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Don’t scold us for trying to help
Posted March 09, 2007

Tom Anderson
Editor in Chief

Have you ever been in a situation where jumping to conclusions landed you in hot water?

Well, my dad and his mother (my grandmother) both experienced that last weekend, and it’s safe to say resultant fallout put their relationship to the test.

On Sunday morning, Nana called my dad and said the stash of jewelry she keeps hidden in an antique stove was missing, and she was certain the cleaning lady she had recently hired had stolen it.

Dad, being the good son he is, offered to drive down there immediately and assess the situation in person, but his mom, being the stubbornly independent octogenarian she is, insisted that he not.

Nana’s neighbors had recommended this maid to her, even though they had allegedly been using her themselves for only a month or so, but they were on a weekend trip to Las Vegas, and when Dad tried calling them all he got was their answering machine.

He then called the non-emergency number for the Alhambra Police Department, which would have jurisdiction over the incident, and asked them what course of action to take.

Still not entirely convinced things were as his mom said they were, he tried calling her neighbors again.

This time they answered, and he began grilling them on how long they knew this lady, if she had ever acted suspiciously, etc.

They said their daughter had not only known her for 20 years, but that she also employed the woman as a nanny for her children.

The neighbors then swore up and down that the maid was incapable of stealing or any other damnable act, and apparently accused both he and Nana of accusing them of recommending a crook.

By now of course Dad decided to take matters into his own hands and drove down to the house he grew up in to see who was right.

Shortly after he began disassembling the antique stove, he found the missing jewelry in a remote crevice or compartment of the stove’s entrails.

It would appear that the cleaning lady, not knowing what was inside the stove, while dusting the stove unknowingly knocked the jewels to a place where Nana couldn’t reach or feel them.

Then I would imagine some harsh words were exchanged (from what Dad said Nana was mad at him for coming down when she told him not to) and Dad came home in a huff, despite the fact that his mom and her valuables were safe.

As if all this wasn’t bad enough, both of them walked over to the neighbors’ house Monday to apologize.

They accepted Nana’s and gave her a hug, but didn’t accept Dad’s, citing what they called his harsh tone when he called them the day before.

Now this isn’t the first time my paternal grandmother has cried wolf and caused tension with her only child.

A few months ago she fell and lost her hearing aid, without which she is as good as deaf, and figured it was gone forever. After lots of debating with my father, she finally agreed to let him and my mom drive down and look for it.

Dad wasn’t on his hands and knees even five minutes when he found the dirty but still functioning device.

I know you don’t want to surrender your independence, Nana, and you don’t want to create headaches for us, either.

But the unfortunate fact of the matter is you’re getting to be too stubborn for your own good.

And as your family we want to help make things easier for you and prevent you from getting yourself (and/or us) into pickles like the ones mentioned above, not just because we love you and it’s our job, but because you have done and continue to do so much for us.

So next time, remember that we act the way we do because you mean so much to us, and only want what’s best for you.

Tom Anderson, a senior journalism major, is editor in chief of the Campus Times. He can be reached by e-mail at