• Learning and Exploring

    Family Stories, Dating and Marriage in the late 1950’s: My Grandparents

    My grandmother met my grandfather on a blind date set up by a couple that were mutual friends. My grandmother was around 17, a high school senior and my grandfather around 20, I think he was working in a grocery at that point.

    I think the first date or at least an early date involved him coming to her house, so she wanted to make the meal. When it was time to eat cake, her dad tasted it and said, “Sis, this tastes like cornbread with salve.”

    The next morning her dad said, “Well, I guess that boy will be coming around again?” She said, “How do you know?” “He left half of his car in the driveway.”

    Papau apparently like to drive “fancy” cars and the bottom of his got stuck on their gravel driveway or something.

    Mamau graduated high school and got married in the same year. They wanted to buy a house rather than have a big wedding, so they had a civil wedding.

    They set the date then when they learned his dad was planning to take the fire trucks or something to do a shivaree down their street, they moved the date, lol.


  • Daily Life

    Parent Names and Have Grandparents Always Spoiled Grandchildren?

    I remember reading a book about English customs and they mentioned upper class people used the terms Mummy and Daddy, and I was like, as opposed to babies? Like is it used longer among upper class people or something?

    It seems most kids here in this generation would start out with Mama and Dada then move to Mommy and Daddy, then to Mom and Dad. Occasionally I new people who used Mama and Papa, but I don’t know if that lasted beyond childhood. I think in one of our family’s friends family where the dad from the Dominican republic, they called him Papi but not always, I think.

    In more southern states/rural areas, Momma (definitely a Southern spelling) and Daddy seem to be a pairing, into adulthood at least among my parents and grandparents generations. Like my mom calls her parents Mom and Dad, but sometimes she’ll say Daddy, but never Mommy (can’t imagine my grandmother ever being called Mommy, she’s definitely matriarchal).

    Similarly, her mom, Mamau to me, and her sisters refer to her mom as Mom or Mother, and her dad as Dad or Daddy (in conversation, neither are living). I think it does have something to do with the women in our family being rather less sweet oftentimes, certainly my great-grandmother wasn’t sweet. Daddy is softer, to the more gentle parent.

    I think part of the reason parents have fewer versions of names is that grandparents names can also be a form of endearment or be “softer” names, for you know, the sources of more spoiling. But that again, I think is perhaps a newer thing, I don’t think my parents or grandparents were spoiled by their grandparents. I know my grandmother remembers one of her sisters being a favorite of her grandmother and so she determined to not pick favorites with her grandchildren.

    But we were still expected to behave, it was just a whole lot easier under the circumstances to do so, you know, where you are sort of seen as wonderful beings as opposed to demonic ones. Of course, when I was talking about this subject my youngest sister mentioned she got spanked by my grandmother, a fact which I was thrilled to find out, as I felt it evened the balance of the oldest to youngest difference in treatment by our parents. I mean they did still spank her, but the difference in standards! But that is a whole other topic!

  • Daily Life

    Grandparent Names

    I know Trey Kennedy has poked fun at Midwest and Southern grandparent names on Southern Sayings and maybe some other videos, but of course the classic is the Tim Hawkin’s bit. Trey Kennedy and Jake Triplett also discussed their grandparent names of one of the podcasts, it was the Do Less God Bless podcast (between the two of them, I think they have like 4 podcasts).

    So for us Mom’s side is “Papau” and “Mamau” (is that really how you spell it, no, but some snobby grandkid, wonder who, decided that a “u” looked better than the “w” that is the real spelling since after we at least down here pronounce some of the words with “aw” and “au” the same way). Mamau’s parents were Papau and Mamau Last name. Actually that great-grandmother referred to herself sometimes as Last name, Last name, for privacy sake it was some like Lee, Lee. She was the only one I remember of the two.

    I vaguely remember my Papau’s mom and we also called her Mamau Last name (her second married name). In referring to that great-grandfather my family called him Papau Last name.

    On my dad’s side it was Grandad and my step-grandmother’s first name, the one living great grandfather was just great granddad I think, only three of us saw him once. Dad’s mom and step dad were Grandma and Poppy. Grandma also referred to herself as Grandmother, but since we are not Victorian and certainly didn’t come from the blue bloods, particularly not that side, that sounded so pretentious.

    Since Dad also tried semi-seriously to get himself called “Grandfather” he got knocked down a peg or two with the originally facetious Grandpoopa. And it’s glorious fun since my niece now seriously calls him “Poopa.” Mom is “Mamau” to her, and our Mamau and Papau are Grammy and Gramps to her although I’m not sure if she knows that. She just now started figuring out my name.

    You have your hillbilly:

    Mamaw and Papaw

    Meemaw and Peepaw

    Granny and Grandpappy I think I’ve only heard in books, but if Meemaw and Peepaw exist, surely some people really still use Granny and Grandpappy

    Then you have your normal:

    Nana and Papa

    edited, I forgot to add Meme. I was listening to Not Overthinking and the guys called their mom Mimi. We did know someone who would call their mom Marmee sometimes.

    Grandma and Grandpa

    Opa and Oma

    I have actually heard people still use Grandfather (sister-in-law’s family) and perhaps Grandmother which is so formal.