Dear everyone: Stop asking me where the ring is. If I knew, it would be on my finger, not in his sock drawer–I mean–wait–what?

Sorry for the lack of blogs lately folks—it’s been a whirlwind of activity at Casa de Goodman between getting an awesome agent for my newest book (which is currently “out for submission”—love it!!!), school starting back up, and, in much sadder news, my grandfather dying.

I considered writing about him, but this is a humor blog (For anyone who may be new to my blog or who may have missed the fact that the entire thing is intended to be funny, that’s what I’m here for—entertainment value only. Most of what I do here is satire, designed to exaggerate and make fun of myself. The narrator of my blog is a caricature, not an accurate representation of me as a person.  I take events from real life and twist them out of proportion to make them funny through hyperbole.), and Grandpa loved nothing better than a good laugh, so I figured the best tribute I could give him was to stick to my normal posts.

(This was referenced in my uncle’s eulogy because my grandfather was, in fact, buried with his five wood.  And Grandpa would have been laughing the hardest of anyone in the room at the reference.)

And there IS something else big going on at Casa de Goodman right now. I’m just not supposed to know about it.

The boyfriend and I are rapidly approaching the one year mark of our relationship. In common parlance, known as an “anniversary.” And while prior to meeting him, I was staunchly in the school of advising everyone to wait before committing to anything, I’ve switched teams and now hit for camp “When it’s right, it’s right.” (Did I mix too many metaphors there? I feel like I’m yelling, “Hit a touchdown!” at a baseball game… oh well…)

Maybe it’s because I’m a little older. Maybe it’s because everyone I see is checking my left hand with unabashed frequency. Maybe it’s because six (yes, count them, SIX) of my Facebook friends currently have profile pictures of themselves kissing their significant other with an engagement ringed-hand in the shot. Or maybe it’s all of my relatives repeatedly asking “So nu ven?” (Which is apparently Yiddish for, “When’s it gonna happen?”.)

But whatever the reason, I’ve turned into the girl I never expected to be. The girl who is absolutely DYING to get engaged.

I still don’t want a real wedding. My dream wedding is still Rabbi Elvis in Vegas with NONE of you invited. But my best friend has vowed to stalk me and bring both my mother and grandmother to Vegas with her if I elope without telling her, and I am fully aware that if my mother and grandmother are not at my wedding, the level of Jewish-guilt/wrath will make the ten plagues look pleasant. So I’ll probably do some version of a real wedding, but that’s not what I’m interested in right now.

Right now, I’ve turned 100 percent into Gollum (but with better hair and makeup… although I may go on his diet plan if my mother plans to force me into a puffy white dress), desiring nothing more than that precious, precious ring.

Which probably wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t happen to know that he already has it. Yes. Sorry, honey, your secret is out.

You see, like all good Jewish girls, my grandma (or bubbe if you will) has a jeweler friend who has been telling me since I was five to go to her when it was time to get engaged. Actually, she’s probably been saying that since before I was five, but I only remember it starting then. I’m picturing her cooing into my cradle, Sleeping Beauty-godmother style, “And when she’s old enough, I’ll give her the gift of a gorgeous diamond at a wholesale price.”

And while my grandmother claims she’s able to keep a secret, with all the hullabaloo surrounding my grandfather being in the hospital, there was no keeping the secret that she and the boyfriend went shopping.

So now, because I know he has it, and because he knows that I know he has it, the boyfriend has begun an active campaign of torturing me. Okay, maybe it’s not an active campaign, but it feels like it. Because whenever I try to get any kind of a hint as to when he’s going to pop the question, the only answer he’ll give me is that he loves giraffes and monkeys that throw poop.

Like he’s started texting me with emojis of monkeys and poop.

Actual text from the boyfriend.  Which I interpret to mean, “Kisses to you, my angry chicken baby, monkeys throw poop and push penguins into volcanoes.”  Perfectly logical in every way.

Which yes, makes me laugh, but I’m not even sure if he’s ACTUALLY saying these things or if my weirdo girl lizard brain has gone completely Gollum-style ring crazy and if I’m just hearing utter gibberish whenever he ISN’T talking about the ring.

It also doesn’t help that there are a very limited amount of hiding places in our apartment, and when I can’t sleep at night (which is a frequent occurrence), I feel like there’s this odd, pulsating, diamond-like object calling to me from his dresser. I won’t get near it, because I know the pull of the One Ring is strong. But I can sense its presence.

And the only thing that he WILL tell me is that he’s planning something special. And I want to let him do this his way and let him make it special.  So I know better than to go looking, and I’m trying not to talk about it too often.

By which I mean that I’ve limited my questions about when we’re getting engaged to three times per hour. Relationships are full of compromises, people!

Lucky for him, my romantic standards are notoriously low. For which we can thank my parents, who got engaged when my mother told my father to “defecate* or get off the pot.”
*”defecate” was not the word that she used.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is the super romantic story of how my parents formed the union that created me. So I’ve warned the boyfriend that as long as I don’t have to use that particular expression, anything at all that he plans will be magical and wonderful and romantic.

Even if it DOES involve monkeys throwing their poop.

Thank you, mom, for instilling me with such low expectations when it comes to romance.

Which means that until he decides to make his move, I’m planning to wait patiently. Okay, as patiently as I can. But at least he knows I’ll say yes.

And for the rest of you, LEAVE ME THE HECK ALONE! ASKING ME WHEN HE’S GOING TO DO SOMETHING AND CHECKING MY RING FINGER EVERY THREE SECONDS IS TURNING ME INTO A PSYCHOPATH!

 K thanks!

(And if you still haven’t gotten the message that this is satire and are sitting there reading this thinking, “Oh my God, her poor boyfriend! Why does he put up with that girl?”, you should know that he reads my blogs before I post them, totally gets my sense of humor, and loves me for the crazy weirdo that I am—just like I love him for the crazy weirdo that he is. It’s a match made in crazy weirdo heaven. Which makes sense, since my crazy weirdo mom* and his crazy weirdo aunt* set us up. Crazy weirdo yenta-devised love all around!)

*Neither of you is a crazy weirdo. Please don’t hurt me. I love you guys! ❤

My family has class… in very small doses. And will do ANYTHING for dessert!

As I’ve learned over the past couple of weekends, there IS such a thing as too much family time.

 

Okay, I already knew that, and I would usually claim too much family time as anything over five minutes every three months.

But last weekend, we had my mom’s birthday (a dinner) and a Memorial Day barbeque that we tried to combine with the boyfriend’s family’s barbeque (fail—two separate barbeques, one Sunday, one Monday).

Then this past weekend was my grandfather’s birthday, which had to be split into two separate celebrations because of my uncle’s ultra-orthodox (cough believes-Obama-is-a-Muslim-and-everything-else-Fox-News-says cough) wife and children. So there was a (not-kosher) dinner Saturday night, followed by a (super kosher to the point where I wasn’t allowed to bring anything even though my grandmother doesn’t keep a kosher house either and made stuff for it) brunch Sunday morning.

All were mostly legitimate enterprises, and I understand the inherent value in celebrating the extended life of my mother and grandfather, even if I disagree with the fact that it necessitates two separate celebrations.

I can even almost handle how much of my free time it destroyed.

That wasn’t the problem. The problem is that THAT much family time results in the boyfriend having WAY too much overexposure to my family in WAY too short of a time period.

Mom’s birthday was lovely. It was just me, him, and my parents at a nice restaurant. Yes, there was some food sharing, but all preceded by very polite offering of food or asking to try a bite.

The barbeque the next night was a little less civilized, with my grandparents and Rosie now in attendance. My grandmother is notorious about feeding Rosie from the table. I always warn her not to and she always SWEARS she would NEVER feed Rosie ANYTHING without asking my permission first.

Then she gives her anything and everything.

Like the time I left Rosie at Grandma’s house for an hour to run some errands. Grandma had complained about not seeing her “only great-grandchild” frequently enough (we’ll ignore the Jewish guilt inherent in that complaint. If it were up to her, I’d have married a random Jewish guy years ago and have already popped out a small army of babies named after her parents and siblings).

When I came to get Rosie, Grandma informed me that Rosie had been starving. “How do you know?” I asked, eying her untouched food bowl that I had filled before I left her with my grandparents.

“Well, because we were eating steaks and she kept crying for some, so I gave her one.”

“You mean you gave her a PIECE of steak?”

“No,” my grandma said. “I gave her a whole steak. And she ate the whole thing. You clearly don’t feed her enough.”

Not to mention the time I left the table at a family dinner during dessert and walked back a minute later to see my grandmother holding Rosie up so that she could stick her entire face into a container of Cool Whip.

So that barbeque meant that Rosie was in a chicken coma for the rest of the weekend because I’m pretty sure my grandmother fed her AT LEAST double her body weight in chicken.

But okay, the boyfriend wasn’t scared off yet. He loves my grandparents and even played tennis with my dad the following morning. And we had the barbeque with his aunt the next night to balance everything out.

Then came Grandpa’s birthday. It was the boyfriend’s first time meeting a few of the people there, including the uncle who, after shaking my boyfriend’s hand, immediately offered us an old crib he has in his attic. A little premature (and no, I do NOT want a deathtrap crib from the 1960s, thank you). But he handled that with grace and we all sat down to dinner.


 Remember the food fight scene in Hook?

That looked civilized compared to Grandpa’s birthday dinner.

And sadly, it was one of the nicest dinners our family has ever had out. It was a much larger gathering, with aunts, uncles, and cousins of varying ages.

Which consisted of everyone reaching across the table to eat off of everyone else’s plate, my uncle taking the lobster claws off my grandfather’s plate and pinching people with them, then my grandfather still eating the meat out of them, half a crabcake disappearing off of my plate and onto someone else’s while I wasn’t looking, and my mother basically whoring herself out for a bite of Boston cream pie.

I’ve gone to dinner with the boyfriend’s family. The men wore jackets. There were no cell phones at the table. People used the appropriate forks for the appropriate courses. No one wore a lobster bib. There were civilized silences (which I’ll admit, scared the crap out of me. But apparently they like to enjoy their meals in dignity. Who knew that existed?). And no one—NO ONE ate from anyone else’s plate.

At one point, during Saturday night’s dinner, it got so bad that I turned to the boyfriend and asked if he still loved me.

To which he replied, “Yes. But now I see where you get it from.” Which made me feel like a total barbarian. Yes, he’s accused me of “Cookie Monster eating” before—not because I shove food in my mouth at an abnormal speed, but because I lack the coordination to always ensure that food stays on my fork.


(Which, to be fair, we can blame my parents for. Anyone who remembers eating at my house when we were kids remembers the sporks. They got them in the 70s, when apparently anything went, which also applied to multi-functional silverware.)

But I wasn’t like the rest of the family, I argued! Although my case would have been stronger had I not tried to make that argument with a mouth full of half-chewed french fries pilfered off a neighboring plate and a fistful of fried clams stolen from a family friend at the other end of the table in my hand.

I may have also kissed the family friend’s husband on the cheek to taste the Boston cream pie. But that’s neither here nor there.

Like mother like daughter I suppose.

What’s Valentine’s Day all about? Ripping out your heart, zombie-style, of course!

It’s Valentine’s Day.

Again.

But I have an awesome boyfriend this year! Suck it, single people! This is the best day of my life!


No, not really. THIS was the best day of my life.

Sigh (of happiness).

But I know you don’t read this blog to hear how much better my life is than yours, (which let’s face it, prior to THIS, it wasn’t. Now it is. Unequivocally. Sorry.) so I’ll go back to being the Grinch Who Stole Valentine’s Day just for you, my loyal readers, who love the snark.

To be fair, my boyfriend is a former tree-hugging hippie who used to live in the mountains, have a beard, and grow his own vegetables. In fact, if you put some aviators on him in his old pictures, he might have been the Unabomber. Minus that whole letter bomb thing.

But the point is that he doesn’t like the idea of a commercialized holiday like Valentine’s Day, so we celebrated yesterday, which was our four-month anniversary. So unless he pulls a Kaiser Soze-style trick today and surprises me with flowers/candy/a giant teddy bear/other random crap that Hallmark tells me I need even though I don’t, I, as usual, have nothing to celebrate today.

Meaning it’s time to trash the hell out of the holiday.

So who was this mysterious St. Valentine and why do we have to celebrate him? As always, when I don’t know the answer to a question, I follow six simple steps to ensure that I arrive at the correct answer.

Step 1: Ask my dad. He knows all. He’s like the Oracle at Delphi, except he explains things in cryptic physics terms instead of cryptic riddles. So you’re more likely to wind up making something explode, less likely to commit patricide and incest, then gouge your eyes out when you ask him a question.

Step 2: Ask Siri. Why? Because my phone is always in my hand and it’s easier than typing a question into Google. Duh.

Step 3: Ask my grandma. She doesn’t usually know the answers, but she’ll always lie and make up a good story, which is usually more interesting than the real version anyway.

Step 4: Bang my head against the wall because my grandma’s answer made ZERO sense and she guilt-tripped me about something I didn’t even know existed.

Step 5: Take some Advil from steps 3 and 4.

And finally, Step 6: Go to Wikipedia.

My findings?

Step 1: “Dad, what’s the meaning of Valentine’s Day?”

“[Profanity deleted for sake of keeping my teaching job. But I’ll tell you it went on for exactly 18.5 minutes (the exact missing time in the Nixon tapes—coincidence?) and involved many different and creative uses for certain parts of the human anatomy and a goat.] Is that today? Your mother’s going to [expletive deleted] murder me!”

“Dad, I already got you a card and sent mom flowers from you*, calm down. I just want to know why we celebrate Valentine’s Day.”

*Artistic license.  I tried to send you flowers mom.  I did.  But dad went on some crazy rant about how if they wouldn’t be there by 3, I couldn’t send them.  And because I have no control over when flowers are delivered on the busiest flower day of the year, I was told not to do it.  I’m sorry.  Please don’t hurt me.

“Oh. Because billions of years ago, all the matter in the universe was tightly compacted into a really small space until it finally all exploded in what we call the Big Bang…”

This conversation lasted for 97 hours and at that point, we hadn’t even made it to the dinosaurs dying yet. It was time to ask Siri.

FAIL. And apparently Siri doesn’t understand sarcasm. Or else she was being nasty back when I sarcastically thanked her. What a [expletive deleted].

Okay, time for Step 3. Call Grandma.

Me: “Grandma, why do we celebrate Valentine’s Day?”

My Grandma: “I made you cabbage soup.”

Me: “Um thanks. I don’t really like cabbage soup though. But that’s not why I’m calling—”

My Grandma: “What do you mean you don’t like cabbage soup? You’ve never had my cabbage soup! You had it off the back of a truck once!”

Me: “Huh?”

Steps 4 and 5. And a glass of wine. Because that conversation actually happened. And I still have no idea what she was talking about because I’m 100 percent positive that I’ve never eaten cabbage soup off the back of a truck. And I don’t think that has anything to do with Valentine’s Day either.

On to Step 6. My old standby. Wikipedia. Which as we all know, is NEVER, EVER wrong. Or getting back together with Taylor Swift apparently.

According to Wikipedia, we celebrate Valentine’s Day because this dude, named Valentine (duh) was performing marriages illegally in the year 269 AD. So the Romans came to kill him, but he, in true romantic fashion, beat them to it. He cut his own heart out (which is pretty hardcore if you ask me. I mean, it’s one thing to use that weirdo chant from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and pull it out with magic, but CUTTING your own heart out takes real effort), wrote a nice little note to his girlfriend, signed it “From your Valentine,” and mailed the note and his heart to her, Van Gogh-style. Then the Romans came and slaughtered his zombie ass, as they should have, because anyone walking around AFTER cutting his own heart out NEEDS to be killed before he eats your brains. Duh again.

So unlike that ungrateful chick who got Van Gogh’s cut off ear, Valentine’s girlfriend thought this was sweet and romantic and wonderful and made all of her friends super jealous of the fact that HER zombie boyfriend loved her enough to cut out his own heart and mail it to her. Her friends then held out on sex until their boyfriends did the same the following year, and a tradition was born.

However, zombies weren’t popular until about two years ago, so Hallmark stepped in and started this paper heart nonsense.

Then the flower, candy, and teddy bear industries got involved to suck the life out of men’s wallets worldwide.

It’s what’s known in the industry as a perfect storm.

But this year, THIS YEAR, zombies are in style! They’re more popular than vampires! (Take that you sparkly Twilight [expletive deleteds]!) So men, use this to your advantage! Don’t buy in to the Hallmark nature of the holiday! If you love your woman, take some bath salts, go all zombie, and cut out your REAL heart to send to your girlfriend!

And the best part of this plan? It’ll work even on years when Valentine’s Day falls on Saturdays because the postal service will still deliver packages but not regular mail.

Everybody wins.

Until the zombies overtake us all.

Hmm. Maybe the Hallmark version isn’t so bad.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.

Good news: I have a boyfriend! Bad news: My mom wants grandkids. NOW!

I believe that today marks the end of my blogging career. And most likely the end of my life.  

Because my mom is going to murder me for this blog. And now that she and I are the same size (that’s right, I said it, I can wear size two jeans! Bring it Mamadukes!), it’s definitely not a fair fight, and I’m pretty sure she can take me.

So why, you might ask, is my mother going to kill me and quite possibly mount my head on her living room wall? 

Easy.

I did exactly what she asked me to do.

Since my prodigious birth not so many years ago (screw you, I’m not old! I don’t care what you say or when you claim to remember me being born, it wasn’t that long ago!), my mother has held great expectations for me when it came to my romantic life.

Then, as I got a little older (and my eggs apparently a little less fresh… which yes, sounds like the start of some horrible commercial on Lifetime. Side note: Is anyone else secretly excited for the Lindsay Lohan Liz Taylor movie? Like I refuse to watch Lifetime under any circumstances, but I’m so planning to cover my windows with light-proof paper and soundproof my apartment so no one knows what I’m up to and watch the hell out of that! The two greatest Hollywood trainwrecks of all time colliding in one Lifetime movie? There hasn’t been a collaboration that awesome since Ben met Jerry!), her criteria devolved to one word: Jewish.


 
This point was reached when I turned approximately seven.

But mom and dad screwed up and sent me to a public high school that had a Jewish population lower than post-Holocaust Germany. (Can I make that joke? No? Okay, sorry. A Jewish population lower than the audience in a Mel Gibson movie? Happy now?) So I never knew Jews growing up and never learned how to bond with them. So by the time I DID meet some in college, I might as well have been a shiksa. But I have a theory on why shiksas are so appealing to Jewish guys: if you tell your Jewish mom that you’re dating a Jewish girl, there’s all this pressure. If you tell her you’re dating a shiksa, no pressure at all. In fact, you’re WAY too young to be serious! Don’t even THINK about getting married yet! Grandkids? Nah, we don’t want ‘em, be young. Enjoy yourself.

I lacked that appeal. So the Jewish boys stayed far, far away, and I viewed them much as one would view a unicorn: a mythical creature that some weird girls claim existed, but that I was pretty sure was never real. Or if it was, Noah didn’t take it with him on the Ark.  

There were family setups over the years, as there always are in big Jewish families. And they were such epic disasters that decency (and my teaching job) prevent me from going into full detail here. Let’s just say that I saw something that I shouldn’t have seen before this one dude who my DAD gave my number to even kissed me! (And to this day, I’m still trying to figure out what my dad said about me to make this guy think THAT was appropriate!)
(The video below sums up the situation quite nicely.) 

And there was the guy who my great aunt thought would be perfect for me who looked like Quasimodo but without his endearing qualities.

And the one who told me on our first date that he thinks books are dumb. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this winner said that TO AN AUTHOR/ENGLISH TEACHER AND COULDN’T UNDERSTAND WHY I DIDN’T WANT TO GO HOME WITH HIM THAT NIGHT.

Finally, I think my mother gave up on me.

Okay, I knew she didn’t. But I chose to believe that because I developed a convenient case of complete and total deafness whenever she mentioned giving my number out to anyone. And as anyone who has ever tried calling me knows, I screen my calls pretty heavily in case she (or my grandma, who has developed an equal case of deafness when I say no to giving my number out. And in general. Talking to her now requires a megaphone, one of those old fashioned ear horns, and the Let’s Get Ready to RUUUUUUUUMBLE guy. It’s difficult at best.) ignores my state of non-hearing and gives my number out anyway.

But for whatever reason, I agreed to ONE LAST setup.

Which, somehow, turned out to be awesome. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Sara Goodman has a super cute boyfriend. And he’s Jewish. And he reads. And he loves my books. And he grew up with miniature schnauzers. And he’s taller than me in heels. And he’s super into music.  And he’s smart.  And funny.  And thinks I’m awesome.  And treats me well.  And he makes me happy.

Awww look how cute we are.  And yes, he’s wearing a Great Gatsby t-shirt.  Which I plan to steal.  And which he plans to let me steal.  Because he’s awesome like that.

I’d go on, but I can hear you vomiting from here.

So, I also hear you asking, once the retching has stopped, why is Mama Goods (as he calls her—so cute!) going to kill you?

Easy, because she’s being a total creepy psychopath about this entire situation, and I’m now exposing her for the yenta stalker that she is. At first, it was funny. I used information about us to get her to buy me stuff. But then she started tricking me. Like when she called me crying hysterically because the caterer had screwed up all the food for my grandparents’ anniversary brunch, and the world was ending. So to make her feel better, I gave her some free information. Then when I showed up at the brunch, the world had not ended and the food was fine. I had been outwitted.

And then she started picking out baby clothes. Literally. We went on one of our, “I’ll tell you this if you buy me that” shopping trips, and she starts PICKING OUT BABY CLOTHES.

Not okay, mom.

And when I let her talk to him when she called me one day and didn’t know he was over, I turned to him after and said, “You know she just bought us a stroller, right?” (Sign that he’s a keeper? He laughed at that instead of running away so fast that there was a Bugs Bunny-style hole shaped like him in my door!)

But when I talked to my mother later, and she went on for 18 ½ minutes (the exact length of time missing in the Nixon tapes. Coincidence? Hmmm…) about how awesome and amazing he is (which I agree with, but I find it odd that my mother keeps trying to sell me on my own boyfriend. I’m already dating him. I know him better than you do, mom. Stop it.), I finally cut her off and was like, “Mom, return the stroller.”

 “What stroller?”

“The one I know you bought after you talked to him on the phone.”

She laughed. “I didn’t buy a stroller. It was a crib and a mobile, silly.”

Operation Mama Goodman Wants Grandchildren has begun. To the point where I’m pretty sure that if I were on the Pill, she would have snuck into my apartment and replaced them all with TicTacs already.

But the good news is, until she kills me for writing this blog (or arranges a Rosemary’s Baby-style fertilization ceremony. Seriously, these are the things I have to worry about these days), I’m actually really happy.

So mom, please don’t kill me or implant Satan’s baby in me. Because I love you and you’re very thin and very pretty (even though you’re acting like a complete and total nut job right now!).

Love you, mommy. And thanks for bribing me with a new leather jacket to go on that date. TOTALLY worth it.

(And for actually finding me a good guy.  I was told I had to put that in here or I WOULD be killed for running this blog.  So thank you mom.  Now stop creeping on us and NO FREAKING BABY STUFF, k?  Thanks.)

         

I love my phone. I just hate talking on it.

I hate talking on the phone.

Those of you who know me are sitting there with a very puzzled look on your face. I know. I always have my phone in my hand. Picturing me without my phone would be like picturing my dad without coffee. Like Linus without his blanket. Like Harry Potter without his glasses. Like Cher without an inappropriate outfit. Like Britney Spears without a baby bump and bare feet. It just doesn’t work.

I’m completely and utterly addicted to my phone. But I hate TALKING on it.

I think the reason for this is because I’m so ADD. I have trouble focusing on a conversation with no visuals to go with it. For example, I don’t mind talking on Skype. (Although, to be fair, if I’m talking to you on Skype, I’m probably looking at MYSELF while talking to you. Because I’m just that vain. But you really can’t tell. So it’s okay.) But JUST the phone? I can’t do it for more than a minute or two.

So I go to extreme lengths to avoid having to talk on the phone. I don’t have a landline for this reason. A landline has NO purpose except for talking on the phone, therefore I won’t have one in my house. Plus, the only people who ever called me on that phone when I had one were solicitors and my grandma. Pass. (Sorry Grandma. But you have my cell number, so I don’t feel TOO bad.)

I also NEVER answer my cell phone except when my dad calls. And I only answer his calls because they last for less than 30 seconds and if I DON’T answer when he calls, he immediately assumes I died and keeps calling every ten seconds until I do answer. I’m not quite sure how that logic works. If I’m dead, I’m clearly not going to answer ten seconds later, and if I’m alive, clearly I’ll call him back when I see the missed call. But I try to answer on the first call just so he doesn’t tell Facebook that I died and cancel my account because I missed his call while I was in the shower or something. THAT would be tragic.

The next step to avoiding using the phone is to never listen to voicemail messages. My outgoing message used to say not to leave a message because I wasn’t going to listen to it, but then people started leaving long rambling messages just to piss me off. It worked. But my friends know at this point that I’m not going to listen to their messages, so if they want to talk to me, they should text or email me.

In general, this eliminates all need to talk on the phone unless I have a story to tell that’s too long to text (which is, I think, EXACTLY what this blog is for).

Unfortunately, sometimes this doesn’t work out the way I’d like it to.

Like with my Grandma. Who I love dearly, don’t get me wrong. But she and technology are mortal enemies, and cell phones are no exception. She has a cell phone (the most basic phone possible. She says she wants all the technology that mine has. But I just can’t deal with that, so she has the type of cell phone that existed in 1986, just smaller), and she decided at one point that she wanted to learn how to send text messages. I thought this was great, because it meant there was one less person I would have to talk to on the phone.

I should have known better.

After an entire afternoon devoted to teaching her how to send, receive, and read text messages, I thought she had a pretty firm grasp on how to do it. So I showed her picture messaging.

Big mistake.

The next day, while I was at school, my phone kept vibrating. Finally I checked it during a planning period, assuming that there had to be some emergency because no one would so completely spam my phone while I was at school unless someone had died or at the very least was trapped down a well somewhere and I was the only number available to dial for help.

No.

It was 47 picture messages from my grandma, all of my grandfather sleeping in his easy chair. Then 286 text messages asking if I got her picture.

When I called her to ask her to please stop blowing up my phone, she told me that when I didn’t respond, she figured it meant that none of the messages actually sent, so she just kept resending them.

Luckily, by the following day, she had forgotten how to text and I never re-taught her. I answer her calls now, just in case she suddenly remembers how texting works.

So if you call me, and I don’t answer, try not to be offended. It’s not you, it’s me.

Unless I don’t like you. Then it’s you.

So if you TEXT me and I don’t respond, then it’s definitely you.

And please don’t send me picture messages of my sleeping grandfather. It’s seriously creepy and weird. And old people, like dogs, look dead when they sleep sometimes. No one wants to see that.

The end is near: my grandma is on "the Book of Face"

The apocalypse is upon us.

No, I’m not talking about global warming, natural disasters, or House being canceled (God forbid).

My grandmother is on Facebook.

Granted, she calls it “the Book of Face” and expects people to know what she’s talking about. But she has a profile. I should know. I had to set it up for her.

My grandmother and technology are not friends. In fact, I’m pretty sure they’re arch enemies. Like if technology is Batman, my grandmother is the Joker. If it’s Superman, she’s Lex Luther. If technology is me, she’s spiders. You get the idea.

Maybe that’s a little harsh. It’s not that she TRIES to foil technology. She does it unwittingly. On a daily basis.

For example, when I was in college, she got her first computer and decided that she wanted Instant Messenger. Of course, she probably thought this was related to Instant Coffee in some way (my grandmother is the Queen of Malapropisms. She’s been known to take the “HIV Lane” when she’s got someone else in the car with her, and she may believe that the SATs are what you get when you have unprotected sex), but she’d heard of it, so she wanted it even though she didn’t have any idea what it was. And I, thinking, “cool, this’ll be a great way to keep in touch with her while I’m at college,” obliged.

Fail on my part.

Maybe the problem was that I didn’t explain the concept well enough. Because every time she sent me an IM, it was about six pages long, and she signed it, “Love ME (Grandma)” at the end. Every time. Which annoyed the crap out of me, because people who say “it’s me” on the phone or sign things that way irritate me to an inordinate degree (because if you don’t know who it is, that doesn’t help, and if you DO know who it is, it’s unnecessary), but in an IM? It says who it is at the top of the screen! Then she was SHOCKED when I would reply, because she’d JUST sent her message to me and she didn’t understand how I knew she had just sent it.

Unfortunately, Instant Messenger stopped working on her computer one day. (When I deleted the application. Oops.) And I just couldn’t seem to get it working again. What a shame.

But that didn’t stop Grandma from using email and other forms of technology as they became available.

Which led to the password problem. I tend to use variations of the same three passwords for most of my accounts. Smart? Maybe not. But I seldom have trouble remembering what my password is. My grandmother, on the other hand, has a different password for every single thing on the internet. And in theory, she writes them down. But, in a world with HIV Lanes on 270, passwords sometimes go missing. And then I have to walk her through the steps of password retrieval. Over the phone. Not good.

(Although trying to get her to remember her password has one upside: it causes lots of profanity. Which I find absolutely hilarious. There’s nothing funnier than when my grandma drops an F-bomb. It’s like when Betty White does it. Seriously. If I put a video of her trying to figure out her passwords on YouTube, she’d be famous within an hour. Then she would murder me. But it might be worth it.)

So when I finally figured out what she meant when she told me that she wanted to get the Book of Face, I decided it would just be easier if I set it up for her. Being the good granddaughter that I am (although I suppose if I was THAT good, I wouldn’t be blogging about this experience. Please don’t cut me out of the will, Grandma! I love you!), I went over there to help her.

Name: no problem. Education: no problem. Interests: no problem. Picture: problem.

I had several pictures on my page that had her in them, and I suggested that we crop one of those to use as her profile picture.

“But I look so OLD in those pictures,” she complained.

“You ARE old,” I thought, but tried not to say. I didn’t quite succeed. But to appease her, I did try to find a picture where she looked LESS old to use. All of them were denied.

Finally, joking, I pulled up a picture of her and my grandfather from right before they got married.

“Perfect,” she said. “Can we take your grandfather out of the picture though?”

“Um, Grandma? This picture was taken 63 years ago.”

“I know, that’s why it’s perfect. I want my old boyfriends to be able to find me.”

(While this conversation is going on, mind you, my grandfather was downstairs sleeping in his easy chair.)

In my head, I tried to explain the ridiculousness of this to her. Her old boyfriends are probably dead. If they aren’t, they probably aren’t on the Book of Face. AND HER HUSBAND IS DOWNSTAIRS. But I looked at my grandmother and realized that none of these arguments would get me anywhere. So I sighed and cropped my grandfather out of the picture.

So in her facebook picture, my grandmother is nearly ten years younger than I am now.

See what I mean? The apocalypse is coming.

But I should really stop making fun of her lack of internet skills. Not because it’s mean, but because I recently sat down with my best friend to try to learn about using Twitter. And I thought she was talking about drugs when she started explaining hashtags.

Like grandmother like granddaughter, I guess.