Perhaps a little chronicle of her time here will help things along....
I had it totally easy as I had to go to work today while Brad was home with the boys and his mom. He took them all out to run a bunch of errands and I can only imagine what that was like... Picture 2 hyperactive boys with gift cards to spend and one older woman who doesn't realize the rest of the world doesn't revolve around her.
She strikes up the oddest conversations with anyone within earshot. I've known her to corner Harley riding, tattoo and earring sporting tough guys, and 10 year old girls who don't know how to get away. She'll talk to anyone at anytime about anything. And she won't listen to a single word any other human says. Not one. (except maybe me. She's a little afraid of me because I tell her to stop talking so I can answer her.)
But then tonight - we all went out to a Japanese hibachi restaurant - one of the things we always do when she's in town. We were seated with another family like ours - mom, dad, and 2 boys (a few years younger than mine). We all did the polite - it's nice to be eating dinner with you thing - which Ricki (MIL) took as a big huge invitation to start up a conversation (I used that term very, very lightly) It went something like this:
Children these days should get a lot of toys for Christmas unless they are spoiled brats. Because when I was younger we didn't have much. My mom died after her 7th child and my dad ran away with us kids and my mom's best friend. They were never married, lived in sin, (and yes - the word sin was whispered) and were really embarrassed by that, but they went on to have 3 more of their own, can you imagine that? (there was no actual time for the poor man to answer even if he knew what to say). So at Christmas we all got one present from the family and one from the church. We just didn't have a lot. (deep breath so she could continue) But there was a lot of love. And we were happy with what we had. There's just too much these days. (and we make it full circle) Kids get far too many toys at Christmas these days.
I got her distracted from the poor man and we went on to talk about a variety of mundane topics while we ate our food.... until she started whispering to me. This is never a good sign. She leaned in and held her hand over her mouth so no one could over hear.
Read, I don't know what you think of this - but - what do you think of children who are here illegally - you know - illegal aliens - getting help from the government to go to college.
Um... What? Weren't we just talking about the weather? And how good the food was? And whether or not I could get Teddy to eat some mushrooms? Where the hell did that come from? And no way in hell am I getting into a rousing political debate with her - especially not over a nice dinner.
Um, I said, that's a tough one...