The husband refuses to listen when I tell him that he shouldn’t carry on so about our grandkids to other people who have Artworkgrandkids as well. “They think their grandkids are just as special as ours,” I say.
His jaw drops and the color drains from his face. He is momentarily stunned. Clearly, the thought has never crossed his mind that there might be grandchildren equally spectacular, or even more spectacular (as if that’s possible!) than ours.
The husband’s problem, and this has always been his problem since the day I met him, is that he is sincere and kind. Being a sincere and kind individual, when someone asks about the family, he truly thinks they mean it. He thinks they want details. Oh, he’ll give you details all right, details on all six of the little critters. Age, gender, height and weight percentiles, who is potty trained, who is walking, who knows their ABCs and which ones prefer the sandbox over the kiddie pool.
If you’re still standing and your eyes are still open, he will mistake this as genuine interest. He will then continue, telling you which ones appear to have an aptitude for engineering, which ones seem drawn to the arts and which ones he thinks may one day win Pulitzers.
The husband once chased a man out of a party yelling, “Wait! I only got to tell you about the Chicago contingency! I didn’t even get to the three in New Jersey! What’s your email? Want me to text you? Don’t worry; I’ll find you on LinkedIn! What was your name again?”
I’ve never seen a set of taillights speed away into the night so fast in my life.
Not that the man brags, but the man brags—without shame and without apology.
To be perfectly candid, he thinks there may be something wrong with grandparents who do not brag about their grandchildren. Come to think of it, he could be right.
What kind of person wouldn’t want to tell stories about listening to his grandbaby giggle into the phone? What kind of person wouldn’t show 100 of his closest friends the silly dances his grandbabies created?
Still, the husband may be in a league of his own. For him, grandkids are the best thing since sliced bread. Make that better than a Beatles reunion, ESPN, ESPN2 and the Cincinnati Reds winning the pennant. Yep, grandchildren top all of those things and that’s why he loves to talk about them.
That said, if you run into us, don’t ask about the family.
If you do ask about the family, try not to give verbal encouragement.
If you do give verbal encouragement, and the husband offers to show you pictures and goes for his cell phone, I have one word of advice: Run!