[UPDATE on Yesterday's Comcast Problem: After speaking with seven people over several hours (including one who said she could not help me but someone who could would call in three to five business days!), I received a phone message Monday evening from an eighth person who told me a "glitch" within Comcast caused the problem. It is now resolved, she said, and my appointment on May 21 for installation has been restored. We'll see.]
A neglected area of aging on this blog is grandparents. That's because, having to no children, I am ignorant of the experience, knowing it through friends and fellow elderbloggers only at a distance. I am curious, however, about how names are chosen for grandparents.
These days, with divorces, remarriages, step-parents and blended families, a child is likely to have more than the natural number of four so naming can become a complex exercise in distinguishing among them, not to mention the grandparents' preferences and toddlers' often funny mangling of the language that becomes permanent.
I had only two grandparents, one from each parent – Grandpa Banta and Grandma Hazel. Grandpa Banta's wife, a late-life marriage, was referred to by her first name, Bertha. But from my limited experience, it appears rare that grandchildren use first names without Grandma or Grandpa or something similar appended at the beginning of the name.
In the large family of friends who are of Polish heritage, grandmothers (and some great aunts) are called Baba with their first name following. And in Jewish families, there is the Yiddish, bubbe.
If the number of feature stories about grandparent names (one here) is an indication, boomers are rejecting the traditional “grandma” and “grandpa.” This is, apparently, so widespread that there is even a book about what to name the grandparents, The New Grandparents Name Book:
“The book is a kind of public service...offering perky alternative names such as Bubbles and Sharky, Pebbles and Rocky, GoGo and Ammo, and - for wine lovers - Sonoma and Napa.”
Personally, I'd take Granny over Ammo any day.
There are a lot of grandparents among Time Goes By readers, so today, tell us what your grandkids call you, how the name come about and whether you like it.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Marcia May: Bathing Beauty