Friday, February 19, 2010

Look What Fell Off My Family Tree - Grandparents Edition

Today’s guest blogger is the lovely and talented Sara from Sara Spelled Without an H. Sara is sharing a tale of eccentric grandparents. I totally can’t relate to this because my grandparents were (insert eye roll) soooooooooooo normal.

On with the show. . .
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Everyone has an interesting tale or two about his or her grandparents. Well, today I would like to introduce you to mine.

May God help you all.

My grandparents lived in the same house for probably 30 years. For the final third of that time, all they did was complain about what a crappy house it was.

It's old. It's drafty. The basement smells funny. The kitchen isn't big enough. There are too many stairs. The driveway isn't paved. There's no garage. The yard is too small.

Anyone who heard them talking about this house would've assumed they lived in a Rubbermaid tub in the basement of a power plant.

About five years ago, they finally found a smaller house, all on one level (which was their greatest concern) and it just happened to be next-door to good friends of ours.

When they were first looking at the house, it had a mild Southwestern flair that was very colorful, yet still tasteful. Everyone they brought by to see it commented on how they would barely have to change a thing, appliances, decor and all the rest.

Once they officially bought the house, all hell broke loose.

They gutted that thing.

The brand new carpet was torn up ("...because it was just disgusting!").

The small, quirky borders were ripped off ("...because they were tacky!").

The new appliances were exchanged for newer ones ("...because they were in such bad shape!")

The kitchen tile was replaced. Not once. Nay, not twice. Thrice did someone come to the house, rip up the tile and replace it because my grandma insisted that one or two of the tiles was the wrong color (though she be blind as a bat).

After this metamorphosis had been going on for a few months, I remember stopping by one day with my mom to see my grandmother.

"Would you two look at these paint samples? I can't decide what to paint the walls and I'm just sick of looking at them."

I love paint samples (don't ask me why), so I quickly agreed.

My mother and I looked at them, glanced up at each other and then looked back down.

I scanned over them, sure that at least one or two might be a pale shade of yellow or a robin's egg blue, but alas. All I saw was eggshell, ivory, ecru, enamel, stucco, mother of pearl, and of course, white.

I started to laugh, because I was sure this was a joke. I looked up at my grandma and said, "They're all white." I looked over at my mom, who was suddenly staring very intently at the ceiling.

I looked back at my grandma. She was staring blankly at me. This was not a joke.

Quickly trying to recover, I looked back at them and said, "Well, this um, Winter White is a nice shade, but this, uh, this beige might be a little warmer, if you want."

In the end, the carpet was the color of faded khaki, the kitchen tile was the color of minced onions and the walls were a lovely shade of off-white.

It is the most vanilla house you have ever seen.

A few years have passed since the purchase and renovations were completed. Now, when we go over to their house, we hear a brand new set of complaints.

This house is too small. There's no cabinet space in the kitchen. It's so cold. We have no storage. The people across the street are too loud. The hospitals are really far away.

I simply smile and say, "Yes, it IS a lovely house!"


Thanks for guest posting Sara!
Now, readers, your job is to do two things -
1) Leave comments for Sara here.
2) Go to her blog, read her posts and follow her in a devoted, almost cult-like fashion.

24 Your comments, banter and witty repartee:

hokgardner said...

Ahh, grandparents. You've got to love them.

Insanitykim said...

Wow. Just, wow.

Excuse me while I go cry now. My tears will be transparent with a blue hue. And I am sure they will sting. There are always too many tears falling at once.

foxy said...

Gotta love that Sara with no H! And great story, per usual.

Love, Sarah (with an H -see?)

MiMi said...

Oh geez, wonder what their favorite ice cream is...?


i love sara! and it is old people's job to bitch and complain. what else would they do all day?

Existential Waitress said...

I soooo relate to this b/c my grandparents are perpetual movers and all they do is complain about their current living situation. They buy houses and then completely gut them. after they've finished what they consider "Emergency renovations" - b/c how can anyone live like this?! They move b/c where they live is either too hot, too cold, too humid, or their seasonal allergies are too bad. We never know what their current address is b/c they move so much - and quite frankly, they are getting so old and senile we're not even sure that THEY know their address at any given moment! Great post.

Amy said...

Yay Sara!! You are one of my favorite new-found bloggers!!

Hilarious story! I think it's a genetic predisposition to get crankier as one ages! My husband's grandmother is the queen of this.

She's cold, She can't hear the TV, Someone needs to get her another glass of wine....

I find it hysterical, but it annoys the crap out of everyone else.

linlah said...

I'm going to be bitchy now so I can be the cool grandma when I have grandkids.

Erin said...

My grandparents were much the same, and I keep vowing to myself that I won't be that way. But I'm sure I'll forget (b/c I'll get Alzheimer's) and wind up doing the same stuff!

Monique-aka-Surferwife23 said...

I am already Sara's numero uno fan. And of course this story didn't disappoint.

I can't wait until I am a grandma and I can freely bitch about everyone and everything.

blueviolet said...

I wonder if we'll all grow up to be vanilla grandparents too!

Sara said...

DG, you do so honor me!

I was super busy today and just now linked back to you, so forgive me. It was not due to lack of interest, just lack of time.

Tracie said...

My parents are exactly like that. Except that they only paint everything a blinding shade of white. Their walls are so white that my mom uses white out to patch the paint. I am not joking.

Sarah Nicole said...

I love Sara without an H. Her blog is amazing. Love this post, I think I've met some older people like this. (My grandma) But they keep life fun, right?

Heidi said...

Sara is hilarious...I look forward to her antics. (And by check in, I mean, stalk her blog daily for new posts.) I'm with Monique - I can't wait to be old and crotchety. Until then, we all have our own grandparents to deal with, right? I love that her grandparents completely renovated their home...I've been begging my husband for four years to renovate one part of our home, much less the whole thing. More power to them!

KK said...

My theory, old people get to say whatever they want. I mean they do anyway, I might as well act like it was my idea and give them my approval!

Alyssa said...

I'm afraid to say "I'll never do that!" because I am already turning into my mother......because, only because, I insisted "I'll never do that"

Salt said...

I love your blog, DG. And I also love Sara without an H. So my brain just about exploded when I saw this guest post.

Sara - I also love paint samples. I still have all the paint samples from when we painted the living room and dining room in the kitchen drawer. It's like I'm a weird hoarder or something. But anywaaaay...your grandparents sound a little like how my Nan (grandmother) was. It was always SOMETHING with her. I giggled my way all the way through this post!

Maven said...

Have your grandparents somehow met my parents and formed a cult???

Bwa ha ha ha ha ha!!

I loved this.

Susan Fobes said...

Sara, I don't know anyone who has "normal" grandparents... LOL!

tattytiara said...

That was funny. Yes, colorful grandparents are always a puzzle to decipher.

Allyson said...

Oh my goodness Sara, that was hysterical. Yes, it sounds exactly like my grandmother when we moved her to "the home" (which was a VERY upscale retirement facility in our city). Her next door neighbor was pounding on the wall adjacent to her headboard all night, the orderlies were stealing her pearls, people parked their cars in front of her door and purposely left their headlights on. Just smile and hug 'em because they don't live forever. Besides, they make for excellent blog fodder. ;)

miss jo said...

Suppose you have to be in your 80s to appreciate life's many subtle shades of ecru....My fav living room/kitchen color of all time is Benjamin Moore's Lion Yellow (should they ever change their off-white minds !)

somebody said...


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