Okay. This Is Definitely Going To Be The End. Really. I Think.

When D’s mother Martha was in college, some of her sorority sisters gave her the nickname “Martie.” They’ve continued to call her “Martie” over the years, and the reason why I keep putting the word “Martie” in quotation marks is because that’s exactly how Martha writes it. Every card, every letter, every note that we get from her is signed like this:


Personally, I like to think of “Martie” as Martha’s rap alter-ego, someone who would be featured on a hot new single called “Mother’s Got A Bell (A Ring-A-Ding Bell)” by Jay Z. featuring “Martie,” Ludacris and Justin Timberlake. As far as I know neither Martha nor “Martie” has any plans to enter the hip-hop scene, but I’ll be sure to let you know if that changes.

Anyway, Martha is as proud of her nickname as she can be; I think it makes her feel all young and fun and devil-may-care-ish. Many times when we have been out shopping I have overheard her talking to complete strangers about the texture of a bath towel or the cut of a jacket or the length of a strap on a purse, and inevitably, after she mentions that her son and daughter-in-law just love this town, just love it!, and then gives them a brief overview of our college days, early married years, and our current obligations and responsibilities with work and parenthood and whatnot, she’ll mention that her grandchildren call her “Martie” because that was her nickname in college and she always knew that she wanted her grandchildren to call her “Martie” because she was afraid if she didn’t ask to be called “Martie” they would end up calling her something like “Big Maw” or “Mar Mar.”

So after we wrapped up the festivities at Martha’s house on Wednesday night, after Martha apologized for the amount of food on her dinner plate because all she’d had to eat that day was a piece of caramel cake and certainly those four tablespoons of squash, two tablespoons of turkey and the half a roll were Terribly Excessive, we knew we had another big day-o-fun in store because D’s best friend, Todd – who also happens to be Alex’s godfather – was coming to town on Thursday so that we could meet his girlfriend, whose name just happens to be – can you guess it? – Marti.


Now see! Isn’t that more fun! We were going to have “Martie” and Marti! In the same place! Can you even imagine?!

Todd works in Los Angeles as a sound editor, and because of that we don’t get to see him nearly enough – what with the thousands of miles in between us and all. But he and D have talked almost every single day for the last fifteen years, so we don’t notice the distance as much as other people might. By the way, Martha always tells people that Todd “does the sound on the movies,” and it never fails to make me laugh because it implies that he is singlehandedly responsible for the fact that the world’s moviegoers can hear anything at all when we sit down to watch a show at the local cineplex or enjoy a DVD in the comfort of our homes. So thank you, Todd, for taking care of that for us. It must be a whale of a job.

So by the time Todd and Marti got to town, Alex was thoroughly confused about who was going to be with Todd. D and I tried to explain that Marti is a different person than the grandmother he knows as “Martie.” And when he finally met Todd’s Marti, Alex rectified the problem in a way that only a three year old could: he immediately called Todd’s girlfriend “New Marti.” And he called his grandmother, at least for the purposes of clarity, “Old ‘Martie.'”

At which point Martha no doubt wished that she’d just gone with “Big Maw” or “Mar Mar” when it came to her mamaw moniker.

From here on out I’m going to mostly let the pictures do the talking, but I have to say that Todd’s Marti, aka “New Marti,” is a total doll. She had been at Martha and Sissie’s house all of eight minutes when we started taking pictures, and I’m here to tell you that she just jumped right in and loved on them like she’d known them all of her life. D and I both hope that Thursday was just the beginning of many, many afternoons with New Marti. She’s warm, genuine, and real – LOVE HER.

Todd, “Martie,” and Marti

Now around the sixth time that “Martie” said, “Oh, this is just more fun! I’m not used to having another person named Marti around! It’s so much fun! Isn’t this more fun?,” Todd got a little tickled, and it snowballed into one of those wheezing laughs that results in tears. And the more Todd laughed, the more Martha grinned and giggled.


Todd absolutely adores Martha and Sissie, as evidenced by the fact that he wanted his girlfriend to meet them. And with everything they’ve been through lately – Sissie’s broken hip, extended hospital stay, doctor’s visits, ongoing therapy, etc. – I think Todd and New Marti’s visit meant more than Todd and New Marti will ever know. “Martie” and Sissie were tickled to death, no doubt about it.

Sissie even had her picture made with them in spite of the fact that she wasn’t wearing make-up, even though Martha asked her several times if she wanted “a little lipstick? Do you want just a touch of lipstick, Mother? Just a little bit? Before you get your picture made?”


I do hope all of you noticed that Sissie has her bathrobe cinched at the waist with a black belt, because really, even at 96, there’s just no excuse for wearing a shapeless garment, girls. And there are no words to articulate how much I love the fact that she didn’t have her make-up on yet, but BY JEHOSEPHAT SHE TOOK THE TIME TO PUT ON THAT BELT. Yes ma’am she did.

And finally. This next picture sums up why the visit would have been worth it even if we hadn’t enjoyed our time with New Marti and “Old ‘Martie'” and Sissie (not to mention the delicious lunch that my mama cooked):


The whole day just made me happy.

And I’m all done now.

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  1. Oh, I really wish you weren’t done yet because I could read and laugh and read and laugh for HOURS. I love Sissy and her belts. Marti IS a doll. “Martie” is as cute as a button. And we haven’t even gotten to the rest of you handsome folks!

    You know, you could write a book about Martha and Sissy! You could!

  2. Augh! No, no! More, more!

    Your family is PRECIOUS! :)

  3. Five more minutes? Two more minutes? One more minutes.

    Come on. . .just a little more. . .pleeeeeeeeeeezzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

  4. I love these stories, I have no heritage, it makes me feel so there when you tell these stories.
    As my daughter would say Todd is HOTT! I would say hansome and not sure why her word came into my brain. Is Todd D’s brother?
    Thanks for sharing Boo it is awesome. Old Marti is beautiful

  5. The belt just did me in. Seriously, I have come undone here on my couch thanks to the belt.

    And Old Martie is classic.

  6. Oh I agree with the others. I want some more please. I love hearing about your family and their southern ways. They are adorable everyone of them!

    My SIL was given the wonderful distinction by her granddaughter of the title “Big grandma” as opposed to the other grandma, who was shorter, who was “Little Grandma”.

  7. And just to prove to you how VERY southern y’all are, here in the Midwest we have our pictures TAKEN instead of MADE. :0)

    Oh, the memories that one phrase brought back!

  8. my grandmother (93) does the same thing as Sissie. She is always dressed to the nines.

    I must be such a dark smudge to the rest of them! ;)


  9. Honestly, do you know any homely people? At all? How about just plain? No? Well, I’d be glad to apply for the position of plain/homely friend. ;-)

    You and everybody related to you, and all your friends, are gorgeous. Most of my family and friends are presentable, but nothing on the scale that yours are. I’m less than half Sissie’s age and she’s got me beat all to heck in the looks department, not to mention “Martie”.

    That last picture of Alex and Todd? You should absolutely make a copy and frame it. And title it “Unfettered Joy!”

    Love and blessings for a very Happy New Year, S. :-)

  10. Oh, c’mon…there has to be more! It doesn’t even have to be about the Christmas visit. Just dig out a “Martie” and Sissie story from your treasure trove of memories.

  11. Are you sure there’s no more? Because this has just been too much fun.

  12. I love your stories. New Marti, Old Martie, I just can’t get enough. I’m glad everyone had a good time and I’m going to make more of an effort with my wardrobe from now on. If Sissy can wear a belt even tough she isn’t well, I certainly can raise my standards for apparel. She is so sweet. I just love that picture and the first thing I noticed was the belt (and her sweet face).

  13. I, too, wish you weren’t done yet! Your family sounds like so much fun. Can I borrow them for the next holiday? :) Sissie reminds me of my husbands great grandmother who was well in her 90’s and never left the house (or let anyone in) without her make-up, jewelry (lots of it), and her belt around her waist. Makes you want to keep up your own appearance, huh? :0

  14. That is a great story- I still can’t get over the belt thing- I can’t tell you the last time I actually belted something- Maybe like 1988-
    I’m inspired to try it again though-Thanks!

  15. Ah…this is BooMama at her best. Like everyone else, I hate it when these stories end. The women in your family just amaze me. That belt cracks me up. I don’t remember the last time I wore a belt.

    And their hair just holds up beautifully.

    Happy New Year, BooMama. Needless to say, I’m really looking forward to a whole new year full of your wonderful stories.

  16. I am catching up.

    And, whoa. A lot to catch up on.

    First- the belt. A real class act, she is.

    Second- I have to say the sitter story is where the women in our families differ. Let’s just say, the ladies in my family are not as polite as Mrs.Martha. One of us would have caused some sort of injury to the sitter. Or at least given her a piece of our mind. (We would take turns, too.) Imagine Julia Sugarbaker off of her Xanax. That’s us. I’m not sayin’ it’s a good thing…

    I hate to hear Mrs. Sissie is feeling bad. She is such a lovely lady. Hope the sitter situation works out and Mrs. Martha finds someone she can trust. Praying for both of them.

  17. All I can say is after reading that – I canNOT breathe and tears of laughter are rolling down my face – THANKS Boo, ILU :)

  18. Phyllis R. says:

    Oh sure the belted robe is a BooMama classic (and Sissie gives the term “evening wear” its true meaning) but the thing that’s got me so tickled is the title of rappin’ Martie’s song. “Mother’s Got A Bell”!!!! You are something, and so is your family! (All of whom could be in a toothpaste commercial…..OR a hair care commercial…..OR a belted-robe commercial!)

  19. Do “Martie” and Sissie realize that they are adored by thousands of Internets?

    They’re quite famous, really:)

  20. “because really, even at 96, there’s just no excuse for wearing a shapeless garment, girls.” What a classic line Boomama!

  21. You are positively hysterical!

    Many blessings in the new year!

  22. Elizabeth says:

    Love your stories, Booomama!

  23. I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks now and I really enjoy it.
    I had to say I LOVED reading about Sissie and Martha. I want a Sissie and a Martha too!!!
    Blessings, Cheryl

  24. Ok I officially would read your blog daily even if you started blogging about grass growing just for the absolute GOLD NUGGETS these Martha and Sissie stories are. This is what books are made of boomama…I’m just sayin ;) xoxo melzie

  25. This is the next southern style movie right here, girlfriend…..Fried Green Tomatoes has got NUTHIN’ on you child!!! The last few posts in cinemax, well, I can JUST.SEE.IT!!! Who will play Martha and Sissie? And BooMama? Let’s do the scripting right here and now. How about Jessica Tandy, and Dolly Parton? And who’s gonna play YOU???

  26. I want you to know, I dug out one forbidden Diet Coke— horrors, I do have blood work this week for the Dr. and will surely get caught- just for this final installment of the story.

    It was well worth the 6 months since I had the last one- and more than worth the tongue lashing I will get Wednesday.

    I hope Sissy and the Marti’s know they are loved by many, many of us :)

  27. Oh, these stories have just been so fun to read! I’m reminded of my mother and grandmother, both from the south and always dressed just so and hardly eating a bite! My g’mother never went without lipstick, and I’ve never known my mom to go without make-up and her “hair-do”, which looks much like “Martie’s”.

  28. Spence saw Todd and Marti at Shoe Station day before yesterday and loved her, too. Said he could tell she was a keeper. Wish I had been there, but he’s staying in town until…so sad.

  29. Martha and Sissie remind me so much of my Grandmama and her sister, “Sister.” Sister never had any children of her own, but lived her last 30 years next door to my Grandmama in Alabama…sharing her 6 children, 12 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. Sister passed away last year, so I LOVED reading your stories. Such sweet, good, funny memories!

  30. This whole post just made me happy. I never know what’s going to make me laugh, but the first few paragraphs had me laughing out loud, being thankful that I am home alone, and dh won’t give me the sideways glance that says, “You’re laughing at the computer again??”

  31. Please spend Valentine’s Day and all other holidays with them–we need more stories and just hate for them to end!! What sweet, absolutely Southern ladies!


  1. […] Okay. This Is Definitely Going To Be The End. Really. I Think. […]

  2. […] We’re headed to Mississippi this weekend for a special family celebration, so hopefully I’ll regain my bloggy wits after I have a chance to listen to some stories, snap some pictures and last but not least see “Martie” and Sissie in action. […]

  3. […] Okay. This Is Definitely Going To Be The End. Really. I Think. (you might want to read this post first) […]