by Gabe Berman – the author of Live Like a Fruit Fly

Scenes From A Dinner With Grandma

“Instead of using that fake butter stuff, can you cook with olive oil?” I asked.

“I never heard of making scrambled eggs with olive oil,” my grandma answered.

“Me neither, but I’m sure it will taste fine,” I said.

It tasted fine.

I didn’t even want to stay for dinner. But I was there already, and dinner time snuck up on me, and if I split then, she’d have to eat alone. As she does every night. So, I took one for the team.

Halfway through the meal she says, “I never heard of anyone using olive oil to make eggs.”

I took a deep, meditative breath and said, “I usually make eggs with coconut oil.”


“Is that olive oil?” she asked after taking a huge, gross bite of her turkey sandwich.

Bewildered I said, “What do you mean? It’s coconut oil.”


More silence.

More turkey chewing.

“So, it’s not olive oil?” she asked.

“Holy fuck, what the fuck is your problem?? Coconut oil is from coconuts and olive oil is from fucking olives!”

I didn’t say that but I sure as shit wanted to.

But she’s ninety-two and obviously born before logic was invented, so I let it go.

She rode the elevator down the seven floors to the lobby with me. I noticed some white stuff on her lip so I said, “You have some white shmutz on your lip.”

She brushed her cheek clean.

Jeez man, your lip.

I said, “Remember Goldie (my other grandma, my dad’s mom, who died last year) always had Tums hanging out in the corners of her mouth?”

She nodded “Yes” and we both smiled.

She said, “I miss her sometimes.”

“Me too, me too.”

But I was really talking about my dad.

Slowly, my grandma turned to face the elevator doors. As they opened she, as if Scorsese was directing, delivered her lines with precision, “None of us live forever. We all die.”

I would love to live my life as if beauty is the only thing that mattered. Because the truth is, it is.

At least to me.

I guess I’ll really have to try harder to stop letting everything else get in the way.

Try harder to be a fruit fly.

Maybe you should too.

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3 thoughts on “Scenes From A Dinner With Grandma

  1. You’re grandmother sounds beautiful. I could see where she might think coconut oil would be a brand of olive oil just like if you’d said “I cook with Pompeii.”

  2. Adrianne Gentile on said:

    You are lucky you have a 92 year old fruit fly to visit. She had logic once and gave it all to you. Now she’s pretending not to have any. She’s laughing to herself. Enjoy her wit!

  3. You are a good man Gabe, and beauty is the thing we all are…

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