The other night, I had the show running in the background while I got my stuff together for work the next day. I happened to glance over at the screen and caught the tail end of a soup commercial. There was a woman (obviously supposed to make you think of your grandmother) talking on what I thought was a can with a string attached to another can held by a chef. It could have been a phone, but my mind was already racing, so I don't really remember.
Anyway, this woman was telling the chef that it was ok with her; him stealing her recipe for chicken soup. He responds by trying to appease her. In actuality, he hadn't stolen her recipe. He represents the mass producing company that sells this canned soup, probably by the millions.
The point is that this woman did make me think of my grandmother and so, this commercial got me thinking.
I see my grandmother as very dutiful, even tempered, docile, submissive and nurturing in a very emphatic way. She never worked outside the home. Dinner was always ready, the house was always clean and my grandfather wanted for nothing.
My daughter sees my mother in much the same way, even though my daughter never met my grandmother. My mom didn't work outside of the home until my siblings and I were in high school, or maybe the last year of junior high school. When my daughter was growing up, my mom worked part-time, but everything else was pretty traditional. My mother liked doing things that appealed to my daughter, like shopping and music. So my daughter has only known maternal figures who worked and liked to relax on the weekends with music and laughter.
My grandmother didn't do any of that.
I've asked my grandson if he thought I was old. He says he doesn't consider me old. My grandmother looked old to me at his age.
My grandson has only known me to work outside the home. He's known me to be a bit of a neat freak. He knows I can be silly. He thinks it's funny when I dance. He knows I like to have a glass of wine while cooking with the music blasting in the background. And he knows I'm passionate about writing.
My daughter had that kind of relationship with my mom, and my grandson has that with me except for this small switch: this is his normal, but the NEW normal for me.
What kinds of images and visions do you imagine the children of today's teenagers will have of their grandmothers?