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Dating my grandma

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When I say my grandma is cool, I’m not kidding.

She does aerobics every day and can seriously outcardio me. She doesn’t have a player for her Jane Fonda betamax tapes anymore but that doesn’t matter; she has all the moves memorized.

She still hangs out with her high school and college best friends. She’s crazy about books like I am (she’s the one who got me hooked on reading as a child); she loves “CSI,” “Desperate Housewives,” and “Modern Family”; she can text like a pro and she refuses to let go of her battered Nokia. She writes the most beautiful letters, she’s hilarious, and she can hang out with a group of 30-year-olds and feel completely at ease.

So I’m sure you couldn’t blame me if I keep forgetting that she’s 84 years old.

My grandma never treated me like a child; even when I was a kid, she always spoke to me as if I was an adult. And now that I’m actually an adult, she feels more like a girlfriend than a grandma to me.

We have girls’ days and nights-out. We call them our dates. And our dates always feature one important thing—food.

Food is a big part of our lives. My grandma is an excellent cook and a big eater. I keep telling her to open a restaurant, but she refuses—she thinks turning it into a business will kill her love for cooking. So we settle for eating in other people’s restaurants.

She enjoys the grilled salmon with spinach risotto at Momo, the steak and fish and chips at Bugsy’s, the endless rows of meat at Sambokojin, the pasta at Galileo Enoteca, the spinach dip at Cibo, the Thai food at MyThai, cereal prawns and Hainanese chicken at Wee Nam Kee, beef pepper rice at Pepper Lunch, ice cream at Haagen Dazs—the list goes on and on.

Sometimes it’s just the two of us, sometimes we eat with my dad and my brother, sometimes we have dinner with my friends. And that’s extra fun because she usually enjoys a glass of wine with them.

Trying out food fads

When there’s a food fad, I like taking her out to try it. Her verdict on frozen yogurt? Too tart. I can’t wait to see what she thinks of milk tea.

But we don’t just go out to eat. My grandma and I can spend hours in a bookstore just checking out what’s on the shelves and trying to find what we’ll read next.

I also enjoy watching movies with my grandma. Once, I asked her to watch “Hangover 2” with us. My friends thought I was being crazy—how can my grandmother enjoy such a dirty, raunchy comedy? But she loved it. She loved it so much she said she got a stomach ache from too much laughter.

She loved it so much I had to track down a DVD of the first “Hangover” film. But she said she still liked “Hangover 2” more. She also liked “Hangover 2” more than she liked “Crazy Stupid Love.” But “Contagion,” she enjoyed.

That night we watched that film, my brother, my grandma, and I arrived at Greenbelt too late and had a hard time getting a table at Chili’s. By the time we were attacking the bottomless tostada chips with salsa and queso dip, we had only 10 minutes left before the film started.

We ended up having our main courses wrapped and speed-walking to Greenbelt 3. We still missed the first few minutes of “Contagion.” And we had to eat the rest of our dinner while watching the film.

It wasn’t easy eating our mini burgers, chicken crispers, onion rings, and fries in the dark but my grandma didn’t complain. In fact, she seemed to enjoy herself.

And yes, she enjoyed the film too. She said, “Alam mo namang interesado ako sa ganyan, eh.”

You know what else my grandma is interested in? Bed bugs. I discovered this when I tried showing her the wonders of Google while having lunch at Pepper Lunch.

“La, you can find anything you want on Google.”

“Talaga?”

“Yup. O game, what do you want to look for?”

“Bed bugs.”

“Bed bugs?”

“Oo, bed bugs.”

“Why?”

“Basta.”

“Okay…”

So I typed “bed bugs” into the search bar and hit the tab for images. My grandma looked at the photos. She really appeared fascinated by the little buggers. It was a little alarming. So I decided our little Internet lesson would continue some other time.

The cool thing about my grandma is it doesn’t matter if we go out or stay in–we always have fun. Whether we’re shopping at Muji or enjoying a “Modern Family” marathon in her room, chatting over cakes at Banapple, or raiding her fridge, our dates are always a blast.

She’s fun, she’s funny, she’s up for anything, and she really eats. In many ways, my grandma is really the perfect date.


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