Today my sister sent me a cute email detailing an excerpt from the children’s book “Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants” by Dav Pilkey, in which the evil Professor forces everyone to assume new names. My sister ended up with “Pinky Chucklenose,” quite the adorable name for this wonderful woman. My name, however, caused my eyes to roll skyward. According to their formula, my new name would be, and I kid you not, “Flunky Lizardchunks.” ::sigh:: Now, those of you who read my diary fairly regularly recall the story of my being called “Lizard Lips.” From Lizard Lips to Lizardchunks. I like my sister’s name better, even if she did cheat and use her middle name instead of her REAL name! :o)
I never did understand that… Everyone in my family REFUSES to call my sister by her middle name, Michele. Dad says, It’s not the name I gave her. Well, yeah it is. It just doesn’t happen to be the FIRST name he gave her. At least she’s not going by some random name, like Paige. Heh. There was this girl in my 10th grade English class, and on the first day of school, our teacher was calling roll, and had asked us to tell her if there was another form of our name we’d rather be called. This girl Michelle asked to be called “Paige.” Mrs. Harris looked down at the roll sheet, and asked, “Where the HELL do you get Paige from!? It’s not even your middle name!!” Michelle basically squirmed down farther in her seat and never spoke much. Mrs. Harris got over it in time, but she liked to mock Michelle’s choice in names. :o) I love Mrs. Harris. Very cynical. Very dry. Very funny. :o)
So I call my sister Michele, while my father frowns every time I mention her name, and he asks, “Who?” To which I invariably respond: “Your oldest daughter.” Then he hmphs and we go on with the conversation. Mom won’t call her Michele, and neither will Marty. That has GOT to be the only thing all three parents agree on. :o) Mark, my brother, has never called her Michele, or her first name, or anything but “Hone,” which is pronounced Honey. It’s because she always used to call him Honey when he was a baby, and somehow it got applied to her. Even now, when he’s 11 years old, he still calls her Hone. It’s quite cute. :o)
Speaking of family, that’s what I did today. I was in Dad’s study, and I saw a really old photo of two ladies. I asked Dad who they were, and how they were related to us. It turned into a conversation of over an hour to discuss the family tree on both sides, the Goldsteins (father’s father) and the Alperts (father’s mother). He showed me photo after photo that he’d scanned in so I could put faces to names, and I finally got a lot of the family tree sorted out in my head. There was one photo of my great-grandfather Israel Alpert which disturbed me for the likeness it bore to my mother’s father Ellsworth Stevens. That photo was amusing for another reason — Dad mentioned that the lady on the left of Israel was his mother, but cautioned me that it wasn’t who I thought it was. I had no idea who it could be, of course, but then Dad began going through the written history and I learned that Israel’s “mother” in that photo is really his stepmother, who’s actually several years younger than her stepson! :o)
Family is really important to me… not just those who are living, like meeting my cousins for the first time three years ago, but also learning the family history. Dad’s always had old photos of his relatives in his room, and one of my favourite activities when I was small was to sit on his floor and look at the albums he has containing photos of his mother, his father, and all his relatives from WWII and earlier. It’s rather odd for me to look at photos of my grandparents, since I never knew them. My grandmother died in 1957 when my dad was my brother’s age, and my grandfather died in 1984, when I was just five.
It’s an interesting feeling — in some ways, I feel rather bereft of family. I have my sister, and my brother, and my three parents. But I have only one living biological grandmother left, and almost all my cousins are on my stepmother’s side. My family has been in northern New York for much of my life, so I never really knew them, living in Virginia as I do. A coworker of mine, Maiwand, is from Afghanistan, but all his extended family lives close to him in this area, and he tells me all the time of going over to some cousin’s house to hang out. Our boss is actually one of his cousins. I get somewhat envious… My largest side of the family is on my stepmother’s side, but since they are either in Florida or Pennsylvania, I rarely see them.
Today I got quite the compliment. I was doing a return for this lady, when she startled me by saying emphatically, “God, you’re a gorgeous woman!” I was rather taken aback… I’m getting used to it from the boys at work, but from women, that’s almost unheard of. And that’s a major compliment when one woman praises another woman. Yesterday L.A. told me that I was the nicest girl at our store. It made me feel so DAMNED good! :o)
Have a wonderful day, all… and don’t forget to tell someone you love them!! :o)