Don't Call Me Grandma!

It’s not that I dislike grandmas; just don’t mistake me for one.

by tsgoyna tanzman • Guest Writer { View Profile }
Photograph: Photo courtesy of the author.

It’s not that I don’t like grandmas; it’s just that I’m not one. I’m the mother of a 12 year-old.  OK, so I’m 53, but I fit into my 21-year-old wedding dress, blog on MySpace and even wear ripped jeans. So what’s up with all these guys calling me “grandma?”

It started right after my daughter was born.  We’d gone to a restaurant on a family outing. I opened the menu as my darling baby snuggled in my arms.

“Hi my name is Andy and I’ll be your…ooh what a cute baby.  You lucky Grandma!”     

“What‘ll you have?”

“Uh, make it a facelift, an aspirin and your manager’s name.”

My husband did his best to console me. 

“C’mon he’s a kid—probably thinks thirty’s old, besides you know how sleep-deprived you are.”

“Gee honey, that sentence could’ve used a period before you got to ‘besides.’ ”

Many years passed since the first incident, but their frequencies are amping up. Recently, we were at a fancy party for our friend’s 13-year-old. Clad in my sexy spaghetti-strap dress, I ordered a straight-up martini with olives when a handsome older gentleman sidled up to me, checking me out from head to toe. His seductive Latin accent immediately intrigued me.

“You have a gorgeous, (I am on the verge of blushing) granddaughter.”


He repeats it so loudly that everyone can hear “granddaughter” above the thumping bass of “Macho Macho Man.”

“Bartender,” I push the drink back, “make mine a double and lightly poison his.”

I spend the rest of my evening plotting the deportation of Señor Venezuela.

What riles me most though, is that the latest “grandma-name caller” is a guy who kind of knows me. He and his (employee-of-my-husband) wife partied in my home only weeks ago. I ran into them at the toy store and overheard them talking about their new grandchild.

“Buying something for the grandbaby?” I ask.

“Golly yes,” says the wife, “we can’t stop.”

“What about you, spoiled any of yours, yet?” asks the guy.

Whoa, did he just call me “grandma” without actually saying the “G” word?

I’m guessing by the wife’s sudden pallor and her elbow jab to hubby—the answer’s yes.

Maybe it’s my karmic payback. I once gushed over a girlfriend I hadn’t seen in forever,

“Oh honey, I didn’t know you were expecting.”

Turns out she wasn’t.

Trust me I paid my dues for that blunder, but shouldn’t the statute of limitations be up?

Can’t we stop all this name-calling and just get along?  Or will I have to roll up my sleeves and just clock the next “sonny boy” who dares to call me “grandma?”


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