concerts, grandmothers and aches

January 8. 2000

LaurenToday was my grandmother's semi-annual brief-and-awkward visit to our house. My mother woke me up at the insanely early hour of 10 o'clock with "Get up, if Dad doesn't get home in time, I don't want to have to face your grandmother alone." Hmph. What the hell was I supposed to do?

To put it mildly, my grandmother is not the most pleasant of people. She called my father last night and told him she was coming down to drop off our Christmas presents and then leaving. How nice. We see her maybe twice a year now, if we're lucky. When my grandfather died 5 years ago, the buffer he created between my father and his mother was gone, and the tension only grew worse. Going to see her became an unpleasant chore. Although she was never outwardly mean to me or my sister, I never felt that she liked me that much. She was outright insulting to my mother most of the time, and was always trying to make my father feel like he was somehow inadequate.

So this morning my mother was going crazy trying to make everything perfect and generally freaking out, yelling at me, half asleep though I was. My grandmother isn't one of those disapproving mother-in-laws who will go around with a white glove looking for dust on the shelves. She usually manages to insult my mother more subtlety and underhandedly, no matter how hard my Mom tries. She also guilt trips my father endlessly, reminds him of all the times she saved his ass in one way or another (which are mostly exaggerations anyway).Lauren Singing

There was never any warmth from her. I have a feeling she was far too wrapped up in herself to care much for her grandchildren, or even her children. I guess I'm lucky that I have one grandmother that I know loves me, and shows it. She and my Dad don't get along well, for the same reason me and my Dad don't get along very well either: We're all very alike. My Mom likes to say that my Dad is Grandma diluted. I guess that would make me my Father diluted.

All said and done, the visit was rather painless. I woke with a splitting headache that persisted for most of the day, so I was pretty oblivious to all the proceedings. At first I thought it was lack of sleep, then I suspected it might be a migraine, due to the fact that it's getting to be that time of the month. One of the side effects of the pills that I'm on are migraines, so I did my usual routine of take 4 advil and lie down, and it seemed to work.Lauren singing some more

Today was my sister's concert, so right after my grandmother left, we departed for Lancaster, where it was being held. I had been in the district chorus last year, and in 10th grade, and it was finally nice to be in the audience and get to see how amazing everything sounded from that end. I wish I had time to sing now, but it's just not working out. I Hopefully I can get back into it someday.

My Dad and I went to yet another movie today, this time "Three Kings". The reviewer for Newsweek had called it the best movie of the year, and since it had had little publicity and hype, I was interested to see what the deal was. It was playing at a crappy little theatre that shows second run movies for $1.50. Not a bad deal. And not a bad movie, either, although calling it the movie of the year is out of the question. I must be missing some layer of it, because I couldn't get much more out of it than a very good action flick. I did love the way it was filmed, though. It looks like they overexposed the film on purpose to create this great washed-out look, and it was very effective. There was some really Oliver Stone-ish stuff to the movie, like the cutting away to scenes from the past or things completely unrelated to the story line. But all in all, very suspenseful and very entertaining. Not bad for a dollar fifty.

music: Kate Bush, The Red Shoes
food: Can of Pepsi
read: I Am Illiterate, by Bethany Rusen
sight: list for vacation next week
song lyric:
if i could learn to give like a rubberband / i'd be back on my feet
-Kate Bush, Rubberband Girl