Grandpas can guilt-trip, too!

May 19th, 2011 · 45 comments

Dara’s birthday is coming up, and her grandpa sent her this card. (Explains Dara: “He calls birthdays ‘anniversaries’ because ‘you only have one birth day.’) Nice, huh? And we haven’t even gotten to the guilt-trippy part yet.

“He lives in Florida and I live in upstate New York.” Dara says. “I went to visit my parents in NYC a few weeks ago and he chose to visit them the day after I left. Somehow that’s my fault.”

Hi Dara. Happy Anniversary. We don't see enough of each other but I guess that can't be helped. All my love GrandPa

related: Don’t worry, I’m alive. Not that you’d care. I’m only your mother!

FILED UNDER: Binghamton · birthday · family · guilt trip · New York · old folks · signed with love

45 responses so far ↓

  • #1   TippingCows

    My grandpa is a Grand Pa! He just can’t help himself, that Grand Pa.

    May 19, 2011 at 12:16 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   quatfaux

      It was a good PA, but not a Grand PA.

      May 19, 2011 at 2:02 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.2   park rose

      Grand PA begs to differ.

      May 19, 2011 at 6:01 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #2   zenvelo

    There’s nothing PA in that, no reference to “missing” her in NYC, just a grandfather’s regret that he doesn’t see someone he loves. Why is this even here?

    Dara seems to have a bit of guilt causing her to read between the lines.

    May 19, 2011 at 12:29 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   The Elf

      Really? It’s PA because he didn’t have to mention that they missed seeing each other. He could have just wished her Happy Birthday. I mean, Happy Anniversary.

      May 19, 2011 at 2:57 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.2   RP

      More of the card is dedicated to complaining about not seeing her versus actually wishing her a happy birthday (anniversary). That’s just crappy. You don’t use holiday or congratulatory greeting cards as an excuse to whine at someone.

      Furthermore, context matters. It is ridiculous to argue that this note coming after they missed seeing each other in NYC is just coincidence.

      But let’s pretend that going all “woe is me” in a birthday card isn’t rude and we’ll also pretend this has nothing to do with not seeing each other in NYC. WTF is with the “can’t be helped” line?

      “Oh, this thing makes me so sad but *I’M* not going to do anything about it.” Seriously? Even going with the most favorable interpretation possible he’s essentially just given up on trying to see her even though he claims he’d like to. Had he asked for a good time to meet up or let her know when he’d be up north again that’d be one thing, but he didn’t.

      Whining about a problem you apparently don’t care enough about to solve is not only PA, it’s bullshit.

      May 31, 2011 at 10:27 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #3   Car Title Loans

    This is a card that I would get from my grandma; she has no conception of how much flights cost, but that’s probably because she’s never been on one. Maybe you should send another passive aggressive notes saying that he should let you know when his trip is so you can try harder to see him next time? Old people are funny.


    May 19, 2011 at 12:30 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   park rose

      They be trippin’.

      May 19, 2011 at 6:02 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.2   Ginger

      Conception? I think you mean concept… I doubt your grandma will be having a conception any time soon.

      May 20, 2011 at 7:00 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.3   bannie

      Just go see her, already! ;-) She’s your grandma, and you won’t have her forever!

      May 28, 2011 at 11:50 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.4   RP

      See her *how*? Did you miss the part about how much tickets cost or do you think the airlines will let you fly for free if you tell them you’re visiting your grandparents?

      May 31, 2011 at 10:29 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #4   SillyGirl

    That’s grandparents for ya, always willing to send you guilt-I mean love.

    May 19, 2011 at 12:31 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #5   Mrs.Beasley bang

    So Grand Pa arrived to visit your folks the day after you left.

    And yet you couldn’t stay one day longer to see him, and he couldn’t arrive one day earlier to see you.

    Doesn’t sound PA to me. Sounds more to me like you both have a life.

    May 19, 2011 at 12:39 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #6   TippingCows

    Saying, “I guess that can’t be helped” often means “You don’t care enough about me to fly down here and spend a week with me and meet my bridge friends and wake up at the buttcrack of dawn to go for my daily walk with me and eat egg beaters and yogurt for breakfast.” I know the ways of the elderly.

    May 19, 2011 at 12:54 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   jadefirefly

      This. Only grandparents can take a perfectly reasonable comment like “Well, some things can’t be helped” and turn it into “After all, I won’t be here forever, and you’re still young… No, no, don’t go out of your way just to see me, I don’t want you to inconvenience yourself…” all while getting that old-person shaky voice going.

      May 19, 2011 at 1:39 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.2   Divvitar

      Where is Grand, Pennsylvania, anyway?

      May 19, 2011 at 2:50 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.3   The Elf

      Absolutely no where near Intercourse, Pennsylvania.

      May 19, 2011 at 2:59 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.4   unsatisfied

      nor is it near blue ball, pa.

      May 19, 2011 at 4:28 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.5   orange dog

      It’s across the state line from Unimpressive, OH.

      May 19, 2011 at 4:59 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.6   Kim

      omg. this sounds like my life and I’m 34. Kill me.

      May 19, 2011 at 8:51 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.7   The Elf

      It might be just a short trip away from Paradise, Pennsylvania though. You never know.

      May 19, 2011 at 9:00 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.8   Nunavut Guy

      34???? How the hell did the Sandmen miss your 30th??

      May 19, 2011 at 9:18 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #7   Lisa

    Is it just me or does it seem like everyone from older generations writes the same way? I swear, my grandfather’s handwriting looks exactly like that.

    May 19, 2011 at 1:40 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   Mixed Martial Arts Los Angeles

      My grandpa’s does, too, now that you point that out. Maybe it was the age of where everything had to look alike? Weird catch.

      May 19, 2011 at 5:08 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.2   park rose

      I think most generations’ handwriting looks similar, depending upon where they were taught, though I don’t know about the keyboard dependent generation. It’s a long time since many have picked up a pen, now, myself included.

      My generation, amongst the females anyway, has that horrendous loopy, circle-the-dot-on-the-”i” kind of writing – you know, a precursor to Comic Sans, except Comic Sans looks more mature.

      May 19, 2011 at 6:05 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.3   Donna Martin Graduates!

      Printing and cursive writing used to be taught at school.

      Kids were taught how to write in a certain fashion.

      This fashion altered from generation to generation.

      Mystery solved.

      May 19, 2011 at 6:28 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #8   Canthz_B bang

    What is grandpa, a drug courier? Who goes from Florida to NYC and only stays one day? Dara couldn’t dash back down to the city? It may be a long drive, but a lot shorter than going to Florida. The old guy was practically in the neighborhood, probably for a few days.

    May 19, 2011 at 2:53 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   RP

      First of all, that’s assuming she even knew he was coming up there ahead of time. She might not have found out about him visiting until after he left.

      Second, we don’t know when he was visiting. He might have been there during the week instead of the weekend. Even people who do get paid time off usually have to let their boss know ahead of time if they’re going to use it. She couldn’t just miss a workday and say she just wanted some vacation after the fact.

      Third, just because she’s closer doesn’t mean she’s close. She could be as far out as 6 hours away and still be in New York State. That’s hardly “in the neighborhood”.

      May 31, 2011 at 10:43 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.2   Canthz_B bang

      I guess you don’t recognize the word “practically”, huh?
      And no, it probably wouldn’t take six hours by car, even the long way, unless you don’t like using the highways.
      285 miles in width, 330 in length at 55mph you’re assuming she’d have to traverse from the farthest extremities of the state, which is statistically improbable. Odds are she’s closer than 6 hours away by car.

      You are aware that “Upstate NY” simply means outside of the NYC metropolitan area, right? Could be 10 miles or 200…it’s all called “Upstate NY”.

      As long as we’re pointing out assumptions that is.

      Jun 1, 2011 at 12:44 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #9   Adriana

    Cards like these make me glad that my one remaining grandparent has no interest in talking to me.

    May 19, 2011 at 3:50 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   clumber

      One of my 2 remaining Gma’s also has no interest in talking to me… but that’s because she no longer has any idea who I am. Or who her son (my dad) is. And it sucks. I’d cherish a good ole’ guilt trip from her again…. Must be time to call my other Gma and hear about how I don’t visit or call enough.

      May 20, 2011 at 1:10 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #10   Flip-flappin'

    I think we’re missing the crucial element here: was there a five-dollar bill tucked in there? Or worse; a five-dollar check?

    May 19, 2011 at 5:36 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.1   clumber

      Yes! We must know!

      May 20, 2011 at 1:11 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #11   gacy

    I know it seems passive-aggressive now, but come on. This is a member of your family who may not be around for much longer.

    For what it’s worth, I’d give a lot to spend one more day with my late grandfather.

    May 19, 2011 at 9:50 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.1   unsatisfied

      thanks for that, buzzkill.

      May 19, 2011 at 10:40 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.2   Canthz_B bang

      If your grandfather would just learn to be on-time…

      Wordplay 101

      May 20, 2011 at 10:10 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.3   RP

      The fact that it was written by an old person doesn’t make it less passive aggressive.

      We’re not talking about someone stuck in a nursing home who needs others to come visit him. We’re talking about someone who was able to book a flight and travel almost the entire length of the east coast. If he’s able to do that then he’s able to contact other relatives in the area to arrange a meet-up ahead of time.

      May 31, 2011 at 11:01 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #12   pony girl


    where’d my pic go?

    update: oooh, tricky!

    oh-oh, gigglebrax. Time to go to bed.

    May 20, 2011 at 2:04 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.1   clumber

      quietly offers a bag of bite-size Snickers, a cold Italian Soda, and an understanding pat.

      May 20, 2011 at 1:12 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #12.2   pony girl


      thanks! That hit the spot.

      May 20, 2011 at 5:32 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #13   ulblil

    It seems to me that if the Grandfather was coming from Fl to visit the parents, everyone would have known about it in advance and any grandchildren could have made their visit when he was in town. At least that’s how we do it in my family, when someone visits my parents from out of town we have a big get together and everyone goes.
    My grandfather writes the same exact way as well…..

    May 20, 2011 at 8:01 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   easily distracted

      Maybe. Or maybe they operate like my family and as Dara’s getting into the car someone casually remarks, “Oh yeah, Grandpa’s coming tomorrow afternoon. Why don’t you stick around? You can just call off work (and miss a day’s pay you so desperately need).”

      Nope. This doesn’t drive me crazy. Not. At. All.

      May 25, 2011 at 6:06 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #14   skull muncher

    Wow, what a bitch… she lives in the same state as her parents and couldn’t hang around for one more day to see her Grandpa? Yes, I’d say that’s her fault.

    May 21, 2011 at 1:19 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.1   Ruth

      Yes, how dare she have any commitments, like working! She should drop her whole life for her (presumably retired) granddad!

      Seriously, my grandma died recently, I miss her like fuck, she was more of a mother to me than my own mother, she raised me, she took me to my first day of school, but she was still sometimes passive-aggressive and difficult!

      May 29, 2011 at 8:58 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.2   RP

      Grandpa doesn’t get let off the hook for not coming earlier. If he really wanted to see her too he could have adjusted his schedule.

      May 31, 2011 at 10:45 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up


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