Friday, September 5, 2008

Is This Hereditary?

I highly doubt that my mother-in-law has ever been accused of being obsessed with Current Trends, Popular Fashion, or Keeping Up with the Joneses. She's happy to shop at garage sales and does not care that double knit hasn't yet made it's comeback. The first Thanksgiving that Tom and I were married, we had dinner at his parent's home. They used the good dishes. I would stash those dishes in the Rubbermaid camping supplies tub. She knows when Kmart discounts the almost-expired milk. She's thrifty, and pays cash for everything.

Shortly after we got married, I remember Tom telling me about a conversation he'd had with his mom. She was lamenting how automatic our society had become. This was in 1991 or 92. She said, "Pretty soon, you won't even need to talk to a real person at the bank. You'll just talk to a machine."

"Uh, Mom - they've had them for years. They're called ATM's. Automated Teller Machines."

She doesn't get out of the house nearly as much as we'd like for her to. One of the highlights of her week is to go with Tom and the boys to clean one of our churches. She always brings some kind of snack for the boys, usually a Little Debbie-type piece of junk food, sometimes a banana, maybe a candy cane. If she's been to the local business and industry show, or county fair, she'll bring pencils and writing tablets, rulers, and a flyswatter, along with every coloring book that every safety agency produces. During the 1/2 hour drive, the boys learn what meats are on sale at Chief, how Aunt Norma Jean is progressing with her chemo, how Aunt (name changed to protect the guilty) is wearing Uncle (name changed to protect the worn-out) out, what rebates Menards is offering, how mad Grandpa made her that week, and just how much she detests hearing what great sports scores various other relatives' grandkids are achieving.

Bucky likes to drink energy drinks, but if he does so, it's done in disobedience and stupidity. He learned the hard way that drinking a Monster at 9:00 pm is a great way to get a buzz that won't let you close your eyes all night. Making the trip to clean with Grandma and Dad one day, for some reason the conversation turned to caffeine and staying awake. Bucky said, "The only thing that keeps me awake at night is Monsters."

Grandma was very concerned. "Bucky! Do you have nightmares???"

Grandma couldn't be more proud of her grandkids. She gets irritated with Preston and Bucky, usually because they're trying to irritate her with stories of resisting the authorities, getting tattoos, or piercing their ears. But she thinks they're all that and a bag of chips, although she wouldn't have a clue what I just said! And she grew them a great Dad.

About the closest thing to being Hip that Grandma will ever be is that she has them.

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