Last Wednesday was my Grandmother’s birthday. 82 and counting. This woman very well could be a relative of Superman, because of all the things she has endured in her life; I think she is also made of steel.
Born in the 1930’s in a republic that was going through turmoil, she couldn’t finish school, and as the times dictated the destiny of women, she could only marry and bear children.
There are many things she didn’t learn when she was younger, such as driving a car. In reality she didn’t need to. Back in the day, walking was the main way of transportation and the best way to stay in shape. Believe me, if she didn’t walk, the Latin diet, rich is carbohydrates and fats, would have shortened her life.
As time passed and cars became a necessity instead of a luxury, my Grandmother’s kids became her chauffeurs who drove her wherever she needed to go. That’s one of the benefits of having several kids. I, in the contrary, will have to call Uber if I need to go to the grocery store in the future, for my only son may be across the world traveling with a new girlfriend.
Then, without driving, how come my Grandmother received a traffic citation the day before her birthday?
Even though she doesn’t drive, she owns a car for errands. Her “baby”–who is way over 40 years old but still drives like a teenager–borrowed it because his car broke. He exceeded the speed limit, the road cameras snapped the picture, and generated an automatic citation. So, because my Granny owns the car, she had to take the Defensive Driver Course not my uncle.
Monday morning at eleven o’clock sharp, my Granny and my Mom were at the Colombian equivalent of the DMV office to take the course. Their turn came up, and they approached the window to register. The guy behind the counter looked at my Mom and ask her the reason for the citation. He reviewed the paperwork, thinking she was the traffic offender.
The class started and both my Granny and Mom walked toward the class room, but the official told them no companion was allowed. My mom went back to the waiting room and my Grandma stayed at the door frame and asked the guy, “Are you going to let me in or what?” He stepped aside and shook his head.
Surrounded by a bunch of people half her age, my Granny sat and listened to an official talk about speeding and drunk driving. Almost two hours later, she started to get hungry and cranky–I take after her on this. Don’t deprive me from a meal unless you want to suffer.
She raised her hand and told everybody, “I’ll be 82 in a couple of days and I am hungry. But, listening to you talk about drinking and driving I’m going to tell you something kids, don’t drink and drive! If you are going to a party, then call a Hoover (meaning Uber) and problem solved.“
All the people burst out laughing and the official just said smiling, “Well said ma’am! Even though we still have half hour left, we’ll wrap it up, looks like you are really hungry!.” Outside the classroom, my Mom was waiting and when my Granny came out, she heard some people thanking her and patting her in the back for shortening the agony.
Although I laughed when my Mom told me the story that afternoon, I laughed even harder on Wednesday, when I called my Granny to wish her a Happy Birthday. The story sounded funnier from the horse´s mouth.
There is nothing like the wisdom of a Grandmother and her gentle, yet sharp, comment during the class probably taught the attendees of the class a lesson they won’t forget and might prevent tragedies in the future. I just hope they can call Hoover and find a vacuum big enough to fit their whole party.
Thanks for reading and sharing.
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