The Thinking 

His Grandmother Had No Tattoos

July 21, 2014


AST, Balthasar van der Still-Life with Plums, Cherries, and Shells c. 1628

AST, Balthasar van der
Still-Life with Plums, Cherries, and Shells
c. 1628

 ALAN writes: 

My grandmother led a poor, pitiful, colorless life.

These are some of the things my grandmother never did:

— Shop in a supermarket permeated by rock “music”
— Set foot on an airplane
— Ride on a motorcycle
— Ride in a souped-up car
— Travel more than 150 miles from home
— Drink anything stronger than coffee
— Work in the workaday world
— Visit a “theme park”
— Set foot in a shopping mall
— Celebrate Feminism
— Wear pants
— Wear tattoos
— Swear like a sailor
— Talk or dress younger than her age
— Aspire to become a soldier
— Live in an air-conditioned house
— Use an automatic washer, dryer, or dishwasher
— Speak the words “Y’know”, “cool!”, “awesome!”, or “I was like”

In place of all those fun things, she did only this:

— Minded her own business: Her children, family, home and church
— Made quilts for her family and church
— Walked every Sunday to her church for the Latin Tridentine Mass
— Endeavored to live by the moral code taught to her by nuns and priests in the Church Militant
— Lived as a housewife and homemaker—cooking, baking, shopping, cleaning, washing, ironing, decorating
— Prepared countless donuts, pastries, and pies for family weddings and get-togethers
— Approved of the moral code in B-Western movies of the 1930s-‘40s
— Enjoyed the clean humor on radio programs featuring Jack Benny and Kay Kyser and His College of Musical Knowledge
— Placed a star in her window when her son was in the South Pacific during World War II, and gave thanks when he returned home safely
— Tended the flowers in her back yard
— Made bouquets from those flowers for her grandson to carry to his kindergarten and first grade teachers in his parochial school
— Spent leisure hours playing card games, visiting her sisters, or enjoying the television programs of Kate Smith, Art Linkletter, and Spring Byington
— Lived quietly and modestly, without ever imagining that she or her generation were the greatest gift to the world

If I were a fool, I might say she missed a lot of fun things.  But not being a fool, I believe she didn’t miss a thing.

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