I am turning into my Grandpa.

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  1. #1

    I am turning into my Grandpa.

    I am turning into my Grandpa. by Bob Brown

    In the driveway, I sit in the car, I watch as the lights go on and off in the house. Only moments ago, I uttered a phrase that has marked the routine of our departure for almost 40 years. Like a tired old line that has been repeated too many times, it is met with both resignation and a worn out half smile by my wife, today was no different.

    “I will be out in the car, beeping the horn while I wait.”

    Now I don’t really sit there beeping the horn… but I do wait. Not just occasionally, but all the time. She can be ready to go, coat on, hand on the door knob and there will always be one more thing she forgot, she can never just leave… that would be too simple.

    I start the car, turn on the radio and wonder what on earth could be holding her up this time. I watch the lights go on and off in each room of our house as though it was some secret ritual that must be performed before she can go through the door.

    Over the years there has always been a reason, always a story about what had to be done and why she couldn’t have just walked out the door. She would tell me and it will always be something I forgot… or something I said I was going to do but didn’t, and if she hadn’t of done it… why it would have just been… well terrible, or irresponsible or any number of things… all of them bad. I would hear how she had somehow saved the house or the very least our reputation and good standing in the community, all based on her efforts in those last few minutes by remembering those things.

    In the first 20 years of marriage, it went like this.

    “What the hell were you doing? I thought you said you were ready to go? Can’t you ever just walk out the door? You gotta be better organized! Why can’t we ever leave on time?”

    She was met with this barrage of questions before she even shut the car door or had her seatbelt on.

    It never went well for either of us back then.

    She would try to explain the numerous things that needed to be done and why she was late. In hindsight… I would love to tell you how I offered her encouragement and advice… noble instructions on how this could be avoided in the future. How I shared some of my profound wisdom with her, all done in a calm and nurturing voice. It must have been none of those things, because most of our rides started out in stony silence. Me clenching the steering wheel with her staring straight ahead, in a car that suddenly seemed too small.

    By the time we made it to 30 years, our rides just started out in stony silence. I knew she was going to be late, I knew there would always be “something.” She knew that no matter what she said it would make me mad. So, we skipped the whole conversation and just left in silence. I grumbled and bit my lip, but never said a word. She put on her seat belt as though it was an act of defiance, pushed back in her seat and let out a gasp of disgust.

    We just had a fight and nobody said a word. This is the true measure of a long and happy marriage, the same results with none of the foreplay.

    We are now coming up on our 40th anniversary this October. Some things are starting to make sense to me now. I remember my Grandfather, the way he looked at my Grandmother. They both still had that twinkle in their eyes when they looked at each other, even though they were old and gray. I remember seeing him pat her on the rump one time when I was 11... I couldn’t imagine why old people would do such a thing. He was smiling and it was hard for me to believe… but it looked like, she liked it.

    As I watch Linda cross the driveway today it seems like only a short time ago that she wore a mini skirt and platform shoes. I clearly remember as a teenager, her smile and the gleam in her eyes as she climbed into my car…seems like only yesterday.

    Today I ask her if she has all her stuff? We make small talk as we leave the driveway, both of us thankful for the time we get to spend with each other. I think now I understand my Grandfathers patience, and the twinkle in his eyes when he looked at my grandmother… and it only took me 40 years.

    40 years ago
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    Last edited by Plasticweld; September 24th, 2017 at 04:54 PM.
    God hates a coward Revelation 21:8

    “Good writin' ain't necessarily good readin'.”

    Hidden Content ,

    To encourage and facilitate "me"

  2. #2
    A delightful story of many of us ...impatient youth that we all go through, loosing our cool, always in a hurry, to middle age slow down and developed wisdom... and always love... liked it very much.

  3. #3
    Super. Lovely. I didn't stay married long enough to have that wonderful kind of relationship, but I miss it as though I had. You did a good job painting that picture, and it makes me miss it all the more. Thanks.

  4. #4
    Great story, Plastic. Very honest and loving.

  5. #5
    Member DATo's Avatar
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    EXCELLENT! I loved both the story, the way it was presented, and the implied message. I also love the fact that you included the picture as well.

    I'm going to guess that we are about the same age. I have thought of writing something similar. My story would involve the understanding of why older people are sometimes so crabby.

    As a kid fully half the senior citizens I met wore a perpetual scowl on their faces and now that I am a senior myself I know why. I resent being herded by technology into a corral along with so many other people of my age like cows by a technology which seems to be advancing at an exponential level. We old timers are being forced to abandon our old ways of doing things like the Indians were forced to give up their hunting grounds. Maybe it is for the best, and I know mankind must move forward, but I still resent it. Superman should still be allowed to jump into a phone booth to change into his Superman costume, but there are no longer any phone booths. I should still be allowed to wear my plaid, bell bottom pants without being ridiculed by teenagers with purple and orange hair. Where did these kids come from anyway? They look like a cross between Harpo Marx and an exotic parrot. I do not want to talk to a recorded message when I call the doctor's office or any other place of business. I WANT TO TALK TO A HUMAN BEING! I resent having to push #1 if I want to know the status of my payment history, #2 if I want to hear the insurance plan options, #3 if ... etc, etc, etc. I'm getting old, I don't have the time left to put up with such shenanigans. Every minute is precious. "I remember when ..." --- remember that? Our elders used to say it all the time. NOW I'M SAYING IT ALL THE TIME! "I remember when" a Baby Ruth candy bar cost a nickel, now you can't get one for less than a dollar, and it doesn't taste like a candy bar - it tastes like chocolate flavored wax. I do not want to have to order things online because I can no longer find these things in stores. Just look at any toddler who comes into contact with something new: he looks at it, he taps it to see how strong it is, he puts in in his mouth to taste it. I want to do that too. I don't want to buy something sight unseen. If I buy something I want to hold the object in my hands to evaluate it, to tap it against the wall to see if it breaks, to stick it into my mouth to taste it if I want to, even if it is a shoe.

    I would be fascinated to learn the reaction of the men who lifted the flag on Iwo Jima to know that Donald Trump is the President of the United States. And what about all this other political nonsense. You know, there's that line in the Star Spangled Banner ... "Oh say, does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave? o're the land of the free? and the home of the brave? I used to know how to answer that question. Now I am confused. I do have one consolation however. The generation which created this technological, fashionable, marketing, political disaster will someday also grow old and I can already imagine the sublime sound of their faces cracking in the formation of scowls.

  6. #6
    Great Post! worthy of a thread of it's own.

    I ask the same questions you do, shake my head the same way and just wonder.

    I have always loved the quote. In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. Today it seems as though most things are not as they seem or what they should be.

    I would love to see you develop your thoughts in a full piece it would be great read. Thanks for taking the time to read my story and share yours...Bob



    Quote Originally Posted by DATo View Post
    EXCELLENT! I loved both the story, the way it was presented, and the implied message. I also love the fact that you included the picture as well.

    I'm going to guess that we are about the same age. I have thought of writing something similar. My story would involve the understanding of why older people are sometimes so crabby.

    As a kid fully half the senior citizens I met wore a perpetual scowl on their faces and now that I am a senior myself I know why. I resent being herded by technology into a corral along with so many other people of my age like cows by a technology which seems to be advancing at an exponential level. We old timers are being forced to abandon our old ways of doing things like the Indians were forced to give up their hunting grounds. Maybe it is for the best, and I know mankind must move forward, but I still resent it. Superman should still be allowed to jump into a phone booth to change into his Superman costume, but there are no longer any phone booths. I should still be allowed to wear my plaid, bell bottom pants without being ridiculed by teenagers with purple and orange hair. Where did these kids come from anyway? They look like a cross between Harpo Marx and an exotic parrot. I do not want to talk to a recorded message when I call the doctor's office or any other place of business. I WANT TO TALK TO A HUMAN BEING! I resent having to push #1 if I want to know the status of my payment history, #2 if I want to hear the insurance plan options, #3 if ... etc, etc, etc. I'm getting old, I don't have the time left to put up with such shenanigans. Every minute is precious. "I remember when ..." --- remember that? Our elders used to say it all the time. NOW I'M SAYING IT ALL THE TIME! "I remember when" a Baby Ruth candy bar cost a nickel, now you can't get one for less than a dollar, and it doesn't taste like a candy bar - it tastes like chocolate flavored wax. I do not want to have to order things online because I can no longer find these things in stores. Just look at any toddler who comes into contact with something new: he looks at it, he taps it to see how strong it is, he puts in in his mouth to taste it. I want to do that too. I don't want to buy something sight unseen. If I buy something I want to hold the object in my hands to evaluate it, to tap it against the wall to see if it breaks, to stick it into my mouth to taste it if I want to, even if it is a shoe.

    I would be fascinated to learn the reaction of the men who lifted the flag on Iwo Jima to know that Donald Trump is the President of the United States. And what about all this other political nonsense. You know, there's that line in the Star Spangled Banner ... "Oh say, does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave? o're the land of the free? and the home of the brave? I used to know how to answer that question. Now I am confused. I do have one consolation however. The generation which created this technological, fashionable, marketing, political disaster will someday also grow old and I can already imagine the sublime sound of their faces cracking in the formation of scowls.
    God hates a coward Revelation 21:8

    “Good writin' ain't necessarily good readin'.”

    Hidden Content ,

    To encourage and facilitate "me"

  7. #7
    Just a shout to let you know you've been nominated for writer of the month, go check out the competition...
    It didn't take long to realise
    The safest place was not her arms, but her eyes
    Where she can't see you
    For her gaze, it blisters;
    Grey skin to cinders
    Hidden Content Hidden Content


  8. #8
    A second shout, to let you know this piece won writer of the month...
    It didn't take long to realise
    The safest place was not her arms, but her eyes
    Where she can't see you
    For her gaze, it blisters;
    Grey skin to cinders
    Hidden Content Hidden Content


  9. #9
    Such a lovely story...great job! (And wonderful doggo on the pic)

  10. #10
    Lovely story! Simple but very nice and a great picture in addition to that!

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