[I promise you, by the end of this post, the title and this picture will totally make sense. Original photo (before I bastardized it) can be found here.]
Oh, Mother’s Day – every year, it gives my mom an excuse to scream “STOP IT! IT’S MOTHER’S DAY!” at me for acting in exactly the way I always do. Which is understandable, considering my mother is a very upstanding member of society who never speaks ill of people and always looks put together, and I’m a sloppy hot mess who can’t stop insulting random people on the street.
It’s terrible, really. I feel bad for her. All she wanted was a blonde, smiley, social butterfly of a daughter, and what she got was evil demon spawn. My inability to take anything seriously makes her want to pull her hair out. I laugh about how the elevator almost killed me, she screams at me because my aunt’s boyfriend back in the 80s got his head smashed by an elevator and he became a vegetable. And it was even worse because he was a successful doctor! How could I even joke about that?!
Then I joke that we should throw open our car doors and clothesline the cyclists. And she screams at me because an acquaintance in college got killed when someone opened their car door in front of his motorcycle.
I really can’t win with her.
But never once have I doubted our relation. This is because my mom’s parents are EVEN WORSE THAN ME.
My grandparents are like my second set of parents.
My grandmother, by all outward appearances, is sweet and loving. She takes her mentally challenged neighbor to the grocery store every week. She gets up at five in the morning and walks the dogs of her ill friends. She grew up in Paraguay the daughter of a missionary, and later taught English as a second language to underprivileged kids.
But if my grandmother walks up to you on the street to tell you how beautiful your baby is, do not mistake her intentions – you’ve just been Evil G’mad!
The second you turn the corner, a smile on your face – remnants of the pleasure you got from hearing from a complete stranger that your child is gorgeous – my grandma has turned to me and said, WHAT AN UGLY BABY!
Seriously. Every time.
It’s like my grandmother gets some kind of thrill out of purposely going up to parents of unfortunate-looking infants and lying to their faces. It’s awesome. And it makes me feel better about my insatiable need to call everyone I see fat and ugly.
Oh top of this, my grandfather is a Class A psycho. We tend to picture 80-year-old dudes as sweet, innocent old men. In the case of my grandpa, this is not even remotely true. Gramps is a bonafide Dirty Old Man – a recovered alcoholic, former undercover narcotics officer, truck driver, and musical prodigy who was expelled from college for selling term papers to his fellow students and charging by the grade. Now in his eighties, my grandpa likes to tell stories about that one time he flipped his car six times and hit a tree but walked away without a scratch because he was drunk, and that other time when he and his brother were in elementary school and decided to steal their dad’s gun to hold up an ice cream parlor.
[A few months back, my grandfather was in the hospital. I asked him if he needed anything. This was his actual response. Like I said, I knew I got that "not being able to take anything seriously" gene from somewhere!]It is important to note that my grandfather is from an extremely wealthy and powerful family. The wacky ones always are.
Anyway, no one gets my mom’s blood boiling like her dad, even on Mother’s Day. We were driving out to have lunch with my brother near his college, because my grandfather had been yowling about never getting to drive on the freeway anymore. Halfway there, the real fun begins.
Mom: I would not go to Mexico right now, it’s so dangerous because of the drug cartels!
Grandpa: We just need to legalize dope.
Mom: IT’S NOT JUST DOPE! They are bringing meth over the border!
Grandpa: Meth is good for you.
Mom: HOW DO YOU FIGURE THAT, DAD?!
Grandpa: It makes fat people skinny. [At this point, I am snickering uncontrollably, because I know this isn’t going to end well]
Mom: AND THEN IT MAKES THEIR TEETH FALL OUT! It’s highly addictive, Dad!
Grandpa: Is it as addictive AS SEX?!! [insert two straight minutes of my grandfather’s famous evil chuckling]
My mother is now seething. And yelling at Gramps for being wildly inappropriate.
We arrive at the restaurant, which means things are about to get a lot worse. My grandfather is absolutely notorious for being a disruptive asshole at eateries.
We’re at the Olive Garden (because we’re damn classy like that), and the waitress approaches to ask if we would like to try some wine. My grandfather starts off with a bang:
Grandpa: DO YOU SELL IT BY THE GALLON?! [Remember, my grandfather is a recovered alcoholic who hasn’t taken a drink in 20 years.]
Waitress: Ummm….no? [Sometimes we get a waitress that can roll with the punches. Other times we get one that is absolutely terrified of my grandpa’s antics. This one was the latter. She was damn lucky he didn’t try to order opium – he does that quite frequently.]
My mother tries to avert disaster by asking my grandmother if she’d like some wine. My grandfather shrieks, “LIPS THAT HAVE TOUCHED WINE WILL NEVER TOUCH MINE!”
Later, when our food arrives, the waitress offers my mother some Parmesan cheese. My grandfather had gotten his plate before her, and he immediately becomes terrified that he will not be offered any cheese.
Grandpa: Hey, hey, am I getting cheese? I want cheese. Can you get me some cheese?! Hey, CHEESE. DO I GET CHEESE?!!Poor girl can’t get a word in edgewise. At this point, we are all yelling, “GRANDPA! HOLD ON A SECOND! SHE WILL GIVE YOU SOME CHEESE!”
Waitress: Yes sir, I, hold on…I’m…
Grandpa: CHEESE! I WANT SOME CHEESE ON MY PASTA!
My mother – as always – tries to change the subject. And somehow, the first thing she thinks of is that the lawsuit against the LAPD filed by the family of Notorious B.I.G. was finally dismissed last month.
My grandmother smiles. She says, Oh yes, we were there - so much caution tape!
Wait, what? You were WHERE?
The museum! We didn’t know what the caution tape was for! continues my grandmother, as if this is the most normal conversation in the world.
YOU WERE WHERE, GRANDMA??!!
YES, THAT’S RIGHT, MY FREAKING GRANDPARENTS SHOWED UP TO THE PETERSON AUTOMOTIVE MUSEUM IN DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES THE MORNING AFTER BIGGIE WAS MURDERED. Are. You. Fucking. Kidding. Me.
They had absolutely no idea what was going on, so they merrily skirted around the caution tape and had a fabulous day looking at classic cars.
Point One: I have the most badass grandparents on the planet. I mean, they’re evil, disruptive, AND THEY SHOW UP AT THE MURDER SCENE OF A FAMOUS RAPPER AND THEY DON’T EVEN BAT AN EYE.
Point Two: Screw this whole six degrees of separation crap. You guys, I AM SEPARATED FROM BIGGIE SMALLS BY ONLY ONE DEGREE. (And death, of course). ONE DEGREE!!! I practically knew him! THIS IS THE BEST NEWS I’VE HAD ALL YEAR!
[Sorry, my best friend Biggie. I can only look so gangsta.]
Best. Mother’s Day. EVER.