I never in a million years thought that it would happen.
I had done everything in my power for it NOT to happen. But it happened anyway.
WHY? Is there some kind of genetic curse that is totally unpreventable?
Where did I go wrong? Where did I slip up? When did I change?
WHEN DID I BECOME MY MOTHER?
Well, not just my mother, but my GRANDMOTHER.
Madge was the most powerful force in our family. Not much happened without her knowledge. When my parents divorced when I was 4 years old, it was her who took us in and made her home, ours.
She was not the typical doting Grandmother who spoiled the grandkids. Nope, she ran a tight ship, and made sure we walked a straight line.
She was also the master at saving a dollar. So masterful in fact that I was often left embarrassed or flabbergasted.
Growing up I do not believe my grandmother ever bought napkins from a store. EVER. If you were to come to our house to eat, you may find yourself wiping your mouth off a McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Captain D’s, or Burger King napkin. Whenever she would frequent these places, she would have each family member grab a stack, place them in her purse and take them home. I know any guests that we had thought all we did was eat out. The reality was, my Grandmother was just too cheap to go out and purchase napkins, when they were just sitting there… free for her to take.
Other items she like to pick up on our trips eating out was condiments. Just like the napkins, we had a variety of ketchups, mustards, jelly’s , creamers, and any other items se could pick up. She kept them stored in a zip-lock bag and brought them out whenever the occasion arose for their need.
Speaking of zip-lock bags, that was another item Madge refused to use once and toss away. One bag could be used at the minimum 10 times. They were washed out and hung out to dry, so they could once again provide service. I am pretty sure in my whole 18 years living under her roof, I am pretty sure we used the same box of bags the whole time. The same could be said for the aluminum foil as well.
The other night as I was cleaning up after dinner I just happened to look over in my sink. Here is what I saw…..
It has begun…. I have become Madge. I am not even sure what was in the bag, but clearly I thought it still had some use in it.
More and more I see how I am slowly turning into my grandmother. I have my own collection of napkins, condiments, foil, plastic utensils, and other odds that all get some use. I find myself, washing the baseboards of my home every 6 months like she did. When the warm Spring weather comes, I place my pillows out in the sun to freshen them up. When it is raining, and the sun pops out before the showers stop, I might even say, “The devil must be beating his wife.” (I never understood that saying, but I totally say it.)
So it has finally happened, and you know what? I am honored to say I am like Madge. She was sassy, full of life, and knew how she liked things done. She didn’t care about being socially acceptable. She taught me the value of hard work, taking care of what you have, and how to make a dollar go a long way.
Now I think I will head down to the Wendy’s to pick up a frosty and pack of napkins.