Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's BĂȘte Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Thursday, October 13, 2005


My mom pointed this out when her mom was in the hospital a lot in her late years: The erosion of formality in our society lends itself easily to rudeness.

Grandma's name was Helen Jane. She always went by both her first and middle names. It really irked my mom to hear nurses less than a 3rd Grandma's age calling her "Helen."

"What's wrong with Mrs. den Bleyker," my mom would mutter. "She's never been called 'Helen' in her life."

This has come up with Dad too. He's always gone by his middle name, his whole life, since he was a baby. Oops, not in the hospital. "How are you, John?" (His middle name is Michael -- Mike. Mine isn't. I'm not a junior, for which I am grateful.)

It's something of a joke in our family. There are 5 of us now living named John Shaw -- me (John Allen, called John), my dad ("Mike"), his Uncle John, Uncle John's son John Rocklin Jr. (called "Tim"), and Tim's son John Blake (called "Blake"). So only two of us go by "John." Last time I was home for Christmas I made sure we got a picture of all the John Shaws. I have it on my dresser.
Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?