Why Is My Twitter In Italian? And Other Questions My Grandmother Never Had To Grapple With

My grandmother never opened Twitter in her iPad web browser and found herself staring at the word ‘Iscriviti’. She didn’t poke at the screen with her bony index finger curved into a menacing hook and scratched at the words ‘Nome utente’ like an unwelcome water streak.

“What is this goddamned gibberish?”, she never asked. “Why is this here, what did I do?” My grandmother didn’t have Twitter or an iPad or a browser because she only read the newspaper, and within that newspaper she only read the ‘Happenings’ section — the ‘sucesos’, or happenings, which is where you would go when you wanted to read about people who had been murdered in their sleep, or become tetraplegic after falling from their balcony.

Later on, as she got older, she would share the obituaries section with my grandfather and they would recognise the name of a long-held acquaintance and not say anything to each other.

“Why are you throwing yourself off an airplane? Is it because of me? What did I do?” is another question my grandmother never had to ask herself, because her boyfriend never came home one day and said “I am going skydiving in Kolín this Friday afternoon”. Her one and only boyfriend who then became my grandfather would have never contemplated jumping off a plane. And if he had, she certainly wouldn’t have snapped at him to get a haircut instead if he felt his life was so devoid of meaning. (My bad.)

My grandmother never once wondered, “What are 13 little things that can make a man fall hard for me?” because she intuitively knew that it’s her empanadillas.

And she never reflected upon “the five questions to ask when discovering your personal brand”. Her personal brand was the purple and silver blouse she bought herself after my grandfather died but she didn’t think of it that way because grandmothers don’t have personal brands.

The mere mention of “Which Sex And The City Character Are You?” would have gotten any of us yelled at and thrown out of her house. She was all of them, by the way, except Carrie. She would have yelled at Carrie and thrown her out of her house.

It’s days like these when all I have is stupid questions in my head that I miss her the most.

Her and her empanadillas.

(Seriously, why is my Twitter in Italian?)

78 thoughts on “Why Is My Twitter In Italian? And Other Questions My Grandmother Never Had To Grapple With”

  1. Yes. Times have definitely turned for the worse in my eyes. I know technically has helped keep love ones in touch that probably wouldn’t before as easily and has saved lives. At same time social media at your hand opens doors for sex predators and affairs. Great post. Your grandma sounded like an amazing lady.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. My Grandmother would not have taken ten photos of herself for a perfect “selfie” to reply to a snapchat and then repeat the process over and over again to continue the conversation…no she would have patted the seat beside her and chatted face to face 😊Times have changed, technology has it’s place but you can’t beat looking into another persons face and connecting. I loved reading your piece here 👋👵🌼

    Liked by 8 people

  3. Your grandmother seems confident and knows how to let things go. She knows that everything happens for a reason, and nobody needs to get so worked out about it. She must have an easy life because of that. Maybe, we should learn a few things from her.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. If there’s one thing that life teaches us is that our grandparents have a unique way of thinking (due to their experiences) and their cooking tends to be phenomenal. I really enjoyed the reading, thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Although my grandma never heard of a Twitter feed, I’m almost positive I’ve heard her say “What is this goddamned gibberish,” and if she didn’t, I’m still going to pretend she did. Sounds like your grandmother was an amazing woman–the world needs more of those, no matter the era.
    Great post, and congratulations!

    Liked by 4 people

  6. This post reminds me, once again, that writers are truly ‘Guardians of Memory’ (a quote I credit to a recent Future Learn Course). The article above is thought provoking and nicely paints a personal experience relating to a major transition in modern society. We of a certain age can remember a time before twitter et al but there will be others reading this who will gain a valuable insight into a recently lost era of human experience ie the world before the internet. I remember driving to work, and hearing on the radio that giant cables were being laid on the sea floor and this technological revolution was going to change the world. At that time, I couldn’t for the life of me understand how.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Empanadillas are unreal. I’m sorry she’s not still here to get offended about 5 Ways To Drive Your Man Wild Using Only A Grapefruit (and none of them involve eating it)

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Favorite line: “Her personal brand was the purple and silver blouse she bought herself after my grandfather died but she didn’t think of it that way because grandmothers don’t have personal brands.” Great piece!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. hm. but which of you is the lucky one? I’m glad I didn’t have my grandmother’s life, I honestly don’t think she was satisfied. but then I’d love to have your grandmother’s confidence in my empanadillas!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I totally understand. More days than others I’m stuck thinking…what would my grandma think of this?! They showed that on TV?! You paid how much for your mediocre meal at a restaurant?! You’re wearing THAT ouy?! Oh the times before social media and when life was more simple…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I think this is adorable. I love how every family member has quirks. I find this is such an easy, free flowing and great topic to write about.


  12. My grandma loved my grandpa with everything she had, she raised 4 boys in a small, small two bedroom house built in 1902. She beat cancer, and is the toughest old bird I’ve ever met. I can see her reading these titles and laughing at how complicated the world has gotten since she married my grandpa in 1949.


  13. I love those times that you can talk to others that live a life so differently to your own – it’s inspirational and inspiring and it sounds like she’s a wonderful lady!


  14. Great and true writing.
    It relates to our generation.
    Why do we make out strategies for everything like how to raise children..
    Just ask your grandmother or your mother…


  15. This is brilliant and made me chuckle! You’ve hit the nail on the head. All these online resources make us overthink everything. Maybe we should just go back to basics… but how hypocritical. Where would we be without our WordPress communities?


  16. The good old times when things were just so simple and not made to look much more complicated than it really was.Times have changed for the worse and it really is unfortunate.


  17. I loved this. I rem,ember when my grandparents received a telemarketing call from Pizza Hut and she told me that some nice lady from Pizza Hut rang them and invited them down for dinner. While my grandmother didn’t have to deal with Twitter either, she did feel it was her social duty to tell young hooligans on the train not to put their feet on the seats. She was also convinced the neighbour across the road was a drug dealer and she kept a close vigil spying on their activities until the house mysteriously burned down. She also had ideas about what it meant to be a young lady and I didn’t always toe the line such as when I wore jeans to the country show. In her days, jeans were “dungarees” and farm clothes and a woman wore a “frock”. She was a lady, despite not having a lot of money. She also loved us more than life itself.
    xx Rowena


  18. So true. Despite of being more connected it feels like we are more disconnected. Your grandma knew most things about herself and what others liked about her. And we all don’t know the first thing about what our closest friends like and neither do they anything about any of the stuff that we do. So much for bringing the world together. Great post 🙂 Your grandma sounds wonderful 🙂


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