My grandmother has become a bit part of my FB. (Yes, she knows about it.) Every few weeks, I’ll share a scene or conversation. She gets tons of “likes” and comments. But as I’m slowly working myself up to the idea of going back into the workforce full-time, I realized that putting a positive spin on my time with her has made it seem like I just get to eat puppies and shit rainbows with her 24-7.
What goes unsaid is the mind-numbingly repetativeness of our visits (“Did you eat breakfast?” “Yes, I always eat breakfast” “Did you eat breakfast?” “Yes, why? Did you?” “Yes but sometimes I think you don’t.”) Probably if her eyesight were better she could judge the size of my ass and stop this particular merry-go-round.
Grandma also has gotten to a point in her life where she can still have a good bit of independence, but doesn’t feel well enough to enjoy it. She goes to fancy parties her community puts on, social visits, etc. But when I ask how it was, inevitably she was put next to someone who talked too softly, or she couldn’t see the band, or they served a type of food difficult to eat…all the negatives pile up on me and smother any patience and kindness I’ve tried to store up for her.
Usually I will finally explode in a fake-hearty expression of, “Well, sorry it was so awful!” Which is her cue to start, “Now, it wasn’t that bad…the potatoes were cooked very well…”
I also do not subject my FB friends to the fact that ANY conversation, left lingering more than 5 minutes, comes back to food. I like food. LOVE it, actually. If she weren’t a diabetic with high blood pressure, conversations about food might even be interesting. But I don’t need to dissect how good a baked potato was baked.
Lastly, what doesn’t come across in a little status blurb on a social network, is how little I feel I actually help her. How little she actually wants my help. She likes my coming because it gives her just a little edge, makes every day things just a little easier. But mostly? She naps in the afternoon and I watch Glee on my laptop.
I’m not complaining about the fact that she won’t embrace an eReader, or set up online bill pay, or get a Jitterbug phone (although the last bugs to no end because she pays $50/month for a cell phone SHE CANNOT TURN ON.) But she won’t even let me drive her to the Olive Garden (an old favorite of hers) because it is “too far across town” – i.e. more than 10 minutes away (15! probably less if I got on I-75, which I drive on 2 hours sucessfully every week to get to her!).
So, yeah. I’m looking for a new job. I understand there will be drawbacks to this – not the least of which is the fact that there are good things about spending so much time with grandma and I have truly cherished this time. But I think it’s better that I extricate myself from this while we both feel that way.
I just hope Facebook understands.