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    « One-word Wednesday: Uninhibited | Main | GRAND Social — Grandparent linky — August 13 »

    The grandma in a box

    This post named People's Choice in the humor category in the 2013 BlogHer Voices of the Year.

    A STORY:

    Once upon a time there was a woman.

    Who had a husband.

    And three daughters.

    Plus one house, two cats, two dogs, and an addiction to collecting books and pictures of people she loved.

    And she had a writing job that had nothing—yet everything—to do with all of the above that she loved.

    She liked rock music, independent films, and playing games with her friends—which was usually paired with a wee bit of drinking, too, whiskey or beer but never, ever umbrella drinks of any sort.

    The woman also liked learning new things, especially when it came to computers, cameras, cooking and cantatas.

    (She also really liked alliteration, so cantatas worked far better in that sentence than piano.)

    The woman loved her mom, her dad, her brothers and sisters. She loved Jesus and America, too—as well as stories and songs that turned her heart inside out.

    The woman liked the things most women do. No matter what their age.

    Eventually the woman’s daughters grew up and flew away. One got married and had two sons.

    Which made the woman a grandma. Yet another thing she loved.

    So the woman added to her writing job, writing about those grandsons. Writing about them online—along with lots of other things she'd write about—on a blog.

    Which was confusing to some.

    It wasn't the writing on the blog that confused some, it was the being a grandma. Grandmas are old and know nothing about being online. Or anything interesting at all, for that matter. Grandmas rock in rocking chairs, they hug and kiss their grandkids, they pull up their gray hair into buns. Maybe they crochet. But that's pretty much it.

    At least that's what it seemed some non-grandma bloggers thought of grandma bloggers. They’re only grandmas. They’re old. They’re boring. And they’re invisible if there's the G-word in their name, the G-word in their game.

    Once a grandma, only a grandma, they thought.

    Some unenlightened brands, bloggy networks, and PR folks seemed to think the same thing, too.

    If they even thought of grandmas at all.

    Other grandmas understood. Other grandma bloggers really understood—even those who didn’t write specifically about their grandchildren, about being a grandma.

    The other grandmas understood because all of the grandmas, online and off, were put in the very same box. Were trying to get out of the same box. Together were saying, HEY, you meanies who squished us up into this uncomfortable GRANDMA box: We want out! We love our grandkids way beyond words, but they’re not all we love. Can’t you see we are so much more than grandmas? Can’t you see we are all that we were before? Can't you see that we are now all that AND a bag of potato chips, er, grandmas!

    But the non-grandmas didn’t see any of that. They didn't see the woman and her fellow grandmas pounding on the box. All they saw was the word GRANDMA. And the box.

    If they saw anything at all.

    Every once in a while, someone did see something at all. Mostly it was just the word GRANDMA, though, and they thought the boxed-up grandmas would be happy as clams to talk about canes and assisted living centers and denture cream and gadgets that help them when they’ve fallen and can’t get up.

    Those non-grandmas didn’t realize grandmas can and do get up. On their own. And they get down, too. That they're still vibrant and relevant. That they still love music. Still have jobs that have nothing to do with being a grandma, yet love the job of being a grandma, too. They still have spouses and daughters and sons and parents and brothers and sisters and animals and friends and interests.

    And that they do all the very same things they did before they became grandmas.

    They even—gasp!—still have S-E-X.

    And they still talk about and write about things that matter, with people and for people who matter.

    So that woman who was now a grandma but still had a husband and three daughters and still really loved all sorts of things non-grandmas think grandmas shouldn't or couldn't like decided to write about being stuck in the GRANDMA box.

    In hopes others might see her and her grandma friends in there and let them out.

    Or…perhaps they might do nothing at all.

    But at least that grandma who loves, loves, loves being a grandma yet is so much more than a grandma would have her say.

    Then she ended her plea for release from the GRANDMA box with an oh-so cute photo of her grandsons. Simply because she could.

    And to further confuse those non-grandmas who Just. Don't. Get. It. 


    Today's question:

    Anyone second that emotion?

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    Reader Comments (40)

    uhoh, this one's going to be long. My apologies all!!

    I hereby second that 'e'-motion! Although I readily admit that my day job has a teensy bit to do with being a Gma:) Perhaps Grandma stereotypes are most noticeable to those of us who 'work' in the industry, blogger or not?

    I'd love to know how other Grandmas feel about it. I think Grandma-ism is rampant and I've had way more than my tolerance will allow. Can't believe what brands/vendors/reps have said to me about Grandmas...insulting me, my customers, my family, and my friends.

    On the plus side, marginalization as a Grandmother has offered great opportunities for surprise business attacks. Because I guess Grandmas in a box don't have functioning brains either?

    Thank you for letting me vent. LOL.

    August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNonnieKelly

    We ARE all that AND a bag of chips and I will add the dip.....or maybe hummus lol

    August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRhonda Wilkinson

    I second that e-motion too! As a matter of fact I've spent a lot of time lately thinking about my blog and what I'm going to write about. I've decided that I'm just going to write about anything I want to write about and if people don't like it, they can stop reading it.

    And I just can't resist saying this, Lisa said S-E-X on her blog. Tee-hee.

    August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVicki Valenta

    NonnieKelly: Vent any time. I know that you, of all grandmas, see far more grandma-ism and marginalization than most of us because of your business. For me, lately, it's been mostly big bloggy networks. Grandmas are invisible to so many. :-(

    Rhonda: Bring on the hummus!

    Vicki: I say Go For It! Write what you want, when you want. It's your blog, so have it your way! And thanks for making me chuckle this morning. Yes, I said that...but spelled it out so it wasn't so blatant. We grandmas are that way, I guess.

    August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLisa @ Grandma's Briefs

    Spelling out words, like we used to do with our children. Yikes, our second adulthood has started already.

    I second.

    August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarol Covin

    Seconds, thirds and fourths coming from me, sistah! LOVED this post, Lisa. In fact, one of my very favorites from GrandmasBriefs. We ARE so much more than rocking chair grannies. Oh, I do love a good rocking chair, but sadly, I don't own one. And I can crochet, but I'm too dang busy with school, work, writing and family. I have been training online for my new tech support job, and I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard the trainers (and some of the other students) relate "Grandma" as someone who is not so computer savvy. I beg to differ!
    And? I sure do love my grandsons. That part of being in the box is just fine with me! Hugs, my friend.

    August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTerri Sonoda

    Why on earth would something one or more of your kids did (produce a child themselves) make any vibrant and worthwhile woman of today stop being all the interesting things she truly is?

    That's about the dumbest attitude I can imagine. Having yet another role to play, with all it's opportunities, pitfalls, and concerns simply ADDS to her value and anyone who doesn't understand that has no sense. There, I the great-grandmother of many, have made my stand clear.

    August 14, 2012 |