Monday, April 4, 2016

Should I Lie to My Grandma? And Other Inner Dialogues

I am 32 and single. I feel pretty ok about this because 1. I'm extremely busy trying to make the world a better place/living my dharma, and 2. Despite my parents' belief that I am "too picky" I have high expectations for romantic partnership and I'm not willing to settle for anything else. My parents are not the only ones who are concerned about this matter. 

My grandma has one and only one question for me every time I see her. 

Grandma: Do you have a boyfriend now, Jenny?

Me: No, Grammy.  

Grandma: Still no? 

Me: Still no. 

Grandma. Oh, well. 

And that's it. No questions about my business or anything else that could possibly be going on. On Easter I got the same line of questioning from my older brother and his wife. Questions about my relationship status and then awkward silence. I swear to you I have interesting things to say and a life that is full of things. But my grandma doesn't seem to have any interest in that. I don't take it personally and I'm pretty sure that it's mostly due to the times in which she grew up and just the way things were done. But what I can't stand is the sadness in her eyes. I picture her worrying and picturing me, all alone. I don't want to make her sad. 

Then there's this: A few years ago, before she had a series of small strokes and developed dementia, we had this conversation:

Grandma: Do you have a boyfriend now, Jenny?

Me: No, Grammy. 

Grandma: Well don't you want to get married?

Me: I do, someday, if I meet the right person. But I'm not in a rush. I'm doing other things like--

Grandma: Honey, I just want you to be happy. I want you to be taken care of. That would make me happy knowing that you are safe.

Me: I can take care of myself though, Gram.

Grandma: I know you can, but it's not the same. I'm not going to die until you get married and I get to dance at your wedding. 

So you know, no pressure or anything. 

I want my grandma to be happy. I don't want to think of her worrying about me and hanging onto life until she sees me get married. I don't even know if she remembers this pact, but I can't forget it. I picture her thinking to herself When I said it I didn't think it would take this long...

So I've been wondering if it might be easier to lie to her, purely for her own peace of mind. Then next time I come pick her up for lunch our conversation might go like this:

Grandma: Do you have a boyfriend now, Jenny?

Me: Yes! I do!

Grandma: Oh, wonderful! That makes me so happy. What's his name? What's he like? Do you have a picture of him?

--Here's where I really need to get dedicated to the lie. I know she will ask all about him and I know she will ask for a photo. Now I could just screen shot an imdb picture of my celebrity crush, Jason Ritter, and pretend he is an architect at Vandalay Industries and that we enjoy hiking together on Saturdays.  But where does it end? Will I always be making excuses for why Jason Ritter is away and not able to come to family gatherings? How many times can I say he's at the Catalina Wine Mixer? 

Honestly I do not have the ability, time, or desire to proficiently photo shop a picture of Jason Ritter and me together to continue with this charade. But I just want her to be happy. And, perhaps morbidly, I want her to feel like she can die if she wants to and not worry about me. So, Grandma, in a fictional world where you can use the internet and are reading this, just know that I'm ok. I promise. And I love you. Please don't force me to lie to you. Love, Jenny

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