Thursday, March 08, 2012

In Which, I Unknowingly Deceive My Grandfather: A Brunch Story

Here's a funny story that was actually not funny but vaguely traumatizing at the time:

RJ sent out an email on Feb 21 announcing 7 Sloan Brunch finalists. I was one of the 7 finalists. I also, for some reason, didn't realize that "finalist" meant, "next round," and not "hooray, you got it!"

"Hooray, I got it!" I happily squeaked to the person I was on the phone with at the time, which happened to be my Grandmother, who didn't know anything about brunches, or Youngblood, or Sloan.

Except, of course, no one had gotten anything yet, except for the chance to submit revisions and hope for the best. Whatever, fine. I turned in my revisions, and waited.

That weekend, as it just so happened, I went to visit my Grandparents in California.

"HERE'S THE BIG PRIZE WINNER!" My Grandmother greeted me at the door, having in her mind probably equated the Sloan Brunch with a Nobel Prize for chemistry or something.

"Oh! Uhm, haha! I'm a....finalist." I told her, sheepishly.

"So they didn't pick yours?" She asked me, concerned.

"Uh, no, not, not quite. But, maybe! But, no."

I explained to her the misunderstanding, she got it, we moved on.


My entire family is sitting around the table, including my 91 year-old Grandfather, a former surgeon, and probably the closest thing to a scientist we have. Though he could still probably recite the entire Periodic Table of Elements, his hearing is very poor, which means most dinner-table small talk is beyond him.

Suddenly, after sitting silently through most of the meal, my Grandfather shakily rises to his feet and lifts his glass of Martinelli's into the air. The rest of the family falls silent and looks to him, surprised.

"I hear we have a PRIZE WINNER dining with us tonight!" He says, staring at me.

"Oh god," I whimpered, and looked to my Dad in panic as my little brother started snickering.

My Grandfather, oblivious, continued:

"She wrote an article about science, and got recognition for it," he said, no doubt mentally picturing a 30-page treatise in Scientific American, or something.

"Well, actually, I --"

My Grandmother and my Dad waved their arms to cut me off.

"It's too complicated to explain!" my Dad said, raising his glass.

"We are very, very proud of you," my Grandfather finished.

So I sat there, awkwardly, as my family toasted me for something that I had not actually done yet, and might not do at all. I wanted to cry.

I spent the rest of the trip wracked with guilt, obsessively checking my email. Before that dinner, I wanted to do the Sloan Brunch because it would be fun and because I enjoyed writing my piece. But now? After my 91 year old Grandfather said he was proud of me? My karma was at stake.

So, when I finally (FIN. AL. LY.) got word from RJ that they were gonna perform my play, I practically fainted from the relief. The toast was not in vain! Just a little premature. And, uhm, not for a scientific article. BUT WHATEVER.

So, in short, this was a fairly traumatic introduction to the world of Youngblood Brunches, but I am thrilled thrilled thrilled to be participating in this one.

And! I am never telling my Grandparents anything ever again.

I just don't think I can take the pressure.


Ryan Dowler said...

"Whatever, fine."

Meghan Drrns said...

Looking forward to that Scientific American article!