Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Grandma's Couch

Grandma and Grandpa McEuen moved from sunny southern California to south Orem in 1987. They bought a brand-new home in a nice neighborhood directly behind Utah Valley University, or the "Tech" as we called it in those days. Grandma insisted on a formal living room and paid good money to have an interior designer decorate the living room in lovely late 80s colors of pink and blue. They even had a special white couch with blue and white flowers embroidered on it. The grandkids were not allowed in this area of the house. Few people, except a home or visiting teacher, ever sat on the couch.

About two years ago, Grandma's Alzheimer's got bad enough that she needed to live in a place where she could be watched and her needs could be taken care of on a 24-hour basis. Grandpa left us in 1993. The family found her a nice assisted living center in Orem, which she has really enjoyed. In fact, for us grandkids who knew her rather cantakerous side and her impatience for all things disorderly, getting to know her and visiting her in the home has been rather nice. She's pleasant to be around and kind. She doesn't have much to worry about. We had one last huge "magic carpet*" game trying to get rid of all of Grandma's stuff, which included the lovely embroidered couch. And guess who got it? Me. It's been a blessing and a curse, because, well ... see for yourself:

Yes, Melissa took the marker to it. It's a washable marker, and I'm hoping we can get it out, but yeah. It survived 20 years in Grandma's house and less than two in mine. You can say it's because I have small kids, etc., but for those of us who know her, you get the sense that this kind of thing would have never happened in Grandma's house, no, not even when she had young kids. Grandma is a very no-nonsense, take charge, and orderly type of person. You never wanted to displease Grandma. She didn't necessarily have to SAY anything, but she had a LOOK. You never wanted to get that LOOK--worse than hearing Forrest Gump's drill sergeant yell directly into your ear canal from 3 hair-centimeters away.

I lost it with Melissa. I didn't think I would be a spanker, but she got a spankin', then I sent her to her room. After I'd calmed down, I asked her why she did it. She said she couldn't find any paper. Makes sense in a way. No paper? Use Grandma's embroidered neo-antiquesh couch. Who can argue with a 4-year-old's logic?
* Magic Carpet is a game Grandma invented in 1984 for one of the reunions. All the kids were ushered outside. In the meantime, Grandma would lay out a big blanket and put tons of treasures out on the blanket. Some of the treasures included socks, slippers, puzzles, books about self-esteem, comic books, junk yard finds, etc. Some things really were kind of valuable. The first year she did it, she slipped a $5 bill in a Bible. The Bible was the last thing to go, but the lucky person who picked it found the surprise. We played Magic Carpet nearly every Christmas the family was together and every reunion. Grandma loves garage sales, and it gave her a good excuse to find more "treasures." I tried playing Magic Carpet at Kulani's reunion. The kids didn't really get it, and the adults kept trying to get the kids to take the "valuable" things. My little girls loved it; the teenagers were indifferent; and the adults spoiled the fun. If I do Magic Carpter again, it will only be for those under the age of 10.


go mom go said...

How can you be mad at such a sweet little girl? Maybe my girls should teach her their famous "I'm such a sweetheart" look. That doesn't work for very long, though. They eventually make you mad enough to see through the fake looks.
Look on the bright side. If grandma has alzheimers then you you can just tell her that it was there all along and she'll never know.

mariann said...

Sorry, I had to post.I am Brad Duffs sister mariann. A couple of years ago we had bought cream colored couches. Our little girls went threw a draw on walls, couches stage with a sharpie! I don't no how they survived that time period! Honestly! Good luck!

Morkthefied said...

Mariann, Duffs are always welcome at my blog. I feel like the Duffs are long-lost cousins of the Christensons, for some reason. I think we have the same mental wavelengths.

MarySquare said...

Even this past Christmas I ran into a Duff at the BYU Creamery on 9th Street. I think it was Mike. I said, "hey, you're a Duff -- I'm a Christenson." It's like an old Indian handshake.

mariann said...

I feel the same way! I think you guys must be related to us somehow...maybe back to Adam and Eve...maybe back in the pre-exist we were like neighbors on a cloud or something? Whatever it was, mi casa sue casa!