Monday, May 9, 2011

Take that, Mickey

When I was growing up, my grandfather used to call me Mickey. I thought it was because he was old and hard of hearing. But then sometimes he would call me Vicky. Still, being young and naive, I thought it was because he was old and his marbles were failing him.

It's no doubt that his marbles did eventually fail him, but the older I got, the clearer it became that his calling me by the wrong name was intentional. I was not his granddaughter by blood. My father had "adopted" me so we all shared the same last name, but as far as the old man was concerned, I would never be his blood. I guess I didn't ever really care. I loved him anyway because he was my father's father.  And really, he was the only grandpa I knew.

After my dad passed away, I used to go over to my grandpa's assisted-living apartment two or three times a month.  His vision was spotty so he needed help with bill paying and running errands. One particular visit, he was waiting outside his apartment for me on a bench. Here's the conversation that followed:

Me: "Well hello sir. What are you doing out here?"
Him: "I'm waiting for my granddaughter Nikki."  (His vision was really bad that day.)
Me: "Grandpa, it's me."
Him: "Oh Mickey, what took you so long." (He had probably been sitting on that bench for six hours in anticipation of our big outing to Dairy Queen. And btw- I was probably a few minutes early.)

I was thinking about this last night as I was reading to Princess Number One. It was a collection of Mickey Mouse stories and she kept calling him Nikki Mouse. I was going to correct her, but then I thought, "let's see how that rat likes being called by the wrong name for a few years."  It may be dumb, and misguided pettiness. But it gives me the giggles, so I'll take it.

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