Nichole Remmert writes:
Hi there – I love your blog and tweets; I remember bits of my own childhood when I read your stuff.
My own nagymama died before I ever knew her, when my mom was just 14. Her father was always at work (and not Hungarian), and The Uncles (her mother’s brothers) saw to it that she would be raised a good little Magyar. My mother was rebellious though, and when The Uncles would tell her she wasn’t behaving to their standards, she’d bait them saying that we were, “… nothing but a bunch of gypsies…” THE HORROR! (in reality, the family was nemes – noble – and The Uncles were fiercely proud; so much so that even eating corn was rebellious for my mother, as she’d grown up forbidden to eat such peasant foods).
Funny how people become their parents (or in this case, their Uncles) when they have children of their own. While mom remained a fan of corn, I was always sternly warned that if I wandered off, I’d be captured by wild bands of gypsies, who’d kidnap me and make me work the fields. What a hard life I’d have with these crazy gypsies if I disappeared too far around the corner at the JC Penney. I’d surely be sorry.
As I got older (and the eighties progressed) I was drawn to the oversized, spangly jewelery that I’d see on MTV and then cheaply imitated at the mall. My mother would tell me that I’d look like a gypsy with all those shiny spangles. Somehow, the gypsies had gone from being child stealing kidnappers to what in my mind essentially amounted to Madonna Wannabes. Gypsies seemed okay in my preteen years.
The funniest thing about all of this was that when I moved to Budapest after college, my wallet was lifted from my purse on the 19 tram. I called my mother because I’d lost some things that I’d need her help replacing, and her first response was, “WHAT DID I TELL YOU ABOUT GYPSIES?!” Sigh.
You do great work!
And you do great work, too, Nicole! Now, if you’re done looking at that JCPenny Bathing suit, step into my caravan for a second so I can feed you some delcious corn! Come on..i’s made out of CANDY! Mmm…candy cooooorn.
All this talk of Gypsies remind me – one of our Project Twenty1 Teams last year made a fantastic short animation called “Gypsies”. I think it will amuse you as well: