Granny Does It Vol II: A Rhetoric of Identity

© KJ Hannah Greenberg, 2021

Granny Does It Vol II: A Rhetoric of Identity
Seashell Books, USA.
Aug. 30, 2022. Buy it here.

It was not so much that my unusual “kin” are astronomically wealthy as it is that they have been striving to create the illusion that the profits, which they engineered in space, ought to become the basis for my family’s purse strings. As gelatinous beasts or antiquated robots, though, those “dear ones” are unable to resist my censorship of their suggestions.

Viscous and mechanical relatives aside, I’m grateful for my flesh and blood. Equally, I’m appreciative that I can employ narrative to separate moments from their environments and to ease such instants into larger montages. To wit, this second volume of Granny Does It is concerned with my interactions with my loved ones and with the many collusions that occur in some of my other relationships.

Consider, for example, a happenstance of decades ago, that occurred at a New Jersey university, when I taught Feminist Sociology. The young women enrolled in my course couldn't believe that I posited that they were not optimally invested in their bodies or that elderly women liked sex.

In answer, I employed some rhetoric vestiges. More exactly, I urged my students to become careful about their carnal activities, to gain possession of the labels with which they and other people spoke of their bodies (e.g., one of their assignments was to see The Vagina Monologues), to grow cautious about the ways in which they displayed themselves (another of their assignments was to refrain from wearing scanty clothing for two weeks), and to increase their willing to consider sexuality as an enduring expression.

Although external causality is culpable for certain moral states, and although randomness, not intention, might undergird collective ethics, most manipulative techniques that exploit human vulnerabilities are not arbitrary. Accordingly, I lectured at my students. Hopefully, any resulting increase in their awareness improved their young lives and, going forward, improved their midlife and golden years.

In teaching those coeds about “real” intimacy, I synthesized thoughts with them about how bodies and relationships change with age (at the time, I was regarded as “old” since I was in my early 40s.) Yet, in the course of one such talk, a young lady burst out, “I can't believe Granny does it!” She and her peers had never heard of the STD epidemics that rage through nursing homes or of the fact that oldsters, too, like to groove (rickety joints don’t dispel desire; they merely compromise the number of viable positions.)

Whether we’re grannies, moms, or daughters, or their male associates, we benefit from rethinking “womanly ways,” specifically, and, from claiming ownership of our stories, more broadly. The seventy essays in this volume of Granny Does It illuminate how feminine distinctiveness necessarily impacts our interpretation of relationships, professions, and overall society. This book’s essays counsel that “womanliness,” especially as made manifest in grannies, never goes out of fashion.

Introduction: Heroic Days
1. Granny and Wee Youngins
1.1 Incorporation
1.2 Appreciating Children
1.3 The Benefit of Nursing (Toddlers)
1.4 Beasties, Babies, Publishing, and Circuses
1.5 Tough Love
1.6 Mom’s Vacation Planning
1.7 The Care and Feeding of Greenberg Children
1.8 Sending My Dear Ones Out to Play
1.9 Oh, Yeah, That
1.10 School and Class Placement
1.11 Boundaries and Freedoms
1.12 ‘til the Cows Come Home

2. Granny and Bigger Youngins
2.1 Negotiating Family Matters as a Writer when Family Matters
2.2 Teaching Kids to Embrace Healthy Body Images
2.3 The Relative Power of Teenage Mockery
2.4 Teens’ Chores
2.5 When Cookies are More than Calories
2.6 Stupid is as Stupid Does: Teenage Drama
2.7 Square-Jawed Will Power: Helping Our Adolescents Cope
2.8 Hiya from Jerusalem: Selling Books that Celebrate My Teens
2.9 The End of Summer Loving
2.10 That Most Extensive Balderdash
2.11 A Writer’s Sons and Daughters’ Influence

3. Granny and Other Family Members
3.1 Hearts, Hugs, and Souls: The Absoluteness of Home
3.2 Writing as a Form of Grandparenting
3.3 Appreciating Fathers of Teens
3.4 The Safety of Husbands Appreciated
3.5 Generally Appreciating Husbands
3.6 Coping: An Electronic Dialogue
3.7 Mature Men Don’t Blink at Pink or Sound off Because of Purple
3.8 Blog Rocking when Hubby’s Away
3.9 Life Lessons from a Steakhouse
3.10 Love and the Everlasting Bridge to Shared Referents
3.11 Small Changes
3.12 The Name My Parents Didn’t Use

4. Granny and “Friendly” Fauna
4.1 Timon Cat
4.2 Critters Large and Small
4.3 The Dumpster Cats’ Perspective
4.4 Murphy’s Law
4.5 No More Murphy
4.6 The Art of Persuasion when Obtaining a Pet
4.7 Disambiguation, Feral Cats, Kaparot Chickens and Bad Computer Puns
4.8 Rhetorical Strategies and Ambitious Wildlife
4.9 The Broken Step, the Rut in the Parking Lot, and the Millipede
4.10 Upon Discovering Wildlife in My Bathroom
4.11 The Dog
4.12 The Utility of Employing Gelatinous Wildebeests in Writing
4.13 Make-Believe Friends
4.14 The Necessity of Wonkiness in Writing
4.15 My Imaginary Friends’ Impact on my Writing

5. Granny and “Friendly” Folks
5.1 Gassed-up and Preoccupied: A Rant for Santa Monica Boulevard
5.2 Social Prejudices Lived before the Age of Convergent Media
5.3 Little Mosque on the Prairie: An Unfortunate Media Spin
5.4 The Sovereign State of New Jersey: Another “Modest Proposal”
5.5 Girl Scout Cookies, Social Media, and Hawking Books
5.6 That Fibromuscular Tubular Track
5.7 Confusing Exploitation and Affection
5.8 Sharing’s Not Caring
5.9 (Rainy Day) Friends and Sprained Ankles
5.10 A Funeral
5.11 Love from a Precious Friend
5.12 A Case of Mistaken Identity (with Don Webb)
Conclusion: Not Looking Back
Acknowledgements and Thanks
About the Author
KJ Hannah Greenberg’s Other Books