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Dreamcasting Your Granny and Grandpa, Your Gma and Gpa, Your Gamma and PopPop, Your Nonna and Gizmo

By Joanna Robinson | Comment Diversions | March 7, 2011 |

By Joanna Robinson | Comment Diversions | March 7, 2011 |

Alright anyone who has met me, peeped at my bookcases or read anything I’ve written on this here lovely website knows that I have a sick and crippling case of Anglophilia. I strong-armed a young British girl this summer into teaching me how to make scones. There is no limit to my madness. So it’s no surprise that when I sat down (steaming cuppa in my hand) to make a list of actresses I would cast in the role of my grandmother, every single one had “Dame” in front of her name. I settled, ultimately, on Dame Maggie Smith because I adore the heck out of every role she plays. Truly sneering and snobby in Gosford Park, shrilly imperious but kindly in the Harry Potter films and downright queenly in the recent “Downton Abbey” series. I love her, I want to have a gossip with her over tea. I want her to regale me with salacious stories of her prime. I want to see her put lesser mortals in their place. I want to mold myself in her image.

My dream Gpa would be Craig T. Nelson’s “Zeke” from the TV show “Parenthood.” (You’re not watching that show? WHY AREN’T YOU WATCHING THAT SHOW?) Zeke is similarly tough but kindly. He is very set in his ideas about what is just and right which is why it’s so heartbreakingly fascinating to watch him realize he’s wrong. He’s the sort of man I probably wouldn’t want for a father (too hard and unyielding) but who would make a marvelous Gpa. Look at him! He wants to teach me to build things with my hands!!


So who would be your pick? No rules. Alive or dead. You can pick an actor or a specific fictional character or someone outside the world of film and television altogether. (Dame Agatha Christie was on my list too) Are you lily white but want a Latina abuela? Done. Sky’s the limit. But hands off Maggie Smith. She belongs to Ron and me.


If my Gizmos knew how to use a computer I would be worried that they might feel slighted by this topic. But they don’t. So I’m safe.

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