She Might Be a Grandma…

The other day I was asked if I had a “child” or a “grandchild” attending school. This was asked to my face by a man in his 50’s.

I am a 37 year old mom with three small children so now I am extremely self-conscious that I perhaps really do look like a grandma. I understand that logistically you can actually be a grandma at the age of 37 if you had your children at a young age and then your children also had their children at a young age. But I’m assuming that even if you truly are a grandma at the age of 37 you are probably hoping people wouldn’t guess it by just looking at you.

Okay, so I do look a little tired!

Okay, so I do look a little tired!

So I am creating a list of items to help people distinguish between a grandma and a mom so more people do not make the same mistake that the man I encountered the other day did.

She might be a Grandma if:

  • She has used, crumpled tissues stuck in both arm sleeves and her bra and is willing to whip one out and use it on anyone with a  runny nose she comes across.
  • Her pockets are full with warm butterscotch candies that she doles out to anyone with a sad look on their face
  • She utters, “Just give that baby another cookie. It doesn’t matter if he has already had 5.”
  • She is wearing White Shoulders perfume
  • If she doesn’t wear perfume she will smell like a mix of Ben-Gay and fresh baked cookies.
  • She is carrying a bottle of Pepto Bismol in her purse and takes it out every so often and has a swig.
  • She is a walking pharmacy. If you have any sort of ailment she can probably dig through her purse and produce something that will cure it. Never mind the expiration date.
  • She shakes her head at the prices of things and mutters “I remember when milk was only a nickel a gallon.
  • She talks about Pat and Vanna from Wheel of Fortune like they are her best friends.
  • When she tells you your bloomers are showing you don’t feel embarrassed at all…you feel looked after and loved.

So these are a few things that will indicate that you are dealing with a grandma. Admittedly, I actually do some of these things. So truly the best rule to follow when you don’t know whether to address someone as a mom or grandma is just to wait until a child approaches them. If the kid starts shouting, “Grandma, Grandma…Mom said I can’t have any candy” and you then witness the lady slip 3 warm butterscotch candies into the child’s hand….then you have my permission to address her as Grandma too. Otherwise, you might just give a very tired mom a complex!

This is the mental image I have of myself now!

This is the mental image I have of myself now!

82 responses

  1. Holy Cr*p!!! Cannot believe anyone asked you that?!?!?!?
    Not only OBVIOUSLY inappropriate, it is just plain rude!
    You should have asked him if this was a child from his 3rd or 4th marriage. tee hee

    • Grandmas and our elders are definitely the pinnacle of this society! They definitely hold the most wisdom and are the best leaders for us! You are the perfect example of this! I have a feeling the guy didn’t think I looked like a grandma because I looked so wise though I’m sure it was because of the huge bags under my eyes and all the gray hairs popping out!

      • Thanks Melissa, and let’s pray that he appreciates all Grandmas from now on. Being wise is what Life is truly about. Kind regards to the family. Be Blessed, Mtetar

  2. Thanks for yet another laugh. I love the crumpled tissues in the sleeves part. My mom has been doing that for as long as I can remember and I always make fun of her for it. I didn’t realize that this was typical grandma behavior. She was showing her inner grandma before her time.

    And just in case you are still freaking out—you so do not look like a grandma. It is ridiculous that he would ask you that. Some people are just clueless.

    • Oh yes! My mom always has about 5 tissues on her at all times! I don’t even know if it is a Grandma thing or just a “being very practical” thing! They sure do come in handy! She’s always whipping those things out for something!

  3. I thought asking the “Grandma” question was akin to asking if you’re pregnant — it’s simply not done!

    Also? White Shoulders perfume! Ahhh, that DOES take me back!

    You look far younger than I do — wonder if I’d have gotten the “Great Grandma” question. I’ll ponder that whilst I got fetch some hair dye….

  4. No way! Being a grandma is a beautiful honor, but it was wrong for someone to guess that you might be one! That is definitely a breach of etiquette. It is right up there with asking someone how far along she is in her pregnancy when she’s not even expecting. Wow. Did your kids witness this gaffe?

    • No, my son was far enough away so he didn’t hear! I wonder what he would have said had he heard??!!! Yes, it is definitely along the lines of asking if you are pregnant….which has happened to me in the past as well!!! Ugh!

  5. Some people are just clueless. Some blind and clueless! You look like a standard Mum to me. I mistook one of my daughter’s friends Mums for the big sister the other day and she was very flattered.

  6. Psh, you DO NOT look like a grandmother. My mother is finally ready to be a grandmother and I, her horrible daughter, am not popping out the grandbabies yet. But she’s older than you and still looks too young to be a grandma. But when we do have that first grandbaby, I’m so buying her a bag of butterscotch candies.

    On another note, my husband and I went to a coffee shop together. We are 10 years apart in age, but he looks younger than his 34 years. But, the barista asked me to give my FATHER his order. Yeah, that was awkward. I also had my then 19 year old sister’s doctor ask if I was her mother. I’m only 3 years older than Em. I know I look bad with no makeup and my glasses make me look a little older, but geez, people…

  7. You DO NOT look like a Grandma. Or anyone remotely old enough to have grandchildren. Perhaps the gentleman in question needs some new prescription lenses. Also, if it makes you feel better, I have been receiving not-great comments about my gray hair since I was 12. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL! I’m 29 and definitely look more “grandma-ish” than you. 🙂

    • Oh yes, the gray hairs…mine have been popping out wildly for some years now! I’ve been trying to lay off the hair dye as much because it really damages my hair so I’m sure that’s what tipped him off that I may be a grandma!

  8. She is a walking pharmacy. If you have any sort of ailment she can probably dig through her purse and produce something that will cure it. Never mind the expiration date. This was my favourite! It reminds me of mum. As for being told you look like a Nanna what the???? Did he forget his glasses? You my lovely do so NOT look like a grandmother!

  9. WOW he had some nerve. You are so Beautiful, I think some people are just old farts and hate there lives, and can’t utter a nice word to save there lives. What matters is how you feel. Love your crazy white hair. Its good to be able to laugh at your self…smile Beautiful

  10. I’ve been asked twice if I am my children’s Grandma or Mother (at least they included or). I’m 39. Now I think I am considerably less presentable than you, but in my defense it was from a) someone who looked 102, so I am hoping her eyesight was gone, and b) someone who didn’t seem to be entirely in control of her mental faculties, although I daresay that might mean she just said what others think. Must get a haircut.

    Anyway. You are not alone.

  11. Some people are just dumb (and rude). You look NOTHING like a grandma! Not even close. Now, I have noticed that quite a few of the parents at my kids’ school are as old as my parents but I would never assume grandparent out loud, even if they are passing out hard candies – JUST TO BE SAFE! You always go younger! It’s like asking if someone is pregnant. You don’t do it unless she is giving birth! 🙂

  12. You’re definitely not grandma material! (Spoken as an almost 43-year-old with two young kids who would be horrified if someone asked me that question!)

    I am curious, though, at what age the grandma gene kicks in that we start wearing our hair short and curly with a kinda pinkish (or bluish) haze to it. Your future photo of yourself reaffirms my suspicion that we are doomed to repeat this style faux-pas generation after generation…

  13. I am of the opion that men (and woman) of THAT generation just dont get that we are waiting till later in life to have children. They dont understand we want careers and want to enjoy life before slowing it down and adding a kid into the mix. I am a 36 year old mother to a 2 and a half year old and have many friends who have kids going to high school and some that are just newly pregnant. But we all respect what worked for one doesnt work for another. And NO WAY ON GODS GREEN EARTH do you look like a Grandmother – at least not the traditional kid anyway. Hugs x

    • Oh thanks! Maybe he realized that everyone has kids at different ages and was trying to cover all of his bases but I think it always safe to just assume someone is younger! I don’t think I would be at all offended if I was a grandma and someone mistook me for a mom!!!

  14. Yep, something similar happened to me too. My sister was born when I was 16. I went to see her in the hospital a few years ago when she had her daughter, and her boyfriend’s family asked if I was her mother. Um, no, I’m her sister. Plus, I was hugely pregnant at the time. What the heck?

    I’m wondering which of the grandma things you already do? Are Pat and Vanna your best friends?

    • Oh man! And yes, I’m pretty tight with Pat and Vanna. I am a Wheel Watcher! I even tried signing up for the show when I was in my 20’s! Plus, I’m almost to the point of carrying a Pepto Bismol bottle around with me!

  15. Jeepers, people are such silly jerks I just don’t even know some times. You don’t look ANYTHING like a grandmother. (Just typing out those words made me laugh a little bit.)

    If that had been me, I would have been like, “Why? Are you looking for a younger woman to date?”

    Seriously, people say the stupidest things all the time. Don’t let it get to you – they’re the stupid ones! xx

  16. Oh, man–your list is so spot-on!!!!!! (Don’t tell anyone I stuff tissues up my sleeves…).

    I can’t believe anyone would think you are a grandma, though. Despite all of us having “tired eyes” at some point, you seriously have gorgeous skin–I’m jealous actually–so I’m going to bet that dude was hoping you were his age because he thought you were hot.

    • My Mom is the one who does the tissues up the sleeve too! Though after she read this post she commented on my Facebook page that she doesn’t do this anymore because she wears jeans now so she just keeps them in her pocket! She still whips them out though to wipe everyone’s nose!

  17. The outrage! Melissa you are a beautiful and VIBRANT woman! There is nothing about you that says ‘grandma.’ The nerve of some people. Though I gotta confess I would give anything to have someone dole out butterscotch candies to me again. Those were some of the best memories I had of my grandmother! 🙂

  18. That dumb old man! They are such duffuses! At least the ones who ask questions like that.
    Ross has a Senior Citizen day and I happened to be there on that date, when an old lady with grayhair in a ponytail asked me if I was a Senior! I think I was forty at the time and sorry, I may look like one now but I didnt’ then! And she could tell I was taken aback with her mistake so she promptly said: “Well, sorry, you never know, the way people dye their hair now days”. Seriously???? I thought as I promptly replied…. “Soooo you are saying that my face looks old?” When she started to reply… I held up my hand and said, “STOP, you’re not going to make this one better”. And promptly walked out the door with my undiscounted purchase! 😉

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