I call her “Mama” instead of Grandma… Due to being the only grandchild for ten years, and that is what my mother, aunt, and uncles were calling her, and no one ever corrected me.
Now it’s hard for me to catch up with Grandma… I have to make an appointment with her. She's always busy.
First of all I have to gear her up for a day together…
“Mama, I’m gonna call you so we can see when we going to the movies!”
Then I just keep calling her all week.
So we finally hooked up this Saturday, after she finished up her Avon orders, etc.
She didn’t even wait for me to knock on the front door. She stuck her head out the door and asked if I was coming in. I said no. She ran and got a coat, just in case it was cold in the theatre.
She walked outside in her favorite lavender sweatsuit and a pair of brand new sneakers.
Grandma was comfortable and ready!!
I walked around the yard and admired her beautiful flowers. I asked her a few questions about them, since I want to plant a few in my front yard. Her answers were LONG and complicated.
Shoot, squash that. Why don’t I just have her help me next year with my flowers.
Now, you gotta understand something about my grandma. The last movie she saw at the theatre was Antoine Fisher, and I took her to see that…
The last movie she saw before that was The Ten Commandments…
Yeah you heard me right… The Ten Commandments. Yeah, with Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner. Back in 1956…
She was telling me how she had to sit in the Colored peoples section up in the balcony at the Fox Theatre.
Let’s just say she gets overly excited when she realizes that we can sit wherever we want to sit…
And she loves the idea of cupholders on the seats. She thinks that is an ingenious idea!
Grandma has a small, barely audible voice.
But doggonit, she sure does know how to talk through the whole movie!! She is five feet tall. I am 5’7”. So I have to lean down to hear her.
She kept gently shaking my arm, and leaning over, placing her hand to her mouth, asking questions and making comments. I got a crook in my neck due to all the hard leaning in her direction…
“Now who is that, is that the mama?”
“Oooooh, Sugar, he hit her… He hit her!”
“I think he wants to make love to her, Sugar.”
“What’s that lady’s name? Yeah, Cecily Tyson.”
“He sure is a handsome man.”
“They’re gonna make love, Sugar.”
“I bet she want to make love with him.”
“Sugar what is he asking her?”
“Are they gonna make love?”
Damn, what was up with all of those doggone making love questions??
*Ladylee cringing each time Grandma asked her about the making of love!*
I took Grandma out to eat after the movie. Nothing fancy, just Red Lobster. My brother happens to work at the Camp Creek location, so we went there.
Grandma and I talked for awhile… Then she whispered her favorite phrase…
Look a there, Look a there!
Look who’s here!
It was my smiling brother. He is no longer a busboy. He is now a host!
I was smiling too… I was gonna try to work a hook up!!
I have to fight grandma to get her to order what she wants.
"You ever had lobster, grandma? Get a lobster."
She shook her head no. “That’s too expensive,” she whispered.
Grandma ended up getting fried flounder, shrimp and clams. I got the lobster and crabs.
My brother kept walking by checking on us…
I gave him that hard look that use to scare him straight when he was a little boy…
“Psst...Come here, boy," I beckoned. "Go get me some shrimp.”
“Na’ll Lee, I can get you some nice hot biscuits.”
“Man, go head on with all that. Hook a sista up. Bring me a couple more snow crabs," I whispered.
"And grab another lobster tail while you at it.”
“Lisa, I can get you some more of them good ol’ cheddar cheese biscuits.”
“Aw hell man, get on somewhere... and bring us some more cocktail sauce and tea!!”
Grandma and I went to Barnes and Nobles after that. I took her to the religious section. Grandma has a degree in Bible Psychology, and has over 3000 spiritual and religious books at home. So she was EXTREMLY excited about picking out a new book.
Then a chocolatety tall brother showed up out of nowhere and commenced to grilling me about my church. I’ve been a member for 5 years and he just started going… I felt like I was on trial or something.
Grandma was over to the side, concentrating hard, smiling and stacking books.
Shoot. I was mentally drained after talking to that brotha. And grandma didn't even try to rescue me... She just kept stacking books!!
Grandma had about 8 books, which caused me to gasp. But she ended up getting three. I bought those for her. She was all smiles…
So it was a great day… I took her home, and made sure she got in the house okay...
But you know I am longwinded… And I can’t end it there…
I did my favorite Auntie story last post…So..
My favorite grandma story.
Back in 1995, when I was in my mid-twenties, I lived in Grant Park, a nice little intown community near the Atlanta Zoo. I was in grad school then, and was able to walk to school everyday, and my old Nova pretty much basically sat in the front yard. So it was hard to tell if I was home or not.
But Grandma lived in Hunter Hills, which is about 5 miles away.
So she liked to drop by ever so often while doing her Avon deliveries. I was usually in school and would miss her. But this old man name Mr. Bobby who lived in the duplex next to my duplex would give me the rundown of who came by everyday.
He was nosy like that. That old dude would wake up at five in the morning, get dressed and sit in an old wooden chair on the front porch, way before the crack of dawn.
And he would sit in that rickety chair until well after dark, sometimes until nine or ten at night.
Shoot, since he was around, and it was summer, I rarely locked my doors or closed my windows. He was like a security guard or something.
“Ladylee, some gal came knocking on your door at 8:52 a.m. this morning.”
“Ladylee, the landlord asked about you, around noon today.”
Now, I was running two men at this time: my short muscular main man, and my tall chocolatety bald headed goatee sportin' man on the side.
Mr. Bobby seem to have a full understanding that he didn’t need to be messing up my action…
“Ladylee, some tall bald-headed fella came looking for you, oh, I say around 2:15 p.m. I told him you was gone to school.”
“Ladylee, some short muscular boy was knocking on your door. He said he would be back.”
Yeah, Mr. Bobby had my back when it came to not ratting me out. And that was cool.
Well, I’d had company one hot summer night…
Let’s just make a long story short. I decided to skip school that next morning.
I would rather stay wrapped around this particular guy than go fool with school. Shoot, I didn’t even call my advisor with a lie as to why I wasn’t coming in for my normal ten hour stretch of research…
I was just going to stay in bed with the tall chocolatety goateed brother.
I heard a tap on the door. I decided to ignore it. I had the latch on the screen door. They could just keep on knocking.
And that’s what happened. I wasn’t going to answer the door. Then my eyes got big. I thought it may have been the other man!
I left the dude in the bed, got up and put on a pair of sweats. I tip-toed through my duplex and went to the front window. I had the blinds positioned just right so that I could see out of them without disturbing them…
It was Grandma!!!!
My heart jumped…
She was standing there, clutching her purse tightly...
Dang… If grandma knew her sweet innocent baby girl Lee had a man up in here…
Damn, damn, damn!!!
Alright, I thought. I just won’t answer the door… All of the windows were open. I thought I would just stay quiet until she left.
I slowly backed away from the window.
Then I heard Mr. Bobby yell…
“Keep knocking! She ain’t came out that house at all this morning. Keep knocking! She in there. She sho is! Keep knocking.”
“OH SHIT!” I said a little too loud.
“Go on around the side and knock on that side window. She in there!”
“Oh, alright then,” was all I heard grandma say.
Imagine how I felt, my sweet little grandma walking around my duplex, knocking on windows. I felt so, so bad.
I ran to the back and woke up the tall chocolatety brotha. “Old Boy, my grandma is here. Don’t you say nothing. Just stay back here in the bed, alright.”
He nodded okay.
I shut the bedroom door tight. I let grandma in the house.
“You okay Sugar?”
“Yeah, Mama, come on in.”
She came in and chilled for a minute. She sat there on my white couch, smiling and clutching her purse, legs crossed comfortably at the ankles. Said she was just in the neighborhood, and wanted to see me. She couldn’t stay long.
She stayed for about fifteen minutes. She usually stays for a couple of hours.
I wondered if she noticed how nervous I was.
I was glad to see her leave.
I talked to my Auntie later that day.
“Auntie, you need to talk to yo Mama!!”
“About what?” Auntie asked.
“She can’t be just showing up like she do. I had some company. You need to talk to her!”
Auntie hesitated for a moment. “Oh, oh, okay, yeah, I’ll talk to her. I’ll tell her to call before she comes over.”
“Yeah, do that!”
Look. I don’t know WHAT Auntie said to Grandma that day. (Auntie is a bit gangsta). But every since then, Grandma will not come over unexpectantly, even if she’s in the neighborhood. It was close to a couple of months before she even came to see my new house!
Auntie must have said something to SCARE my poor grandma.
Humph. We’ll never know.
I wanted to go off on Mr. Bobby. But you gotta have respect for old people. I'd just have to be more careful.
Right now, I am content with just going and picking her up for the day, taking her grocery shopping, to a movie, or out to eat. And she just LOVES these big fancy bookstores! She really pointed out some good spiritual books that I may have to swing back through and get.
I hope to see her again soon…
And somehow, I hope to convince her that it is okay to drop by my house whenever she wants!!