Ode to grandma

Those who still have one, they love most intimately. Anyone who did not know or lost his, feels the loss with surprising strength and longs not only for grandma's Christmas cookies and extra dime for liquorice, but for the reliable care and old-fashioned modesty, which is actually all grandmas own. Grandmothers are the keepers of our childhood, and the nostalgic tales of loyal grandmothers and their grandchildren and granddaughters run throughout their lives, often surviving marriages, loved ones and even parenting relationships.

Granny's come in all shapes and different temperaments, they are as powerful as Margaret Thatcher, plump like grandma duck or self-sacrificing like mother Beimer. But the familiar cliché of the benevolent grandmother with the apron and bun is so old and familiar that even the youngest and most flamboyant of them do not object to the image of the "great" grandma. And that is a German classic. The most interesting generation of grandmothers has been threatened with extinction, but human and historical has become a treasure and a meaningful figure without equal; Carrier of incredible history and stories, full of world wars, treks and bombing, hunger and horror, shame and hope, from emperor to leader. And she has survived everything bravely and with her own tenacity: economic miracles and miniskirts, Beatles fever and cold war, forest dying and artificial insemination, the man on the moon and the woman in the boardroom, new money and old boundaries, disco music and glasnost , Hippies and cell phones, fall of the wall and e-mail greetings. Do you not belong to the world?

And are they still there somewhere today, these typical grandmas of all grandmothers? Certainly not as often as before? mainly due to the fact that women look younger, work and are independent for a longer period of time. But apparently still inherited from generation to generation, a certain old-fashioned grandma gene. Between all the new people, the half-naked girls and the tattooed boys, she appears like a relic from a bygone era; a unique figure, unchanged and unmistakable in her distinguished costuming. With practical footwear and bright senior women's clothing, undulating the white hair underneath the hat, she wanders bravely and easily lost through the big cities in search of a jug of coffee and cake in a beautiful pastry shop that no longer exists. Or she sits in the bus, the subway or suburban train, an old woman with quirky behavior who puts her purse on her knees and holds on, because German grandmas love handbags and are very, very worried about them. German grandmas also eat sweets in the subway, which they unwrap very carefully and whose paper they fold up small and put back in the bag. German grandmas have a big breast and like to travel. German grandmas always have a handkerchief in their pocket and like to give practical advice. And that's a good thing, because the grandmother often replaces the family counselor. For a great many children or teens who grew up in a dysfunctional family, grandma was the only accomplice in the chaos that provided encouragement and kept secrets to herself. At the grandmother with the big heart and a lot of time, they found stability and justice. At Grandma's, you could relax loosely in wingback chairs or help her with the eagerly awaited annual production of perfect Christmas cookies. Her empire, where she worked with dusters and wooden spoons, was that of soothing rituals and immutable traditions. And it was the world of wonder, for grandmas had everything: budgerigars and lazy cats, apple cutters and soda salt, a piano and a cool cellar full of preserves, ironed damask napkins and tea in china tins, china dolls and a swing in the garden. Grandmas also contributed to education. At home there were Mickey Mouse books and "Bravo", but Grandma's bookcases contained exotic old tomes in leather bindings and in gold script. German classics, old encyclopedias, wonderful volumes such as "Brehm's Animal Life", huge Wilhelm Busch works and Erich Kästner's collected children's books for the visiting grandchildren and granddaughters.

Parents and children are often in the clinch they are too entangled in the family dynamics and form a universe in which it crashes and in which parental authorities flute. Yesterday and today, grandmas magically bring out obedience, good behavior, respect and a desire for "decency". Especially earlier, they were even more "moral instances" who managed to turn naughty, sadistic ruffians into brave villains with apex and a kind servant.I was a rock 'n' roll obsessed teenager, but the only place where I did not dare to tune up the American hit parade on the radio was with my grandmother, a dignified piano-playing Nordfriesin and admirer of Bach and Mozart. Elvis's voice and Dürer's praying hands over the brown Telefunken radio matched her Romika shoes and ballerinas. As far as my research is correct, relatively little has changed in the educationally valuable influence of grandmothers. Even teen swarm Leonardo DiCaprio raves about his good German "Omi" more than supermodels.

The new generation of chic, modern, "hot" and working grandmothers are natural today. But in the old days grandmas had to be asexual, because they were not so much a role model as female beings, but rather as human beings and seasoned women with an undisputed position, as one of the most canny representatives of the matriarchy. Emancipation was not a mass striving, the desire for self-development absurd luxury. It had arrived as a woman, where the beautiful, safe and stress-free part began: life as a grandmother. Almost half a century ago, the eternally elegant Marlene Dietrich, at the age of fifty, was not just considered the "most beautiful grandmother in the world" for her grandchildren. But honest? Are not we looking for an experienced woman in our grandmother who has just finished with the world in which we are still living and fighting our struggles, so that we often feel the ground again under their mild and balanced views? Grannies are so indispensable because they provide us with what we need most when seeking refuge in their neat, tidy world: time, calm, patience, and sensible advice. and just these Christmas cookies, which only tasted so inimitable with her.

There are certainly isolated cases in which someone is granny-damaged. From "cool", stingy and too strict grandmothers is then talked about or even evil old women who are witches in fairy tales. Maybe they just lack the granny gene, maybe the long life was too bitter. Our classic grandma is a wonderful mix of anachronism and altruism, of nostalgic poetry and solid truth. Nothing comes to the German grandma. To love her and keep her likeness alive is important to us, for she brings us closer to ourselves. We should set a memorial for her.

Adam Sandler: Dip Doodle (April 2023).

Sabine Reichel, Footwear, Handbag, Bonbon, Margaret Thatcher, The Beatles, Cold War, Fall of the Wall, Grandma, Generation, Ode to Grandma