Grandma Facsimiles Elicit Emotional Response

Carla and I were in Target the other day, looking for a spray bottle with which to punish our bad cat, when in the toy aisle I chanced upon Abuelita Rosa. "This is the saddest toy ever. It's just a doll of a Mexican grandmother," said Carla, unaware that describing a toy as "sad" activates my Sympathy for Inanimate Objects Gland. This overactive gland is the reason why I have over 100 stuffed animals in a refrigerator box in my closet, many pairs of ugly, ugly shoes, and a collection of Garfield anthologies. "No one will love them if I don't," I tell myself. It is the primitive and incorrect form of rationalization most commonly used by pet hoarders. Abuelita Rosa remained in my arms until checkout, when I decided that I didn't have an extra $20 (frivolities fund hit hard by recession and recent move) and bought some $3 practical (ugly) underwear instead.

Fake Latina singing grandma reminded me of my grandma who spoke no Spanish and I found myself blinking back tears. This sort of thing happens more often than I'd like to admit.

Many of my flummoxed friends probably recall my response to the movie Electric Grandmother, which was roughly 8 minutes of uncontrolled sobbing. This movie falls into a genre I just made up called Children's SciFi/Hallmark Shmaltz. Plot Summary: A family of 2 boys and a girl receives an amazingly lifelike robot grandmother to help take care of them. She sings them songs, teaches them lessons, and shoots Tropicana out of her index finger--- you know, all the standard grandmotherly stuff. Here comes the part that brings on the waterworks: when the children grow up, android grandma is put in some kind of Electric Grandma brand storage facility and is otherwise forgotten about UNTIL the grown children grow old themselves. They hobble over to the warehouse, haul out Nanna, and she takes care of them in her gentle, grandmotherly fashion as their frailty and senility reduce them to childlike states.

Up until just recently, I couldn't even hear the title Electric Grandmother (it came up more often than you'd think!) without bursting into tears. Granted, the steady stream of fake estrogen coursing through my veins makes me particularly responsive to the sentimental, but this movie hit an especially tender place. I was partially raised by my grandparents, and it seemed like they remained 65 years old for 20 years. Some part of me wanted to believe that my grandma would really stay 65 forever, and that when I grew up and had children of my own, she would take care of them the way she took care of me-- with a serene, positive, and warmhearted energy, singing them to sleep in the orange tweed rocking chair, making them oatmeal but calling it "mush." To be able to have a grandma all the way through adulthood... it seemed so sweet, but Electric Grandmother reminded me that it's only possible in science fiction. Truthfully, I'm tearing up even right now.

Miss you, Grandma!


The Heirarchy of Need Shifts Ever Upward

Time for an update from your recessionista: I have moved out of my parents' house and into the apartment belonging to friends Jon and Carla. They are a near-married couple, so the pseudo-parental dynamic has made for a smooth transition out of my family home. It is strange and wonderful to be living instead of dying in my hometown. Now that the need for friends and pleasant environs has been sufficiently met, I find myself able to focus on goals larger than "find modicum of privacy" or "make eye contact with acquaintances." In other words,


and also,


and one more thing,

romance? Eh? Ok, nevermind.

I'm combing those want ads and pestering those contacts with renewed zeal. I'm reading books, in addition to Linda Goodman's Sun Signs (though I kind of love Linda Goodman's Sun Signs) with a slightly more academic bend. I will inject my life with much-needed meaning. 2k9 is already becoming great.