Maine’s winter crop is Gossypium nivis.
I know, right?!
I sound so botanical!
I’ll write more about my attempts to be more botanical in another post, because today I want to write about ‘more so’ and a sign. But I did want to tell you that, in wanting to be all latin-istic whilst naming ‘snow cotton’, I came across a lot of rules developed by a guy called Linneaus in the late 1700s. Apparently – in Horticultural circles – he is very well-known, so we can just call him Carl.
Carl accomplished a lot of stuff in his life, one of which was the entire scientific classification system (with the aforementioned lots of rules). For instance, the first word – the genus – is always italicized or underlined and capitalized. The second word – the ‘epitaph’, or species – is always italicized or underlined but is never capitalized.
I had to. I have a screaming oppositional reflex.
My favorite part of Carl’s story was that he based a lot of his naming guide stuff (also called ‘plant taxonomy’) on the number and arrangement of a plant’s reproductive organs and this caused a lot of controversy back in the eighteenth century.
I am not even kidding!
One botanist, named Johann, called Carl’s classifications “loathsome harlotry”.
That is bullying.
Being someone who is very drawn to the underdog, I am totally on Carl’s side. Hence, now I will follow the rules when I write about my plants. I will capitalize the first name and lowercase the second name and either underline them or italicize them.
Also, as an homage to Carl, I will irreverently stick it to the eighteenth century prudish bullies (take this, Johann!) by naming the potted plants (I tend to only name the ones in pots)… using stripper names.
My current list includes Dillon, Duke, Cash, Roxy, Crystal and Destiny (I need both male and female stripper names because Carl identified plants using both male and female reproductive parts).
I’ll keep you up to date on my progress, botanically and stripper name-ed-ly, in the coming weeks. But in the meantime…
‘More so’ is a term I first heard a few years ago, from a geriatrics nurse who explained that, as we age – and not necessarily with any sort of dementia-related diagnosis – certain personality traits become magnified. Sometimes these are good traits. Sometimes, perhaps, not so much. We remain, in essence, ourselves but… more so.
The Nearly Perfect Husband and I have been playing with the idea of ‘more so’ ever since. The phrase has actually become its own noun.
What will JoHn’s ‘more so’ be?
What about me?
Even Granny played the game.
One of hers – and she knew it but could not, for the life of her, help it – was the spontaneous, totally negative declaration, “Uh, Geez!”
It may have been ‘Oh Geez!’, and a New England accent might have made it into ‘Ah, Geez!’… but it always seemed to come out ‘Uh, Geez!”
As she became more repetitive in her last years, some ‘Uh, Geez!’ moments became comically predictable.
The Ford dealership in Wiscasset has become a classic.
At some point – and none of us can say exactly when it began – when we would crest a hill in the town of Wiscasset, Granny would spot the Ford Dealership and exclaim – with a great deal of dissatisfaction – “Uh Geez!”
It was a typical dealership – cars and trucks and a big American flag and, once in a while, some of those huge all-over-the-place floppy air characters advertising a sale. But to Granny?
It was an affront to her octogenarian senses.
And once she began verbalizing her distaste for this particular dealership? It never stopped.
You could absolutely – 100% of the time, without exception – predict her reaction: Crest the hill, begin the descent, she’d look to her right and “Uh Geez!”
Funny thing though. It only happened if we were traveling North.
No idea why.
And then, at some point, Granny’s exasperational declarations became… more so.
Though the Ford dealership was a constant, other observations would suddenly yield ‘Uh Geez!’s. These included (regularly) JoHn’s ice cream sundaes (“What’s that? A sundae? Uh Geez!”), Gabe’s snacks (“Are you going to eat that? Uh Geez!”), My new East Boothbay sweatshirt (“Is this your sweatshirt? Uh Geez!”) and many, many other items, situations, and/or happenstances.
Oddly, what could have been read as some pretty major insults on diet, hair style, makeup application and/or other lifestyle choices, became – instead – badges of honor.
Kind of a silent victory for whom the exasperation was intended, complete with knowing ‘high five’-ish glances to others in the room.
Granny was, as a general rule, a very, very upbeat person, which made the ‘Uh Geez!’ moments stand out big time.
A couple of weeks ago, Mac and Jack called us to tell us they will buy Granny’s car – her little Mini Cooper, made famous by The Great Escape of 2018. Mac names her cars, and told us she will name Granny’s car “June”, which we love because she and Granny shared their name.
Then, she and Jack told us they had already scoped out a vanity plate for their new car and – through giggles – they told us it will be “Uh Geez!”
I don’t know how they’ll spell it because, being way out on the west coast, they might not have the same accent that we do.
Granny was on my mind as I pulled into the Dunkin Donuts in Wiscassett the other day. Perhaps this was because I would soon be passing the Ford Dealership (though I was driving south so, would pass it from the non-‘Uh Geez!’ direction).
Her beloved mini would be Mac’s and Jack’s mini.
Its name would be ‘June’.
Its new license plate will be perfect.
These thoughts swirled and blended together as I ordered my coffee and proceeded to the window. I slowed to a stop behind the pickup in front of me, turned to grab my phone from the passenger seat, and hit play on my audio book.
When I looked back, the pickup was still there, its driver waiting for an order that took some time.
That’s when I saw it.
And smiled, then laughed out loud.
Hit me over the head, why dontcha?
There was no knowing eye to catch, so instead I looked skyward.
And mentally gave Granny a high five.
Thanks for readin’.
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