Hide Your Valuables: My Grandmother is Visiting

Kate Ginley, Staff Writer

When the term “grandmother” comes up, you might think of a sweet, old lady that bakes cookies.

You do not know of my grandmother though.

My grandmother would rather steal spoons from Costco.

We call her “Nonie,” which is Italian for grandmother. In spite of her heritage, this full-blooded Italian can’t cook. Nonie has even burnt baked potatoes.

At my birth, my parents called Nonie up and told her she had a granddaughter named “Katherine.” Her response was, “I like Gina.”

When I was 9 years old, Nonie would take me out every other Friday to Burger King.

One Friday, I had just received my recorder for my music class in third grade. I showed Nonie the instrument in the fast-food restaurant. She exclaimed that she didn’t have any money on her, therefore we couldn’t eat. She then urged me to play my recorder outside in order to solicit donations for our food.

At 9, I was unaware that Nonie always keeps at least a $50 bill in her purse.

I ran outside and was playing my instrument in the cold fall weather with hope to get enough money for food. The thing is, I actually did make a decent amount of money that would get me some onion rings. But my elder sister’s friends walked by and asked what I was doing. I told them that my grandmother didn’t have any money for Burger King so I had to play for money. They alerted my sister of my whereabouts, which in turn was told to my parents. They were horrified and immediately called Nonie, telling her “it wasn’t okay.”

My grandmother replied by saying, “I thought it was funny.”

As you can see, my grandmother is very “different” from others. She’s not a bad grandmother, she’s just crazy. Yes, there are negatives, but she makes everyday an adventure.

From tipping over a gondola in Italy to scoring fastpasses in Disneyland on our latest vacation, it’ clear that you should expect the unexpected with Nonie.

A few years ago, Nonie had heart surgery and was close to death. After the surgery, which she survived, the doctors asked if she had seen a light, like most patients do. She replied by saying she didn’t see anything. My mom told Nonie that was not a good sign.

We have decided that when she does succumb to the great beyond, her funeral will be an open-mic night, including a white elephant exchange with the theme “Bring something Nonie would have stolen.” This was including but not limited to: spoons, hotel soaps/shampoo, garlic, Tylenol, magazines, and figurines.

But it’s Christmas time. People get together to enjoy the holiday and put any differences behind them as if it was their last Christmas to celebrate the life they have left.

Though we joke about Nonie, she is in the midst of losing her memory and she knows it too, meaning I don’t have a lot of time left with her regular self. So yes, many people have lovely grandmothers that do sweet things like knit them sweaters or bake, but I have a crazy grandmother who turns life into a comical movie that earns many laughs when you look back on the situations.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.