Don’t Call Me Pat

My turn! Just a little about me, known here at Idiosyncrazies as Fannie, but in real life:

Were You Named After Someone?

My given name, Patricia Ann, as aristocratic as it may sound, came about in the most unassuming of ways. My dear mother thought that the name “Patti Plaice” sounded so “cute.” She just loved the name Patti. My grandmother, however, being one who was bound by propriety and tradition, insisted that Patti could be my “nickname” but that Patricia is what I should be named if my mother wanted to call me Patti. And, my middle name? Well that comes from the very same grandmother (Phoebe Ann). As a nod to her and to honor my grandfather’s request, my middle name would be Ann. BUT the story around my name doesn’t really stop there…

I have never liked to be called “Pat.” My profound apologies to anyone who may be reading this whose name is Pat, but I always thought it sounded like someone was spitting when they said, “Pat.” Not a problem. No one called me Pat. Until…

For some reason, way back in the 70’s, when I was an aspiring student at the most prestigious of California Universities (California State University, Chico; look it up, specifically in terms of “the 70’s”) I often found myself being addressed by “casual” acquaintances as “Pat.” You know what I mean about “casual”; the ones who just want to prove how many people they know as they stroll across campus, their backpack slung over one shoulder, sunglasses on top of their heads, shouting over one shoulder and then the other, “Hi Margo, Hi Candace, Hi Cindy, Hi ‘Pat’!” WHAT???? PAT??? And my roommates would always laugh and say something along the lines of, “We can always tell when someone really doesn’t know you as well as they think they do, because if they did, they’d never call you “Pat.” True that.

Ah, but there’s a P.S. to that, isn’t there? Aren’t I known in some circles as MaPat? So, how did THAT come about? That would be compliments of my dear daughter. When my children were snarky little teenagers, if they wanted to “get my goat” they would call me, “Pat.” But then, when my daughter was pregnant with my first born grandchild, she would fondly talk to her unborn child about me and she would call me Pat. Well, it just kind of started to stick and, with the tiniest of nods to my grandmother about propriety and the fact that it wouldn’t be “proper” for a grandchild to call his/her grandmother by her somewhat first name, MaPat was coined. And there you have it. A very long answer to my first question.

When Was The Last Time You Cried?

That’s easy…happens every single time. Reagan International Airport, Washington DC, February 19, 2013 at approximately 5:53 a.m. After a wonderful six days together, it was time to say good-bye to our precious daughter, her husband and their precious babies. And really, try as I might, it does happen EACH and EVERY stinkin’ time! You’d think I’d get used to it, they’re a military family for cryin’ out loud (ha ha pun FULLY intended). At least I have summoned the slightest bit of decorum over the past couple of years. The FIRST time I had to say good-bye to my four week old grandson after spending the first four weeks of his life with them, my daughter and I sat there, in the terminal discussing how I really did need to get on the plane. We even talked about how I really couldn’t play it out like Tom Hanks did in “The Terminal”; and, well, just stay in the terminal.

the terminal

I didn’t want to get on the plane.  But, looking around at the accommodations at the Lawton, Oklahoma airport, I realized I really couldn’t live there indefinitely. We sat there, literally, in the terminal together until the very last minute. I think, as I tore myself away from my daughter, who, by the way, was equally blubbery (don’t let her tell you otherwise) she said something like, “Get it together mom, you don’t want to be THAT person on the airplane.” Well, I WAS that person on the airplane. I was flying from Oklahoma to Oregon and I think I was somewhere over Redding, California before the waterworks finally stopped. I was composed enough not to be too loud about it. Nowadays, I usually can pull it back together as the landing gear is coming up (after the first layover, that is).

Do You Like Your Handwriting?

Not so much. I played around with it a lot as a young person and never quite got the look just right; should I slant to the left? To the right? Big fluffy letters with loops or tall, slender and sophisticated (much like my stature…HA).


For the most part I believe it is passable and legible. Apparently, my husband would beg to differ. Just yesterday, I jotted a quick list for him as he was heading out to do some shopping. He had a heck of a time trying to find the “Cocomat Flour” at Safeway…looked and looked and looked…finally tracked down a courtesy clerk who led him up one aisle and down the other, scratching his head and finally saying, in the Asian Food section, “I don’t think I know what that is and I’m pretty sure we don’t have any.” ‘Nuff said.

What Is Your Favorite Lunch Meat?

Mmmmm…nothing like Bacon, like on a BLT with the crispest of crisp lettuce and a nice, red, juicy, preferably “home grown” tomato on toasted homemade sourdough bread, lathered with a nice “schmear” of mayonaise. Oh, pardon me while I go make one of those right now! And it’s not limited to the BLT; one of my fondest memories of my nanny (Phoebe Ann, referred to above) was when she would fix us Bacon Sandwiches for breakfast; nothing but crisp bacon between two pieces of perfectly toasted and buttered bread. Yep. Bacon.

Wipe that drool off of the corner of your mouth, would ya?

Wipe that drool off of the corner of your mouth, would ya?

Do You Have Kids?

Are you kidding? Have you not seen my Facebook posts? Not heard me talk ad nauseum about my offspring? Why, yes, I do have children, let me tell you about them.

Here they are, my  two plus my two grandbabies...oh, wait, let me get a better picture of my granddaughter...

Here they are, my two plus my two grandbabies…oh, wait, let me get a better picture of my granddaughter…

She's a beauty, isn't she?

She’s a beauty, isn’t she?

Our first born is our son, who is now 31. He is amazing in his love of life, his spirit, his wit, his intelligence and his commitment to friends and family. Not to say that said, “love of life, spirit and wit” didn’t get him in some hot water with his mother in his younger days; I appreciate those characteristics so much more now compared to when he was fifteen, ten inches taller than me and challenging me with his “spirit.” In terms of a vocation, as he says, “Banking is what I do, a coach is what I am.” Since middle school, his passion has been to coach sports, preferably high school football. And now, for the past five plus years, that is what he has done; juggling his “day job” with his passion. We’re so proud of how he takes his own life lessons, both the easy and the “not-so-easy”, to help mentor the young men he comes in contact with.

Our second born is our dear daughter and mother of our grandchildren. She is closing in on 30. She also has a quick wit; she had to, in order to survive her brother who was only a year ahead of her in school and cutting a pretty large swath through which she had to follow. She is married to an officer in the Army and, as such, has embraced the life of a military spouse with dedication and bravery. She has taught us all so much about military life; we never would have understood nor appreciated it without her experiences. She is the most amazing mommy to Parker and Riley and I miss her like crazy. Ok, there goes the tears. Do I have to change my answer to #2, above?

And there you have it…just a glimpse into the life of the girl behind the computer screen.

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7 Responses to Don’t Call Me Pat

  1. Mr. Fae says:

    Now Pat, no you don’t have to change #2. You would probably be in a constant rewrite if that were the case!! Love ya Coach Bob

  2. Fae says:

    You also don’t like to be call Patsy, if I recall…

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well, anyone who truly knows you is aware of how fitting the name Patti is…those twinkling blue eyes, endearing smile, and bubbly personality…nah, the name Pat just doesn’t work. Love the story about how MaPat came to be, and PaLar is just so cute. By the way, after we moved to Florida and would fly out to visit my family, I would be a blubbering mess on the flight home every single time. Bob would always hold my hand until I “got it together,” which usually didn’t occur until we reached Atlanta.

  4. Stac says:

    I think I recall our dear friend Miss Tiffany getting away with calling you Pat on some occasions . . .of course not without a quick gasp of air on my part the first couple of times I heard her say it. I’m trying to think of the last time I cried; believe it or not I cannot remember. In the “olden days” of “The King” if anyone was to ask me that question my answer would have likely been “oh the last time I read Patti’s journaling.” You my friend have a wonderful way of words (and this blog entry is a perfect example) you tell your life story and that of your loved ones with such eloquence that it touches my heart to the core. Thanks for sharing your stories with me. ❤ Stacey

  5. Trish says:

    The two top items struck me as such a coincidence with something that happened yesterday, that I just had to write.

    I so disliked being called Pat/Patty, that I actually went to the expense & effort of having my name legally changed (get all new IDs, the fees to change records, accounts, etc.) & yesterday 2 people started calling me “Patty”. When I said that Trish is my legal name, they thought it was hilarious to inform me that “pattee” is a pronunciation of Trish.

    I am not one who cries often – I can go years. But that incident yesterday, well, I lost it. Hilarious, right?

    At 7, I choose Trish as a leas-obnoxious option (My family has only ever called me Trish in the context of making fun of me, even thought they claim I was named after Tricia Nixon. They pronounce it Treesha)

    It’s not just the fact that so many people automatically call any Patricia “Pat” (or “Patty”), but that they get an attitude when I say, “Please, call em Trish.” It’s that feeling of confrontation with someone who *does*not*care*. Really – a different single-syllable in their native language is too much to ask?

    The worst of the Pat-offenders seem to be in medical/dental offices : holding a paper with my full name in hand, they stand there saying, “Pat?” “Pat?” And then acting all miffed when I tell them I didn’t realize they were talking to me because nobody calls me Pat.

    I have had too many conversations like this to count, “Hi, I’m Trish.” “As in Patricia?” “Yes.” “Ok, Pat.”

    I even had one woman put “Pat” on an ID card because she said she “couldn’t fit” my full name.

    A newspaper lifestyle section published a letter I sent about not wanting to be called Pat. Then, they published a reply from a woman who said that because her child had been killed that I was being frivolous & asking too much of the world. (This was the last-straw moment that spurred me to seek a legal name change).

    Right now, I feel it was a mistake to not ditch “Trish” when I had my name legally changed. But that seems an awful lot to ask the people in my life who have been kind enough to use the name I asked them to use, long before I made it my legal name.

    On the other hand, the Pat-offenders seem to be incredibly obstinate & unrelenting. I don’t want to deal with them the rest of my life – which is why I went thru with the legal name change.

    Sorry I have gone on so long.

    And thank you for creating a place where I had the opportunity to air this in public.

    • Fae says:

      Thank you, Trish, for another point of view. Yes, many of us, given our Christian names end up with family nicknames or family joke names. I’m sorry that you had to endure painful experiences due to obstinate and ignorant people who refuse to listen.

      Long live Trish….and not Pat, Pattie, Patti, Patricia, or Trisha. Trish is a lovely name and befits you.

      • Trish says:

        Hi Fae,
        Thanks so much for your kind response.

        It just has been wearing me down for so long – right now, I have a broken tooth & have been procrastinating about going to the dentist because dentist offices have been one of the kinds of places that force patification has been so consistent. When I went for my first visit after my legal name change, they acted all baffled and put out. Really? Like they never have a patient marry or divorce & request to change the name in their records? And this wasn’t something I’d asked them to call me *before* I went thru with the legal name change?

        I think this problem is a direct result of the loss of formal forms of address for people with whom we are not intimate. If, at the doctor/dentist office, they called me to the back by saying “Mrs Lastname”, they wouldn’t have the opportunity to attempt patification. This whole first-names-for-everyone/free-hugs thing has been a social disaster, at least in my experience. In my life, it has caused a substantial amount of unnecessary & entirely avoidable distress – although it has demonstrated to me that a lot of people choose the “caring” professions who might smile & use sugary tones, but are bullies underneath.

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