Boomers Write Short Story Contest 2008
Today’s Lesson: Proper Forms of Address
By Jean C. Fisher
Class! Class! Let's pay attention, shall we?
Today’s lesson concerns the proper form of address for the grandparent of one’s children. Now, I’m certain we’re all aware that "Granny" was a character on The Beverly Hillbillies. It is also a type of knot, a low truck gear and an apple that makes a very fine pie…
The one thing that it is not, however, is a flattering form of address for one's female grandparent.
So unless you happen to be entertaining all of your "critters" down by the "cee-ment pond," we women of the older generation would appreciate your refraining from the use of the word in reference to our persons. (And likewise with the word "Grandma" - as pronounced with or without the quasi-silent "d".)
Both forms are vaguely reminiscent of all those dreary Ma and Pa Kettle movies of the 1940s that depicted the couple in a decrepit truck (which upon their retirement, I’m fairly certain they sold to a Mr. Jethro Bodine) journeying to some nightmarish hell or other where Christmas lights stay up long past Labor Day, there are no factory outlets whatsoever for Chanel and copious amounts of Lotto tickets are sold.
Being far too young and nubile myself to have any grandchildren related to me by blood (**blink-blink**) I insist that my adorable, little step-grandchild address me by the far more cosmopolitan-sounding "Grand [with an emphatically articulated "d"] mah-MAH".
I like it…
I like it A LOT…
I like it mainly because:
1. It doesn't sound remotely like anything Jed Clampett might say,
2. It harkens me back to a grandmamma, whose dramatic flair makes her my inspiration, nay, my idol.
I refer, of course, to none other than "Endora" of the old TV sit-com Bewitched - mother of Samantha and mother-in-law to both of the Darren Stevens.
Ah, yes... Endora…
A grandmammá whose broom I can only aspire to be worthy enough to ride someday.
I know what you’re thinking and yes, the word is a trifle difficult to pronounce. However, I’ve found that with only two or three years of training, the parents of one's grandchildren can be taught to pronounce it properly. (Grandchildren, of course, learn much, much faster.)
In addition to my serenity and satisfaction, I have found that it also helps soothe any stray feelings of repressed hostility that one may still be harboring toward one's own children in reference to their teenage-years...
So for tonight's homework, I want all of you to practice deliberately mispronouncing the given names of your sons and/or daughters-in-law. There will be a test next week…