If My Grandma Ran the World…

IMG_0369I have this habit of posting things on Facebook that my Grandma Pompili says to me in regular conversation. I do this because it’s hilarious, unbelievable, or incredibly endearing. She always knows when I do it, and I never, ever do this to mock her. I firmly believe the world should know of this woman.

One particular day after my gram shared her feelings on BINGO (“It’s the most booooring game!”) I got to thinking: what the world would be like if my grandmother ran it? Because I thought all 84-year-old women loved BINGO. But my gram is one who unabashedly marches to the beat of her own drum. So if my grandmother ran the world:

1. There would be no B.S. Period. My grandmother almost once had a bar shut down because they were serving minors alcohol. She takes zero crap from anyone, and that is most assuredly not an age thing, I promise you. She has always been like this. Another example:

I call Gram on the phone. She answers, “Hello?”
Me: Hey, Gram.
Gram: Barb? [her daughter]
Me: No, Gram; it’s Elisa.
Gram: Barbara, quit it.
Me: It’s me, Gram. It’s Elisa.
Gram: It is not. Who is this?
Me: [Confused, since we talk 2-3 times per week] It’s Elisa.
Gram: Tell me who you are right now or I’m hanging up.
Me: Fine, go ahead and hang up.
Gram: [Hangs up]
Me: [Staring at the phone, wondering what just happened]

Five seconds later…

I call her back on her cell phone, which has caller ID.

Gram: Elisa!
Me: Hey, Gram.
Gram: Was that you?!

2. There would be no such thing as, “I didn’t tell her this, but…” because my grandma TALKS. She holds little-to-nothing back (see No. 1) and is not afraid to question, inquire, comment, or interrogate. I mean investigate.CIMG1916-1

3. Guilt would be a hit or miss thing. Gram doesn’t like that her family lives all over the place, and she will let you know it. But, our conversation the other day:

Gram: Listen, I want to tell you something since things have changed so much.

Elisa: Okay.

G: Listen, if you want to get rid of that china I gave you, if it’s a hassle, you know you can get rid of it. Put it up on Greg’s List and get some money for it. It’s an old pattern and you will not hurt my feelings.

I told her thanks, but I wanted her china. I also told her that her words would alleviate any guilt I might feel should I ever want to get rid of the china set she gave me. J

4. Our greetings might come from the Real Housewives of Any City. I once walked into her apartment with a new dress on, and she didn’t even say ‘Hello’ to me. It was, “Well, you classy bitch, you! Isn’t that what they say on Real Housewives?!”

5. Families would not separate. My grandparents were together for 61 years. She took care of him until the day he Grandpa's 80th birthday kissdied and has no regrets about it. We had a good life, she says. But man he drove me crazy! That’s what happens in a marriage, you know. You drive each other crazy then you move on. It doesn’t mean you have to separate for cryin’ out loud. (The volume of regular conversation would also be raised at least 2 decibel levels).

6. Italians and/or Catholics would get first dibs on everything, just because she is quite proud to be Italian and still talks about times in the 50s and 60s when she and her family were treated poorly for being Italian. And she is still pretty smitten with John F. Kennedy, the first Catholic U.S. president.

7. Pasta would a mandated meal at least twice per week, one of those being Sundays. The sauce would be homemade in a stock pot, simmering for hours before the meal. It would be ziti almost every time.

8. Perseverance would be commonplace. My grandmother took four attempts at her driver’s test. The last time she passed through the same red light as she had the previous 3 times, the only reason she had failed the exam. Grandma says, “He just gave me the license because he just gave up on me. I was 22, but I’d be driving since I was 16. Without a license. Bad girl.” But she went 68 years without an accident, so that’s something. She also never gave up on anyone, ever. At least not in my lifetime.

9. Fear would sometimes win, but not when it counts. Maybe my grandmother never flew a day in her life because she’s afraid to fly, but she traveled at 78 and 83 years old via train and car, respectively, more than 1,000 miles round trip to visit her granddaughters/take a trip with her son and daughter-in-law. She has recently joined social groups, she started playing dominoes at around age 76, and loves to learn new board games. She tried sushi for the first time a few years ago, will stand up to any bully, and stopped driving before she got into an accident, simply because she knew it was time. Every one of those things speaks of courage to me.

If my grandma ran the world, we’d laugh a lot more, care for each other a little better, and be really well-fed.

I love you, Gram. Thanks for being you.


(P.S. – My Grandma Richardson is pretty awesome, too. On a Sweet Scale of 1-10, 10 being Kindest Person Alive, Grandma Richardson would be a 57).

Other responses from my Facebook friends:

The world would taste better and everything could be resolved with a wooden spoon.

Pinching Cheeks would be the way we greeted people.

We’d all eat first. Nothing can be resolved on an empty stomach.

You would have to accessorize every outfit. Including jewelry, shoes and purses.

Robbers would be beaten with spoons, purses, and witty comments.

She would have made ME [her granddaughter] the Queen of Everything!

There would be no need for movies with one-liners.

There wouldn’t be one lonely person in the world.

There would be no scuffellin in the house.

Now it’s your turn! Finish this sentence with a comment below:

If my grandma ran the world…


  1. My grandmother died years ago, but if she was alive, Days of Our Lives would be 7 days a week, all women would dress conservative, and not having 200 belts would be a crime. I counted that many of hers this week while cleaning out a closet.

  2. If Grandma ran the world (your great grandma) she would be making all of our clothes by hand (no sewing machine). I remember looking in a dresser drawer for something and showed my mother this fabric and asked her what it was for. She said grandma is making you underwear. Now mind you it was fabric we would never wear and no less the color, yellowish orange. It was too funny!!! Now if she asked you your birth date, she would remember years later. She had the sweetest smile that will stand out with me for the rest of my life.

    Beautiful blog Elisa!!!

  3. What a beautiful, warm, funny, sweet, loving tribute to your wonderful Grandma (and not forgetting Grandma Richardson either…). They must be so proud of you. : )))

  4. If my Grandmother ran the world there would be homemade jelly on every slice of toast, a fresh pot of coffee perking on every stove, and JFK would be declared a saint.

  5. […] Gramps was always on the end, shoveling – in a dignified manner, of course – his meal into his mouth. “What’s the point of dinner? Eating. If you talk you can’t eat.” He would sit there for a little bit after he was finished, laugh at the conversation or pick at his glass. Tease one of his grandchildren or tell his wife to settle down (she’s pretty excitable; read about her here). […]

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