I had torn out a Dear Abby last week, in case I was at my computer and it was time to blog, and was too lazy to think of a topic. I thought the question was funny and would throw it out there.

The guy tells Abby that he and his wife are expecting their first child soon, but one thing is eating at them. They discussed what their parents should be called. The usual things came up: grandma, nanny, gramps...but his father-in-law wants to be called "pop". This guy thinks that is for a dad, not a grandfather. So, he did the sensible thing. He said...uh, how about "pop pop". Which to me, sounds like a lolipop. And, this really surprised me. That name is already being used in the family.

Abby actually gave a decent answer, saying not to sweat the small stuff, and that the child will end up with some name he/she comes up with and it will all work out.

And, it got me thinking. I recently finished a story about personalized license plates. And one grandmother I talked to had a plate I couldn't figure out. It was the made-up name her grandkid gave her, which surprisingly, turned out to be the word "grandma" in German. Talk about a weird coincidence.

I then thought about a story my mom told me once. My older brother (her first child), was being held by my grandmother. My mom, going thru some kind of mood swing, said to her, "He's my baby, not yours." And, my grandma promptly went home.

Sometimes when I want my mom to feel guilty about something, I bring that up.

To me, though, fighting with in-laws about such petty crap is bizarre. You should just be happy if you and your wife can agree on a name.

Especially if you marry some actress that wants to name your kid Apple.

More like this:


MsGrant Jan. 9, 2009 @ 7:36 p.m.

Who the hell asks grandparents what they want to be called before the damn baby is even born? It's grandma and grandpa. I read that letter and I could not believe someone would even care about that at that point. Wait until they are up all night with a crying baby and changing diapers and not having sex anymore. They're not going to care if the kid calls the grandfather "a**hole".


Josh Board Jan. 10, 2009 @ 9:14 a.m.

There's a Dear Abby today where a woman gets mad the dentist and dental assistant are talking about personal things. The woman thinks they should just be worrying about her mouth. Abby tells her she should tell them that. Wow. I would say, as long as they don't accidentally drill into your gums, who cares? Plus, it's more interesting to hear their personal gossip, then to have them ask you something that you can't answer anyway, because your mouth is, uh, busy.

I also think, if Abby was giving advise to tell her to confront the dentist, that maybe a call to the receptionist would be better, as it would be less uncomfortable and confrontational. You wouldn't even have to say which patient it was, and you can nicely state your case. But, that's Abby.


MsGrant Jan. 10, 2009 @ 9:23 a.m.

I have been going to my dentist and his assistant for years, and they are so comfortable around me that they talk about everything. I like it. It helps to pass the time and they are funny, so I am not so focused on what is going on, ahem, in my mouth. Just another example of the me culture. I'm paying for this so you better pay attention to me and only me!!! Why is everyone so self-centered? It's just the dentist, for pete's sake. Who confronts their dentist? I think Dear Abby's advice sometimes really stinks. Better advice would be quit sweating the small stuff. Your dentist knows what he/she is doing. Or ask for nitrous.


Josh Board Jan. 10, 2009 @ 10:52 a.m.

Well, what's funny is...Dear Abby does exactly what people do when they hear a complaint. They immediately take the side of the person complaining. What you need to do is, listen. Hear what is being said. Take a second to dissect it...and then give the advice.

Instead, Abby just jumps right to the side of the person complaining. It baffles me.

I had a dentist that would always ask about my high school basketball team. I loved it. I had another dentist that would ask about my radio career, and that was cool.

And, again, when listening to dental assistants talking about the guys that screwed them over, it was fun to hear. As long as they didn't want to look at me, and assume I was just like the man that cheated on them, and decide to extract revenge with that sharp, pointed instrument in their hands; on my soft, gentle gums.


antigeekess Jan. 11, 2009 @ 9:54 a.m.

Now, this is a case where I disagree with both of you. I think this is unprofessional. And I think it's actually an acquiescence to the "me" culture of California that you both accept it.

Long ago, because I wanted to hang with my friends in high school, I took cosmetology. Our instructor let us know that things like phone conversations (especially) or personal talk with others in the room while ignoring your client is unacceptable. It's your client's time, and your focus should be on them.

You wanna talk to somebody, talk to your client. They're the ones that are putting dinner on your table. Treat them like a person, not an object. Show them some respect.

A couple of weeks ago, a massage therapist who was working on me had a really amazing story about a car wreck she'd just been in. She made absolutely sure I was okay with her talking about herself first, asking me twice, because "this is YOUR time."

I think this applies even more with a dentist or doctor, when what they're doing is potentially much more important to the health and well-being of their patient, who should also be thought of as their customer and client.


MsGrant Jan. 11, 2009 @ 12:08 p.m.

Uh-uh. I have a friend who also happens to do my hair. He has told me that some of his clients get JEALOUS when he talks to other clients when they are all at the same party. To me it smacks of deeply ingrained insecurity. I don't care if he takes a call while my highlights are processing. I don't own him. When someone does your hair or is giving you a massage, they do not have an assistant standing by, so they are of course going to talk to you. And, hair and massage are luxuries, which can be given up or switched at the the first glimmer of a slight. Going to the dentist is not a luxury. I can't talk anyway, so, like Josh said, their light banter keeps me amused and is a distraction from whatever work they are doing on my teeth. Demanding undivided attention seems more a by-product of the me culture than getting all perturbed when the focus comes off of you for a few minutes. Additionally, I am interested in other's lives as well as mine own.


Josh Board Jan. 11, 2009 @ 12:46 p.m.

Well, anti...you bring up good points. We've all had that time, me just recently in Rite-Aid, where I'm at the register and the woman is ringing up my purchase and someone walks over to ask her a question about something and which aisle it's in. And, she then spends five minutes trying to explain to her where it is. I want to say "Listen lady...she said aisle 8. If it's not there, just go walk around until you find it. I want to buy my stuff here and leave." But, at the same time, I'm not super mad at the woman at the register, because she's trying to help all the customers, and probably ASSumed it would be a quick questions she could answer, without much time being taken away from me. And once we both realized it wouldn't be quick (as the woman had follow up questions as to whether that product was even carried there).

And yes...anti, upon further thinking about it, if a dentist and his assistant carried on some long conversation, it would be a bit rude. Again, I wouldn't mind. But, yeah, it would be cool if one of them were smart enough to occasionally look at me and say "She's always having problems with this guy...and it's cheaper that she tells me than her pyschiatrist!" Or whatever little joke/comment that would include me. But again, it's not necessary.

I've had people do my hair, that have conversations the entire time with the person next to them doing hair. And yeah...I guess that's kind of rude. Because you think at some point in there, they can say "How has your day been?"


antigeekess Jan. 11, 2009 @ 9:55 p.m.


I'd say that somebody acting jealous because their hairstylist talks to someone else at a party is just plain nutty. That's not even close to the same thing I was talking about.

I also wouldn't care if he took a call or multitasked on other clients while my color was processing or I was under the dryer -- when he's not even working on me at all.

And I don't make any differentiation between the types of service being performed, whether they're medical or cosmetic. It's just not relevant. A customer is a client is a patient. Same thing.


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