I Don’t Help My Grandmother Because She’s Old

If you’ve been reading this blog for a bit now, you’ll know that I love to tell about my Babcia, partly because I adore her, and partly because she’s hilarious.  (You should know that she’s a strong, independent woman who looks like a cross between the queen of England and Barbara Bush.)

I met her for a recent cardiologist appointment, as I tend to do.  (Don’t be jealous: I also take on  dentist appointments, periodontist appointments and, if my mom isn’t able to join her, any other astonishingly fun medical outings that find their way onto our schedules.  We’re a wild bunch of women.)

When I went to assist her down the steps of her living facility’s shuttle bus, where the amazing Kiko had driven her someplace other than the Dollar Tree, pedicurist and Winn Dixie this week (don’t judge… Kiko is amazing!), she proclaimed, “I don’t need help.  Don’t treat me like I”m old.”

Again, let’s revisit the fact that she’s 91 years old, but admire that she doesn’t FEEL 91 years old, and still dresses with more pizzazz than I do on any given day.

The woman wears Jones New York suits to Publix, folks.

Fast forward to the end of the appointment.

Upon being asked to “hop down” from the exam table (seriously?!), the nurse left the room.  Babcia looked at me, and we both knew there’d be no hopping.  I’m fairly certain all hopping ended years ago.

With that, I helped her as she sat up and she put on her brilliant royal blue jacket.   I carefully helped her off the exam table, her little legs dangling off the edge, and looked her right in the eye.

“I’m not helping you because you’re old,” I said to all 5’2.5″ of her.  “I’m helping you because you’re short.”

And with that, we were both in stitches of laughter.  She’s totally fine with that.  Just don’t call her old.

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Why No One Steals Her Beer

From time to time, we’ll invite my Babcia (in case you missed it, Babcia, pronounced “Bob-Cha,” is my 91-year-old Polish grandmother), over for happy hour.  While she’ll tell you that she can no longer drink with a sad, reminiscent look in her eye, this woman used to be able to toss them back.

She drank Dewar’s, a blended Scotch Whiskey on the rocks.

She had beer delivered RIGHT to her apartment when she lived in Center City Philadelphia.

In her years before she had my mother, she played piano in bars… and was paid in alcohol.

But, she doesn’t drink anymore, thanks to a rockstar cocktail of medications that, well, have kept her in her rockstar status since her stroke eight years ago.

So, imagine when we had this conversation:

Babcia, facing the Macbook Pro we used to dial my mom: “I’m drinking Odles at Mara’s now.”

My mom, via Facetime: “You’re drinking what?”

Babcia: “Odles.”

Mom, now looking to me: “I have no idea what that is, but okay.”

Me: “O’Doul’s, Mom.  She’s drinking O’Doul’s.”

Babcia, later that evening as I dropped her off, she let me know that she should have brought the leftover beer back with her, fearing that my craft beer loving husband would consume all of her precious O’Doul’s.

And much to her pleasure, I’ve reassured her several times since, that even when our fridge is almost bare, the way the fridge of two working professionals can get, one thing remains: no one, and I mean NO ONE, touches her Odles.

Frog with beer quote

The Birthday Card from Babcia

At lunch on Saturday, my 91-year-old grandmother, Babcia (picture a cross between the Queen of England and Barbara Bush and then pronounce it BOB-CHA) let us know she got my stepfather a birthday card, and the dog on the cover looked EXACTLY like my parents’ oldest daschund, Lil, featured as the cover girl for this post.

(My momma took this photo. You’ll find tons of photos of my parents’ sweet girl on my mom’s Instagram account with hashtags like #seniordog #blinddog #deafdog. I kid you not.  But she’s adorable and lovable and my stepdad used to sing her show tunes when she was a puppy.  Again, I kid you not. It WAS some enchanted evening!)

Lil

Back to lunch.

Babcia let us know that the dog on the front of the card looked so much like Lil that she felt the need to sign her own name.

Because, you know, clearly my now-older-than-last-year stepfather would have gotten confused that the card would have otherwise been from his beloved canine.

Babcia told us in great detail, for several minutes, about this dog: the color of its fur, the length of its fur, its brown eyes, you name it.  I had a full mental image of a brown, black and tan long-haired dachsund with skinny little legs.

Until my mom lovingly chimed in.

“Mar,” she said, “the dog on the front of the card was a basset hound.”

#itsagoodthingBabciahasakillersenseoffashion‬ #sheclearlyisntadoglover