Monday, July 28, 2008

Your (Not) Stu pod


My sister is six years younger than I am.  One day we were at a friend's house and I did some forgotten (by me) unkind big sisterly thing and she wrote me and my friend a note that said, "Your stu  pod." 


When my friend and I recovered she said, "I'll be stu and you be pod; those are your initials anyway."  We called each other by the monikers from time to time, but like most things that spring up in seventh grade, they eventually fell away.


High school was an era of monogrammed sweaters and people would note that mine spelled a word, but, again, it was nothing more than a passing comment then on to English Lit.


In college, I worked at a drinking establishment.  College students, being long on need of entertainment but short on cash, had the unfortunate habit of writing bad checks.  To try and control the situation a bit, the owner posted a "Bad Check List."  Employees had to check the list every time they took a check and initial the corner; if the person was on the bad check list and the just-initialed check bounced, the employee was responsible for covering the check.


"pod" graced the corner of a lot of my friends' checks.  And then it stuck.  Dozens of folks call me nothing else.  Mr. Blandings calls me pod; if he uses my first name it makes my head jerk up in alarm.  Like the middle and last name of my childhood scoldings, my given name on my husband's tongue means trouble.


It's not exactly a pretty name and I'm sure there are folks who have heard it and have wondered its origin.  

Recently one of my readers emailed that she had seen some of Lost City Products embroidered textiles at the Chicago Merchandise Mart and that they were quite great.  A few of their patterns were inspired by Josef Frank.  Personally, I was thrilled to see one of the patterns contains pea pods.  But what I found most interesting is that on the site they note the inspiration for all of their hand-embroidered designs.  In addition, they tell the story of their company and the evolution of the new line of silks.  And they do it in an incredibly entertaining way.  So rather than recap here, I'm sending you there.
 

At a dinner party on Saturday which was lively and engaging and relaxing and easy all at the same time, we stood in the kitchen talking forever.  Neither hosts nor guests would be aware of my maiden initials or my alias so I was expecting to see my given name at my spot.  When we sat down to dinner I found my place identified by the graphic black ink on the crisp white card marked clearly, "Mrs. B."  

19 comments:

maison21 said...

as usual, a wonderful story paired with your images.

do i detect a clean, new look to your blog, as well?

and i get to sign off with my "name" list for the second time in two days (petuniaface had a post touching on names as well)-

"maison21", aka "m21", aka "christian", whose birth certificate reads "eric" and whose family calls him "ricky". just like denise richards, it's complicated...

pve design said...

Two peas in a pod. Not just any pod but a "stu" pod.
Clever post and fabulous prints.
Do your 3 peas have knick-names?

Style Court said...

Mrs. B,

I have a new favorite post. This one is going to the top of the list.

Emma Ladoux said...

Mrs. B, love the new look of the blog. Crisper picture at the top, nice clean font.

Divine fabrics, too!

Mrs. Blandings said...

Darling M, et al, When I first put together the banner I was having a little trouble figuring out the process. David Jimenez was my host on Saturday and he mentioned how charming the art work is - and he's so right. It made me realize I hadn't "seen" it for a while and that, now having slightly better skills, I could refresh it. Other tweaking ensued.

I have a slew as well starting with "Woofer", Trish and Wishy. I'd love to know how you got from Eric to Christian sometime.

Mrs. Blandings said...

Patricia - Of course all three boys go by a series of nicknames stemming long-since unremembered incidents. The youngest is "Moo" most of the time. Poor dear.

Mrs. Blandings said...

Courtney - I'm seeing a pattern - they are rarely design commentary. Maybe I should join the mommy bloggers.

Mrs. Blandings said...

Emma - thanks for noticing!

Karena said...

Yes, I love the new look! It also was wonderful to see Cindy Sutherland's home & garden. I often paint at the open studio at Artichokes Gallery where Megan S. is a partner. In fact I donated a painting to the "Head for the Cure" benefit held there on Friday night. PS. All are invited to Buttonwood Art Space at 3013 Main Street for a reception on Friday the 1st of August. The group art show will include my new series of abstract landscape paintings. Thank you for being a gift to Kansas City Mrs. B!

Pigtown-Design said...

With my three-letter first name, there are all sorts of opportunities for tagging things on to the end. My old business partner always called me Megarooni.

When I moved to Wales, and got to be friends with my boss, all of a sudden one day she called me Megarooni! I was stunned and just started laughing so hard because how would two people come up with such a silly name.

bevcanada said...

I recently discovered your blog and love it. I even subscribed to it but the format was smaller via email. So I unsubscribed because I must view Mrs. Blandings in as large a format as possible.
Cheers!

The Peak of Chic said...

Well I think the origin of your nickname is adorable! I know I'm in trouble when I hear my first and middle names called out- uh oh!

Dianne said...

Love the new clean look!!!! I won't get into the nicknames my 2 little sisters have given me :)
My morning coffee taste so much better when enjoyed with your blog.
Just the right way to start the day! Thanks.

Visual Vamp said...

The new look is divine! The story so very charming! I love it: Pod Blandings...

porter hovey said...

Given my name being "porter" it seems to be easy to rhyme with lots -- we would be here all day long if I started to them all!!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

While at dinner party right after we married, my husband was inspecting the host's library and came across an old celtic book of names and their meanings. Little did I realize that, for him, my name would be from that night forward, Elf. That was the celtic definition of Pamela.."Beloved Elf". Really.

Style Court said...

Regarding design, I was picking up on the whole pod theme you had going, the double meanings and the origin thing, so I wasn't thinking mommy blog :)

Mrs. Blandings said...

Courtney - You know I always take your comments in the spirit in which they are offered. I'm walking a thin line some days and am poking fun at myself.

An Aesthete's Lament said...

It's very gratifying when a company can state its inspirations rather than claiming to have invented something. As Voltaire once said, "Everything that was is, everything that is will be." (At least, that's what Angela Lansbury sang in the music "Dear World".)