Lauretta Hannon: On gift giving and grannies galore
May 07, 2013 12:23 AM | 1995 views | 2 2 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Q: A number of women in my granddaughter’s life want her to call them grandma or granny or nanny. Is this a new quirk or a Southern thing of placing themselves into the family in this manner? I guess it seems petty and jealous, but I feel I am the kid’s granny, not some woman in her neighborhood. I’m glad that they love my granddaughter but also feel that the family names like grandma, grandpa, aunt or uncle should be reserved for the blood relatives. Your thoughts?

A: It takes a village to raise a child, but there’s only one real grandma in it. And you are that person. Your granddaughter will never mistake the other nannies for the genuine article, so have no worries.

That said, I do prefer that these names be exclusive to the actual relatives, but this is not in your control. Look at this way: Your granddaughter is mighty lucky to have a team of supportive women behind her.

Q: I was at a stage performance last weekend. As I was returning to my seat after intermission, a woman was standing in the aisle blocking my way over to the handrail as she was texting on her phone. I said, “Excuse me, please,” and started to reach around her to the handrail. This self-centered, bottle-blonde witch huffed, “I’m waiting to go down the stairs,” and turned her back to me again. This made me lose my balance and nearly fall. As I was shocked, shaken, and a lady, I said nothing, but I really wanted to tell her what train to take and how far to go. What would have been an appropriate response, other than tripping her on the way out?

A: Personally I like the tripping option. But the better idea would have been to invade her space a little. Imagine you’re wielding a velvet hammer. Then explain to her that she needs to unblock the aisle and allow you and other folks access to the handrail. With someone like Blondie you have to puncture the bubble she’s living in to get her attention.

There’s no need to raise your voice or instigate a confrontation. You can still be a lady — an iron lady — even while teaching the most self-absorbed among us.

Q: I have a problem with my sister. We have always given gifts to each other and the kids over the years. But lately she has been forgetting our birthdays. As for me and my husband, that is fine, and I keep asking to stop with gifts, especially for the adults and maybe keep it going for the kids. She does not want to do that.

So, I have continued giving. When she forgets a birthday, she says “please remind me,” and “I’m sorry.” I do remind her that she has forgotten birthdays, and she always replies, “Thank you so much. I can’t believe I forgot and will get them something soon.” But she doesn’t.

When I bring it up again that I want to stop gift giving — even at Christmas — she gets angry and then I feel bad. I love my sister, but I’m busy, too, yet I still remember the special days of our family. What do you suggest?

A: Things are rarely equal in relationships, so your sister probably won’t change. Instead, it’s up to you to change something. You have two options.

1. Stop letting this bother you and continue to give gifts for the joy of it, without needing anything in return.

2. Give no more gifts. Honor the birthdays with a thoughtful card or phone call. Perhaps Christmas can be the only time that gifts are exchanged.

Most importantly, remember that the deeply cherished things are never things. And the ultimate present is in just being present.

Send your questions to notyourgrannysadvice@gmail.com.

Lauretta Hannon, a resident of Powder Springs, is the bestselling author of The Cracker Queen — A Memoir of a Jagged, Joyful Life and a keynote speaker. Southern Living has named her “the funniest woman in Georgia.” See more at thecrackerqueen.com.
Comments
(2)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
Jamie Wyatt
|
May 07, 2013
Another "home run," Lauretta! Blended families bring extra "grandparents," too. Craziest wedding I ever directed: The bride's parents had both remarried, and the step-parents' parents were included as "grandparents." There were 4 "parents," and 7 "grandparents, to be juggled for wedding photos. The bride's parents' divorce was not amicable, so they would not speak to each other. The bride's paternal grandmother had dementia and did not recognize her son's new spouse. She continued to loudly inquire during the ceremony, "Who's that with my son? Why is she sitting by him?"
Lauretta Hannon
|
May 08, 2013
Oh my goodness! What a great story. I don't know how you managed all of that. Actually, knowing you, I CAN imagine it after all. Many thanks for reading!
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides