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Wherein I Rant (OR) What Is Worse Than Spam



What is worse than spam?

Cancer. Aids. The obvious.

What else is worse than spam?

Not having the spam junk mail delivered to your email trash folder, which can be easily deleted and never to be thought of again.

But rather, delivered to you personally, sent underneath your bedroom door, or put on your dinner plate, via a totally paranoid, completely obsessed, 87 year old man. Every. Day.

What worse than that?

Not being able to ‘delete’ it.

The most annoying feature of this sort of mail, is having it In. Your. Face. when you aren’t even ‘allowed’ to throw it away. Why? Because if you did try to get rid of it, the totally paranoid, completely obsessed, 87 year old man will find it in the garbage, feel offended, hit you with the stink eye, and then scowl at you for weeks.

The same totally paranoid, completely obsessed, 87 year old man, thinks that it is VERY IMPORTANT to SAVE: Every. Single. Piece. Of. Paper. you ever come into contact with. For. The. Rest. Of. Your. Life. Up to, and including: receipts from as far back as 1912 as proof of payment for objects no longer in your possession.

Apparently, it is also VERY IMPORTANT to make several thousand photocopies of the same piece of paper, hand them out to every single person you ever come into contact with. And then, constantly (as in daily) FOLLOW UP with the recipient of the photocopied material you shoved under their door, or put on their dinner plate, to make sure they read it.

[ ** sigh ** ]

Please g-d forgive me for what I am about to say.

But my grandfather is driving me Over.The.Edge.

I love the man. I really, really, honest to g-d, cross my heart and hope to die, L-O-V-E the man. ‘Poppa Sye’ is the sweetest, nicest, kindest, give a stranger in need the shirt off his own back type of fella. He is a true sport with a great sense of humor. He is also the first one willing to lend a helping hand. But there is a little known fact about my beloved grandfather. He is also the most controlling, obsessive, compulsive, and paranoid, person. On. The. Planet.

[Disclaimer: Before you read any further, I must advise that it is not part of my usual practice to indulge in the making fun of, or, ripping into the elderly. I am not here to bash the man into oblivion. Or bad mouth him in any way. I just really need to write this out, or vent if you will. I have to get this off of my chest before I talk to him. This way, when I do approach him, I am not spewing with venom, or, foaming at the mouth].

I know that my grandfather means well, when he is forever brining me various information on Crohn’s disease, by the truck load.

I am positive with ever fiber of my soul that all he is trying to do is help me, even when he suggests all things holistic and herbal (most of which I am allergic to).

I am well aware of the fact that I should just be grateful I even have a grandfather, let alone such a caring and concerned grandfather. I also know that he likes to feel important, and needed, or at best, useful – in some way shape or form.

So, it should be funny to me, when he brings home 15 different forms to fill out in an effort to “save money on prescriptions”. A benefit program that is available at our local CVS, which, by the way, only apply to people over the age of 50.

It should be funny when he suggests I call the AARP 800 hotline via sticky note on my bedroom door.

It should be funny to me that I have to sneak the stacks of paper, and all of the sticky notes, outside of my house, and bring said paperwork to a safer location for disposal.

It should be funny to me when he takes me to free ‘medical’ speaking conferences, forced to listen to scam artists, peddling deep breathing and their own expensive products as the end all be all cure for Crohns.

But, it’s not funny. Not anymore.

Things have become increasingly annoying.

Things were MUCH easier, before I moved in with ‘The Parents’. I was able to avoid most of Poppa Sye’s pamphlet, packet, magazine, photocopied, paperwork, blitz attacks.

And before I moved in across the hall from him, it was MUCH simpler to placate the man.

It used to be fun to smile and say, “Thank you so much grandpa. This is very helpful. I will call you if I have any questions. You’re the best.” Then, I’d go home, dump the ‘information’ into the trash can, and carry on with my life.

Those days are long since gone. And now, I am lucky to have a 3 foot buffer zone. Not nearly enough space to dodge him.

My grandfather has become a WALKING, spam machine. Pumping out notices and erroneous information I am supposed to read, memorize, and then, pass along to my personal Gastroenterologist.

Um. No. Sorry. Not. Gunna. Happen.

My GI doctor is a very reputable, sought after, SPECAILITS. It is his JOB to know all about any new medications, or any new options for people suffering from Crohns. My doctor has been more than thorough as far as testing me for any and all possibilities. My doctor has been more than effective in finding the correct medications and dosages which have been WORKING to control 95% of my symptoms. There is NOTHING my grandfather is going to discover, in an outdated medical journal, that my doctor isn’t already aware of.

And if I WANTED TO KNOW MORE about Crohns disease…I have this handy tool, called THE INTERNET.

I swear on everything holy…If that man gives me one more article, one more pamphlet, or one more photocopy of an article or pamphlet…I am going to spontaneously combust.

I feel absolutely terrible for thinking (and feeling) that my grandfather’s stead fast efforts are nothing but a waste of my time. I feel even worse for being pissed off about the whole scenario. I feel incredibly guilty for being ‘mad at him’ when I know – I KNOW – he is only trying to look out for me.

I feel like the biggest SHITHEAD, ungrateful, spoiled, little, bitch. (To Ever Walk The Earth.)

But I cannot take it. Anymore.

I am too tired, too busy, and unable to deal with this. I can’t just nod my head and fake smile simply to appease my grandfather’s needs.

Things have gotten so out of control; him knocking on my door 3-4 times A DAY, with NEW and MORE stuff. The time has finally come; I must break down and have THE conversation with Poppa Sye.

I am going to try to do my best to explain WHY all of his articles, and suggestions, and pamphlets, and paperwork, and quackjob non-medicinal MD’s are making me so upset.

But…I do not want to upset or hurt his feelings AT ALL.

SO…HOW? Do I explain to him, that he is MAKING ME ABSOLUTELY CRAZY? Without sounding like a complete asshole.

It’s not even just about all of the unnecessary paperwork. Even though he has given me 16,978,532,569,787,413,356,498,752.9 articles…in the last 5 minuets.

(I have enough kindling to make a fire that would burn for an entire YEAR with the amount of paper the man delivers to me.)

So. What is this all about? Why am I so angry? Why am I so annoyed? WHY is this bothering me soooo, soooo, soooo, soooo, soooo, sooooo much?

Well, first of all, the fact that I have been feeling and doing incredibly well with the new medications and staying on the ever so strictest of diets makes me a VERY happy woman. I have not had a Crohns attack in months. I’d like to keep it that way.

When I feel good, the last thing I want to be reminded of is how sick I am. I really don’t need to look at, or read any paper work, with graphic descriptions (and photos) about my damaged intestines while being served one of my plain grilled chicken dinners. I don’t need to READ UP ON THAT. I am LIVING it. Thanks.

Now. I know there has been some sort of medical breakthrough for Crohns medications. There is a brand new pill for people who suffer from this infliction. It’s supposed to be some miracle. One Single Pill, taken Once A Day.

And yes. That does sound fucking awesome compared to the shit I have been through with all the changes in medications and dosages.

However. It took an ENTIRE YEAR to find something that works for me. And, I am not taking any chances, or making any changes, when I am FINALLY feeling good. Things are UNDER CONTROL.

I don’t know exactly what or how I am going to approach Poppa Sye. I really hate the idea of generating any sort of conflict within the otherwise happy household. So, If you have any suggestions on how to non-confrontationally speak to the man, it would be greatly appreciated.

I am at the end of my rope over here.

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  • I wonder if you approached him from the point of view that all of the time he is spending doing ‘research’ for you must be causing him a lot of worry and that in turn makes you feel bad because the last thing you want is to have him spending all his waking hours worrying about you. That his worrying makes you worry and that there is no need for him to worry anymore because you are feeling good and have the best specialist there is. It might work. Tell him you have everything under control and that the best thing he can do is to put his faith in your doctor as you have. Awww, he sounds adorable but I must admit all that ‘spam’ would drive me to distraction. Hope you can sort it out!

  • i would just start an envelope or a folder,, and tell him this is wonderful,, and you cannot wait to share it with your doctor,, who ,, by the way you are saving them all for ,, so that he can go thru them and let you know which ones pertain to your particular strain of the disease… and when you know… you’ll keep him posted… then put them in the envelope or better yet encourage him to do it… i don’t know if that will help or not,, but it might…..

  • First of all, a very big HUG for you, Meleah. It’s hard to be in your position.

    I would try to be gentle with him, and start by saying that you are very grateful for his concerns, but that, as you said above:

    1- You have been feeling and doing incredibly well with the new medications and diet, you are happy and have not had a Crohns attack in months. You do not want to read daily information on the condition because it brings you down.

    2- It took an year for you and your doctor to find something that works for you. If it is working, why fix it? Things are under control.

    3- You are not a senior citizen, so AARP and other programs for the elderly do not apply to you.

    Another big hug to you. I hope the conversation goes well.

  • Hi Love,

    All great suggestions above and I have a feeling you’re going to be inundated with several approaches to actions you could take in this matter. I’ve only got a couple but they’ve worked for me.

    When I’ve found someone who truly bothers me, the first thing I do is with all my heart and soul – is to embrace them tightly – feel that love together for another human being. When I say “embrace” I mean it in every sense of the word.
    Trying to feel what they feel, listening to what they say and trying to appreciate why they say it.

    One more thing I might do is quietly buy a shredder and discreetly make use of it. When asked where that piece of paper is later I might say something along the lines of:

    “Oh, I thought that was so important I sent it to my doctor right away; Thanks Grandpa!” (another hug here)

    I know it sounds simplistic but for me, embracing that which bothers me the most is usually the key that will set me free – embracing, smiling and hugging.

    Big hugs for you too Meleah – I know it’s been difficult having to move back home and I’d insert something here about gratitude that you have a home to move back to – family, etc. but I know you know that already and that you cherish that fact.

    Always – peace, love and understanding….and hugs.

  • Oh Honey, you are between a rock and hard place. Having him across the hall makes it even harder! I think paisley has a good idea. Get him a big manilla folder and tell him anything he collects goes in there. Once a month, he can give you the folder. In the mean time, explain that you’re doing well, and don’t have the info all the time. It would drive me to distraction, I can see how you’re losing it. It’s so tough with the elderly, because they don’t or can’t do much anyway. Hang in there!!

  • Aw, poor Grandpa. Aw, poor you! Hang in there!

  • You know me, I’d go with blunt. I’m a big believer in not being cryptic, and that bad news should be delivered like ripping off a bandage – the quicker, the better as far as pain goes.

    He is going to get his feelings hurt. Just tell him, in plain, no uncertain terms, what you need him to stop doing and offer him a better way to support you (like maybe looking for recipes that fit all allergy requirements instead?), with lots of love and hugs after to soften the blow.

    And I am so happy for your news this weekend and DYING to talk to you, dammit. I hate work. 😉

  • I agree with Leslie – you will have to be blunt – that is the only thing that will get through to him – sandwiched between two big bites of love. Hugs to you – hang in there….

  • Oh, that sucks! I think everyone has had great suggestions. I don’t really have anything more to add. Except maybe put something under your door to block the spam. Do they make under-door spam blockers? If not, I sense a money-making opportunity! ;o)

    Hang in there! Hope you find a solution soon.

  • Ohhhh this sucks… seems that you have little choice here though because his motivation is love and he will be hurt if his action is not welcomed 🙁

  • Wait Meleah,
    I love SPAM. I grill it every now and then. Oh wait, THAT spam. Sorry, I retract my earlier part of this comment…

  • Here is my suggestion, I would sit your grandfather down and tell him that while you appreciate his help, constantly researching and thinking about your illness to the point of obsession is taking a horrible toll on you mentally and you are worried that it’s going to start affecting your health.

    Paisley had a great idea as well. Ask if he could iplease save the clips/articles for you in a folder or box that you provide him with) instead of giving them to you as he finds them so you can share them with your doctor when you go but you need to try and get your mind of off your illness as much as possible in the mean time.

  • Meleah


    Thank you darling. I hope this all ends VERY soon! 🙂


    I am SO doing THAT


    Thanks sweety.


    Wow. Thank you for all your suggestions. 🙂

    Chef Mom:

    I am going to do the envelope and direct approach. I am out of other options.


    I know. I know.


    Then thats just what I will have to do. (I will talk with you soon. I am SUPER sick today. )


    Leslies idea IS THE BEST ONE OF ALL.


    HA HA HA HA. I wish! 🙂


    I KNOW. see…. Thats what I want to AVOID.

    Michael C:

    LOL ha ha ha xxoo

    Anti Barbie:

    Yeah. I liked paisleys idea too. That MIGHT help.

  • Oh no! Feel better!

  • Meleah

    Dood. I am SICK AS HELL.

    I think I must have the flu. I am dealing with body aches galore, a low grade fever, headache, sore throat….and I am completely exhausted.

    I even called out of work today.

    I also have to drag my sick ass to the GI doctor for my follow up this afternoon @ 3pm: The Bravo & Gall Bladder & Liver Function test results. UGH.

    I doubt I will be going to work tomorrow either.

  • 🙁 hugs and chicken soup 🙁


  • The best friend

    Honestly… he feels important somehow. If I were you I would tell him that, “YES grandpa you are very helpful. I thank you so much for your support this whole year. Between you (meaning granpa) and the DR’s everything FINALLY seems to be under control. & that no longer is he responsible for your cure.”

    Tell him you WERE (KEYWORD= were) the luckiest grandaughter alive to have such a concerned grandfather. Tell him you have come to a point with your disease that you control it , it doesnt control you. tell him your finally comfortable with medications, and your new crohns lifestyle.

    Ask him if he, instead was willing to focus his concerned energies to remembering the times you spent living with him. Maybe even jot down stories in his spare time. You might find that he too will remember things that you have forgotten (somewhat like Danny had)

    Tell him your biggest concern right now is finishing your book and that you dont need or want any literature to read other than your blogging, your book and such.

    This might give him an opportunity to help you with somehting that could benefit you at this point.

    Either way I know you’ll be fine, hes so sweet, I love you guys.

  • The best friend

    Oh yes and

    Tell him you wouldnt have been able to come to this point and accept and tackle your disease without his help. Tell him that between your dr.s and his supportive ideas and teas, and such, YOU ARE AT PEACE WITH IT ALL because he made it that much easier for you. & DO GIVE HIM PROPS. tell him HE REALLY WAS HELPFUL. HE NEEDS TO KNOW THAT ALL HIS EFFORTS MEANT MORE THAN JUST WASTEBASKET FOOD. even though he doesnt know that you throw more away than you read.

    Dont wait another minute. Dont wait til he prints some more crap out. You should be the one to be like…”hey grandpa I’ve been meaning to tell you something…

  • Meleah

    Thanks Jennifer. All Good Ideas.

    I think I am going to take the BLUNT route.

  • Meleah

    PS…Is anyone else having THIS issue?

    “Unable to Connect” … “Can’t establish a connection to the server at mommamiameaculpa.com.”

    DAMN IT.

  • Tough spot Meleah If you figure out a good way to do it let me know..I am bombarded with helpful hints from Mom..I know she means well but..leaving a wedding magazine on my coffee table is really bugging my ass..(it ain’t the first time)..that coupled with all kinds of health stuff I am barraged daily…

  • You have a lot of good suggestions… most of which I agree with so I don’t need to add more except…. Get more rope 😉

  • I know it’s hard to remember this… but everything that he is doing is coming from his love for you. It’s SO hard to remember that when it gets annoying and frustrating and it feels like he is bombarding you – but every little scrap of paper that he gives you is really just a symbol of how much he loves you and is concerned for you.

    That said… you need to tell him if he really loves you then he needs to stop wasting so much paper… there will be no trees left at the rate he is going and no matter how healthy you are feeling it won’t matter because there won’t be proper air to breathe.

    Just tell him that.

  • FV

    Dear Mel,

    Do what he does to you, well not that extent but every once in a while drop some pamphlet underneath his door about aging!, crazyness! sleep walking etc etc …
    One deed deserves another, that’t my belief.
    I’m not being mean or anything, but a little taste of his own medicine couldn’t kill the guy right?? In any case just be happy he still remembers you and he cares deeply for you.




  • Olly

    i have not read anything but the original post and Iwould suggest you have a discussion with your local mother and father together and see what you all can come to terms with even though you are the one ,obviously , suffering from gramps’ well wishing and thoughtfulness (or so he still thinks). Three heads are better than one and if you do not have to go it alone then don’t.
    Bounce it off em and see what they say before you try your way first as to minimize potential discord dear.
    You are not wrong you are human.

  • The best friend

    Grandpa can do no wrong in my eyes.

  • Well, since you have MORE than enough good ideas here, I just want you to know that it’s not crazy or mean of you AT ALL to be bothered and need to address this issue. My hairs begin to bristle when given unsolicited advice because, as much as the intent to help is sincere, the underlying implication is that you cannot fix the problem yourself. It’s like a backhanded compliment.

    I think it’s smart of you to vent here first (and see all of your thoughts on paper) and take steps that consider his feelings. It shows that you really do care about him. Don’t feel guilty any more than you would want him to feel guilty for doing something that bothers you. Good luck!

  • Just give it to him straight. Best way to handle this. It doesn’t show disrespect or anything, it shows honesty. I’ve been rather direct with my grandpa in my younger days too …

  • Meleah


    Yeay. I am not alone in the FREE ADVICE department. UGH!


    HA HA HA get more rope…I love you




    ha ha ha ha ha


    Mom & dad are already on the case 🙂


    I know. Hes not ‘doing wrong’…. xxoo



    (ps….I am NOT ABUSING Caps Locks because I really am shouting).


    Thats EXACTLY what we are doing. Being Blunt…and finding him a ‘new hobby’

  • I can sympathize BIG TIME. My dad does the same ting but with all things concerning higher education. The statistics on wages if you have this degree or that degree, how teachers are SOOOO repectable, how higher education requires immense decipline thusly improving you overall character, the ENDLESS peptalks and the ENDLESS infomercials on different schools and professions I SHOULD be persuing…..ugh! I just nod in agreement cuz I’m too much of a wuss to put a stop to it.

    You got some GREAT advice here….You mind if I “borrow” some of it for myself?

    PS: I’m a giant shithead for not responding to any of my comments but we’ve had power outages due to the freakish rain/wind storms around here. So sorry, you must know how much I respect and adore your concern, comments, and ecouragement. xxoo Ana

  • Meleah


    I MISSED YOU! xxoo..Yeay! You are alive!

    Please feel free to borrow all of the advice you need my friend.

    and you could NEVER be a shithead. I love you too much.

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