A friend posted a cutesy article called, “30 Things You Never Thanked Your Grandma For.” I was excited to read it, hoping to feel some warm grandma fuzzies.
But after getting halfway through the list, I realized, this list is stupid.
Maybe some people out there have cookie making, cross-stitch doing, Martha Stewart grandmas.
I have something better than just any old grandma. I have a Julianne.
She’s a rare, elusive gift. About 4’9,” or 5’2” with heels and hair. She never worked a day in her life. She doesn’t care about political correctness. And, she tells people she’s 94 so they’ll say, “wow! you look great for 94!!” when she’s only 84. She is not afraid to call a baby ugly. She is not afraid to flirt with waiters. She can’t spell. She can’t do math. She thinks the calendar in Saudi looks different than the calendar in America. Her mind is blown by common knowledge and simple words on a daily basis. She’s absolutely crazy, and yet, I live and breathe for and because of this tiny little nuisance.
For those with the cutesy grandmas, you don’t need to read any further. For those who wish they had a Julianne, here’s what you would be thankful for.
45 Things You Never Thanked Your Julianne For…
- For ruining my 5th grade science poster by writing in Sharpie in your own handwriting when I asked you to go over my letters that I made in pencil. You taught me to be independent.
- For the way you squeeze the spot on my back when you hug me that causes me excruciating pain. That’s a pain only you or a 7 year old can give me based on your height. You taught me that I really have to love someone to let them give me sciolosis.
- For being the worst baker on the history of this earth. You taught me that stereotypes are stupid and grandmas don’t need to make cookies and sew. Family joke: We have “Aunt Aggies” for that work.
- For doing my laundry when I was little. You only ruined or stole 70% of my clothing.
- For your unique perspective on life and constant commentary.
- For the way you taught me to treat my husband someday.
- For making us order our own birthday candles and still acting surprised.
- For “turning around” the piece of paper when I went home to surprise you for the first time instead of physically “turning around.” You taught me I need to be very specific.
- For demanding that I figure out a way to send a card from Saudi Arabia because you HAD to see a stamp.
- For being the least classy woman I may have ever met – because you’re real. You never were fake to us.
- For forcing me to read or watch the History channel. Because of you, I could read and spell “anonymous” at age three.
- For your voice. It has given everyone I know many laughs as I mimic it.
- For not listening to me when I explained that NO, IT’S NOT AVOCADO, IT’S WASABI! And then nearly choking to death
- For the fact that I was actually concerned about you when you choked. That is love.
- For being there for me when I needed you.
- For dying my hair seven different shades of blonde when I was a child. You gave me the world’s first ombre.
- For being one of the few people that gets overjoyed when I call you.
- For accepting me – unconditionally – even if that means you think I converted to Arab instead of Islam.
- For not being ashamed to ask absolutely stupid questions. No, it’s not next week in Saudi Arabia. It’s the next day.
- For changing my diapers. Now, we’re “in the same boat” shall we say.
- For teaching me to always care about how I look even if your eyeliner is a little extreme and you hate eyebrows.
- For never forgetting my birthday. Also, for never forgetting YOUR birthday and expecting a gift.
- For not praising me too much – at least not to my face. You taught me to be self motivated.
- For the many scars I have all over my arms, legs, and especially the huge one on my hand from our catfights when I was little.
- For the way you make fun of people and hate when we make fun of you.
- For taking care of grandpa now that he’s old.
- For teaching me divorce is NOT an option.
- For teaching me how NOT to drive. “It’s not that we’re moving forwards, it’s that all the other cars are moving backwards….”
- For always wanting to tag along no matter what I do.
- For the way you underline random words on cards just because. Your emphasis is intriguing.
- For the stories about my mother that no one would have been able to tell me if it weren’t for you.
- For my mother.
- For taking care of her when she was little.
- For taking care of her when she was pregnant with me.
- For taking care of her when she was dying.
- For teaching me how NOT to wear perfume.
- For taking out your teeth in public. At the same time, it is an absolute joy and horror to watch.
- For never changing yourself and your quirks no matter what people say.
- For the way you showed us what true love is by the way you look at grandpa.
- For how strong you were when my mother died.
- For all of these memories that I will forever look back on and wish you were here someday.
- For teaching me about God.
- For giving me plenty of stories to tell my children about you.
- For all the laughs.
- For our family.
Thank you, Grandma. I love you. I miss you. In my ideal world, you live just right down the street (but not next door).
May Allah keep her for me and for my family. Please, don’t forget to remember her in your prayers. After all, everytime a Julianne does something embarrassing, an angel gets its wings!