April Fools’ Day is the perfect day to discuss Grandma’s sense of humor. She really is pretty funny. But of course I’d think that, because:
a) She’s my Grandma
b) Anyone over 100 who can still make jokes automatically gets a pass in the “humor” department
c) I find many of the same things funny that she does.
The best way to describe Grandma’s sense of humor is that it tends to be either dark or silly…sometimes both. She’ll say something that sounds negative, then put a spin on it at the end to make it funny. This video, which I’ve shown a couple of times before, is a great example:
I don’t think that it would be nearly so funny if she wasn’t so old….but humor, like any social interaction, is situational, and Grandma definitely capitalizes on her age.
Right after Grandma moved in she got me pretty good. She had been watching me fill out all the paperwork to get her set up with medicaid and home health. I spent hours at my desk researching, filling out forms, swearing, researching some more, filling out even more forms…
One day I went to grab something I’d printed out from the printer.
I grabbed the top sheet and instead of seeing what I’d printed out earlier, I was holding “How to spot elder abuse”. Grandma had seen me working at the desk and decided to slip something in to see if I’d notice. She had apparently gotten a copy of it when she lived on her own in Utah and dug it out just to tease me. Later that day I showed her the sheet of paper and she said “I thought it would be good for you to know how to spot if your elder is abusing you”.
Sometimes she simply looks at me really seriously for a moment, then makes a ridiculous face:
I’ll ask her what she’s doing and she says “I’m grittin’ my teeth atcha”.
Why do I find it so funny that a toothless 101 year old woman is talking about her teeth? Maybe it’s because rather than hiding from or ignoring the things she can’t control, she chooses to use them to her advantage. By making fun of the things that might bother her she’s owning them and they become less frightening.
At her age, Grandma has earned the right to retreat into senility, but I’m really glad she chooses to keep her sense of humor intact.