My grandmother and her sister came to Chicago on a bus tour a few weeks ago and this perfectly sums up the time I spent with them. It was three days of gallivanting around the city with a group of senior citizens exploring the best Chicago has to offer.
I met up with them on Tuesday night to go to Giordanos pizza. Much to my chagrin, my grandma insisted that I meet her at the hotel and ride the tour bus to the restaurant. I’m fairly confident that I now know what it feels like to be an exotic animal in a zoo. My first step on that bus brought all conversations to a complete halt. All 50ish pairs of aging eyes were squinting at me through their 3-inch glasses. Unsure of whether this young creature was real or a new side effect of their medication. I awkwardly shuffled down the aisle to the very back of the bus while they all craned their necks to watch me and my grandmother proudly announced to every single one of them, “this is my granddaughter, this is my granddaughter.” (isn’t she cute?) That evening was spent learning about the long drive from New York to Chicago and the bad weather they had (so much bad weather talk).
The next day I met the group for lunch and the Signature Room of the John Hancock Building. This is when the conversation turned to “life nowadays” and how none of them understand young people. It was like sitting in a stereotypical TV show. “Who’s this Lindsay Lohan girl and how did she become famous?” “What’s with kids and all their texting? Why do they always want to be on the phone?” And my personal favorite- “Do you know Phil Collins?” “I don’t listen to new music.” It took all the strength I had to not to burst out laughing in the middle of the table. Phil Collins hasn’t been considered new music since my little sister was born.
All in all, it was great to see my grandmother and enlightening to get a much older perspective on things like Kim Kardashian and Gangnam style.