Last week I had lunch with my dear friend, Faith, whom I don’t get to see often enough. We chatted merrily over fried fish and sweet tea, catching up on PTA gossip, Pinterest failures and family news.
Faith is super excited about becoming a grandmother at the end of May. She’s all ready to meet her granddaughter …. except for one detail.
FAITH: “People keep asking what I want to be called, ya know, as a grandmother. And I can’t come up with anything. I don’t really feel like a ‘Grandma.’ That sort of denotes gray hair and Little Red Riding Hood and storing BenGay in your purse.”
ME: “What about ‘Nana’ or ‘Gigi?’ Those seem more youthful. Less BenGay, more Juviderm.”
FAITH: “Yeah, we’ll see. Maybe the right name will come up before the baby is born.”
I didn’t think about Faith’s nickname conundrum again until yesterday when Andrew told me about going over to his best friend Brady’s grandmother’s house.
ANDREW: “We changed into our baseball uniforms at ‘Munk Munk’s’ house.”
ME: “Excuse me? ‘Munk Munk?’”
ANDREW: “Yeah, that’s what he calls her.”
ME: “I hate to ask, but was there any resemblance to a chipmunk? Long striped, furry tail? Cheeks full of acorns? Was she up in a tree?”
ANDREW: “Mom! It’s just what he calls her. Ya know how people sometimes have weird names for their grandparents.”
My sister, brother and I called my dad’s mom “Granny.” She chose it for herself, shooting straight past “Nana and MeeMaw’ to the oldest sounding thing she could possibly think of. It’s like she viewed grandmotherhood as one step away from death….and a need to wear really baggy, high waisted underwear. (I can’t believe I just went there.)
My childhood friend John called his grandmother “Jocelyn” at her request, which was weird because her name was Patti. Apparently, Jocelyn is what her clients had always called her. And coincidentally, her clients were all named John. Funny how that worked out.
Sabrina, my first roommate after moving to California, called her grandpa “Spider.”
“Is it because he’s so creepy?” I asked.
“No. Didn’t you see the web tattoos on his elbows? Duh!”
“Oh, right. My bad.”
Later, Sabrina told me that lots of people call him Sixteen-Thirty-Four, and I could too if I was more comfortable with that. Apparently those numbers gained special meaning to Grandpa Spider when he lived in a resort town called Pelican Bay.
In an effort to learn more nicknames of parents’ parents, I conducted an informal Face Book poll. The responses have kept me laughing all morning.
Here are some of the funnier, more unique names I can suggest to Faith and her husband Dan, along with my tasteless and unnecessary commentary in parentheses.
Cindy - “Glamma”
Katy –“ZsaZsa” and “Cookie”
Dale-“Sugardoodle” (I’m starting to crave sweets. Thank you, Katy and Dale.)
Wendy-“Papas-the-Builder” and “Eeh.” (Don’t you think compared to Papas-the-Builder, Eeh, got the short end of the stick?)
Angel-“Lolly and Pop.” (too cute!)
Maria-“Lela and Lelo”
Whitney-“Papa Woofie” (I wonder if he’s really hairy… or howls a lot.)
Jamie-“Wheazy” (Fish don’t fry in the kitchen. Beans don’t burn on the grill! Guess what theme song I’m singing.)
Mary Ann-“GranMary” (I like that! I want my grandkids to call me Grangela.)
Gil-“Bark Bark” (really? Bark Bark? I hope it isn’t because of severely dry skin or a smoker’s voice.)
Gil-“ Pop Tart would be a good grandpa’s name.” (Why do we so often name our grandparents after food items? Maybe Faith’s granddaughter could call her “Jello.” or "Fish Taco.")
Miz Thang-“GoGo.” (I wonder if Belinda Carlisle’s grand kids call her that.)
Nicole-“Pumpkin and Poppy”
Jennifer-“Nana Boobies and Gram Cracker” (Imagine the family reunion! “Which one is Nana Boobies? Oh, wait. I bet THAT’s her.”)
Darlene-“Dardo,” pronounced “Dardoo.”
Billy-“LaLa” (not the yellow Teletubby)
Brad-“Queenie” (I’m guessing humility is not her strong suit.)
Ashley-“Gemma” (love this!)
Alexis-“Cappy” because he’s a retired airline captain” (this would also work if your grandpa’s a street thug who does a lot of drive by’s. Just sayin.’)
Good stuff! Thank you all for sharing. I’ll update this post as I receive more names.