Patricia Gannon: A rose by any other name

Somewhere along the line, what to call grandmothers became tantamount to christening the Hoover Dam. “Grandmother” or “Grandma” was simply not sufficient, and what the next generation would utter in their adorable, drooling way took on a whole new precedence.

This is largely a quaint Southern custom and elsewhere in society, grandmas are still grandmas. However, here they are Tita, Amie, Mi-Maw, Mimi, Mamaji, G-ma, Gigi, Honey, Nana, Jana, Mamey and Shugie.

In the South, what a grandmother chooses to call herself is pivotal. Many women don’t wait to be baptized and choose the moniker while the baby is still in utero, much like a stroller or layette. The main idea is to avoid being called “Grandma” and adopt a more youthful pseudonym, something with more vibrancy. A Gigi is still desirable, whereas a Grandma is not. Grandma is a regular woman, whereas Tita might suddenly salsa into the baby’s room. Even worse, Grandmother is elderly and austere and drinks tea while occasionally correcting the children with her cane; G-ma can rap.

True, many women simply want to mark their new life phase with an indication they’re still alive. But grandma nicknames are also a direct result of boomer grandparents who refuse to grow old and want to be called something hip. Woodstock is over, dearie, and it’s all that free love that brought you to this point. You’re conning yourself if you think Bube, Bama, Botchie, Meemer and Grahamcracker are an elixir of youth. Besides, why not just skip all of the above and go with Momo? It will save everyone a lot of trouble.

It’s short for more money, which is what you’ll be doling out.

Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at or at

Victoria welcomes new members

The Krewe of Victoria officially introduced 15 new members at a tea in the Elysian Fields home of Mazie Movassaghi. Queen Victoria herself would have approved of the ladylike lemonade and buffet in honor of the initiates, and Her Majesty Tish Johnson came in her crown, of course. Johnson will reign until October when the krewe will announce its next monarch already in the wings. Among those receiving a warm Mardi Gras welcome were Pam Zuschlag, Jeannette Alcon, Connie Guidry, pretty Amanda Taylor and Mary Beth Linahan while showing them the ropes were Sally Burdette, David Bennett, Carolyn Guilbeaux, Lynn Crochet and President Teresa Meza. Victoria moved its ball to the Cajundome last season and has therefore been able to raise the cap on its membership.

Ladies who lunch

Never underestimate the power of ladies who lunch, particularly this group. We were lucky enough to receive an invitation to sit in on their monthly iMonelli roundtable discussion and have rarely seen a politically savvier bunch. Taking on the problems facing society today were Pat Olson, Della Bonnette, Dr. Jeanne Kreamer, professor emeritus Vaughan Simpson, Cheryl Taylor and AOC’s Vote Smart talk show host Barbara J. Conner, whose program is intended to inform voters on a wide range of topics. We predict legislative sessions would go more smoothly if iMonelli catered its cups of spinach bisque.

Local contractor wins CotY Award

The National Association of the Remodeling Industry named Lafayette contractor James Andrus of James Andrus Construction the Southern Regional 2014 Contractor of the Year (residential bath remodeling category) at its annual awards competition. Contractors from seven regions throughout the country vie for CotY awards annually, and winners are announced at NARI’s Evening of Excellence reception, held this year in New Orleans. Andrus traded his tool belt for a tuxedo to receive his well-earned reward from Home Depot President John Gorden, and, well, let’s just say the competition took a bath.

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