How To Get Owned By Your Grandma

by Matthew J.X. Malady

People drop things on the Internet and run all the time. So we have to ask. In this edition, New York magazine online producer Jazmine Hughes tells us more about an email she received after not calling her grandmother to say happy new year.

My grandma is AGGRESSIVE

— Jazmine Hughes (@jazzedloon) January 12, 2014

Jazmine! So what happened here?

I come from a family of sassy women; I am the oldest of five girls and we are a village, basically, of sass and jokes and ethnic hair products. They are the funniest people I know. One of them got asked to prom and answered, “yeah, ok, sure, swag.”

I hit the jackpot with three grandmothers, too, so all my bases are covered: One is sweet and makes me cookies, one is saucy and hilarious and super fashionable, and one is crazy and a little bit racist. This is the fashionable one, my Mema. She’s my father’s mother, Eva — which rhymes with diva, lest you ever forget — and she’s awesome.

We email often, maybe once every other week, and she basically just asks me when I’m finally going to get my hair done (“The next thing we will have to work on is a hairdresser to do your hair. Summer is coming up so you want to have that looking PRETTY like Mema.” April 2013). We talk about our favorite wines a lot (“As a matter of fact had some Malbec over the weekend and it was sooo nice. Thanks for turning me on to it (even though you are much too young for it). I had never heard of it. Of course my head was in my hands after drinking it.” December 2013) and our favorite things to eat (“Okay, just showered, now on to dressing for Panera. I LOVE THAT place. Having a Greek salad and a panini with tomato, basil and mozzarella cheese, YUM YUM.” April 2013). She bought herself an iPad last year, so she is ON TOP of the internet now, although her caps lock usage is very inconsistent.

So last Saturday, I received that email from her. Here it is, in full:

Hi Jazzie!!!
I CAN’T BELIEVE IT IS 11 DAYS INTO the year 2014 and you have not sent me a HAPPY NEW YEAR’S greeting. That’s makes me so sad :-(. Hope that you are doing well and things are going well with you. I am doing very well, thanks for asking, Was at the computer and thought about you and decided to give you a warm shout-out.
BE safe and know that I think about you.
LOVE YOU, Grandmother aka Mema

It was a very sweet message, of course, but also unabashedly in-your-face and demanding, which I think are pretty good qualities in a 60-plus-year-old woman.

I immediately, drunkenly, emailed her back, incredibly apologetic, and then proceeded to leave the bathroom (most of my emails are sent from the toilet) and read it aloud to my friends. They thought it was impressive, so I tweeted it, and now everyone knows that my grandma runs me.

She seems pretty awesome. Is she always this feisty? And have there been any other doozies like this over the years?

In high school, she snuck and changed her middle name on her diploma to something she liked better, so yeah, she’s always been super feisty. She reminds me of a goofy Claire Huxtable, if Claire Huxtable once slapped a lady in church. When I was little, she would take out her dentures and chase me around with them, but then she stopped after I started yelling “MEMA TAKE OUT YOUR TEETH AGAIN” in public.

2014 must be the year of being in touch with your family a lot. My mother called me a few minutes after midnight on New Year’s Eve, because she knew I “wouldn’t be out partying,” and wanted to talk. Watching de Blasio being sworn in is a party, though.

Lesson learned (if any)?

In 50 years, my grandkids will probably post our cyber-text-hologram interactions to YouFace or whatever social network they’re using to make fun of me talk about how awesome I am.

Just one more thing.

I told my grandma that I was being interviewed about our emails. Here is her response:

OMG SMH smiling at this. Add that you won’t be in the inheritance if you don’t keep in touch. I just might not know you (line from the Color Purple, “I don’t know them people” ). LOL. Please change Eva Hughes to EvaDiva Hughes. LOL and loving it. Let me know how it goes. Smooches

I didn’t even know there was any inheritance. I should call her….