Six Reasons Why You Should Probably Call Your Grandma Right Now

Six Reasons Why You Should Probably Call Your Grandma Right Now

1. You just got a girlfriend. If anybody wants to know this, it’s your grandma. Since your birth she has been counting down the days until she becomes a great-grandma, and your stint Freshman year with hair straighteners, Conor Oberst, and grey cardigans had her old-timey sensibilities pretty well convinced you were headed the wrong way up the turnpike. She’ll ask you fairly straightforward questions about her: what’s her name, what does her father do for work, are you going to have lots and lots of babies, et cetera. Just assure grandma of three things: she’s very pretty, she’s a Lutheran, and nobody in her family is a democrat. Any of these can be a lie, it doesn’t matter. Grandma wants to believe you.

2. She’s probably really bored right now. Having exhausted TNT’s half-day marathon of Walker, Texas Ranger with your grandfather, the two of them are now sitting in front of the tube TV debating whether or not they should go plant the begonias this afternoon, or wait until tomorrow after they get back from the YMCA. Grandpa insists they do it now, and grandma looks at him with a calculated distain one can only truly master after fifty years of marriage. “But it’s supposed to rain any minute, Bob.” She says coolly. “I don’t trust anything that damn weatherman says,” your grandfather replies. She sighs and purses her lips. She asks him for the clicker and switches over to HGTV. She’s thinking about baking an apple pie and giving it to the neighbors. She’s thinking about getting on the computer and checking her e-mail, but that machine keeps asking if she wants to update, and no, she doesn’t want to update, everything is perfectly fine, thank you, so I’ll just click this here, and nothing’s happening so I’ll click it again forty more times and now it’s frozen?! This damn machine. For God’s sake, occupy thirty minutes of her time before she heads out for the senior special at Old Country Buffet.

3. She just got a Jitterbug.  This isn’t the same reasoning behind why you call your friend who just got an iPhone. I just got an iPhone, I hope lots and lots of people call me so I can whip it out in public and fiddle with the touch screen and listen to that familiar “cachink” sound it makes when I push the button on top. That “cachink” used to make me sad when I’d hear it because it reminded me of the iPhone-shaped hole in my life. But now it’s MINE! No, Grandma just needs practice with the big buttons. Call her, and your name will appear in 24 point font on her phone.  Her eyes will light up, not necessarily because you’re calling, but because hey, these cell phones aren’t so bad after all. If she doesn’t answer immediately, stay on the line – green means answer, red means hang up, and she’ll eventually start to associate this with stop lights and then she won’t forget.

4. It’s Tuesday. Calling your grandma randomly and saying to her “Oh, I just thought I’d call to check in” will make all those years and years of raising six snotty children–the majority of whom listened to Shawn Cassidy for hours on end and never came home with the family station wagon on time and married those good-for-nothing unemployed freeloaders–totally worth it. For those few shining moments, you are the favorite grandchild. You are the one who will have the entirety of your grandfather’s estate bequeathed to you upon his death. You are the one whose name they won’t spell wrong on next year’s Christmas Savings Bonds. The added bonus here is that immediately afterward you can call your mom to tell her you called your grandma, because each good family deed you do ejects from your mother’s memory one shitty family thing you did. Like giving her a Red Lobster gift card for her birthday, and then ordering the Ultimate Feast when she takes the family out for dinner. Call grandma enough times, and you might manage to erase that time when you were six and you called your Aunt Sue “Soo-ee” because that’s how it’s phonetically spelled, and she got really offended because that’s a pig call. Yeah, you want that one gone.

5. You got that box of cookies she sent. There should be some genuine gratitude behind this call. Grandma sent you a box of fucking cookies, dude. You took that box to work/school/Bible study/your AA meeting and shared with everybody, and they were a HUGE success.  “Where’d these amazingly delicious cookies come from?” “Oh, just my awesome grandma. She mailed them to me. In a box lined with tin foil and paper towels. She’s pretty awesome.” If you don’t call your grandma after she sends you cookies, you’re a heartless asshole and I should come over there and take those cookies out of your hands and slap you across the face. She even put a little note in there with them, telling you all about last week’s game of bridge with the Johnsons, and about her doctor’s appointment to check on her shingles, and about how much she likes that handsome David Boreanaz on Bones. He should probably kiss that sulky woman with the baggy eyes already. If you really wanted to up the ante you could write her a letter back, but we all know that isn’t going to happen because years and years of typing have rendered your handwriting virtually unreadable, like a four year old got drunk off cheap rum and threw himself at a wall with a pen in each hand. Give her a jingle, thank her for the cookies, and be sure to tell her you shared. She always hated it when you wouldn’t share.

6. She’s old. I’m serious, she’s super old. Did you know your grandma’s, like, eighty years old now? She has surpassed the average US life expectancy. She has surpassed your family’s average life expectancy, because her mom died of dysentery and her mom’s mom died when she was trampled by an ox or something. You’re going to want to stay on top of that, because before too long your entire extended family is going to be rifling through her collection of ceramic angels and arguing over who gets the pedal organ. Call her and tell her you love her, and say it like you mean it. Because you do. Because she’s your grandma. And she loves you, too.

Katie Sisneros has a phone call to make.