Maiden Moments with the Nearly 90yo Grandfather

I got to see my grandfather last weekend. He'll be 90 later this year, he's got diabetes, a cane, and almost complete deafness not helped much by hearing aids. (Being a retired engineer, he has a habit of fiddling with things he shouldn't; odds are pretty good the hearing aids fell victim to that habit.)

Of course, he makes a fuss over his middle granddaughter--that's right, even as a grandchild, I am squarely in the middle, story of my life--and how lovely I am, etc., etc.

The follow-up to that is always, "How come no fella has come along and claimed you, huh?"

Usually, I can deflect the question with, "Oh, Pop-Pop, you know, I'm busy, it just hasn't happened yet, blah blah blah. . ."

Now, obviously he's in the later years of his life, and I'm sure part of it is the diabetes and part of it is just age, but he seems to be, in addition to more forgetful, even less inhibited in his speech than usual (which trust me was free enough already). So then he goes on to ask me, "Tell me, was there ever a fella you said 'No' to when you should've said 'Yes'?"

I was a bit stunned, but I guess I shouldn't have been. I also felt ashamed for some reason, as if I actually had been guilty of, I don't know and maybe I'm taking the wrong angle, attracting some nice guy and just turning him down for dates or whatever. I've really only avoided being asked out by one person, and that was because I felt zero attraction to him.

But I felt somewhat lousy at being asked that question. As if I had screwed up a chance at something good a long time ago, and now I'm paying the price with impending spinsterhood.

I don't think so, really, deep down. Am I a late bloomer? Yes. Am I introverted and a bit socially anxious? Absolutely. Yet trumping all of that: Do I believe, fun as it is not sometimes, that things are the way they are in accordance with the Lord's plans for me?

Yeah, I do.

Oh, and I also believe God has a HUGE sense of humor in that Pop-Pop later that afternoon also was a bit too free in speaking with me. . . about his first time.

With his late second wife.

Who was his secretary that he married about a year and a half after my grandmother passed away, so you have an idea of the speed with which I steered the conversation in another direction.

Later, while we were starting to get dinner started, my uncle was making daiquiris and asked if I wanted one. I told him I'd start with one and he needed to keep them coming. Everybody had a good laugh when I explained why (sparing them the actual details), I think my aunt and uncle, as well as my mom, have all been subjected to far too many "details" by Pop-Pop at some time or another.

Well, God gave me a Pop-Pop who's crazy about me--crazy enough to tell me too much, but that's O.K., because God also made booze for just such an occasion.

And He also managed to find a nice husband for my aunt when I'm sure some people considered her "older." They've been married almost 15 years now, and on top of being a good husband and uncle, he knows how to make a good mixed drink.

In the end, I got what I needed.

I guess that's what it always will come down to, eventually.


Solitary Diner said…
Ooh...gotta love the "too much information" conversations with relatives. When my brother got married, my grandmother (about 75 at the time) sent him a card that included the sage piece of advice that "Sex is very important in life, no matter how old you are". She had just gotten remarried a few years earlier. Shudder.
Kate P said…
S.D., that's hilarious! In a card, no less! Was that Hallmark?
My mom likes to recount the story of the elderly aunt of her best friend's husband. This aunt liked to maintain her appearance and even got her eyeliner tattooed. She told my mom and her best friend, "I wouldn't mind getting married again. But NO SEX." That was that!
Rob said…
I've been lucky in the TMI From Direct Relatives Department but my in-laws have said things that made me want to crawl under the table. They weren't old enough for me to find what they said charming.

I don't know about the no-spouse line of questioning but the no-children line goes away after a few too many years. Good to have an outlet (daiquiris). :)
Kate P said…
Rob--it seems to me that in-laws' gaffes are rarely charming. It's like a little too close to home or something. And yeah, the no-children question is rough, too. You know relatives mean well and it's supposed to be a compliment, but you just wish they'd, well, mean BETTER and just not say it.

I'm telling you, my uncle is a whiz with a blender and whatever fruit is in the fridge. I think it was watermelon but in any case it was cold and delicious.
Anonymous said…
Oh, wow.

I think the filters just sort of get too clogged once the relatives get on in years, and they just prefer to get to the point. They haven't got the time to waste anymore. Ladybug's grans had some... interesting questions for us while we were dating. And my own mom and grandmom have come up with some special moments too.

It's all part of the fun. And so are the daiquiris.
Kate P said…
'Fly--Yeah, it takes courage to face the old folks with your significant other, doesn't it? Sometimes I wonder if AARP sends out a packet of "awkward, pointed questions to ask youngsters" to elderly people.

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