When your grandma is way cooler than you’ll ever be

A couple of days ago, my grandmother drove up from Newport Beach for my sister-in-law’s baby shower. Unfortunately, the normally active 81-year-old wasn’t herself, as she’d thrown out her back on the ride to the Bay Area. Though uncomfortable, she refused to take off her high heels and even jumped on the trampoline with my nephews (her great-grandchildren), both of whom helped her stand up and hop around. It was unbelievable.

There’s not much else to say on the matter, aside from the fact that she still has three inches on me and a better attitude than I do about wearing heels, but hopefully her trooper mentality will rub off on me someday. I got a little bit of her impressive height, but let’s be real here: I’m done growing.

That reminds me: I used to hate being “just north of average” in the height department. Now I wish I were even taller. Both of my brothers are six foot five, my mom is five eight (formerly five ten), my dad was six two, and my sister is five nine. Last I checked, I’m five five and three quarters. Translation? I’m not even 5’6! How lame is that? If I’m going to tower over all the little shrimps on the east coast, I should at least do it well. That’s another thing I’ve been thinking about lately: why are people out east so tiny compared to those along the west coast? It’s mind-boggling.

I will say, however, that I’m kind of burned out on California cheeriness. It only took a couple of days home for me to realize how over the excessive happiness I am, probably because I’ve been known to bring the same kind of attitude to the east coast. I guess I kind of miss the rugged, cynical, jaded mentality of New Yorkers, who are always striving for something more and thinking about their next project. It’s not necessarily that way in California, at least where I grew up. Everyone is all about health, well-being, work-life balance, all that new age nonsense. I appreciate my background, I really do, but somewhere along the line, I adapted to NYC…and began to love it. A lot. It’ll break your heart nine times out of ten, but when it lifts you up once in a blue moon, you walk on air. Hurricanes, snowstorms, and centipedes can come my way, but I’m never leaving the concrete jungle.

Of course, I may have hesitated to write that had I been in Manhattan two days ago, when my roommate found a mouse in our bathroom. Turns out we’ve got a hole in our sink. It’s an NYC rite of passage, really, but one we could have gone without experiencing. I had it bad enough when my room was infested with psychotic, highly inconsiderate centipedes and acquired mold from my upstairs neighbor’s leaking air conditioner. And Hurricane Sandy? Well, you know how I dealt with that. Jen and I have been through the wringer in NYC, but we’re still full of fight. That’s what living here seems to be all about: toughening up for the next big crisis, which is always worse than the previous one. In the words of Chris Christie, “I am waiting for the locusts and pestilence next.”

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