Saturday, January 7, 2012

Friends without benefits

Taking my grandmother and her friend to lunch is like babysitting two petulant children.

They are both 90 years old, but for some reason they bicker like 12-year-olds. They have known each other their whole lives, which is no fucking joke. They are from the same town in Poland. They were both in Auschwitz then Berlin then Sweden together. They now live 5 blocks away from each other in West LA, where all little old Jewish ladies live. Essentially, they are more friends out of obligation and habit than anything else.

Whenever I take them to lunch, especially if my parents aren't around, all they do is passively aggressively snipe at each other, which eventually turns into yelling at each other in Polish. (I don't actually know Polish, but I'm assuming once it gets to that stage they have stopped being passive aggressive and are just letting it rip.) The minute I drop her friend off, my grandmother just goes off on her, how she pretends to be more sick than she is, how she thinks she's better than everyone else, etc. She rants off how she will purposely not invited her out to lunch, only comes to events at Cafe Europa if it's free tickets for the opera, whatever. I don't know. The same laundry list of things she is constantly complaining about this fried.

So I say, "Well then, why are you still friends with her? You don't actually owe her anything. She's not really family."

"You wouldn't understand," my bubie tells me.

Of course not.


  1. Ahahaha I know that must be annoying to deal with, but it sounds like it makes for amusing experiences! I guess staying in a friendship like that isn't something I understand at my age either, but maybe at a certain age memories bond people together really strongly.