Posts Tagged ‘political incorrectness’

My mother has a name but ever since she first became a grandmother in 1969, everyone has called her “Nana” (pronounced Naw-Naw). Some people don’t even know her name. They just call her Nana.

Nana lives in southern California and it has been a long, long time since I lived any closer than an hour away from her. Right now, I live about an 18 hour drive from her. However, we were both in the San Francisco bay area recently and I brought her home with me. She is enjoying being away from home. In a way, she’s running away. Here, she has nothing she has to do. She is watching her Spanish language soap operas in the evening; we’re talking a lot; we’re going through boxes of old pictures and sorting them so that one of these days I can put them in scrap books! In the day time, we’re driving around so she can see some of the city and the areas around here. She hasn’t ever been in the Portland area before and she loves it here.

Having Nana here is good. We haven’t spent much time together in a long time. It helps me see how I am like her and how I am very unlike her. It also lets me see the ways I don’t want to be and hopefully I can keep from being like her in certain ways. Not to say that she’s not a good person but she’s 76 and “that” generation is intolerant of a lot of the things and people that many of us accept gladly (and many things and people a lot of us pretend to tolerate and accept). Nana is also deaf. She wears hearing aids and depending on the volume she has them turned to, she sometimes speaks very, very softly and very, very loudly at other times.

One day last week, we went to the Rose Garden and on the way back, we suddenly both got really hungry. You know, that hunger that comes from out of nowhere and quickly has your stomach threatening to eat itself (as my daughter is fond of saying). I haven’t lived here long so I don’t know a lot of places to eat. I wasn’t in my neighborhood and I figured it would be at least a half hour before we got anywhere near where I would know which restaurants were around. I noticed that we were on 39th and approaching Hawthorn. I knew my daughter’s favorite coffee shop/diner was just a few blocks away so I headed toward it. Once inside Cup and Saucer, we waited for a table and as we were sitting down, my mom says, in a VERY loud voice, “Did you see his hair? That guy. His hair looks so weird!” Then she proceeded to turn and point at the guy walking out the front door. I was so stunned that I couldn’t say anything fast enough and before I knew it, she had continued: “How awful it looks! Did you see?” I shook my head, not really saying that I hadn’t seen but indicating how incredulous I was of what was going on. She went on: “He has the sides shaved and he has this long thing like a Mohawk and then it goes down in long braids like the black people wear (dreadlocks)!” I thought I was going to die. I was so glad I couldn’t see any of the people in the booths surrounding us. I hoped they couldn’t see me. I changed the subject as quickly as I could but she still kept turning around to see the young man in the unusual-to-her hair-do.

The rest of our lunch was uneventful. Delicious. And thankfully, uneventful!

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