The snow had finished falling earlier in the morning and the day was a crispy 32 degrees on the North Shore of Massachusetts. The tree limbs were bent from layers of ice and snow, yet it was still a Friday evening and that meant pizza and wine at my house.
The kids played video games in the basement and my sister, sister-in-law and I sat by the fireplace playing Farkle - a dice game and family favorite.
“Grampi sent a card and signed it YFFIL,” Smithy said. Smithy is my sister-in- law. Since my two brothers married girls with the same first name, my family most graciously gave them nicknames: Smithy and Southie.
My sister and I laughed. That’s our Dad! My father was actually one of the first people on earth to use short form abbreviations for messaging way before cell phones and internet slang became popular.
“YFFIL means Your Favorite Father In Law,” I explained.
“Here’s one for you.” My sister pulled out her cell phone. “BG C32 BRADY”
That's all that was written in an email my father had sent to her. You see, the key is to try to figure these things out without having to ask him. But, sometimes it was down right impossible.
When my daughter was born in 1983, I received a card from my father. It was a “Congratulations on the birth of your daughter” card. He signed it “Congrats on FCNNGD#1 from ANGF.
I was going to have to ask him about that one. I got “ANGF-A New GrandFather.” But for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how he was addressing my daughter, his first grandchild.
So, I made the phone call. He simply answered, “Fat Cheek, No Neck, Granddaughter, Number 1.”
At first I was offended, but then when he went on explaining that she was a Princess of Darkness because she was born on December 21, the shortest day of the year, I decided to appreciate her fat cheeks and no neck while she had them. Now, she answers to POD (Princess of Darkness).
And, as for “BG C32 BRADY” We finally figured it out. My dad wanted my sister to read an article in the Boston Globe, section C, page 32 about Tom Brady! So we did!
Kyle Ann Robertson
Chief Writing Officer at Ifcorkscouldtalk.com and BBWalsh.com