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Five Minutes with Flo

July 12, 2009

I have two grandmothers. Both are slightly insane, but in very diferent ways. This is a tale about my maternal grandmother who lives in New York. She lives up the block, but I don’t see her too often. This is the first time I have found the strength to have her be featured in her own post, but she has been previously mentioned.

My friend Michelle came over early in the morning, so we could get a jump on the day. She parked by my apartment, and we decided to walk for some coffee and bagels.  So, keep in mind – this is all pre-coffee. We were walking down Queens Boulevard, not far from my apartment when I spotted the Fogeymobile. My grandmother’s car was parked by a meter, and while she doesn’t live too far away, this was kind of unusual. There aren’t too many stores on this block, and she can’t walk very far – so I tried to see if I can find her.  Michelle had never met her, and since she has known me since high school, she has heard lots of stories. I figured this would be a perfect time for introductions.

(Insert montage of me peeking my head into a bodega, a knishery, a bank and a pizzeria. Big Flo was finally located at the pharmacy.)

I give Grandma a kiss, compliment her hair and introduce her to Michelle. I didn’t say anything about how I knew Michelle or anything. Just “Hi Grandma, this is my friend Michelle.” We were in CVS for a total of five minutes.  Maybe I am exaggerating. Possibly six? But – five. In this short period of time, I am going to list out the topics that Grandma covered.  Again, keep in mind – this is not only five minutes, but not a single question was asked of Michelle. In fact, I don’t think Michelle got a single sentence out.  This is the list as best I can recall, but I am sure I am forgetting something.

  • I’m a pretty girl but would look better with some lipstick
  • She has to give herself daily injections in her belly
  • How much the injections cost
  • She is osteoporosis-free
  • The neighborhood has gone downhill because of the damn Russians
  • Maybe Bloomberg is an asshole (this one had some great “ptoo-ptoo” spitting action – again, no questions were asked to see if Michelle was either Russian or a Bloomberg supporter)
  • She is lactose intolerant
  • She gets very bad gas
  • She provided us with her secret passwords for her computer
  • We also got the secret passwords for her bank account
  • Meter maids are bitches
  • She doesn’t like “pedis” because her feet are gross
  • The teenage girl who works across the street giving manicures and pedicures is an idiot
  • My mother’s doctor is a quack
  • I shouldn’t have gotten an apartment without looking at apartments in her building first
  • My apartment is too small
  • My new apartment is too small
  • My gall bladder surgery (years ago) made her angry
  • Her pre-cancerous moles
  • I used to chase her dog down hallways
  • We used to eat at the pizza place next door – they sucked and now they are better
  • She buys flowers from the bodega next door for her still-life class, you know – since she is a teacher
  • You know, she only needs this cane because it was raining last week

In a twist of fate, I saw her again today. Most of the above topics were repeated, but with some bonus material that is too exhausting to rehash.  Grandma reported today that  Michelle was a very nice girl, but a little quiet.

Five minutes.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. July 13, 2009 10:12 am

    LOL, sounds like my grandma.

  2. July 13, 2009 11:46 am

    If I recall correctly, I believe Grandma Flo called the manicurist an “asshole”.

    Favorite part = “Erica, you’re such a pretty girl but seriously, you could use some lipstick”. This is only slightly better than “Those damn Russians”

    Well, at least she thinks I’m a nice girl 🙂

  3. July 14, 2009 12:41 pm

    Omg. Can I hang out with her too? Please? Because that is AMAZING.

    • July 14, 2009 2:33 pm

      Sure – it’s all fun and games for five minutes. “Look at how adorably zany the crazy lady is!”

  4. July 14, 2009 9:48 pm

    I’ve been laughing about the secret passwords for more than a day now.

    I have an elderly and very weird aunt who, the last time I saw her, informed me that her chest is MUCH larger these days and then proceeded to lift up her shirt and show me, while I covered my face and screamed.

  5. July 14, 2009 11:36 pm

    oh my stars. You need to be on This American Life.


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