.

    Several years ago, on nervously informing her that I was gay and that I wanted to introduce her to my girlfriend, she calmly turned to me, eyeing me with an air of nonchalance and said ‘pfff, I once slept with a woman’.

    I chose to not explore that comment any further..

    Last week, during a deep conversation about religion, she informed me resolutely that she goes to church once in a while because ‘the coffee is cheap’.

  17. Oh my god, can I adopt her as my Gram?? That washing machine story–wow and kinda awesome at the same time.

    Gotta go, my spaghetti strap is falling down and I don’t want to look cheap. However, when it falls down I have on my red bra so I look like a hartlot at Starbucks.

  18. I miss my Nana, but I don’t miss her telling me I better hurry up and have kids before my eggs disappear. I think me telling her I don’t want kids may have contributed to her death. Kidding…sort of.

  19. i’m visiting from bpotw.
    this is great! i like your grandma. i never had an old woman give me advice about men other than the one time my grandma told me that if my husband ever turned diabetic like hers, i shouldn’t let him eat too many bananas.

  20. Your grandma is so funny! The older my grandma gets the funnier and sassier she becomes.

  21. Gram is beyond fabulous. My favorite part is there’s nothing boring about bowling! Though, actually, it might be the washing machine part!

  22. Your grandma sounds like such a hoot! My grandma was more subdued but she loved to play cards and drink Scotch. I’m thinking there are some stories I never got to hear about. Enjoy your visits with her!

    Visiting on Catherine G’s suggestion – gawd, you’re so funny! I love women who do funny/wry/witty. Good job!

  23. I’ll bet you can’t wait to watch the playoffs with her!

  24. I love your Grandma. Get her an extra pudding on me next week.
    Stories like this make me laugh and miss my Nana so much. I wrote about her this week, and once for the Remembe{Red} prompts, but I don’t know if I could ever relay what kind of awesome she was. It is wonderful that you get to really record these good days with yours, have something more solid to hold onto while you can. Like Grandpa bending her over in the laundry room. That’s such a lovely story.

  25. I can’t wait to be old enough to say any darn thing I want and embarrass anybody that gets in the way!!! Go, Gram!

  26. I’m still recovering from the fact that she told you about her and gramps going at it while she was doing the washing up. I’d be stopping by the nursing home on a regular basis if I had a grandmother as funny as her. I will have to share this one with the mother in law.

    • To be honest, things aren’t always fun, which is why I treasure the times that they are–even if it conjures up images of my grandparents in the laundry room that make me want to pour bleach in my eyes.

  27. OMG abby.

    DYING over here.

    that was HILARIOUS. And we’ve already thought of doing a column with me wearing a grandma wig and doing video advice. hahaha!!!! this might be some good inspiration.


  28. Awesome. Just awesome. I needed that laugh.

  29. I love this woman. So great! Thanks for linking up to finding the funny! Pinning this to our Pinterest board. 🙂

  30. “Abbuchucka” ~ stay away from those “senior sluts” ! What a great woman to have in your life!!

  31. Dear god, I am gasping for breath aand wiping tears from my eyes!!! Oh Abby, it’s so good!

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