My mother has just retired from teaching high-school French, but she has been helping her replacement acclimate to Florida. He’s from Senegal, and he brought his two teenage sons from where they lived in a village house with a bunch of sisters, a grandma, and a yard full of goats. On one of their first days in this country, my mother took these lovely people to Walmart. At first they couldn’t really take in all of Walmart. They bought bathing trunks. My mother bought them their first Oreos. She bought them their first Doritos. She took them to their first McDonald’s. Imagine two teenage boys in their first McDonald’s. They ordered the Super Size everything–Super Size milkshakes. My mother told the people behind the counter that her friends had never been to a McDonald’s before, and the staff got so excited that they gave everybody a 50 percent discount. My mother took the family back to Walmart–because once you’ve been initiated, you’re never the same. They bought things for their apartment, and noticed another McDonald’s in walking distance from where they live. My mother is single-handedly spoiling three people rotten. They love her to bits. In other words, she has become The Grandma.
(Originally posted August 17, 2016)