A Watched Life Doesn’t Boil and Other Grandma Trickery

29 Mar

A watched pot never boils!

I recently completed the second stage of applying for a job that I really want and waiting for a response has been agonizing. It’s probably totally unrealistic to expect a reply this soon, but that didn’t keep me from staring at my gmail this morning, willing the number of messages in my inbox to change. Instead, I had to suffer through several fake-out false alarms–I have never hated spam more, or hit the delete button with such vengeful force. I talked to my grandma on the phone around lunchtime and she was not on board with my immobile waiting. “How about coming over and doing my laundry?” she suggested. “I’ve got a big grocery list, you could go to the store for me. A watched life doesn’t boil, you know.”

“Pot, grandma. A watched pot doesn’t boil.”

“Oh, whatever.”

I went over and took her laundry up to her community laundry room. Even as I was pouring detergent though, my mind was employed by thoughts of employment. “There are at least two people applying for the job,” I speculated when I got back to grandma’s house. “But actually, there are probably a lot more.”

Grandma was unimpressed. “Psh. There’s going to be a lot of people applying to any job. Here, this is my grocery list. Don’t forget the yogurt, I really need it. And I want English Breakfast tea or Earl Grey, none of that fruity tooty stuff.”

“Maybe I haven’t heard back from them because there’s THAT many people applying. Maybe they have to comb through a zillion applicants.”

“Well then, they’ll get to you, won’t they? …Are you leaving, or not?

I went to the grocery store and wandered around. When I’m grocery shopping by myself and don’t have something I need to get home to right away, I tend to take my time to look at things and explore. The odd thing is that I’m also a fast walker, even when I’m relaxed, so my wandering never has the appearance of aimlessness. I did slow for the ice cream aisle, though. I take my ice cream selection process very seriously. You have to consider cost, size, long term flavor enjoyment, what you already have at home, what you’ve been craving. It’s very scientific, really.

On the drive home, Dancing in the Moonlight came on the radio. That’s one of my favorite songs to sing along to–you can’t listen and stay uptight, it’s a supernatural delight! It was unusually warm today, so I had all the car windows rolled down and the music blasting. It was a very spring-y, happy moment.

I got home, put the groceries away, and turned to look at Grandma playing solitaire at the kitchen table. “They probably won’t get back to me for a while. Maybe next week, maybe I won’t hear from them until next week.”
 “Go up and get my laundry,” she said as she moved a stack of cards. “It’s done by now.”
“I think one of the other applicants has a lot of writing experience.” I mentioned casually later, as I was folding grandma’s shirts.
 “Good for her,” she said, and refolded the top I had just placed aside. Apparently I’ve been folding shirts wrong for years. “Hang up my hummingbird feeder, would you? Those birds have been bugging me all week–they’re hungry.”
 “I’ll bet all that writing experience is really desirable. It probably looks really good.” Some of the sugar water spilled on me as I hung the feeder up.
 “Mmmm. If you’re going to wash your arm off, you could do those couple of dishes in the sink. You know I can never see if I’ve gotten all the food stuffs off.”
 I scrubbed a crusty dish for a good ten minutes and wondered aloud if I’d at least get an interview. “Unless they think my writing really sucks, I would hope they’d want to meet me after all this. But then, maybe there are too many applicants for that.”
 “I spilled orange juice on the kitchen floor yesterday and it’s still sticky–see if you can clean up some more, would you?”
 I mopped her floor, dusted her blinds, fixed the time on her clock, changed her hearing aid batteries, figured out that the funny smell in the fridge was from moldy cheese, and got the mail. I moved her reading chair three inches to the left, found the necklace she’s been hunting for a week, and put pretty patterned paper in the back of her breakfront. I’m thinking Grandma was reenacting her own version of If You Give a Moose a Muffin…something like, If You Distract a Granddaughter With Chores. I’m also pretty sure Mr. Feeny did this exact thing to Cory on one of the early episodes of Boy Meets World. Or maybe it was Eric, and a high school episode. Anyway, I think grandma pulled a Mr. Feeny on me. (Which is actually sort of exciting, since I’ve always wanted my life to resemble Boy Meets World.)
When I got home and logged into my email, I still didn’t have any new messages. So I guess an unwatched life doesn’t boil, either. Or, I didn’t not watch long enough. Grandma may have expertly gotten all her chores done, but I think Mr. Feeny’s moral would me more clear…


Someday, Chuck, we'll both get mail.

10 Responses to “A Watched Life Doesn’t Boil and Other Grandma Trickery”

  1. shreejacob March 30, 2011 at 3:19 am #

    Oh, I hope you get the email soon! I can never figure out about this expecting an email thing, if I pretend I don’t give a hoot about it – I don’t get it. If I keep staring at my inbox – I don’t get it either! I basically don’t get it!

    Your grandma’s clever 😉 and you’re a wonderful granddaughter!

    • Oh My Words! March 30, 2011 at 9:35 pm #

      I don’t get it on SO many levels! haha
      Thanks for the support, and I’m glad you liked the post 🙂

  2. Elvita Kondili March 30, 2011 at 7:39 am #

    Hah this is awesome, very entertaining post! My mother says the same but I fall for this all the time, against my better judgment. False sense of control, I tell ya 🙂

  3. christaschule2010 March 30, 2011 at 8:25 am #

    I hope you get your positive email soon. Let us know, when you have made it. Enjoy your time – however – time will pass better, if your busy (even with chores).

    • Oh My Words! March 30, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

      thanks! I love knowing I’ve got extra good thoughts going for me. And yes, I’ve been busy being busy…

  4. Heather March 30, 2011 at 10:01 am #

    I feel your pain! Surviving unemployment is a never-ending waiting game, waiting for ANY response to your application for all the “perfect jobs” out there.

    We were trying to not “watch life” while waiting for an response to an awesome and perfect job for my Hot Hubbie. Unfortunately we got bad news 4 weeks later.

    I hope you have better luck. Keep living life and maybe you will get that coveted phone call telling you how much they love you and how impressed they were with your resume, and how they would LOVE for you to come in for an interview. I really hope you get that.

    Good luck! (We all need a little, ok, well a lot of luck right now)

    • Oh My Words! March 30, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

      Thanks! It really means a lot that someone (besides my mom…) is rooting for me. 🙂
      Best wishes and good luck to you and your Hot Hubbie, too! Heard anything lately?

  5. smilesndreams March 30, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

    Ahh..I love getting email/mail as well! And when it’s about actually expecting something important like an interview call or something, I’ll keep checking my email every 10 min or so 🙂

  6. Ash March 31, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

    I am very guilty of the same thing. I’m always looking ahead at what could happen or should happen rather than focusing on one day at a time. And in the end things never go as I planned them, so it shouldn’t really matter.


  1. Don’t Ask Me, I Can’t Talk About It « Oh My Words! - April 11, 2011

    […] I can’t say any more about the thing that happened today. Maybe it had something to do with watched pots and boiling lives, maybe it didn’t. Maybe I’m DYING for a positive outcome, after the thing that happened […]

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