Nicknames we grew up with

Sometime back Sexymama wrote about Body Perfect and that got me thinking a lot. It is not so much about me because all along I had been the kind who couldn’t care less about what people said.

Some nicknames I got when young are : galah/tek ko (bamboo pole), itik/duck (actually it is not itik but the bangau/crane but not sure why it morphed into itik), tomboy (courtesy of the man* whom my #2 sister married), cheong-keok-mui/tall lass (another #2 bil’s creation) and lau-yee (old auntie** reason explained below). Probably we don’t have much junk food back then or probably, I have good genes once upon a time. So, being 5’6″ and all bones earned me all these names from school and at home. Damn, being thin was not in fashion then, you know? These nick-names do not make me conscious of being tall and it doesn’t make me slouch in an attempt to feel shorter. But my mom did feed me a lot of ‘chiak koh chai’ a kind of Chinese medicine powder to kill worms because that time, Zentel was not in the market.

(Before I proceed, don’t imagine I still fit into some of those nicknames, ok? Probably the only one I finally qualified is lau-yee. I have not grown any shorter but I just don’t fit into names like those anymore. More like elephants got lar.)

What makes me nervous when thinking about nick-names are the current trend of the young children now. As a mom, I worried if my kids have any problems with nicknames. I was at my kids’ secondary school today and wow, the hair style and dress sense (even in school uniforms) worries me. Some of the guys hair are gelled so cool. Some are skin and bones (by starvation), wearing loose pants that hang on their hip bones. None of my kids fit into those trendy group. My eldest is 5’6″ and one can’t see the father if the son is standing in front. My #2 is the shortest and tiniest in class. I won’t ask if they have any nicknames in class as I suppose they aren’t bothered like when I was small/young. I only hope that they have the guts like me, to endure the itik/galah and don’t give a shit to whatever names friends call them. I had already taught them from small that it is wrong to hit/punch girls and anyone smaller than them but never allow anyone else to bully them. So far so good as I had not been summoned to school yet.

* & ** OK, now to explain the tomboy and lau=yee. My #2 bro-in-law is born and bred is Ipoh town. Grown up a city boy and therefore, found that his girlfriend’s (my #2 sister) little sister (me) who ran around the kampung, catching earth worms a little scary.I also climbed langsat tree and make a home there. The lau-yee is actually his bad Hokkien because he wanted his kids (my nieces and nephews) to differentiate between yeema (my eldest sister) and me. *oh dear, am I a little defensive, no?*

Part two coming up later – the auntie I saw this morning who has two plasters instead of eyebrows and the woman who bought half a kati of bacon and yet, wants her 3 daughters to be slim. (I am still laughing too hard to be able to write that.)