January 17, 2007
Grandpa answering his grandson, a child of television and modern marriages: Do you and Grandma still like each other after being married for fifty years?
Grandpa thinks a moment, smiles, sits back, takes a breath and here is what he said:
Your grandma likes me just fine when I’m awake. In fact she thinks I’m quite o.k. at times. But when I’m asleep and unable to control my behavior, when the scarier other half appears, and she tries unsuccessfully to banish him, then she is not too happy with grandpa.
When your grandma is just getting to sleep, going into that blissful world of dreams in the hope of refilling her tanks with new energy to tackle a new day, that’s when the bad grandpa appears with a loud snort. Grandma’s eyes fly open upon hearing such a noise. Then grandpa emits a sound like a train venting steam at the train depot.
It’s a scary thing, it’s a grandpa thing that grandma’s for some reason can’t take a liking to. So grandpas usually wake up in bed all alone and grandma is fast asleep on the sofa. But grandma likes the awake grandpa so she forgives the sleeping grandpa and that’s how they’ve stayed happy for fifty years.
Why the grandson asks are grandma and grandpas hands all freckly? They weren’t always that way.
It happens to all of us, Grandpa says, as we age, to all colors of people. I think if we lived long enough, we’d all eventually be the same color on the outside when we march into heaven. The trick is to get our brains at an early age to understand we are really all alike except for a pigmentation difference which we all outgrow, some sooner than others.