White Trash Nomenclature

(Disclaimer: The author will be using spelling variations of certain white trash titles and terms based solely on phonetic approximations provided by his own aural observations.)
(Translation of Disclaimer: I know YOU probably spell it Papaw, Pappa, Papa, or Poppa, but since you're pronouncing it Pawpaw [and since Hooked On Phonics probably didn't work for you] I'm spelling it Pawpaw. Get over it.)

My wife and I had a problem last Christmas, which we discovered while wrapping presents. Since it's September now, I feel relatively safe discussing it. Only relatively, mind you… You see, her stepfather is referred to by his grandkids as Pawpaw (*see disclaimers above.) No big deal. I come from a long line of White Trash. I understand the importance and relative normality of this title. I was writing the tag for the gift for her mom and stepfather, from our kids, and she told me to address it to Pawpaw and Grandma.

I refused. She didn't understand why. I proceeded to explain…

According to heirarchical White Trash nomenclature, the masculine title of Pawpaw is partnered with the feminine title of Meemaw, just as the masculine Papaw is partnered with the feminine Mamaw. Grandma goes with Grandpa, and Granny is for widows. Widower grandfathers have their choice of titles. It's a perk of not only being a white male, but a White Trash male.

To incorrectly pair Pawpaw with Grandma is a severe breach of White Trash Etiquette. Perhaps she hadn't been raised thoroughly versed in the ways of the White Trash, but I was born in Kentucky, raised in a trailer with 7 or so cats, 2 dogs, and was the youngest of 6 children from 3 different fathers. My family's Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner (we did 'em both together to save time, money, and gas) was held annually in early December at Old Country Buffet (the one in Southport in Indianapolis. I'm not exaggerating or joking here.)

Don't debate White Trashery with me. You'll lose.

My wife pointed out that my mother is known to her grandkids as Mamaw, and my father is simply called 'Pa. I explained that while this might appear to be a breach of form, there are two other factors at play here: 1) 'Pa is a NASCAR-recognized contracted form of Papaw, and 2) my mother and father are divorced, thereby freeing them of the obligation to have matching White Trash honorariums.

Pawpaw goes with Meemaw. Her mother will just have to suck it up. To call her Grandma just ain't right...