Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Call Your Grandmother

I had dinner last night at Bistrot du Coin with a guy that I dated for a couple months when I was 23 - approximately a trillion years ago. We ran into each other at a party 5 years ago, and then randomly connected again last week.

He's very bright and articulate and dinner was fun. He is now a lawyer, like most everyone I know. And DC being what it is, he works with people I know. He's gone on dates with at least one woman I know.

It's both weird and comforting in that small village kind of way that I hated when I lived in one in the Peace Corps. But that was because I was the only blonde for miles around, and everyone who came to our little town knew who I was as soon as they got off the bus. "Oh! You're the blonde gringa who goes running every morning!"

Fortunately, DC is not like that. Blondes, while in the minority, abound. As do runners. And this town is big enough to have street signs and more public transportation than hourly local buses with aisles filled with chickens and feed bags.

So it was great to catch up, and odd in how easy and familiar it was. I mean, we never knew each other that well, and we didn't stay in touch. But we caught up like old friends.

He was telling me about his family, and he mentioned his grandmother. And so I admitted to him that I have been telling this one particular story about a message his grandmother left for him, and mimicking her voice on his answering machine, for years and years now.

My friend Jane in Philadelphia will laugh. She has heard this story a million times. We made a recording of me being his grandmother on the answering machine for a project for one of our linguistics classes. (M - I know you will read this, and I didn't tell you this bit...)

I thought it was the kind of thing that was only in the movies. I made him play it 54 times. I wished, over the years, that I'd asked him for that answering machine tape. If I had a recording, I would post it here.

His grandmother, who has the stereotypical NY Jewish grandmother voice and accent, called him and left the following message:

"M! This is your grandmother calling! Why haven't you called me?"


"You promised to call me!"


"And this is how you keep your promise?"



  1. Great story and how was your dinner at Bistrot du Coin, I love the food there and its always so busy and fun

  2. This absolutely made me laugh out loud. Thank you! And if it's any consolation, while you might not have a recording of the message left by the REAL grandma, I do still have the one you made 10 years ago.

  3. Hi chswissman - Dinner was great. I love that place.

    And Jane - I would love to hear that recording!


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