Gran’s Pride

It’s no wonder women gossip, because half the human race is not very forthcoming. Sixty years ago my mom told me the only way she could find out anything from my brother was to fire questions at him. He would volunteer to spread gravel in your driveway or lead devotions before school started, but volunteer information? No way! It wasn’t part of his makeup. John is a bit better than that with me. I get the bare bones of a story and have to pump him for details or make them up myself. My story today began after John hung up from talking with grandson Nathaniel several weeks ago.

John began with the summary. He said, “Nate won a cake-baking contest at school, and they are going to fly him to the Providence campus to compete in the next round.”

The summary was all I was going to get without mashing his brain for more. What did he bake? Does he have a photo of it? When is the trip? How long will he be gone? How will he get to the airport? Will somebody meet him in Providence? What will he bake next? Will he get to see his friends up there? When will he know the results? Was he excited?

I didn’t get any more information, because the grandson didn’t give him details. I’m sure both fellows were totally satisfied that they had sent and received the bare facts as required. No more needed to be said.

Fast forward to the present. I was aware that Nathaniel was traveling today and had him in my thoughts. My phone dinged, and this photo is what I found with the caption, “Wish me luck.”

Wish me luck.

Because there is an old family story about condensation on a plane, I asked, “The plane isn’t leaking, is it?”

He replied, “Nah, I’m on a large plane.” I had forgotten that he was once on a small plane and took a photo of water dripping from an overhead bin. We chatted back and forth with totally inane conversation until he said the announcement came they were taking off.

[I could not get the Gutenberg editor to let me position this photo with an earlier paragraph. This is most frustrating.]

Nathaniel texted again to say he was in Philadelphia. He wrote, “I am at my next gate! First time ever in Philadelphia I’ve had a short walk!!! Usually I am booking it across the airport.”

I finally asked one meaningful question. “Are you doing anything to prepare for the competition, or is everything last minute?” He said, “Last minute. I have no choice.”

Make that two good questions. “What time shall I be praying extra hard for you?”

He replied, “10:45 – 11:45 on Friday.” A few minutes later, “Taking off now, bye.”

A little while later he sent this photo of his motel room. I could fill in the blanks for that. Someone picked him up at the airport and dropped him off. He also said there would be a nice dinner in the evening. Three friends who were with him in the high school culinary program are students at the Providence campus. They will see each other after the competition. John did mention that Nathaniel had the option of flying back to Charlotte Saturday or Sunday. He chose Sunday and will spend all day Saturday with his friends.

You don’t have to tell me that I complained without cause. I wasn’t any better at getting information than John. What I do know for sure is that I am one proud grandmother. I can’t believe this grandson won a contest and was jetting about the country by himself, and he is only 19 years old. Well done, Nathaniel!

It’s no wonder the boy likes cake.  When we celebrated his birthday, his mom always bought him a beautiful cake.  The photo shows him at age 10.

Nathaniel, age 10

36 thoughts on “Gran’s Pride

  1. We always feel that the basics are all that’s needed until we’re face to face and I’m sure that’s the time Nathaniel will be happy to supply all the details you need. He knows John doesn’t need all those details. Also it’s hard to get excited and pass that information by phone. A woman’s mind and a man’s are wired differently as to what is important.
    I hope he has success in the second stage of the competition too and ends up winning the lot.that should keep you happy for ages garnishing all the details.
    xxx Massive Happy Grandparent Hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, men and women are different. I hope Nathaniel will be happy that he has done his best in the competition. He generally has his feet in the ground and accepts winning and losing with grace. Thanks for your good wishes.

      xxx Non-competitive Hugs xxx

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  2. I am hoping to see him on TV some day( seriously- like in Chopped or Iron Chef or Best baker).
    I know what you mean when you say they talk in short hand. I have two people like that in my family- my husband and my daughter. I need to “elicit” information, if I want to know the whole story. I do ask a lot of questions though. The bare essentials are not enough. Good luck, Nathaniel- I will be praying for you too.
    Susie

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  3. I must have man genes because I have that problem too. I will get off the phone and get drilled with the why’s and wherefore’s and not have a clue what to say. I did that after my son called when he got in an accident. And everyone asked is he alright? Well, I guess so, he called me, didn’t he? Where? How did it happen? Was it his fault? (that I knew the answer to because he quickly said, it wasn’t his fault), Who else was involved? etc. etc. and all I could volunteer was where I needed to pick him up. Sigh. I’m also the kind of person that wants the whole story but face on, because then I can get volumes more from their facial expression and posture.

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  4. Congratulations to Nate! So exciting! Two years ago my daughter started working a job where she jets around the country working with a team that opens new stores for her company. Each time a trip was planned I wanted all the details. Now it has become routine for her to email me her flight and hotel itinerary. We also talk before she leaves and while she doesn’t always call me when she gets there (time differences sometimes make this impractical) she usually calls within the first couple of days and we chat about how things are going. I find that I don’t always ask about the “details” unless it is pertaining to my kids/grandkids.

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  5. Sounds so familiar. If my husband has breakfast with a friend, I’ll ask if anything is new. He will say, “Not really.” He always says that even if the guy’s spouse died. Over the next few days I will get bits and pieces of the conversation. I just have to be patient. When he talks to his kids, he knows nothing about what’s going on. If I talked to them I know what color underwear they have on! 🙂 Maybe a gender difference. Or maybe I’m nosy.

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  6. Oh my! Boys are certainly different from girls in most cases, aren’t they?

    But it isn’t just the male of the species who shares info. I have two sons. The one who lives out of state calls all the time and tells me detailed descriptions or sends texts using in depth references. That’s his style. He’s an assistant director in the film industry and precise observations and analogies are his thing. My other son is the executive director of a non profit organization and he shares things on a need to know basis. In fact when he asks me a question he wants the short version in my response. Which for me is frustrating because I’m long winded. He thinks like a business man while my other son creates pictures with his words so that I see a movie in my head. They are just very different. I can’t tell yet with my grandchildren. My grand daughter is much more chatty than my grandson, but my grandson likes to create graphic stories (he’s in third grade) and loves to share what he’s drawn and written. But if I ask him about his day at school I just get a fine, or good. And my grand daughter will tell me about her friends, which girls are nice, which are not etc. I think the female of the species generally is just more chatty.
    My film director, writer son is perhaps unusual but he’s been making movies in his head since he was a kid when he took his action figures and created stop motion episodes of his toys and by the time he graduated high school he had kids paying him to turn homework projects into mini films. (Example instead of writing an essay about Hamlet he turned his essay into a short film using drama students.)
    But, yes, normally it’s like pulling teeth to get info from a man. I think of that show Dragnet. “Just the facts, ma’am.”
    Being a teacher for almost 4 decades, I’m used to elaborating when I speak to give clear, concise answers and comments because I had to make sure my lessons were understood. So I tend to be detailed. Most people aren’t. And men are usually the worst!
    At least your grandson sends you pictures and stays in touch! That’s a good thing! 😉

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    1. You have all kinds in your family! I’ve read that the average woman has a need to use many more words than an average man. Thank heavens my husband is a talker! No, I should say he is a conversationalist, because he doesn’t monopolize the conversation.

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  7. Congratulations to Nathaniel! That’s awesome!
    My brothers complain that I call my sisters in law instead of them, but it’s for the same reason- I’ll actually get information that way!

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      1. I had to scroll through and ensure no one used that line before me. Well that was different with the cake and ice cream as prizes. I just went into Reader as I figured you wrote about it. How exciting that you could see the competition and save the video for John as well. Nathaniel is no slouch – he is a first year culinary student and the winner was a fourth year culinary student … he should be ecstatic and proud. His offerings looked delicious. I think I will get you to ask him for his autograph before he gets famous!

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      2. Ha ha – you should mention this idea to Nathaniel … he should have taken that toque off when he was done … I’ll bet he kept it … first time to bake in a contest.

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      3. I forgot to ask Nathaniel about his headgear in the competition. I thought it looked like paper. I know his school uniform had a skull cap, but not a tall chef’s hat. As to whether he kept it — he had only carry-on luggage.

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      4. I thought it looked like a paper toque too as it appeared you could see through it – with that chef’s hat on, he is more like 7′ 5″ tall! I’ll be he kept it as it could fold down in his suitcase.

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  8. What a proud moment!!! Keep us posted on the outcome.
    I did laugh about the short conversations. After raising three sons and living with my husband I have come to realize if you ask how their day was and all you get is one word, “Good” I need to realizes that they had a day that was satisfactory. I also had to be satisfied with that (and I never was or am). I am so glad I have daughter-in-laws who talk in more than one word sentences.

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