The Boyfriend took an hour out of his busy life of lying around in bed last week to make a digital version of the Real Housewives of New Jersey family trees. For this I am eternally grateful. What I am less grateful for is the painful process by which I guided him to type out “great-grandmother” on one of the family trees. I know this isn’t technically a malapropism, but being a supportive, modest person, I can never resist an opportunity to flout my orthographic and intellectual superiority. Plus, I think the sheer inanity of the process alone makes it worth relating.
Last Friday night:
Boyfriend (pointing at screen): You want this box here to say “Great-Grandmother”?
me: Yeah. (watches Boyfriend type) But there’s a hyphen between “great” and “grandmother.”
Boyfriend (adds hyphen): Whatever. keeps typing
me: Ok. Now, there’s no space between “grand” and “mother.”
Boyfriend: What do you mean?
me: “Grandmother” is one word.
Boyfriend: Are you sure?
Boyfriend: Ok. keeps typing
me: Now you need to go back. You don’t capitalize the “m” in “grandmother.” Because it’s all one word.
Boyfriend (looks irritated): Right.
me: But you do need to capitalize the “g” in “Grandmother.”
Boyfriend (looks more irritated): Ok. (keeps typing) Now “Great-Grandmother” won’t fit in the box. (plays around with box size and spelling)
me: No. Don’t do that. Can we just make the box bigger?
Boyfriend: Naw. It doesn’t look good. How about we change it to “Great-Grandma”?
me: Yeah, that’s fine. (sighs in relief as if after a long journey)
Boyfriend: Now we need to do the same thing for the “Great-Grandpa” box.