Someone’s Being Awfully Cavalier About This

, , , , , , | Related | August 16, 2020

My first car is a Chevy Cavalier and it sits pretty low to the ground, which is fine for me. My grandmother takes one look at it and says she’ll never get inside because it is too low and her hip can’t handle it; she has artificial joints. That is fine by me.

A few years ago, while I still have the car, she has a stroke. After she gets home from the hospital, she’s forgotten that comment. And when I go up to help at her place in some way, she constantly tries to bully me into taking her places. I let her backdoor guilt me into it once, and I never let it happen again. It is a nightmare; it takes me twenty minutes to get her into the car because it is so low and the seats are more bucket than not, and every time the car creaks, she asks me if she’s broken it.

After that one time, my mom gets behind me in saying no. She told me I could say no, but my grandma is good about giving me the “respect your elders” spiel to get her way. After that instance with the car, my mom tells my grandmother to knock it off. My grandma stops when my mom is around but is pushy when she isn’t. I don’t cave anymore. This conversation happens a couple years later. 

My grandmother’s favorite movie is “Beauty And The Beast” and I know she hasn’t been able to see the new version in the theaters due to the stroke and various other reasons, so after it comes out on BluRay, I go up for lunch — she’s moved to an assisted living facility because she couldn’t stay in her condo alone — and take the movie so she can see it. Partway through the movie, my phone rings with my mom asking me some computer questions. I work in IT; my dad does, too.

Me: “Why don’t you ask your personal IT guy? Isn’t he like ten feet away?”

Mom: “He’s busy; I just need help with this really fast.”

I help her find what she is looking for and then my grandmother starts indicating for the phone. We’ve already had the conversation about how we will not be going anywhere for lunch and if she doesn’t want to go to the bistro at her facility then we can either order something for delivery or I’ll go pick it up alone.

Me: “Hang on. Oma wants to talk to you.”

I put the phone on speaker and hand it over.

Oma: “Hey, [Mom], how are you?”

Mom: “Fine. What’s up? How’s the movie?”

Oma: “It’s interesting so far; I don’t like them noodling the songs.”

Mom: “That’s your choice. Other people like the music.”

Oma: “It’s fine. Will you tell your daughter to let me go in her car?”

Mom: “No.”

Oma: “She won’t listen to me.”

Mom: “Good. You don’t need to get in her car; you can’t get into her car.”

Oma: “You don’t know that. I might be able to; it’s been a while since my stroke.”

Mom: *Heavy sigh* “[Oma’s First Name], you do not need to get in [My Name]’s car. You can’t get into the car; that hasn’t changed since she got it.”

Oma: “But—”

Mom: “No.”

Oma: “What about—”

Mom & Me: “No!”

Oma: “Well, I think I could do it.”

Mom: “Think all you want; you’re not getting in that car. If you really need to go somewhere that the shuttle doesn’t go, I’ll come up next week with my car and we can go.”

Oma: “Well, but what if—”

Mom: “Goodbye, Mom.”

She hangs up the phone. My grandmother looks at me, passes me my phone back, and sighs.

Oma: “Maybe she’s right.”

Me: “She is.”

I put my phone away, and we finished the movie and then went to dinner in the dining room. She didn’t ask me to get into my car again for as long as I had it.

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