A funny thing happened when I was in Ohio over Columbus Day weekend. My grandma attended the wedding with a friend of hers from Florida who certainly seemed to be more than friendly. I assumed that my aunts and uncles would get the scoop after I left, but they get more and more unreliable as I get older. It's very disappointing.
So, I took the opportunity to get the 411 myself when I called her a two weeks ago. I repeat, two weeks ago.
"Grandma, it was so nice to see your friend Bill at the wedding."
"Isn't he great? We had a real nice time. He's coming to Florida to spend New Year's Eve with me too."
"So, Gram...is Bill, like, your boyfriend?" (Ed: The seventh-gradeness of this conversation cannot be over-implied. My grandmother is 78.)
(audibly blushing) "No, we're just good friends. I mean I guess there might be some...something...feelings or such on my side maybe, possibly, but he never..."
"Gran, it's all anybody could talk about at the wedding. He's quite obviously smitten. We thought for sure you were dating and just hadn't told us. Haven't your daughters talked to you about this? They really should have."
"Really? You think he acts like he likes me? Who said that? What exactly did she say? Did Bill say anything to you?"
"Everyone said so, Gram. He totally likes you. I mean, the sparks between you were plain to see."
"Well, maybe I'll just have to blow on those sparks a little..." (Ed: this does not sound dirty when a 78 year old says it.)
Last night, my mom mentioned that Bill was in town again. I figured that the spark-blowing course of action I'd encouraged might be producing flames. I pictured them shyly holding hands, as their sweet little feelings began to bubble up.
Grandma called me again last night (before she called my aunts, not that she likes me better than them or anything.)
"Grandma! How are you? I heard Bill was in town. Is he still there?"
"Yes, I've locked the doors to keep him in the house with me. We're having a great time. We did some running around yesterday, and today we went shopping for an engagement ring."
"A what? You're engaged? Gram, that's great! Congratulations! I'm so happy for you. So you were dating when Bill came for the wedding in October?"
"You mean this has all happened in the last two weeks?"
"I believe it's been three."
That's right. My grandma has been single for 18 months, after 52 years of marriage to the only man she ever dated, and she is engaged. Bill said she even made him get down on his arthritic knees to propose.
I think I'm cursed with singleness on behalf of my entire maternal family. These people can't stay single for an instant. Most of them already have new significant others before they leave the ones they're married to. I can't figure it out. And I'm easy! Seriously!
I can't wait to throw this bachelorette party. And this is the first bright spot in the ongoing drama of my mom not really speaking to her siblings; I won't have to hear secondhand whatever greedy things they have to say about my Grandma's money and how to make sure Bill doesn't get it. When the only proper response is: Wow.
Is it wrong of me to have started speculating about the eligibility of Step-Grandpa Bill's male relatives the minute we got off the phone? They are from a blue state...