7 Quick Takes Friday: Louise-isms, or, Important Lessons Learned from My Grandmother

7 Quick Takes Friday: Louise-isms, or, Important Lessons Learned from My Grandmother September 3, 2010

(Somehow I can’t ever get this picture to link through to Conversion Diary, so here’s a link to Jen’s awesome website. Go. Visit. Read. )

Well hello, my wonderful readers! I missed you. A lot.

Remember how, about a week ago, I wrote that upbeat post about my children keeping me on my toes? And remember how I claimed that I wasn’t running around saying “No more!”?

Yeah. That changed. A lot.

Read this post by Simcha Fisher. She talks about the first week of new baby-having, and how it’s all sweet and wonderful and then devolves into chaos the second week. Well, our first week lasted two, and then last week, the week following my “yes I’m stressed but love my kids” post, I felt like I was surviving the Apocalypse.

Actually, I felt like the newborn and I were hiding in the bathroom while my girls rode around with the other four horsemen, wreaking havoc on the world and grinding granola bars and cereal into the carpet and couch. And then I remember that I didn’t just feel like that happened…it actually did. Add to that Liam’s awesome decision to go ahead and be colicky from about 4 pm until midnight, and the resulting deprivation of sleep among the adults in the house, and you can imagine the zombie-like results. Additionally, my mom and sister were in town (thank the Lord), so I didn’t have much downtime.

We did, however, get some pictures made. Here’s one that pretty much captures the spirit of last week:

So because my brain has turned to mush, I’m not even thinking up quick takes this week. Instead, I’m going to share with you some of the hilarious things my grandmother has said in the past few years.

First, I should explain to you my grandmother. Hmmm…if you can imagine four feet and ten inches of pure energy sheathed in gray curls, some form of plaid, a firm grip and a sharp tongue, that would be Louise. She’s what would happen if the Energizer bunny collided with a smart-mouthed, tough-as-nails farm girl from West Texas. But the thing is, her tongue is so swift that sometimes it trips over itself, and these “Louise-isms” are the result. So here we go!



“You know Cindy, sometimes I look up at the sky and just marble.”
We think that my grandmother was trying to convey some sense of existential awe at the grandeur of the universe, but it was dampened a little when instead of hitting on the right word, she just went with one that rhymed.



When my parents bought us a trampoline, my grandmother heartily disapproved. She repeated, emphatically, that she would NEVER have let her children jump on a “tramboline.”



My grandmother has confused most of her great-grandchildren by explaining to them, every Christmas Eve, that later on Santa Clause will be coming down the “chimley.”



I love coffee. I can’t think of a Louise-ism for #4, so I’m just going to use this space to tell you how much I love coffee. I gave up coffee during this pregnancy, and at one point I thought to myself, “this isn’t bad at all. Why have I felt like I needed that dark, hot beverage every morning since I was eighteen?”

Then I had my first cup of post-partum coffee. Ahhhh, bliss.

Also, once I was getting coffee for my friend Andrea and I asked her how much cream she wanted. Her response was, “Oh you know, make it about the color of a handsome black man.” Ever since then, my husband and I have described how we take our coffee in terms of the color of famous people. For example, I drink coffee the color of Halle Berry, and my husband used to drink coffee the color of Jessica Alba but now drinks coffee the color of Melanie Griffith.

Is this a racist game?



The summer that I was thirteen, my grandmother gave me a book to read. It had something to do with time traveling and star-crossed lovers, but what I remember the most was the steamy, steamy love scenes. One day my mom picked it up and flipped through it. She went quickly from shocked to appalled to angry, and she called my grandmother to find out why exactly my grandmother had thought this book would be appropriate for a thirteen-year-old. My grandmother defensively declared that she “had no idea that it was a promo book!”


(Stare at this picture for a while. It’s actually really cool.)

Last week my grandfather, who is extremely hard of hearing, was asking my grandmother what we had named the baby. He was having a lot of trouble understanding the name “Liam”, and quite frankly I can’t really blame him. It’s not a name that someone who grew up in West Texas probably ever heard, and additionally, my grandmother’s accent made it sound like “Lim.” So this is how she explained it to him: “James, they named him Lim. Lim! You know, like the limb on a tree.”

And then my grandfather said, “Why in the world did they name him after a tree?”

Good question, Papaw.



This is my favorite. A few years ago, my grandfather was watching the news and something was said that perplexed him. So he yelled, “Louise! Louise, what’s a lesbian?”

My grandmother, who was cleaning the kitchen, sighed heavily, whipped around and yelled, “Oh, James, it’s a woman from Lebanon!”

This modern era is just too much for my grandparents.

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