Help! Granny keeps interfering!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-09-2007
Help! Granny keeps interfering!
13
Tue, 04-16-2013 - 8:16pm

I am a early fifties female that works in a beauty shop, for 5 years now. I met a younger male there 4 years ago that brings his 82 year old Grandmother to the shop. We became casual friends. He lives with his grandmother to help her out, and does her laundry, grocery shopping, takes her to the doctor, beauty shop, and picks up her prescriptons. I moved a few houses down from them last year, and not on purpose, as I did not know they lived there at the time. Over the past year, we have become really good friends. (That is all for we are for now, and maybe forever, which is fine). I enjoy his company more than just about anybody else I know, and I think he enjoys mine. We walk around the neighborhood, ride bikes, etc., and he works on my car, and when he gets sick I take him some medicine and check on him. Last October, he went with me to my storage facility to get some things, and then we go to a Halloween store to shop, then we planned on seeing a movie nearby. Mind you, I work full time, and clean houses on the side as a 2nd job. He works full time and also has a 2nd job, so time together, especially going out like that, is rare and special. In this particular month, it is the ONLY day we have off together. Gran calls him while we are Halloween shopping, and says that she is hungry, and he HAS to stop and come home and go get her something to eat. Mind you, we were all the way in a different county, in MY car. I said, dosen't she have anything at home that she can eat just for this one night? He said no. So we leave. When we get to their house, I made it a point to look in their fridge, and there is 12 frozen dinners, as well as cans of soup on the table. We never did see the movie. I kept my mouth shut. In November, he worked on my car till late, and got home close to midnight. The next day, he tells me Gran now has him under a microscope and he can't come in my house for a while. On Christmas Eve, he brings Gran to the beauty shop to get her hair done. We are very busy that day, and after he puts Gran in the car to leave, he comes back in and we go in the back so that I can hug him and wish him a Merry Christmas in private, which takes about 3 minutes. When we walk back to the front, Gran has gotten back OUT of his car, and is yelling, where is he? So I just stay away from him for a few months, out of frustration. We recently started hanging out again. I was walking in the neighborhood 2 weeks ago, and he came by in his car, and I asked him to give me a quick ride to a friend's house while he went to the grocery store. (It was on the way). My friend said that if he put together her treadmill one day soon, she would take all 3 of us out to eat. When he came by to pick me up, Gran told him on his cell phone that he couldn't come in and talk to my friend for 5 minutes because her takeout food would get cold. Yesterday, I asked him if he would ride with me to a department store, and help me pick out my boss's husband a couple of things for his birthday, and then I would take us out to dinner. He said he had to run get Gran something to eat first. I said ok, and patiently waited, even though that made us really late leaving. We were at the restaraunt enjoying ourselves, and Gran called and said that we had to leave NOW and go to the drugstore to get her nerve pills, before the pharmacy closed. I said, can't it wait till the morning, and he said, she hasn't had her nerve pill yet today. So we stop and race to the drugstore, night ruined. Several times he has asked me over the past year to go check on her while he is working. When I do, she complains about how little money she has, even though she has volunteered that her house is paid for, she owns a lot of property in a nearby state, and she gets 2 nice checks, one from her late husband's pension. I am poor, too, but think that it is tacky and boring to talk about that. Then she tells me private things about him, like how much he owes, the last time he had sex, (3 years ago), and that he has blood in his stool. So I stop visiting herwhen he is gone. Then 2 months ago he asks me to check on her, as there was a death in the family 10 days ago and she is depressed. I take her flowers, candy, etc.. and I am there no more than 10 minutes when she starts up with the private stuff again. I stand up and say, sweetly, Honey, I am so sorry for your loss, but I feel that this is inappropriate for us to talk about, and I left. He told me 3 weeks later that she want to know why I never come by and see her anymore. I finally tell him that she tells me private stuff and it makes me uncomfortable. He says nothing. My friend says Gran talks bad about him to make sure that I am not romantically interested in him, cause she is afraid of losing him doing her bidding. I definitely do not want him to stop helping her. I just think she is not being considerate, and being controllilng and not letting him have a life. I have tried to talk to him about it but nothing has changed. Is it too much to ask for for us to have 1 or 2 days a month where we hang out and she leaves us alone? My family lives close by and I love them but we do not interfere in each other's daily lives. I am so frustrated. Am I going to have to give this wonderful friendship up, or what actions can I take without looking like the bad guy? I took care of my mother when she lived close by, and I know from experience that you have to set limits, especially if you work full time, or they will expect way too much and not let you have a life. Please help. We have fun together, get along and laugh, and I do have other friends, but he and I get along exceptionally well.

 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Tue, 04-16-2013 - 11:51pm

I don't get it.......He works full time, and has a 2nd job, and he also takes care of Granny?   Busy guy......how does he have anytime left for you?  If he allows her to walk all over him, it's up to him to set her straight.  Does he know all the personal things she's telling you about him?  If not, why not.  Chances are that none of the things are true, and she's just trying to scare you away, so you don't take him away from her.  You also need to stop filling in for him when he can't be with her. You don't need to know her financial business, or his personal business. It's nice of him to take care of her, but he must be pretty spineless if he allows her to walk all over him.  Unless she's completely bedridden and senile, then she should be able to be alone for an evening.....and if she needs 24 hour care, then she belongs in a nursing home. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-09-2007
Wed, 04-17-2013 - 12:31am

She isn't bedridden or senile. He told me yesterday that she is a worrier and has panic attacks. So do I, and I am not kidding. But I don't expect another person to stay right up under me all the time because of that. When she comes to the beauty shop, she comes right out and asks me who I am dating, how old I am, trying to find out I think if he and I are more than friends. I laugh and change the subject. I just need to know if I should give this friendship up, or find a way to let him know I won't put up with her interference without looking like the bad guy. He told me 2 weeks ago that he really cares about me, and I told him the same thing. We have a real connection so I really don't want to lose the friendship, but it is hard to see him under those conditions.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010
Wed, 04-17-2013 - 1:53am

"I just think she is not being considerate, and being controllilng and not letting him have a life."

That's exactly what she's doing, and probably for the reason that your friend suggests. She sounds jealous of the time that he spends with you.

Unfortunately there is no way for you to tell him to stand up to her, without sounding like the bad guy. And also without sounding like your friendship is more than what you described here. He doesn't seem to consider her demands to be putting a damper on the friendship so maybe it bothers you a lot more than it bothers him. Since you know that she will always try to interrupt if she knows that he's with you, you have to either accept it and let it go, or don't do things with him that cannot be easily interrupted (like drive to the next county).

He has to decide for himself and by himself that he doesn't want Granny pulling the strings, and then figure out what to say to her. Is it possible that he's waiting on an inheritance and is willing to put up with whatever she dishes out so he can stay in her will?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 04-17-2013 - 11:12am

Unfortunately it's up to him to set boundaries w/ his gran--she can't walk all over him if he doesn't let her.  I'm sure that he knew there were frozen dinners and cans of soup in the house so why didn't he tell her to make something that could tide her over til he came home?  I think all you can do is set your boundaries with him, whether it's taking separate cars, or if you are the one driving, you know he can't force you to take him home if you're not ready.  Or before you go out somewhere, you could ask him if he has everything done for granny before he goes--does she have food, does she have her medicine, etc?  You could also ask him not to tell her that he is going somewhere with you--I wonder if she does this when he goes out with other friends?  The idea that he's looking for an inheritance is interesting or he could just feel guilty about saying no to her.  But if he keeps doing these things, then you have to decide if you want to keep hanging out with him under the circumstances. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-09-2007
Wed, 04-17-2013 - 11:41am

Yes, the inheritance part has crossed my mind, and I can't say that I blame him. And everyone is saying exactly what I have been thinking. He does need to set boundaries, and I can't do that for him. For him not to tell her he is with me is not an option. When he goes anywhere, she wants to know where, when, how long he will be gone, who with, etc., and I have been with him at the grocery store, and she calls him because he is taking too long and she is worried. It is just hard for me to deal with as I live by myself and am very independant. But you are right. I have to decide if the friendship is worth it to keep going along this way. Thanks.

Avatar for Kendahke1
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-09-2012
Wed, 04-17-2013 - 2:59pm

kata1l wrote:
<ul><li><span> </span></li></ul><p>I am a early fifties female that works in a beauty shop, for 5 years now. I met a younger male there 4 years ago that brings his 82 year old Grandmother to the shop. We became casual friends. He lives with his grandmother to help her out, and does her laundry, grocery shopping, takes her to the doctor, beauty shop, and picks up her prescriptons. I moved a few houses down from them last year, and not on purpose, as I did not know they lived there at the time. Over the past year, we have become really good friends. (That is all for we are for now, and maybe forever, which is fine). I enjoy his company more than just about anybody else I know, and I think he enjoys mine. We walk around the neighborhood, ride bikes, etc., and he works on my car, and when he gets sick I take him some medicine and check on him. Last October, he went with me to my storage facility to get some things, and then we go to a Halloween store to shop, then we planned on seeing a movie nearby. Mind you, I work full time, and clean houses on the side as a 2nd job. He works full time and also has a 2nd job, so time together, especially going out like that, is rare and special. In this particular month, it is the ONLY day we have off together. Gran calls him while we are Halloween shopping, and says that she is hungry, and he HAS to stop and come home and go get her something to eat. Mind you, we were all the way in a different county, in MY car. I said, dosen't she have anything at home that she can eat just for this one night? He said no. So we leave. When we get to their house, I made it a point to look in their fridge, and there is 12 frozen dinners, as well as cans of soup on the table. We never did see the movie. I kept my mouth shut. In November, he worked on my car till late, and got home close to midnight. The next day, he tells me Gran now has him under a microscope and he can't come in my house for a while. On Christmas Eve, he brings Gran to the beauty shop to get her hair done. We are very busy that day, and after he puts Gran in the car to leave, he comes back in and we go in the back so that I can hug him and wish him a Merry Christmas in private, which takes about 3 minutes. When we walk back to the front, Gran has gotten back OUT of his car, and is yelling, where is he? So I just stay away from him for a few months, out of frustration. We recently started hanging out again. I was walking in the neighborhood 2 weeks ago, and he came by in his car, and I asked him to give me a quick ride to a friend's house while he went to the grocery store. (It was on the way). My friend said that if he put together her treadmill one day soon, she would take all 3 of us out to eat. When he came by to pick me up, Gran told him on his cell phone that he couldn't come in and talk to my friend for 5 minutes because her takeout food would get cold. Yesterday, I asked him if he would ride with me to a department store, and help me pick out my boss's husband a couple of things for his birthday, and then I would take us out to dinner. He said he had to run get Gran something to eat first. I said ok, and patiently waited, even though that made us really late leaving. We were at the restaraunt enjoying ourselves, and Gran called and said that we had to leave NOW and go to the drugstore to get her nerve pills, before the pharmacy closed. I said, can't it wait till the morning, and he said, she hasn't had her nerve pill yet today. So we stop and race to the drugstore, night ruined. Several times he has asked me over the past year to go check on her while he is working. When I do, she complains about how little money she has, even though she has volunteered that her house is paid for, she owns a lot of property in a nearby state, and she gets 2 nice checks, one from her late husband's pension. I am poor, too, but think that it is tacky and boring to talk about that. Then she tells me private things about him, like how much he owes, the last time he had sex, (3 years ago), and that he has blood in his stool. So I stop visiting herwhen he is gone. Then 2 months ago he asks me to check on her, as there was a death in the family 10 days ago and she is depressed. I take her flowers, candy, etc.. and I am there no more than 10 minutes when she starts up with the private stuff again. I stand up and say, sweetly, Honey, I am so sorry for your loss, but I feel that this is inappropriate for us to talk about, and I left. He told me 3 weeks later that she want to know why I never come by and see her anymore. I finally tell him that she tells me private stuff and it makes me uncomfortable. He says nothing. My friend says Gran talks bad about him to make sure that I am not romantically interested in him, cause she is afraid of losing him doing her bidding. I definitely do not want him to stop helping her. I just think she is not being considerate, and being controllilng and not letting him have a life. I have tried to talk to him about it but nothing has changed. Is it too much to ask for for us to have 1 or 2 days a month where we hang out and she leaves us alone? My family lives close by and I love them but we do not interfere in each other's daily lives. I am so frustrated. Am I going to have to give this wonderful friendship up, or what actions can I take without looking like the bad guy? I took care of my mother when she lived close by, and I know from experience that you have to set limits, especially if you work full time, or they will expect way too much and not let you have a life. Please help. We have fun together, get along and laugh, and I do have other friends, but he and I get along exceptionally well.</p><div> </div>

My dear, you are old enough to know that this has nothing to do with Gran but everything to do with your friend who will not put his foot down and demand autonomy. 

What is clear is that she does not like your relationship with her grandson.  Perhaps she sees you as a threat to her way of life and how she's got it ordered. There is no reason why she should be warehoused in a nursing home just because it's inconveniencing you hanging out with her grandson.  Find other friends to hang out with until this guy is done with this duty/obligation.

Blaming her for him letting her get away with what she does is futile.  He is not mature enough to cut the strings.  Were he mature, he would have her make out a list of what she needed on a daily basis and take care of it before he went to see you; when her prescriptions were due for refill; making sure she either had eaten before he leaves or that she knows the numbers to delivery places so she can order food.

In order to have this friendship with this young boy, you're going to have to accept that his Gran will always come before you until such a time when she is no longer alive. Period.  It's that or ending the friendship and finding someone way more mature.  However, as he is her grandson and has agreed to take care of his grandmother, she is his first priority as she is family and you are not.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-09-2007
Wed, 04-17-2013 - 4:46pm

While I appreciate your reply, please don't put words in my mouth. I never stated that she should be "warehoused" in a nursing home or that he should make me his number one priority. I am trying to be reasonable. She is lucky to have him to care for her, and that is one of the things I like about him, that he is patient and caring. All I want is just on the 2 or 3 days a month that he and I hang out, that we be given some space and left alone just for that little time. He and I both work hard and deserve some peaceful time. I repeat, we are just friends, no cougar here, but we have such fun together. Monday we went into a department store, and after I was through shopping, we went to the toy department and played with toys and laughed and had a great time. I have lots of friends, but he and I sort of get each other's sense of humor and talk about so many things.He helped me through a recent death and I helped him through one 2 months ago. My wish is that everybody could have a friend like him. He listens, does not judge, helps me when possible, doesn't try to make any moves, and makes me laugh, and I try to do the same for him. Beleive me, I have a 25 year old nephew who is like my son and lives close by, but I would never dream of interrupting an evening when he is out with friend or on a date, unless it was a dire emergency. I want him to be happy and have a life like I did when I was 25. My friend is older than that, and his Gran might live another 10 or 15 years, as she is basically healthy. All I am asking is just a little time without interruption. Is that unreasonable? Beleive me, if she were to call with a true emergency, I would run to my car and drive as fast as possible to get him home. I do not want to interfere with them, just want 1 or 2 evenings a month for us to hang out and not worry about leaving in the middle of something to race home for something that could in reality wait till the next day.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010
Wed, 04-17-2013 - 9:23pm

We all agree that her behavior is not "reasonable" but that's not the point. If you've told your guy friend that granny's interruptions bother you and he chooses not to do anything about it, then you have to let it go. You can't tell your friends how to manage their lives because then you are acting like granny. If it really bothers you as much as it seems to in your posts then you should probably stop hanging out with him. He may be fun but brings a lot of aggravation in his wake.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-09-2007
Wed, 04-17-2013 - 10:14pm

Yeah I kinda know that I need to cut way back on any time I spend with him, and even then just make it walking in the neighborhood so the interruptions can't happen. It's just so hard to find such good company. But you are right, the resentment would start building up. Such a shame.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-09-2007
Wed, 04-17-2013 - 10:29pm

And P.S.  Great, now I just thought about the fact that now I need a nice, but honest and clear, way to tell him why I am not going to be seeing him much anymore. We see each other about once a week, and I don't want to be passive aggressive or play games. What do I say without being insulting and mean? Now I need new help!

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