All of this talk of elderly females got me thinking about grandmas.
I had two, which I believe is considered the norm. They are dead now.
My siblings and I used our grandparents' last names, so they were Grandma Mariano and Grandma Bradley. It still sounds weird to me when people call their grandparents by their first names, or even weirder, use some adorable made-up moniker, like Pop-ola or Grummsy. As if grandparents are figures of affection and warmth, and not forbidding matri-/patriarchs under whose shadow you must cower and throw offerings.
Actually Grandma Mariano was, by all accounts, the (much, much) less forbidding and stern of the two grandmothers, but she died when I was eight, so my memories of her are murky.
Wasn't she lovely? (That's my mom on the right.) I have many pictures of her, and she's gorgeous in all of them. ( have no pictures of Grandma Bradley, strangely. Although she didn't cast a reflection, so maybe that's why? And every time we tried to capture her image our camera burst into flames? I have to look into that.)
My most vivid memory of Grandma Mariano is sitting in the passenger seat of her car as she drove the wrong way down the one-way exit/entrance to my sister's high school. I remember a lot of people shouting and running out of the way. She seemed unconcerned.
I am told she did that sort of thing quite a bit.
I have also been told that instead of using the phrase, "I'll treat you," or "it's on me," she would say, "I'll blow you." Now, apparently this was some sort of vernacular in her day (I HOPE), but not the sort of thing you want to hear out of your grandma's mouth. My sister still talks about how mortifying it was to have her grandma utter the words "Let's go out for ice cream! I'll blow you!" in front of a whole bunch of teenagers who had wandered outside to see who had driven the wrong way into the parking lot and caused all the ensuing chaos.
Oh, how I wish I could remember that part.