Grandma: “Look at this stinging nettle I got out of the back yard.”
Me: “That’s a thistle.”
Grandma (grumpily): “No, it’s a stinging nettle. I’m just trying to help you so Hannah doesn’t get stung.”
Me: “Regardless of what it’s called, I know Hannah shouldn’t touch it.”
Grandma (getting increasingly annoyed): “It’s a stinging nettle. I’ve lived my whole life in the bush, I know what a stinging nettle is!”
Me: “Well growing up, my Mom told me that those were thistles. Stinging nettles are the ones that don’t look like they’d hurt you, they don’t have spikes on them, but then you touch them and they sting.”
Grandma: “They both sting. Touch this. Come on, touch it, I promise it will sting you.”
Me: “I know it would hurt if I touch it, it’s spiky! That doesn’t mean it’s a stinging nettle. It’s a thistle. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe my Mom was wrong, I’m just going on what my Mom told me. Maybe you’re wrong.”
Grandma: “It’s a stinging nettle.”
Grandma went outside and then came back, bearing non prickly, leafy, harmless plant.
Grandma: “This is a thistle.”
Me: “That’s not a thistle. I don’t know what that is, but it’s not a thistle.”
Grandma: “How do all the rabbits eat thistle then?”
Me: “They don’t.” I don’t know if they do or not, but I can’t imagine that they’d want to eat something that would likely poke their eyes out while giving them a lip piercing.
Me: “I’m going to look it up.”
Grandma (thoroughly annoyed): “Fine, but this is a thistle”
A few hours later (I hadn’t told Grandma that I looked it up hours ago):
Grandma, bearing a large spiky plant: “Look at this big…we’ll just call it Thing…that I found in the side yard.”
Me: “It’s a thistle. We looked it up.”
Grandma (stubbornly): “Whatever.”
Then there was silence. I wonder if Grandma will ever speak of said plants to me ever again, if she will still call them stinging nettles, or if she will now call them thistles??????????? Only time will tell….
UPADATE: Over a year later and she still refuses to call them thistles. She gets all flustered and says “You know, those stinging things…” HA!