Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: QUESTION (S) (05/30/19)
- TITLE: Life's Silliest Question
By Mariane Holbrook
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"Can you talk? I need some advice. I'm a wreck," I heard while I fumbled in the dark to put the telephone receiver right side up to my ear.
The breathless caller was a younger internet friend from a western state who had not a clue about time zones or that it was now 2:30 a.m. at my house. She felt, to get my attention and endear herself to me, that every phone call should be a gut-wrenching, heart-racing, knee-shaking crisis.
By her own admission, she had suffered from every conceivable illness in the world except Parvo and Hantavirus, had experienced every human indignity known to primitive and civilized man, and had endured the worst marriage since Adam screamed at Eve, "You dork! I said I wanted banana pudding, not apple pie!"
But on this night, Crisis #117 was very real to my friend.
"My daughter just called from Kansas. She's expecting a baby in 8 months. I'm worried sick, sick, sick. I might just die from worry."
"What's wrong with her?" I gasped, bolting upright in my bed. "Is she ok? Is the baby all right?"
"No, it's not that. She's fine. I just don't know what name my grandchildren should call me by."
"Oh, my goodness," I thought. "Alert Fox News. Host a global news conference. Make an announcement from the Oval Office. Bring out the big guns. Good grief."
But I held my tongue and said sweetly, "What do you want to be called?"
"Well, I'm only 45 and I definitely don't want to be called 'Grandma.' It's so old-fashioned! 'Mee-Maw' and 'Paw-Paw' are possibilities. They are the two most popular grandparents' names on Google. I've been researching it."
She continued. "'Booma and Boopa' are out. They sound too much like a marching band."
"Semper Fidelis," I muttered under my breath.
"So, what do you call your grandmother and grandfather?" I asked, rolling my eyes.
"Oh, we can't have our grandchild calling us that. We call ours 'Googie' and 'Grumpy.' I want something different, something nice that will stand out so they'll remember us well," she confessed. "I thought of 'Grand-mère' and 'Grand-père.'"
"Are you French?" I asked idly, filing my nails, so absorbed in the conversation.
"No, but there might be some French blood several generations back. Who knows? I've also considered having the baby call me 'Mamoo', 'MeeMee' 'Gigi-Wigi' or 'Angel.' Maybe even 'Princess.'"
I thought of suggesting "Queen Of The Universe" but decided against it. This was a very serious question in her mind so I tried a more practical approach.
"One thing to consider is what name your grandchildren will be comfortable calling
you when they're forty years old. Can you picture a grown man with a wife and children of his own opening your front door and calling out, 'Hey, Gigi-Wigi, are you home?' Um, I don't think so."
She stayed quiet for a while. I hoped she was mulling it over, considering whether this was as earth-shaking a quandary as she'd ever been in or if she could safely remove it from her current crisis list.
"Well, my dear friend," I sighed, putting away my nail file. "This is all very interesting but could we talk about this later, maybe in about eight months?"
"Oh sure," she responded, "I just wanted to get your input and honest opinion. You're older, more experienced and you've met a lot of people. I knew you'd have some great ideas. I just want my grandchildren to always think of me as young, vibrant and interesting, not an old fogey or an old-fashioned woman with her hair in a bun, wearing a cotton housedress and a checkered apron covered with pastry flour. By the way, what do your grandchildren call you?"
"Grandma!" I laughed and hung up the phone.
"A rose by any other name is still...." (you got it!)
"Grandchildren are the crown of the aged..." (Proverbs 17:6)
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