I suppose I could talk about my mother for Mother’s Day, but let’s be honest: she’s kind of boring. She goes to work, and then she watches CSI and spends hours on Facebook. My grandmother is the interesting one. So here are three things that make my grandmother interesting:
1. She has an iPad. Granted, I talked her into it but still, she went out and bought it herself. This woman is terrified at the idea of using the remote control for her cable box, so going out for an iPad was a pretty big deal for her. I wrote her a note which read “iPad 16GB, Black, NO 3G” and she took it to the store, found a sales person and said “I want one of these.” For the last year she’d used it to look at the news and weather, watch her favourite movie via the NFB app, read Coronation Street spoilers and free books, and play games. She refuses to join Facebook (can’t say I blame her) and while she has an email account, she only uses it when I go away and email her. Recently she graduated to letting me put movies and TV shows on there, and for Easter I bought Up from iTunes for her and she watches it once a week. She hasn’t quite gotten brave enough to hook the iPad up to the TV, though I bought her the cord, and I’m trying to talk her into the joys of using it to find knitting patterns. Whenever she gets frustrated with it and says she’ll never get the hang of using it, I remind her that not everyone her age (she’s almost 80) knows how to use a computer, and every day I talk to people who are MY AGE who don’t know how to use a computer, so the fact that she has one and learned how to use it is something to be proud of.
2. She’s the bird lady. Not like the bird lady in Mary Poppins who sits on the steps and is covered in pigeons. She has her own horde in the yard. It all started when I put a seed bell up one year. The woodpeckers came and Granny was fascinated, so she bought a few more and put them all over the yard. Then she bought a bag of seeds and threw the seeds under the bell for the birds who didn’t get a shot at the bell. Now there are mourning doves, grackels, finches, chickadees, bluejays, woodpeckers, squirrels, chipmunks, and I swear to god DUCKS. Now not only are they on the side of the house where I put the seed bell up, but there’s a small army of birds living in the shrubs in front of her house. The shrubs are overgrown and hideous, but she refuses to cut them too much BECAUSE THE BIRDS LIVE THERE. So she’s basically Master of the Birds. It’s a good thing she is a nice lady, otherwise I’m sure if she told them to unleash hell on mankind they’d do it because she brings the food.
3. She learned to drive in her 60s. After my grandfather died, Granny was left with no way to get to the grocery store except for the bus, which just sucks ass. She lives out in the boonies. My mother doesn’t know how to drive, and I was only 15 at the time so I couldn’t take her, so since she had the car she learned how to drive it. She called up one of those driving schools and got some old guy who used to be an RCMP officer to take her out. She backed the car into the side of the house and cried, swore she’d never get back in the car again. She failed her driving test twice (this was back when the test was more than just a 4-block drive), and once she got her license she totaled the car. But she’s still driving 20 years later.
True, she can’t cook, she always interprets the news wrong, and her vision of home repair usually involves contact paper, but overall she know’s what’s up, and that’s why she’s interesting.