The Problem With 'Glamma'

05/20/2015 03:14 pm ET | Updated May 20, 2016
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I'll never forget the first time I heard it.

There I was, innocent as can be, when Wolf met up with a coworker and the guy's wife. I was noticably pregnant, and his wife was just soooo excited, telling me that her daughter was expecting, too!

"I'm going to be a Glamma!" She trilled.

I blinked. I couldn't have heard that right. "A grandma! That's exciting!"

"Not a grandma," she corrected me, "A Glamma!"

I frantically tried to come up with a response. A Glamma? What the hell is that? Isn't that the fuzzy, magical critter off of the old Punky Brewster cartoons? No, that was Glomer. So what the hell is a Glamma?!

She noticed my confusion, and decided to help me out. "Glamma is short for Glamorous Grandma!" she announced, putting her hand on her hip, and flipping her hair over her shoulder.

I'm honestly not sure what was said after that, because my brain broke. Complete vapor lock. I had absolutely no response in my head beyond a quote from The Princess Bride: "I do not think that word means what you think it means."

Thankfully, and not for the first time, my husband stepped in and saved me from making a complete ass out of myself. One of the great benefits of marrying a guy with a background in corporate sales and marketing is that he can pretty much pinch hit any social situation, and spout niceties in the weirdest of situations. He even managed to step in front of me to distract her. The look on my face, he told me later, "Was like she'd just picked her nose and flicked the booger at you."

Crap like this is why I hate leaving the house.

Anyways, I brushed it off as one woman's oddity. Whatever. Not my circus, not my monkey. But then I began hearing it more and more.


I did some checking. Apparently, it's all Goldie Hawn's fault. Or rather, her grandson's, who started calling her that. But Goldie put it in her book, so I'm just going to blame her. (Some claim it's from a reality TV show, but nope, Goldie did it first.)

And, you know, if you're Goldie Hawn? Yeah, the, 'Glamma' thing works. Cher can also pull of being a Glamma. So too can Sally Field, Susan Sarandon and Tina Turner. Basically, if you're a rock legend or a movie star have at it, Glamma yourself all you like.

But... is the average grandma really glamorous? Not really. Here's the thing: There's nothing wrong with that at all!

Glamma, to me, sounds fake, pretentious and desperate. It smacks of someone who is terrified of aging, of being old enough to have grandchildren. A panicked, desperate grab for some semblance of youth. To not be the stereotyped old lady in the rocker, wrapped up in a shawl.

Why are we so age-obsessed? If you're a grandmother, embrace it! Don't try to cutesy it up with weird nicknames that make folks think that you've been nipping at a flask in your purse. Don't try to pretend to be something you're not.

Glamorous is all well and good for some, but there's a dignity, an honor, a self-confidence that comes when someone embraces where they're at in life, be it a mother or grandmother, rather than trying to deny the passage of time.

This post was originally published at Not A Stepford Life.

To read more from the author, Melissa Charles, please visit her website, Not A Stepford Life