Thursday, August 11, 2011

Francis or Franklin

OK, so that last entry was a bit lethargic.  I need to get snappier.  What is wrong with me???

Maybe it is due to the fact that I did not have espresso today.  Just two cups of the violently disgusting brew of toad droppings that is the coffee provided by my employer.  They mean well.  We used to get Starbucks.  I don't know who angered the office manager to the point that we had to switch to "Rainy Day Blend," but I apologize on their behalf.  Seriously.  "Rainy Day Blend?"  What a way to start the day.

I know that I have done it before, but this weekend I will be tempting fate and spending three days alone with three small hyperactive dogs.  One is mine, who incidentally is recovering well after her dramatic day in the hospital.  Although I am not a wildly social person, I have been making small attempts to reach out.  So far, I have had no affirmative responses.  Most people are going out of town.

Speaking of the hospital, it sounds like my grandfather is in one now as well.  Poor guy has been having some problems lately and being the true passive-aggressive Norwegian that he is, he hasn't wanted to complain, but it has become blatantly obvious that all is not well in his world. 

This is my only living grandparent, and he just turned 85.  While his health has not always been perfect, there is really no reason to suspect that he will not make it to 90.  Just not in his current independent living situation.

Getting old is not easy, no matter what age you are.  Suddenly finding that you can no longer do certain things and that you may have to become dependent on the kindness of health care staff to accomplish basic daily rituals cannot be appealing.  Thankfully, my grandfather is a social guy and I think that he actually likes the attention of the nursing staff.  Especially if they are cute girls.

Of course, he has also been known to attempt to play yenta for me.  Several years ago, during an extended hospitalization, I came to visit him.  After initial pleasantries were exchanged, he informed me that he had found me a nice young doctor to marry.  Thankfully, there was never a chance for introduction, but it was interesting to learn that my grandfather may be just as anxious to see me married as my mother.  Especially as this is my father's father.

Please keep in mind that this is the man who found great amusement in passing me false information about seemingly insignificant facts for his own amusement.  The most memorable of these instances happened when I was quite small. 

As a child, I was consumed with knowing minute and strange details about my friends and family.  You could say I was obsessed with trivial facts.  For example, I had a big interest in middle names.  After my first day of preschool, I came home and recited the first and middle names of every single classmate. 

Naturally, I made inquiries to family members as well.  I remember distinctly asking my grandfather about his middle name, and he informed me that it was Francis.  As a trusting child, I saw no reason to suspect otherwise. 

Fast forward to my teens.  I don't know how it came up.  Perhaps it was on a document or maybe someone mentioned it in conversation.  Either way, it was pointed out that his middle name was Franklin.  I was completely caught off guard.  I questioned the source and tried to insist that he told he it was Francis.  True, the two names are not wildly different, but I knew what I knew.

Turns out, he lied to me on purpose as part of a joke.  A joke that only he knew about.  A joke that would only reach its punchline many years later and likely not when he was present.  You may think that his sense of humor must be a bit off.  You may be right. 

Part of being in a family is knowing what makes everyone else "tick."  For all is bizarre ideas, my grandfather knew at my young age what sort of thing would work on me and my own idiosyncrasies.  He was right; it really did irritate me when I learned I had been duped.

I wish that I could say this was the only time he did this to me, but that would be a lie.  My gullibility has been the source for much amusement over the years, and even my own father has taken to participating on occasion. 

I really do hope that he recovers to trick me again in the future.  I need someone to remind me that I do not have all the facts yet.

No comments:

Post a Comment