What is it about grandmas traveling together at the airport that is both amusing and touching?
I was thinking about this today as I sat in my terminal watching a group of silverbacks congregate around a garbage can. There were five of them and they appeared to be going on a vacation that required a tremendous amount of paperwork. I know old people aren’t great with technology, but my god the paperwork they were carting around was impressive. Don’t they know you’re not supposed to be that organized to go out to Palm Springs? Not trying to be ageist but I highly doubt they were going to do a fly-over in India and pick up a Sherpa before scaling the Himalayas. Drop the paperwork. Just print out your boarding pass like a normal person. Nothing more is required. You don’t need to have the Tony Orlando buffet dinner tickets for Tuesday night poking out of a manila folder in the airport.
Grandmas love carrying paperbacks. I’ve never seen an old person in an airport that ponied up an extra $5 for the hardcover. I understand paperbacks are easier to transport and let’s face it, osteoporosis is not for the young. I will say this, though. Old people read the good shit. They’re not wasting time on romance novels or the Bible. It’s always some bestseller that you want to read. So, points to their favor on this one.
Let’s talk about grandma hair. I just realized today that you never see a grandma with long hair. They all go short. Now, I understand that as a woman (well, I’m not a woman) your hair is a real pain in the ass. For sixty-five years you get it bleached, permed, frosted, braided, chopped, layered, burned, and ironed. And after that you’re done. It’s still styled, but there’s always a big part down the middle and then it poofs up around the front. It kind of looks like mine except stark white.
Aside from similar hair-dos old women love themselves some same solid color sweater. I don’t think Coldwater Creek makes one that doesn’t button in the front. Hey, Grams, are you wearing a white turtleneck underneath that sweater? You know you are.
Here’s the thing about seeing grandmas together. I’m not going to say they look happy. I think of a little girl excited about getting on an airplane for the first time tugging at Daddy’s shirt while he’s looking at his cell phone. That’s happy. No grandmas look better than happy. They’re content. They just sit there peacefully, reading or chatting with their girlfriends. In their bright red pants.
These old ladies know something the rest of us don’t. If you poke one and ask a question they don’t freak out on you or act as if you’re taking them away from something important. They just stare politely, listen, smile, and answer. It’s how I’d like to be. But I’m not yet because I’m a total spaz.
Let’s get back to the group thing. I hope one day I have a bunch of old guys that goes on trips together with me. I should start making friends now. Although, you never see seven old guys together ready to hit a cruise. It’s always the ladies.
The ultimate is when you see five grandmas on the extended golf cart that the maintenance guy is driving down the walkway. It very well may be the cutest thing on the planet. Sorry kittens.
Whenever I see a group of older contented women about ready to go on a trip I become a tiny bit emotional. I think of them hanging out enjoying each other’s company as one of the rewards in life. You bust your ass for fifty years on the job, raising kids, keeping the house in order, doing all the right stuff. Then you get to pal around with your friends on vacation. Now, just remember to stand on the right side of the moving pedway, goddammit. I’m going to dislocate a shoulder to get past you if I have to.