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The Stubborn Grandma

11 Sep

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!

6 Responses to “The Stubborn Grandma”

  1. September 12, 2010 at 12:26 pm #

    This really made me laugh!!! Until I saw the photo proof I thought that maybe in America they just called stinging nettles thistles. But now I’m all confused…for 50 years I thought the same as Grandma, who taught me…now I find out this :( Just to complicate it even further…what are the large leaved, fat, flat to the ground weeds with the really big spikes we have in the backyard çause I also thought that they were stinging nettles, only flat and fat ones… (go see if you can find some çause they don’t look like either of the photos). Is the motto of the story … one man’s stinging nettle is another man’s thistle…or be careful what you teach your children…or disagreeing with your relatives is a prickly situation…or beware before the wild wilderness plants prickle the people for not knowing what to call them…or careful, it’s a jungle out there!

    • September 12, 2010 at 3:12 pm #

      That is a thistle too. There are different kinds, but Grandma pulled them out and showed me and then we looked it up. Definitely a thistle.

  2. jessica September 12, 2010 at 1:23 pm #

    So funny, I can hear Grandma saying that and getting all annoyed. She is so stubborn!

  3. April 14, 2013 at 1:02 am #

    Hilarious post. “I’m just trying to help you so Hannah doesn’t get stung–” most relatable grandma quote on planet earth.

    • April 14, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

      Grandma is hilarious :)


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