Pearl Fishbain, my father's maternal grandmother, called all the relatives every night from the nursing home. My parents were after the Chandlers, before the Shapiros, at 6:10 sharp. "And what are you making for supper?" Bubbie always wanted to know. One night, my mom replied without thinking, "Pork chops."
"What's that? Did you say, pork chops?"
My mom hesitated, afraid she had offended the Bubbie's kosher sensibilities. But before she could come up with an answer, Bubbie said, "I've never had those before. Are they good?"
Pearl Fishbain took the bus downtown to visit her son Bennett in his opthamologist shop. She kvelled about what a nice shop he had, what a mensch he was. He adjusted her glasses and then she crossed the street to wait for the bus back home. She talked to anyone sitting at the bus stop. "You see there, that's my son's shop. You need your glasses adjusted?" And whoever it was, poor, rich, beige, brown, Catholic, Muslim, Jew, she took their hand and led them across the street. "Bennett, this is my friend. She needs her glasses adjusted. See what you can do for her."
When Pearl was having aches in her gut, the family took her to the doctor. The doctor came and sent the family to wait outside. The doctor took a long time, and the family was becoming very worried, imagining all the terrible things the doctor was finding wrong with Bubbie. Fifteen minutes, a half hour went by. After almost an hour, the doctor left the examining room. The family rushed in, "What did the doctor say?" they asked.
"The doctor? She says she's from Vienna."