Dear Grandparenting: My granddaughter blew my doors off on the phone the other day. We were talking about this and that, like we do, when she dropped a bombshell.
“You’re already sitting down Grandma, so this is as good a time as any. I am seriously thinking of getting romantically involved with a supercool girl. Please don’t try to shame me. You never know unless you try. It’s as simple as that.”
I must have sat there with my mouth open for a good minute. It was my silent scream. Then Kayla said something softly, and I said, “OK and good luck.” I don’t remember much about that conversation after that.
Here’s the thing — Kayla was a flaming heterosexual in high school. Now that she’s in college, I guess anything goes.
I like to think of myself as a modern woman on most issues, but this is beyond me. I have no frame of reference to understand such things. What do I do to calm down? I am seriously thinking I may need drugs to reduce my anxiety. Color Me Worried, Poughkeepsie, New York
Dear Worried: We’ll bet you are dealing with a garden-variety infatuation that can envelop young women. A “girl crush” is nothing new. The phrase speckles the conversations of many women in their 20s and 30s, part of the chemistry that allows women to forge intense emotional bonds.
College is often a period of experimentation, a chance to reinvent oneself. Social and cultural norms that restrained the behavior of previous generations are more fluid and inclusive — maybe not quite “anything goes,” but plainly more permissive.
Supercool is the language of the spellbound. Your granddaughter has encountered someone that embodies certain valued qualities, someone so smart, clever, tender, beautiful or whatever. To get the ball rolling again, ask your granddaughter what qualities she admires. These crushes are generally fleeting, and when the end comes you won’t have to endure the wailing of a granddaughter betrayed by a faithless boyfriend.
GRAND REMARK OF THE WEEK
Roy Jenkins, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, needed a ride to the doctor to check on his leg fracture and asked grandson Dylan to drive him.
It began raining cats and dogs. With visibility reduced, Roy turned on the car’s Garmin global positioning system and they were quickly on their way, guided by Garmin’s voice commands.
“Why don’t you just leave it on all the time?” asked Dylan.
“For some reason it bothers your grandmother,” said Roy.
“I get it,” said Dylan. “Grandma doesn’t want any competition from another back seat driver.”
Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.