My mother and father moved away from the large part of our family when I was little. Since it was so far a drive, I usually only saw my grandmother once a year at Christmas. A few other times my father would suggest going to see her but my mother was always reserved when the subject came up and so often my father would go alone. I always thought my mother was being a bit ornery when it came to my grandmother but now I see why she tried her hardest to avoid my her.
On a rare occasion, my mother, father, and I went down to see my grandmother. My grandmother had just remodeled her bathroom and, being one of those people who likes to fish for complements, kept asking my mother for her opinion. My mother kept smiling and telling her how lovely it was and other non-committal remarks but my grandmother kept asking because she wasn’t getting the opinion she wanted.
Finally, my grandmother told my mother to give it to her straight and tell her exactly what she thought about her bathroom. My mother mentioned that perhaps bright yellow walls wasn’t the best color for a bathroom that had a pink bathtub and dark colored sink. My grandmother laughed before saying, “Well, you know what? You better talk to my ass because that’s the only one who gives a shit.”
You could have heard a pin drop. I was so shocked that my grandmother had demanded my mother’s opinion and when she had voiced it my grandmother had insulted her that I couldn’t even think of a single thing to say to get the conversation going. Needless to say, now I understand why my mother doesn’t like to visit my grandmother. 1213-10