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Grandma Love vs. Grandma Hate

by Izzy Halloran

Managing Editor

[originally published Summer 2021]

Please Note: All interviewed subjects have chosen to remain anonymous, to avoid any further angering of their mean grammys.


Most of us have a gam gam. Or a Grams, perhaps a Meemaw, Mimi, Grammy, Gammer, Gammpy, Nana, Nonna, a mother’s mother. Some of us like our mommy’s mom, some of us despise her. Grandma love vs. Grandma hate, that’s the big question. Personally, I have just the one that I like. She’s pretty teeny, I think four foot eleven inches (Snooki height), as italian as a New Jersey cannoli or perhaps a fresh dollar slice of za. I have wonderful, light memories of my Grandma. Like that time she had one too many moscow mules at Christmas dinner and started telling stories about growing up among the m*b. Or that other time when she said to me and my sister, “thank god you guys aren’t ugly, I’d hate to have ugly grandchildren.” And she was only kidding a little. These anecdotes are all to say--I love my Grammy a lot. But since coming to Oberlin, I’ve realized how many of my peers do not appreciate nanna like I do. So as any good, pretty and cute reporter would do, I asked around campus to see if any Grandma-haters would talk to me about their unfortunate situations.

Grandma hater number one tells me about how Grandma Janet has been an odd presence in their life since birth. As an extremely traditional Christian, Grammy sent them and their two siblings to Bible camp as a child. A whole camp dedicated to the Bible. And although Gram-Gram hater number one did end up having a good time…Janet has been pushing her religion on their family since birth, and she sees the devil in everything. It sucks when your Grandma thinks you are gonna burn in hell! Grandma hater number two hates Gramma for a lot of different reasons.

This Grandma is a Jewish one, Grandma Peggy. Peggy is a five foot two frizzy haired Jew. Something cool about her is that she keeps batteries and hard candy in her bra in case of emergency. The story with this one is that she got mad at her granddaughter because she did not talk to Grammy enough during her bat mitzvah. And also, she dropped the Torah (so maybe some of the anger was justified…). When Grandma Peggy gets mad, loose Duracells and Werther’s Originals have been known to dislodge from her bra. It’s not a pretty sight.

I’ve been blessed with an angelic Italian grandmother, but has that deprived me of the drama of having a mean gam gam? I can’t help but feel that my cushy upbringing has shielded me from all the evil, wicked grammy’s out there. I will conclude this study with the same questions I began with: Grandma hate or grandma love? After years of research, hundreds upon hundreds of hours spent grueling over this question-- Grandma love wins.

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