Flavor of the Week: Cool Grandmas


Everybody has a thing for their grandmas. But, of course, everyone’s things are different.

When I tell people my grandma was my best friend, I’m generally shocked that they aren’t shocked. “I mean it,” I say again. “She was LITERALLY my best friend.” For the longest time I was frustrated at the ignorant head-nodding with which all would reply. But now, after thinking about how awesome grandmas are/watching Julie Andrews at the Oscars on Sunday, I’m going to give the bubbes of the world more credit. Though I will never admit defeat in that my grandma was the best person in the world, and still is in my eyes, I will start recognizing other grandmas as equally endearing in their own light.

Here are the different types of cool grandmas. May you one day achieve your goals in becoming one:

1. JAPpy Grandma

This grandma is your straight up 16-year-old who goes to any big Long Island public school. However, she is 77ish and is not necessarily from Long Island. She appreciates the finer things in life, like a good Juicy Couture sweatsuit and silver Supergas. JAPpy grandma gets great botox and looks exactly how your mom would if she were made into a wax figure at Madame Tussauds. However, we love JAPpy grandma for all of these qualities, and she’s the best for shopping trips. “I’m not a regular grandma, I’m a cool grandma.”

2. Very Old Geriatric Grandma 

She’s your standard octogenarian. She puts up with bullshit because she doesn’t really understand what bullshit is. She looks like a “Grammy” even though you might not call her that. Wheelchair is optional but recommended. She’s just really cute and is Buddha-content with her long, prosperous life. She might even take pride in her senility. You know what they say: a grandma who can laugh at herself is a great grandma. IDK who “they” is, but someone, somewhere, says that.

3. Hip Grandma

Hip Grandma is Nora Ephron if Nora Ephron were your grandma. She knows how old she is and therefore dresses like she’s about to walk the NYFW runway for Eileen Fisher’s fall collection. She still maintains complete sanity and is “with it.” She even says, “I am so with it.” She likes talking about femininity, sex before marriage, and alcohol. She puts quinoa in her matzoh ball soup. She loves working out with her trainer on a large exercise ball that doubles as a toy for the grandkids. Oh, and watch out – here comes the world’s most incessant Instagram commenter.

4. Traditional Grandma

Here, think Julie Andrews. She dresses conservatively, loves brooches, and is prim and proper. Maybe she was raised in the south. Maybe she’s British. However I have a shockingly large group of friends, and by large I mean two or three, whose grandmothers were raised in the south, so perhaps that should be a category on its own. New official category: southern grandmas who have since relocated to a suburb in the tristate metropolitan area. Also, she has good taste in bling.

5. Cute and Unintentionally Cool Grandma

This was my grandma. She’s a combo of the wise grandma and with a spoonful of each the others. For example, she knows everyone has premarital sex but doesn’t like to talk about it (at least with her granddaughter). However, she loved the Broadway show about drag queens. She spends money on you that she may not even have and appreciates nothing more than a good “Girls’ Day.” She carries designer purses – without any knowledge that they are designer – but sports Eileen Fisher like a champ. She isn’t quite like JAPpy grandma because she won’t count dessert calories but never turns down a mani pedi. She has a BlackBerry and an iPhone but doesn’t really know how to use either of them.

6. Quiet Grandma

The quiet grandma is a silent hero. She comes to babysit a lot and just kind of sits on the couch while you’re downstairs playing with your siblings. She’s good at ordering pizza and making dinosaur chicken nuggets. She’s affectionate but not your BFF. Maybe she drives you places. That doesn’t mean you don’t love her, though! Maybe she’s still a little sour about something that happened in the fifties. Quiet grandma really likes iPhone games.

7. Wise Grandma 

Wise grandma is straight from the picture books you read when you were younger. Wise Grandma looks beautiful with wrinkles and is the best storyteller in the world. She doesn’t quite understand “kids these days” (she probably doesn’t know about premarital sex at all) or technology. Still, she’s loving and patient with you. She’s great at cooking food you refused to eat when you were little but can’t get enough of now. Also good for playing board games. She’s like a little gem with words that come in quality, not quantity.

This post is dedicated to my very own Cute and Unintentionally Cool Grandma, though she was really all of the above. I miss ya everyday.


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