"" bshawise: Golden Oldies

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Golden Oldies

I'm doing research. I'm writing scenes with old people in a retirement home. You can help me. I'd love to hear about your favorite quirky tidbits of your favorite old people. Leah's grandma kept jewelry in the freezer. That's pretty interesting. My grandpa eats things like cow tongue and squirrel brains. He's also colorblind so before he was remarried he ended up in some pretty good outfits. Whatchu got? Anything and everything would interest me. Favorite catchphrases, good stories, strange things they always did after a few drinks, etc. etc. No joke, it could seriously end up in a movie someday. Worst that could happen is you reminisce a little.


leahwise said...

Grama Clarke Favorites:
"Oh My Stars and Buttons"
"God Bless You and Keep you Safe"

Dan Kalbach said...

My grandma loves her Manhattans. She uses cheap whiskey (Canadian Club) and it's hard to remember a time we took her out to eat and she didn't bitch about it "not being quite right." She has no problem returning the 4 dollar drink three or four times before she's satisfied.

And grandma, if you bought a computer today, learned how to use it, somehow found Brad Wise's blog, and are now pissed... I love you.

Christopher Day said...

My grandma used to say Hawaii like Ha-WA-ya? (yes, question mark and all) It was very confusing because you weren't sure if she was greeting you or telling you a story of a fabulous tourist destination.

She also felt like she had to send something (food) home with you every time you visited. Whatever it was, she would wrap it in a paper towel, then put it in a ziploc bag, then wrap it in plastic wrap, rubberband it, slide it into a Kroger bag and tie the ends. I always wondered if she really thought I was going to try and crack that security code at home for a lousy graham cracker. I loved that she did it, though!

Maureen Jacob said...

If you haven't heard about Gladys Hardy by now, then it's a shame.

To me, she's the new modern grandma.

There are classic videos of her here:

She's a real winner.

John Arns said...

1)Grandma Arns was a master at keeping and storing things. EVERYTHING. She never threw anything away and always had a place for it. She made use out of everything. There was a closet in their living room that she used (besides using the basement). Didn't matter what anyone needed, she'd pull it out of that closet. Anything and everything. As kids, we never saw inside the closet but knew it just had to be as big as a room.

After she died, we finally got a look see behind that closet door. This huge storage unit we expected to unveil turned out to be about 2 ft deep and 4 ft wide. No way we said. UNBELIEVABLE! Her organizational skills were top notch for her to have done what she did. I still can't believe she fit so much stuff into that tiny space.

2)My Great Grandma Arns' bywords:

-"Oh My Stars and Buttons" and "Fiddlesticks" like Leah's Grama.
-she called a car a "machine"
-a refrigerator, regardless of brand, was a "Frigidaire"
-all cereal was "Post Toasties"
-kitchen towels were "tea towels"

When we'd get ready to leave her house, she would always say "now don't you all be in a hurry".

Steve Fuller said...

My grandma loved her soap operas. She also lived before DVR and PIP. In order to see all of her soaps, she put a smaller television on top of her console television and watched both at the same time.

She was ahead of her time.

joe said...

Mom's dad would always eat butterscotch ice cream and then pass out on the couch. I don't see how that can be passed up.

Kelly Taylor said...

For as long as i've been alive (18 years), my grandma's been coloring and cutting out Marmaduke cartoons and pasting them into hundreds of notebooks, along with the date and temperature.

I also used to work in an assisted living community for a few years, and every day a man named Mr. Lumb ordered two grilled cheeses and 3 glasses of cranberry juice, for every single meal... yummm

good times

bshawise said...

Kelly, the date and temperature aspect of that quirk makes me extremely happy.

joe, your grandma is perpetuating the stereotype that all oldies love butterscotch.

bshawise said...

or wait...Werther's Originals are caramels aren't they?

my bad. she's perpetuating the lactose intolerance stereotype...

Lindsey said...

If you have a conversation with my grandma Marge, at some point she will guarantee say, ok shout, "Byyy Golly" and "You've got to be kiddin' me." Grandpa Ralph gets up at 5:00 everyday because he truly believes, "the early bird gets the worm." Back to Grandma Marge, she does have a computer and sends some of the most inappropriate emails. I have no idea who sends them to her, but she is all about hitting the forward button, ha. Grandpa Ralph probably drinks 3-4 cans of pepsi a day because apparently, "it puts hair on your chest." With that, he really enjoys a cheese sandwich on white bread and insists on supper being served to him at 4:30. Any later, its too late! And, Grandpa Ralph takes naps with his shoes on??

I'm sure there's more, I'll keep pondering.....

And realize these quirks, rituals, habits or whatever you call them, bring great laughter to our family!

matthew milthaler said...

my grandma:
said "oh my lands" when she was surprised or excited.

hid money inside the copper pipes that was her bed.

gave away her junk for christmas. i once got a typewriter that didn't work.

gave my sister a cabbage patch kids that she made instead of buying her a real one. she even went so far as to handwrite a birth certificate to make it more legit.

my grandpa:
in arguments with my grandma would say "don't dirty yourself helen"

used to honk the horn every 10 seconds when waiting for my grandma to come out of the house.

took in cheap fago to mcdonalds instead of buying a drink inside the restaurant

when i would spend the night, he would always make me an "army" breakfast in the morning. eggs, pancakes, bacon. i still call it an army breakfast.

Angie Neal said...

My Grandmother was a contentious old lady. She would gripe and yell at my Paw-Paw all day. Whenever the phone would ring she would pause her tirade,take a deep breath, and with a sappy Texas twang answer, "Praise the Lord."

My Great Grandmother was a young girl during the Great Depression. Sugar was a treat reserved for Christmas but she loved candy. Every holiday, I mean every holiday, her husband bought her a box of chocolates and a bag of orange slices, which she would hide in various places all over their tiny house.

My other Great-Grandmother, who passed away this year, could name every single professional wrestler and knew what each of their "moves" were called. If you told her it was fake, you got a whoppin.

nat shaw said...

Joe, you left out the fact that he would also come over just in time to watch Wheel of Fortune and Home Improvement before passing out on butterscotch and martini goodness

Scott & Jess said...

Scott's Grandma Mary was sharp as a whip! she was just shy of 102 when she died and was quite pissed it took God that long to come get 'er!
One of my favorite sayings of hers was... "Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining!" Could never get anything past her!

Anonymous said...

My great grandma got some jarred candles one year for Christmas. I opened her refrigerator one day and saw that there was a spoon in one jar. I asked her about it. She told me that somebody gave her those jellies, but they weren't very good.

My friend told a story about his grandma. Every year during the holidays she made apple cider for guests. One year, when she was a little blind and senile, she made some cider. Only instead of using the apple cider mix packet, she mistakenly used a packet for Hidden Valley Ranch dressing. Nobody had the heart to tell her about the mistake so all were forced to drink hot liquid ranch dressing.

My grandma freezes her garbage. Not all garbage, but the garbage that is old food. It makes sense (it keeps the garbage dumpster from smelling rotten between pickups), but it's really strange to open the freezer to grab ice cream only to be greeted by a bag of bacon grease, chicken bones, and half-eaten meals.

And my late grandma always called chocolate syrup, "dope." Most friends, when meeting her for the first time, always thought I had the coolest grandma for offering them some dope with their ice cream.

Stephanie Clarke said...

"Pleasure den" do you remember that patient i had?? It amazes me how many of my older patients are completely obsessed with their/their spouses/their relatives/etc bowel pattern. The patient would be having chest pain and they are way more concerned with their last bm.

Grama Clarke "Gobblesafe" and "I'm gonna knock your block off."

I don't know if any of the other Clarke's told you but she was a perpetual jelly/butter/jam thief at all the restaurants. I remember her purse containing only her babushka, bright pink lipstick, and her "reusable" tissue for blotting.