Stories from my 14-month study abroad in Buenos Aires, my 16-month post-college move to Miami, and my get-me-the-hell-out-of-Miami move to Denver

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Argentine Grandma Ruby

Unless Jones blood runs through your veins, or you were lucky enough to come to Grandma's house for some family event ie canoeing, wildcat, etc, this post won't make any sense. Your loss.

The Argentine Grandma Ruby

Lately I've been doing a lot of thinking, and I've finally come to the conclusion that my host mom, Sylvia Posse, is the Argentine version of my late Grandma Ruby. What follows are a list of similarities.

1. Dog Love
When I first arrived I was very happy to see that I was going to have a dog down here. Her name is normally Nati (with a long A) and Natina when she gets yelled at, and she's a 13 year old mix breed though Sylvia refuses to believe she isn't a purebred Cocker Spaniel. She has Greta's niceness and bone density issues(she's a little chunky) and has Libby's "I own this god damn house" mentality. So, if you remember the Libby & Grandma Ruby relationship, you're on the right track for Nati and Sylvia. They're joined at the hip. Nati has her own special recliner in Sylvia's room that is all hers. It has a nice blanket on it, and it's kind of small so she can climb into it without any help. Every dinner, Nati stares at me with her beautiful blue (read cataract)eyes and eventually starts to whine. In the most stern voice Sylvia yells at Nati to quit crying, and immediately afterward spanish baby talks Nati and apologizes for yelling. Nati can do no wrong, much like Libby at Grandma Ruby's. I'm sure Nati gets salchichas (hotdogs) when I'm at school because she's fat, but I never see any food in her dish. Occasionally when they're both in the kitchen I hear Sylvia asking Nati how her days is, and telling her how beautiful she is. If you come visit, you'll see what I mean.

2. Owl Collection
So grandma Ruby had an owl cookie jar, usually filled with kit kat minis amongst other tasty morsels. Slyvia has a collection of about 15 similar owls in the living room. They're the EXACT same as that cookie jar owl.

3. Bad Ass-ness
Once again, if you ever came to Grandma's with the fam, you witnessed her bad ass-ness. Be it yelling at Katie for some random thing, or telling Grandpa to go downstairs and get more powdered doughnuts. She was a powerful women. She could hold her ground in any argument and Sylvia is no different. Her and Carlos (my host brother) get in arguments about various things, but the best ones usually involve futbol. Carlos is a River Plate supporter and Sylvia supports Boca Juniors. This is a bigger rivalry than the Yankees and the Red Sox or the Packers and the Vikings. Well, about a week into my stay, futbol came up at dinner and it eventually got around to what team I support. Carlos started stumping for River and then Sylvia turned to me and said, verbatim, "Beware Patrick, who makes breakfast for you every morning, and who makes your dinner at night? So, what team do you support?" I'm a Boca fan through an through!

4. Force Feeding
As my family will remember, Grandma Ruby was severely worried about my small stature and light weight. I know for a fact that she asked Dad on a regular basis if I was being fed whole milk at home. That being said, every time I went to Grandma's house, I was fed like a king. We'd pull into the driveway and BLTs would magically appear out of thin air before I could even give her a hug. I could do the backstroke in the amount of Hostess Cupcake I ate at Grandma's house. Well, once again, Sylvia is no different. At dinner, my plate is the first one filled, the first plate refilled, and I'm the first to be questioned why I'm not having thirds that evening. "Am I feeling sick? Would some chocolate mousse with dulce de leche help my stomach? Well look at that, I made four cups of pudding but there are only three of us eating. Looks like you're eating double dessert tonight!"

The similarities are pretty crazy. If you come visit, you'll notice them right away. I'm sure I'll think of more examples which I will of course post. I also hope everyone in the family enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. I miss Grandma but it's nice to remember all of the stories she gave us to pass on.

Capital Federal, Buenos Aires, Argentina


Holly Jones said...

omg patrick, i laughed until i cried reading this.... my favorite entry yet.... damn it is sooooooo funny. good job, good job!

so i heard that prez. cristina made some manipulative comments the other day, blaming the farmers for hurting the argentine people; what a bitch. perfect example of a politician trying to turn the tables on the poor people. unbelievable. what is the political climate down there these days?

Holly Jones said...

you know, i have to take that back about cristina. i really don't know the situation very well... what is your opinion? is she with the poor people? are the farmers the rich people?

Maria said...

I am a study abroad coordinator, stationed in BA, and in fact, the "farmers" are not exactly poor people, Holly. AND they held the country hostage to their claims, blocking the roads: depriving a whole country of food hurts the people indeed, and the institutions too. The president showed notable restraint allowing them to block the roads for 20 days.
Soy producers, due to the high international prices, are making big money, and what is worst, because of that they are growing mostly soy (usually transgenic), which is hurting the soil. It's a complex situation -- on every front.
By the way, Patrick, I love your blog :)

KARA said...

i didn't know you had a grandma ruby like me!