January 1, 2021
It all happened so quickly. In fact, I think I was hoodwinked by enemy forces. Was I getting too cocky? Too full of myself? I mean, all those awards. Accolades. The praise. The adulation from my fans and followers. I suppose it enveloped me and I lost a part of myself. I forgot what was important and I became wrapped up in the trappings of being a superstar and it all caught up with me. It isn’t easy being who I am. But it happened. And I am here to show you all – to bare my soul and show that I can throw myself at your mercy to become one of the great unwashed and to beg for YOUR mercy as I admit before friend and foe, that I have failed. Yes, I have failed. How is this possible, you may ask and where in my virtually impeccable example of a life well lived could I have failed? Keep reading, because if I can fail, any of you lesser beings certainly can fail – it’s that scary, folks, it’s just that scary. Let’s not talk about Russian collusion. Let’s talk about me failing – as a Grandma. Please, please. It is not my intention to cause unnecessary angst amongst my people. Nor am I looking for sympathy or more attention. Lord knows I am busy enough fielding the minions and hangers on who seek to walk in my waft, I may need to hire someone. Sigh, the challenges of being so gifted and awesome. But I digress. Please allow me to give you a little back story (Sniff! As if I need to ask permission)
First, one doesn’t just DECIDE to become a grandmother, like one decides to become a Costco member. It’s much more complicated and involves a certain very specific and regimented skill set. Compare it to joining the FBI, if you will. If you don’t pass a long list of rigid requirements, baby, it doesn’t matter how long you have yearned to be a MomMom, if you can’t change a diaper blow out in thirty seconds while the wearer of the blow out is simultaneously blowing out his or her second mass of disgustingness, you are nothing but a wannabe, but don’t you dare call yourself Grandma, because you will be thrown in the brig. If you can’t look lovingly at all the wrongdoings of an errant toddler without the same calling them out like you would their own parents at that age, then you are not worthy my friend and you certainly are no one’s GiGi – just back the hell off!
I had always wanted to be a Grandma, so I started doing my research early. I sent in my initial application, took the physical, drug tests, credit report, background check, glamour shots, you name it. Everything was golden. I aced the interviews with my charm, good looks, and of course, exceptional intellect. In my mind, it was in the bag. And most importantly, I worked hard. My reward was that I graduated at the top of my class and I was so proud when I officially became a grandma with the birth of my first bundle of joy. He was everything to me and I wore my badge of honor with joy and pride.
Now, eight grandchildren later, I bask in the glory of knowing how good I am at it. Just looking at the awards and hearing the testimonials and tributes from around the world as well as from my own grandchildren who tell me how lucky they feel to be in my presence and whose friends feel cheated when they look at their own grandparents – I mean facts are facts, right folks? But this is where it all goes terribly, terribly wrong. For one millisecond I took my eye off the target. As they say in the military, never underestimate the enemy, do NOT become complacent, because it WILL bite you in the ass – EVERY SINGLE TIME. I am here to tell you that it’s happened to me. I suppose I had it coming so I am throwing myself at everyone’s mercy and asking for your understanding. Here goes.
I am well organized when it comes to buying Christmas gifts for my grandchildren. I make lists and get input from the parents, but also utilize a bit of my own imagination. I don’t go overboard. I order online and as items arrive, I highlight on my list – it’s not rocket science. So I had an array of Legos, karaoke machines, books, electronic devices, puzzles, jewelry and the like. Mom of my five-year-old granddaughter had suggested a particular doll from a particular collection that she seemed to have an affinity for – big doe-like eyes, crazy hair, waifish faces, cute outfits and, I suppose some sort of back story that the marketing teams use to goad the parents and grandparents into buying them. The supply seems endless. So, I ordered one and added it to my list to be highlighted in yellow when it was delivered.
Fast forward to the family gathering for Christmas. I have just finished a delicious dinner with my loved ones and we are about to assemble for the time honored practice of opening gifts. Grandchildren are especially excited to see what Grandma has brought them because she usually does a bang-up job and elicits her fair share of oohs and aahs from the peanut gallery. And of course, the oohs and aahs are plentiful because everyone knows Grandma is a Rockstar. I nail it again and again. They love what they receive, pounce on me with hugs, are consumed with excitement and shrieks of joy. It’s Christmas after all with Grandma.
Until it happens. It’s my Grandma fall from grace. My mortification and degradation. I have been Lori Loughlin’ed. And I can’t blame anyone but myself and my own stupidity and negligence. When it happened, it was as if it were in slow motion. My innocent, darling five-year-old sweet, blonde, blue-eyed granddaughter with the most endearing smile picks up my gift to her, you know, the one I ordered from that particular collection she had the affinity for – doe-eyed, crazy hair, you get the picture. She anxiously sits on the floor with her six-year-old equally excited cousin next to her as she rips open the gift, the gift that her Grandma, the one who loves her more than life itself, has given her……..ANNNNNNNND………..WHAT IN HOLY HELL???? It was as if time stopped and no one knew what to do. The look of confusion on my granddaughters’ faces; the stifled utterances of shocked obscenities by me and I am pretty sure my daughter, coupled with laughter and the attempt to somehow normalize the fact that we were looking at a “grown up” version of this doll who in my mind looked like a crack whore version of Barbie just was the frosting on my cake this fine Christmas celebration.
Apparently, I misunderstood my daughter’s instructions and purchased a more “mature” version of this so-called toy. Yikes! Do you remember when Barbie was considered controversial? After we were able to distract the kids and put the stripper pole dancer away never to be seen again and I to wrestle with my guilt that I have somehow sullied my granddaughters’ innocence, it made me angry that the toy companies and the clothing companies too are sexualizing our young girls. Stop it! This hooker in training came with a studded bra, thongs, corset, stripper shoes, black lace stockings and a few other items of “clothing” that most parents would not want their daughters to aspire to wear.
So, I stand before you humbled and contrite. I plan to keep a low profile and no longer proclaim any expertise in grandmadom. I do promise however, to never become complacent again, because that is how a doll dressed as a stripper made its way into my sweet granddaughter’s arms. And that is the day I robbed her of a bit of her innocence and I will go to my grave regretting that.
One final note. Happy New Year. I hope 2021 is a better one for all of us. I did however, stub my toe and bite my tongue this morning. Just saying; just hoping that’s not a harbinger……God bless us all.