Grammie Knows Best
On the eve of what has been one of the most disappointing days over the past few years of my life, I reflected on what I learned from my grandmother, Shirley, who passed away in May. A staunch Conservative, “Grammie” would be very upset at the outcome of our presidential election – in fact, I think she may be scowling down from heaven right now. Yet, politics aside, until her last day on Earth, no matter a person’s political affiliation, Grammie treated everyone with grace and respect. In her honor (and despite my earlier outburst on Facebook regarding food stamps), I tried desperately today to maintain my composure, only breaking down a few times at work to offer my opinion on amendments to the Florida Constitution. These are trying times to be polite. However, when I think about Grammie I am reminded to always treat others how I wish to be treated and to know that we are all human beings each with our own unique way of seeing the world.
Here’s some of Grammie’s life lessons – be sure to take notes!
- If you are going to wear open-toed shoes, make sure to paint your nails. Yes, this is directed at the ladies. But men should be sure to groom their toes as well. No one wants to look at ugly feet.
- Never use the word “hate,” especially when directed at other people. Grammie would always say “Emily, we don’t hate. We just strongly dislike.” Well said Grammie, well said.
- Always be prepared to serve food to unexpected guests. When I informed Grammie that I had nothing to give to my first guest at my apartment except a bag of half-eaten potato chips, she immediately quipped that I could never invite anyone over without offering them something to eat or drink. It’s just plain rude.
- Read the newspaper daily. Be informed about current events. Therefore, you’re never at a loss for words at a cocktail party.
- After you read the newspaper, make sure you attempt the crossword puzzle. Keep your mind sharp.
- Never eat meat on Good Friday. I didn’t get the chance to learn the reasoning behind this but we just DON’T DO IT.
- Wear the best perfume you can afford. (Or, in Grammie’s case, your husband can afford. Grampie always pampered her with the latest scent every Christmas.)
- Don’t be ashamed to be one of the guys. My Grammie and Grampie went fishing together in the wilds of Florida, into the backwoods with four-wheel drive. They motored through little passages near Kissimmee, carrying the boat on their shoulders over land to the next fishing hole. Grammie could keep up with the best fishermen. When my grandparents were married in the early 1950s, my Grampie said “Shirley, either you learn to fish or you spend a lot of time home alone. ” Needless to say, Grammie learned to fish.
- Always be prepared. This means: stock up on toilet paper, buy two of everything (at least), be sure to carry a snack in your purse, and have a stash of birthday cards on hand for impromptu parties and occasions.
- Take pride in your appearance. Always do your hair and makeup. Take advantage of those little samples at the makeup counter. If you can’t seem to find your blush, pinch your cheeks.
My gorgeous Grammie in the Easter suit she sewed herself. (I’m guessing this is the early 1960s?)