Saturday, March 3, 2012

Get the message?

Do you ever wonder what your life might be like if you get to wander the planet until you are 90? Do you have visions of sitting back relaxing, taking comfort in the fact that you survived, knowing that your life was full, reflecting on the loving people you surrounded yourself with? Being at peace? Every now and then I have little warning signs telling me that such a utopia just might something I have to battle against DNA to achieve.

My grandmother does not really understand the allure of pampering oneself to such outlandish things as massages. It is not because she has ever tried such nonsense and was unimpressed, but rather just not an idea that fits into her vision of how one should spend her time. Relaxation equals boredom to her on some level, which leads me to think she is just not trying hard enough to relax, as I have now witnessed that relaxation is pure bliss
. Another piece of the content puzzle I think my grandmother is missing comes from her notion that friends are an obligation (true quote). I can't delve any further into that here because it conjures up a storm of angst and sorrow inside of me. I only offer it to help explain why the matriarch would not understand the joy we women shared at the spa. I think her knowledge of the event was limited to my mother's participation, as to not let on that two other women (my aunt and myself) in her bloodline had lost their minds as well.

Although somewhere along the line, Grandma forgot whatever she was told. The memory loss is completely understandable, but ignorance is not bliss and what happened from there was the antithesis of relaxation...

Clearly the spa we were at has some sort of bubble surrounding most of the grounds. My aunt's cellphone started chirping first, as she closed her locker, after putting her street clothes back on. My grandmother had called her. As I looked up, after sliding my feet back into my shoes, my cellphone sprang to life to let me know I had a message. I had missed a call two minutes before, with my phone nestled in my robe pocket. My grandmother had called me as well leaving a message to call her. I think this is the second time ever that she has called my cellphone, but something told me there was no reason to be overly alarmed. Before we get to the reason for the calls, let me reconstruct what I now know...

  • Four messages left for my mother at work between 2:30 and 3:30 asking that she call her
  • 3:33 called my aunt at work, and hung up
  • 3:38 called my aunt's cell phone and left a message to call her
  • 3:47 called my aunt at work, and hung up
  • 3:52 called my house phone and talked to my daughter, but only asking if I was home
  • 3:53 called my cell phone and left a message to call her
  • At 4:02, when I called her back, she had already called my mother's house phone and spoken to my stepfather (I am not sure how many attempts she had made there before he got home.)
I could still hear some bit of angst in her voice by the time we spoke, but she had pretty much been calmed off the ledge...for the most part. She started explaining to me that she was wondering if my mother was going to stop by her house the following day, and when her messages weren't returned she started to worry (those four messages, left within an hour). Then she called my aunt to find out where my mother was, and again panicked that ten minutes went by without a message being returned. Obviously I didn't have the insane phonecall timeline when she was telling me the source of her concern. My stepfather had reminded her that my mother was having "you know, her day", so then I was asked if I thought my aunt was alright. I told her they were together, and since she didn't ask where I was, I felt no need to tell her that I was in the passenger seat of my aunt's car.

In one hour, my grandmother managed to convince herself that certain doom had befallen both of her daughters, in unrelated tragedies, at their respective workplaces. AND THAT NOBODY CALLED HER TO TELL HER APPARENTLY! I know she has clocks that work in her home, able to tell her that ample time for a message to be returned had not gone by. There was no urgent need for her to speak to my mother to begin with, which makes the whole thing even more (or maybe less...not sure) entertaining (or maybe exhausting?).

She does have a son, but to the best of my knowledge he was not included on this telephone tree. However, there was a day that all three of her children were unavailable, so I got the phonecall inquiring as to their whereabouts. Again, it started on a whim of her just trying to get in touch with one of them. Somehow we have been fortunate that the few times she actually needed assistance, the person she called answered their phone. I could add that she occasionally, and accidentally, pulls the phone cord out of the wall in her bedroom. That means none of us can reach all...until somebody goes over there to check on her and plugs it back in.


  1. It is very difficult for some people not to be anxious and everything becomes worrying at the drop of a hat. That tendency must have worked for her at some point, right? I am just glad that everything was okay!

    1. I am not sure that it ever worked, I think she just holds out hope that it has to some day! :)

  2. Then again, when she was young, they probably still had those switchboard operators, so she would always be able to at least talk to somebody. Either that, or carrier pidgeons. Now she just has to leave a message. I wonder if, when you get older, because there is so little time left in your life (relatively) that 1 hour seems like a whole day!

    1. Now all I can picture is Lily Tomlin's switchboard operator character...she'd have calmed Gram right down. Interesting time concept!

  3. Awwww. Little bit of heartbreak for your grandma. So glad there was not an emergency.

    This puts a little kibosh on the theory that MTV has made the younger generation junkies for immediate gratification. I think, in some ways, we're all a little like that.

    1. Sometimes her apb's have a different vibe to them, so I will post one of those soon. My heart was a little sad for a little bit when I heard the remaining ounce of panic in her voice.

  4. andrea, I am sorry your spa day was interrupted! the one time you are trying to do something for yourself is the time of course your grandmother panics and wonders where everybody went. boo. couldn't she wait to panic of a few hours? I hope you still got to relax a little bit...........