“It’ll be fine,” I said. “We’ll be okay,” I said. “This will change nothing, I said.” I had no idea what awaited me. There was nothing I could do to prepare. I was so naive…so young, so hopeful! Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed! But then, I asked the one question that would change my life forever.
“Abuela, will you carpool with me?”
Yes, that’s right. I asked my abuela this. Since I love my abuela dearly here was the deal: I’d pay her so she could have some extra cash for Sunday Bingo if we carpooled together for the work week. Also, the older I get the busier I get, so I thought it’d be a fun way for us to spend time together while I went to work.
Five days. One abuela. One me. This is what happened.
Day One: Everything was fine until the fight over the radio.
Things were going great! Abuela and I were getting along just swell, for the entire ride to my work, until…I tried to casually change the radio station from the celeb gossip she’s currently obsessed with, as if it was real news. “MIJA! How dare you?! I NEED TO KNOW IF THEY ARE GETTING DIVORCED OR NOT!” And then when I tried to tell her she was too personally invested in the lives of celebrities, she looked like she was actually about to breathe fire. In her defense, I think this is probably where I get my obsession with celeb culture from.
Day Two: She grilled me about my dating life, obviously.
I honestly thought this wouldn’t happen until later in the week. But abuela is abuela, and it only took until day two until she grilled me about who I was dating. “He doesn’t like arroz con leche? Forget him!” Which, okay, I do understand, that is definitely a deal breaker.
Day Three: She made friends with a lady at the stoplight.
It truly is amazing how abuelas have this weird, crazy ability to talk to anyone and have connections with anyone.
Like….the lady in the car next to us at the stoplight. All it takes is one look and BAM! They’re having a full-fledged conversation about their grandkids and how much they love them. Honestly, this wasn’t too bad since abuela was basically bragging to a stranger about me.
Day Four: She brought lunch with her. Like, an actual lunch with cutlery and bowls and plates, etc.
No sandwiches, no plastic bags…nope! She packed pastelillos in the butter container! But since when does abuela use actual tupperware and not just random, plastic containers to store food? She doesn’t. And it didn’t stop there! She tried to feed me some! “Mija, you need to eat!”
Here’s the thing about abuelas: you can’t be mad at them! Because at the end of the day, you really do have to eat, and nobody makes pastelillos the way abuela does.
Day Five: I spoiled her telenovela by accident.
IN MY DEFENSE, THIS WAS 100% AN ACCIDENT, OKAY?! All the days were bleeding together and I completely spoiled abuela’s favorite telenovela. It totally slipped out on our last day driving together.
To be quite honest…it was a lot better than I thought it was going to be. And we both could not stop laughing at the fact that abuela had even made some money at the end of the day. Of course she insisted on giving me all the money back which just made me laugh more. I tried to tell her this was me taking care of her for once and that she could finally win Bingo with it, but she wouldn’t hear any of it.
So yeah, it was worth it and an oddly great bonding experience. Even though she made her little passive jabs at my driving skills, she still gave me a big kiss and told me I was her favorite driver in the entire world and that made up for it all.