Mizu (mizufae) wrote,


Okay background info:

My grandma on my Mom's side is grandma Toba. When she was in her 60s she had a heart attack and they gave her some medication that she was allergic to that caused her BRAIN TO HEMORRHAGE and they had to do surgery on her and she survived the heart attack and eek! End result: Grandma Toba is nutso. She had to relearn nearly everything in the language centers of her brain, although physically she was okay (apart from, yknow, the heart attack bit). This sucks bigtime because prior to the brain damage and the holes drilled in her head etc, she was not only a polyglot (look it up, rubes) but just generally verbally brilliant and even translated books into braille for blind folks and stuff.

She's now in her 80s and the rest of her is going. She's extremely forgetful and repetitive and talking to her is really emotionally and mentally taxing. But, y'know, she's Grandma so you do it. Also, bonus round: Grandma is really very rich. Fox News has been feeding her lies and she now thinks Obama is gonna take all her money and turn everyone communist and all that glorious crap. As a result she sends her children and grandchildren money fairly often, in some sort of convoluted grandma-thought-process that at least we'd be using it? I don't know, but I DO know that she is OBSESSIVE about making sure everyone gets the SAME amount, and is very very EVEN about it. If someone needs funding, like my cousin did for a student film he did, she'll end up sending all the rest of us the same amount for no reason. That's awfully sweet. Grandma's checks have pretty much kept me afloat in these past two years of being an unemployed depressed lump of nothing. Thank god for her.

More Background info:

I am the youngest of all my cousins. My cousin Richard is getting married this October down in Texas to a very wonderful girl that we all like very much. They're having this totally ridiculous giant black tie wedding extravaganza. Everyone in the family is trying their damnedest to make it down there because Grandma Toba is old and this is only the second marriage in our generation and the last time we all got together was for Grandpa's funeral and I suspect most everyone would like to replace some of those memories, you know? Anyway, there's a brunch and a reception and the wedding and the rehearsal dinner and god knows what else! Grandma lives in an apartment now and not a house with way too many rooms for her, so we're all going to be in a hotel, and I have to buy plane tickets to get down there and I've got all my shoes and dresses and god knows what else.

So today was a horrible day for me, I felt pretty sick and gross and I ate some bad food and I have slept the WEIRDEST hours, weird even for me. So some time this afternoon while I was rolling around feeling sorry for myself, my phone rang. I trudged up and looked at the caller ID. Grandma Toba, one of the two people I've programmed into the phone. Uuuuuugh. I couldn't stomach whatever was in my stomach, let alone an hour long phone conversation with her during which she'd drink whiskey and sob and forget things and tell me that I'm a communist and that she loves me and that poor people are stealing her money and that I need to marry a Jew to stay in the Tribe and that I have to make her some little great grandbabies and how she's dying dying dying. That's how it normally goes, anyway. She likes talking to me because I'm very frank about death. Other people in the family, when she talks about it, are all "oh don't SAY that" but I'm like "yeah, when you kick it, should we have fish platters or pastries?" But it takes a certain level of fortitude that I didn't have today. I put the phone back in its charging cradle and continued feeling shitty.

So I just decided to listen to the message she left me, cuz if I don't the little thingy on my phone will flash all night in the dark and drive me mad.

"Uh... hi. HI! This is your Grandma. Grandma Toba, that grandma. I just called because I wanted to tell you. I wrote you a check. It's to help you with the thing. To get here. It's a thousand dollars, I just put it in the mailbox so you should get it in a couple of days, so let me know. I just wanted to make sure you were okay, to help you with your expenses, to get here okay. For the... thing."
Then there's a pause and then, in a sort of pleading timbre,
"I'm looking so forward to seeing you. I think we'll have a wonderful time. I miss you. So I just wanted to help you, since you don't have very much, to get you down here alright. Alright? Okay. Bye!" Followed by the usual shuffles and clicks until she re-remembers how to hang up the phone.

Did Grandma Tobe, she of the completely insanely obsessive even-handed check-writing to the point of screwing over her own children so that her grandchildren get an even share, give just *me* money? She always says she's giving some to everyone else, too. I'm astounded.

And I'm a little sad I didn't pick up the phone, because she seemed pretty lucid (despite not remembering the word Wedding) and I could have commiserated with her. Oh well.

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