Editor’s note:I am putting politics aside today. I have no motivation to discuss recent developments of the proposed $700 billion government bailout or the news that Wachovia is near sunk. I have no desire to discuss my thoughts on the first presidential debate. No real urge to discuss anything of true substance. Today, I only really want to talk about the importance of making out.
Most people do not tell their grandmothers when they make out with a boy. Most people might find the idea disturbing. Wrong. Disrespectful even. But then again, most people don’t know my grandmother.
When I spoke with her yesterday she was delighted by the news. Giddy. She didn’t ask for details. She just wanted to make sure he was a nice boy. And she was darn proud. Let me remind you that this is praise coming from a woman whose sole regret in life is that she never got to go to the “nudie beach” on Cape Cod and who took her daughters to a strip club for a bachelorette party 15 years ago. I wish more people had relationships with their grandparents the way I do.
My grandparents have been married for more than 60 years and on occasion, they still make out. (So I am told.) I find this information inspiring. Kind of like watching old people dance at weddings or run marathons. I wish more people would sit down with their grandparents and share the personal stuff. Because grandparents are not as prude as you might think.
Side note: Several years ago Emily’s grandmother was involved in a car wreck so bad that it totaled her car and required firefighters to use the jaws of life to free her. Yet, she didn’t miss the opportunity to hit on a cute, younger man. As she was strapped to the stretcher she was telling the emergency personnel how attractive they were and how they just had to meet her granddaughter. I will never forget that story.
Aside from being bold about approaching potential suitors for their grandchildren, grandparents are a source of valuable insight. Think about how smart you feel now. Imagine how smart you’ll feel with another 60 years of experience under your belt.
I wanted to include some words of wisdom about boys that my grandmother has provided me with over the years. She usually delivers these with a glass of amaretto in hand.
* Take your time. Don’t rush to get married. Play the field.
* You can love a rich man just as much as a poor one.
However, my personal favorite was one she told me last Christmas while I was wrapping presents in my parents living room. It was Christmas Eve and I had just been dumped less than a week before by my live in boyfriend. It was hard to be in the Christmas spirit when I knew I would have to return home to California soon and pack up my life before the New Year.
My grandmother has an advancing case of emphysema and at the time she had her breathing apparatus strapped to her side. We sat in silence for awhile before she spoke. “I have no regrets in my life,” she said.
I looked up at her and she was staring at my grandfather. He was sitting on the couch in front of us chatting with my sister in front of the Christmas tree. I remember thinking, I would like to be able to say that someday. I would like to be able to say that while looking at my husband, potbellied and balding after more than 60 years of marriage.
She asked what happened. I told her. I left out some of the details. But I told her the truth: We weren’t going to make good life partners. She nodded then said, “Sometimes things just don’t work out. But live your life. Everything will be OK.”
She didn’t say anything more. I wish I could say those words were all I needed to hear to move on and stop hurting. In truth, they weren’t. But they did help. I recall thinking I would like to someday be able to turn to my granddaughter who is heartbroken and barely holding it together and tell her, “Everything will be OK.” And with 60 years of experience at my back, know that it is so.