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Marnie (electric scooter girl) with her lunch. But..she's not hungry. FeDear Diary,

Granny Marnie is the sweetest granny a girl could EVER ask for. But every ONCE and awhile..when I least expect it—WHAM. I find myself face to face with Hurricane Hortense. Armed and totally dangerous. Upon her electric scooter she sits.. all pissy with eyebrows drawn in an angry “mono” slash.. (so will NOT touch them up..if you paid me) and spitting FIRE in the direction of any poor schlump (me) who happens to cross her path.. wearing thongs..thus making herself completely vulnerable to any crazed scooter drivers wiles. Maybe poor schlump is doing a kind SERVICE by picking fire breathing granny UP and taking her out for an errand? Hey. I just wanted to SPARE 95 yr. old Marnie the trouble (and bother) of hopping (um..maybe not the best choice of words) on public transit in 105 degree heat. How many times have I heard the tales of injustice and woe of being made to stay on the bus..while stop after stop goes by. Watching other scooter girls and scooter dudes get off before her. Coming darn close to PIP from having to hold it for hours. All the while STARVING..forcing her to peer into her designer handbag and dig around for napkin wrapped cookies from the “free cookies and fruit” room at KillJoy Senior living, she had placed there..ummm. Last week? Blech. It’s for emergencies just like THIS.. that one should always wrap up a few complimentary goodies.

I didn’t see it coming..but the first clue that something was up should have been the speed at which she took the first turn after getting off the elevator. Holy cow she’s heading right for me and she’s not slowing dow..

“Marnie! Stop. OMG. Don’t even think to come near me. Remember what happened to SmartAlec’s foot?”

I’m shuddering as I recall my eldest child’s yelps of anguish as Marnie came up a little too close behind him and “nipped” at his heels with her 4 wheel drive.

MARNIE: You shouldn’t even be wearing THOSE (pointing at Abercrombie flip flops) they’re kind of.. shabby (making sad and pathetic face). Say..would you like a pair of my old sandals? They’re MUCH nicer then the ones you have on and I’ve h-a-r-d-l-y ever worn them?

This is a trap. I have learned over the years..through trial and much error, how to identify a pothole and maneuver delicately around it. One false move and I will be plagued for weeks with..

“Why won’t you take the sandals?”

“Is your foot to FAT for the sandals?”

“All the girls I know have a good pair of SANDALS?”

“I won’t make you pay me back for the sandals.”

Let me tell you..I have taken inventory of every pair of shoes in Marnie’s closet and those sandals are circa 1975..One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest..Nurse Ratched specials. Lightly worn..down to the tan cork bottoms.

ME: Oh. Are you talking about the white plastic ones with the open toe? I ALREADY have a pair. I think my mother found bought them for a rummage sale. They look great worn with tan nylons.

Remember to add personalized touches as I did for authenticity in fabrication.

MARNIE: (thinking) Do you think your SISTER would like them?

If in doubt of what to do..throw sibling under the bus.

ME: Ga. YES. (swinging hands into air with HUGE enthusiasm). Ha Ha Ha. I K-N-O-W my sister would LOVE them. She’d look so much better in them, then ME. (cough cough)

Am I good. Or. What.

I still couldn’t shake Marnie from her funk. I got her seated and comfy in my car. Put a little towel down to cover the heated seat and EVERYTHING. Then had the brilliant thought, that I could coax a good mood into reality by playing some nice soothing..elevator music. Found out that Marnie can still YELL over The Beach Boys.

“I don’t know why I couldn’t have gone to the HOSPITAL to see Papa G. myself? I’m sure I can get around just FINE without your help. I could have taken the bus MYSELF. Why do you have to dictate to me? I’m NOT a CHILD. DO you hear me? I’m (stomp foot) NOT (stomp foot) A (hit hand on leg) CHILD (leg hit again).”

I glance in the back seat where my sons.. nine year old Aliendude and eleven year old SmartAlec have their mouths hanging open and their eyes bugging out of the sockets. I know in their heads they were thinking, “Don’t push her granny. Moms been known to pull the car over and threaten us with walking home for a whole lot less.” If you really must know..I did think that for a half a second. But I’m not sure that would have sat well..given that Marnie had no mode of transport back to KillJoy (left the wheel chair at home with the scooter) and if she tried hitching a ride back..who would see her sitting by the side of the highway with her thumb out?

“Marnie..I love you and your family wants to make life easier for you now. You shouldn’t have to go visit your husband in the hospital by YOURSELF.. on a bus if we can be here to do it. Your family should be allowed to give support. This is a time for family to be together.”

Silent treatment.

All I can hear is Aliendude chomping away on the same piece of Bubble tape he’s had for three hours. That must have lost it’s flavor by’d think. gnaw…

“Ok. Now I know where I am.”

What’s this? She speakith?

ME: What did you say Marnie?

MARNIE: You should make a left here and then you can park. Make a left..


MARNIE: No. I mean make a right.


MARNIE: Maybe it is a left.

I’m dropping you off here. I’ll go park.

The ride home was soooo much nicer now that Marnie had seen Papa G. She had some very sweet and tender moments with him that erased all the hostility of the morning..almost.

“Dear..I’m NOT hungry. You go ahead and get the kids something to eat. I don’t want a THING. When you get to be my just don’t have much of an appetite anymore. If I’m not hungry..then I’m not hungry. I really can’t eat a sin..”

Fine. Enough said on the subject of Marnie and hunger.

As the kids we’re getting back in the car and I was helping them with their veggie-burgers and fries..I happen to glance at Marnie. She was unwrapping a white paper napkin from her purse and to my great surprise pulling out cookies. Then she’s all.. “nom nom nom” on these grotty oatmeal delights that have been in her purse for who knows HOW LONG.

“Marnie. WHAT are you doing?”

MARNIE: I got hungry.


My Sandwich Generation..sometimes you just have to suck it up and stick to your guns. There are going to be times with your seniors..where your actions will not be welcomed. Shocking. I. Know. Then the skill is— to keep calm and refrain from using anything higher then “level 2” swear words. If you get into the “level 1” bombs..remove yourself from your senior ASAP and take a few deep breaths before continuing. Remember—your upper slice is adapting to a new way of functioning and it’s not easy to feel you’re losing your freedom and control. Just remind them they are still calling the shots. You’re just there to MAKE life easier..because they deserve the very BEST.

!@#&#*! BEEP. BEEP.


Copyright © 2009 My Sandwich Generation. All rights reserved.

Posted in Uncategorized 12 years, 6 months ago at 12:08 am.


2 Replies

  1. I’ve been like a fly on the wall for a while now, regularly reading your blog. Some Sandwich Generation issues can be challenging - and to be able to write about them with such humor is a gift. Thanks for shariong valuable information and keeping me laughing.

  2. Adrienne Aug 2nd 2009

    Thank you very much Phyllis for reading The Granny Diaries and for the very kind words. I hope that I and my girls can keep you laughing for many more years to come. I hope that you’ll pass “Granny” around your table of friends. All Best!