Posted by: Andrea | July 22, 2009

Closing in on 100

So the haircut has turned out better than I thought and when I wear it curly actually looks ok. It still looks pretty dire whenever I wear it straight, which is extremely odd since the hairdresser styled it straight when I left the salon. The only thing I can figure is that Glaswegian hairstylists are very fond of the sort of ‘reverse mullet’ look, when the majority of your hair is short, with this sort of inexplicable long section right at the back of your head. SO odd, but it seems to explain why every hairdresser I’ve ever gone to seems incapable of leaving my hair alone without cutting extremely short layers at the crown of my head.

Other than battling with my hair, I’ve been visiting home for the first time since Christmas. Thankfully there’s no gigantic snowstorm this time, so I’ve been able to visit most of my family and friends.  I made it to my friend’s bachelorette party and TWO family reunions and there’s still a week to go!  I also have a wedding to attend next weekend, which I bought a killer dress for so I’m excited about that.  Even with my vacation weight gain (EVERY TIME no matter what I do!) the dress should look good.  Plus a bunch of my high school friends will be there and I haven’t seen them in YEARS.  That’s one of the downsides of living abroad!

One of my family reunions was to celebrate my grandma’s 95th birthday, which was actually back in January, which means she’s actually 95 ½.  We also celebrated my other grandma’s 88th birthday at the beginning of my trip, which means I have some seriously well preserved DNA.  It also means that barring some sort of rope malfunction while rock climbing, I will most likely be hitting a pretty good age by the time I finally wave goodbye to this lifetime.  I always figured getting old seemed ok, as long as you had your wits about you.  I can now say, after seeing my grandma at 95, that I’m not entirely sure I also want to get to be that age.  As my mom said, ‘getting old’s a bitch.’

The hard part was seeing how much my grandma wanted to do but couldn’t any longer.  She can’t walk for any distance really and the only way she gets around her assisted living facility is by a motorized scooter.  She can’t go up and down stairs; her knees almost buckled just stepping up the curb at the restaurant we went to.  When we had the picnic to celebrate her birthday, the only way she could get up the steps into the house for the bathroom was for my two uncles and my cousin to lift her up the stairs in her wheelchair.  I know she was a bit embarrassed by that and I know she wanted to be able to go and talk to everybody she wanted to, instead of having to sit in one place and let everyone come to her.  She gets frustrated with the things she can’t do and it made me sad to see that frustration.  I knew she wasn’t going to be the same as she was when she was 90 (the last time I saw her), but I was still a bit surprised.

Of course, she’s also still my grandma.  She still HATES to lose (at anything) and was in a complete grump when she lost at Scrabble the first time we all played.  My mom (designated photographer for the weekend and taking her role VERY SERIOUSLY) tried to get a picture of her and she refused to smile!  The next time we played we all made sure that Grandma won.  Well.  When she saw that score, her face lit up and she waved her arms in the air, yelling, ‘I’m the winner!!!’

‘Even as kids, she never ever let you guys win.’  My mom whispered to me.

Yup, that’s my grandma.  Even at 95, when it comes down to what really matters, she’s hasn’t changed a bit.


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