A few weeks ago my Grandma Ponte changed her flight to one week earlier than she was supposed to leave. She hadn’t talked to my parents yet, so she didn’t know that they would be on a cruise until the 19th. What does that mean? Chris and I are hosting our first family guest in our humble abode.
I was doing a great job of hosting…until today. Up until today I had figured out how to make her coffee in the morning, learned her favorite bread for sandwiches and replaced our “dry, healthy, new-age bread”. Up until today I had been very patient to listen to stories from the past…sometimes the same ones….over, and over again. Up until today, I had been cautious to make her delicious meals, hold her up when she was getting into and out of my car, and quiet while she talked through the TV shows I was attempting to watch. I was doing just GREAT. Up until today.
Today, I lost my grandma in a parking lot. This is very serious. I worked until 2PM this afternoon and felt bad that my grandma had been in the house all day by herself. When I asked if she wanted to run errands with me, she scurried to the bedroom and had her beaded Christmas sweater and red lipstick on before you could say bingo. And so…off we were to A.C.Moore, where I had to pick up a few last minute odds and ends to wrap up my Christmas shopping. My grandma walks with a cane, so she didn’t want to come in with me. I was leery about leaving her in the car, but I taught her how to lock the doors and left the keys with her in case it got cold while I was inside. I grabbed my few items in less than 10 minutes, checked out with my 50% off coupon, and returned to my car with a feeling of satisfaction that my 2010 shopping season had just adjourned.
When I got to my car, the doors were locked, but my grandma was missing. My entire body was suddenly warm, my palms sweaty, and I won’t tell you the degree of saturation in my pits. I took a deep breath and walked to the passenger side of the car, and checked again if she was there-as if I might only be able to see her from one angle. I circled the car twice, wondering if I should ask the smoking women outside of Babies R Us if they had seen anything suspicious. By this time, I was certain two men disguised in gray knit masks bearing only holes for the eyes and mouth had withdrawn my grandma and taken her away in their white van with minimal windows.
After staring at the car a few more seconds in disbelief, I glanced at my surroundings. Babies R Us on the left, iParty on the right. Knowing my grandma is an avid crocheter and needle-pointer, I opted for A.C. Moore and headed back in. I was panting pretty heavily by this point. I circled the entire store glancing down every aisle within 60 seconds. I hurredly returned to the car grandma-less, only to see that she still wasn’t there. Full-blown panic. I remembered I had just entered my grandma’s cell number in my phone the night before, and immediately placed the call…..3 times, no answer. Great.
I questioned whether I should call Chris or the police. I opted for Chris and blurted out the short of it—he seemed a little panicked too. He quickly hung up with me to call and discuss a plan of action with my sisters. Right as I hung up with him I saw my 4’10” grandma waving her cane in the air while pushing a shopping cart out of the store yelling, “Cawwwwt, Cawwwt, I’m right heeeeeere.” Apparently she needed to use the ladies room….these things are more immediate with advancing age.
After yelling at her like a neurotic mom would at a lost but recently returned child I realized two things: a) I am full-blown neurotic, and b) I would make a terrible, awful parent.
I extinguished any thoughts I had of running to other stores and headed straight home. She’s now safe and sound on the couch watching Oprah, and I’ll leave you with this:
Fergie was just dancing and singing away on Oprah in a hot little white number that caused my grandma to loudly proclaim, “she bends over she’ll show them her number plate.”
Have a good night.