Almost close enough for a cee-gar

Photoooo from France, taken by one of my BFFs, none other than Sam (archaeologist, not dog). She and jcb are over there touring *at their leisure* after spending the last few years living through a period of life that has roughly paralleled my own. A period during which every time we planned a meet-up, we would end the conversation with something like, “unless stuff happens.” Because sometimes stuff *did* happen and our plans fell through. Sam is an oasis for me and I wish she lived just down the block but I’ll take what I can get and I am happy that she is rambling around France at the moment.

Anyway, she and jcb were off on a motor jaunt somewhere in the south of France and they rounded a bend (or whatever) and encountered a bunch of crates like the one in the photoooo. It is marked with a version of the GG’s last name. He does not have an “e” at the end. I don’t know the GG’s geneaology in detail. He claims to be more Irish / German than French but obviously there is also some French.

The family pronounces it [usually] like “Curtis”. Rumor has it that when the GG’s grandmother Myrtle married into the family, she changed the pronunciation. She lived into her mid-90s if I am remembering accurately and I knew her when she was still pretty darn spry and I can believe that story. She was quite a “pistol” >wink<

I did not change my name when I married the GG. I didn’t really have a strong conviction either way. I think in the beginning, as a young woman, I was trying to assert my “feminist” side. In the grand scheme of things, I am less a feminist than an advocate for ALL individuals to have equal rights and access to opportunities. That said, if I feel like I need to, I have no problem putting on my feminist war paint but we won’t go there tonight. (You’re welcome.)

Although I didn’t officially take the GG’s name, I had no problem giving his name to the beach urchins. I understand why people hyphenate names but it seems a little crazy to me. What happens a few generations down the road? What if your loving attentive helicopter parents name you Penelope Maude Smith-Jones-Brown-Black-McDonald-Curtis-Green-Boogabooga? C’mon, we need to honor our ancestors but this is going a bit too far. I know that there are other creative ways to handle this but in the end none of them translate down through all of the generations to come…

I use the GG’s last name informally when it seems convenient (yes, I am an opportunist in that way) and it certainly was when the beach urchins were in the public schools here. It could be confusing to folks at the schools until they got to know how informal I really am. Occasionally teachers or principals or PTO officials would tentatively ask me which name I wanted them to use. I learned to answer, “Just call me Mouse’s Mom.” I am different than a lot of the self-focused, over-educated (and often but not always under-skilled) people in this city because I don’t really care what name I am known by. I hung out over at that school to help students read or do math or use computers or to handle PTO books or copy the DAMN newsletter or burn boxes or whatever. I was there to *work* and “just call me Mouse’s Mom” broke the ice nicely.

3 Responses to “Almost close enough for a cee-gar”

  1. Kathy Farnell Says:

    It looks like the Courtoise Family in France had a decent apple crop. Much better than here in Michigan. We have 3 trees and not even one apple this year.

  2. isa Says:

    Whoa cool!

  3. Pooh Says:

    We’ll have to reshoot our picture of the Michigan/Courtois street sign in the Carondolet neighborhood of Saint Louis.