One of my favorite columns to read on a daily basis is Dear Abby. People have so many interesting issues, and I just love to read about them. A column on Sunday piqued my interest because it was about grandparents, particularly grandmothers.
The writer, who is from Florida, wrote that family members don’t call her grandmother because she talks too much. Apparently Granny is a Chatty Cathy and enjoys two-hour conversations. The writer is the only one willing to call, so relatives send messages about their lives through her. Unfortunately, she is also tired of the conversations. Poor Granny is oblivious to why they won’t call and told her she’s the only one that cares.
Abby essentially said to tell the grandmother the others don’t call because of her lengthy conversations. She said telling her so wouldn’t be cruel but really doing Granny a favor. Abby also encouraged telling the grandmother to get out and meet other people so she could talk to them.
The whole question and answer for this so-called issue annoyed me. Grandparents are my favorite things. How can you not like talking to them? I all but lived with my maternal grandparents, my two favorite people in the world. Most of my fondest childhood memories are from spending time with them. I went to church conventions with my granny, learned to read from my granddaddy and lived every child’s dream of having awesome grandparents.
I wasn’t as close initially with my paternal grandparents, but over time that changed. Grandma Pearl is my only grandparent still alive. I used to think she was mean, until I started to really pay attention to what irked her (other people in the family). Her remarks to them and about them were hilarious. Soon every encounter with Grandma Pearl, especially when she was fussing at someone else, became a memorable experience. Since college I’ve made sure to visit her every time I’m home. Our conversations are probably two hours at a minimum (I like to talk and she does too).
Perhaps since I had close relationship with my grandparents I can’t understand why someone wouldn’t enjoy talking to theirs for hours. Don't want Granny to dominate conversation? Then contribute a little more. You only get grandparents for so long in life. How hard is it just to map out time at least once a month for your family elders?
There were things about all my grandparents that irritated me, but nothing strong enough to keep me from wanting to talk to them. Sure a phone call or visit might require a packed lunch or two, but it’s a small price to pay for quality time with a loved one. I would give anything to have my grandparents back, because you truly miss them when they’re gone. Maybe, just maybe, if those family members called a little more regularly Granny would reduce her talk time.