Previously: I refer in the last post to my German Grandmother, Granceil DeWolfe.
My Mom slaps me down in the comments:
"Your grandmother is French. Gary's people are German. Remember she sang the French national anthem to you? Would a Kraut know it? "
"Dear Queen Mother -
Are you on crack? Are you a crack mom? Because was her name not DeWolfe? It was not LeWolfe."
Caroline decides to step between me and my Mom:
"De = of in French. So she is "of the Wolves."
Yeah. We are wolf people. Mom and I ignore Caroline, and when I picked Mom up for her eye doctor appointment today, it was ON.
Mom sighed in her pointed Mom Way and said, almost immediately, "French. French Huguenots. Landed Gentry. Learn your facts."
"No, Mom, seriously, I know they were German. That was the family story, how they got their name, some ancestor saved some nobleman from a wolf and --"
(Im sorry if I'm a little incoherent. I;'m tyiping as fast as I can because I bet right now Mom is putting her version of this onto her blog.)
"No," Mom bridled, "Le Loup. Le Loup. French."
"What's with this 'Loop' stuff? DeWolfe! German!"
"French! You question me? You dare to question me?" She rose up and I cringed under her five-foot-two frame. "It's in the Harding book. We will discuss it when we get back from the ophthalmologist."
I further enraged her during the visit to the eye doctor by referring to my Granceil's fur coat as "Beaver fu-"
"Seal! Seal fur!" she cried, exasperated.
Well, we got back from the eye doctor with a cataract diagnosis and skipped that trivial news by getting right into the German/French debate. "Get the book!"
The book is Florence Harding, a nice thick biography of the "scandalous" former first lady, which is of special interest to our family because a good part of Flo's early years were devoted to her first
marriage to impregnation by "Petey" DeWolfe (Granceil's half-uncle) and his snobbish father Simon, who I suppose is my great-great grandfather. I skimmed the index entries and found a spot that said Florence WAS from FRENCH HUGUENOT descent.
"There you have it! It was Florence, not the De Wolfes, who was French -"
Mom's eyes blazed. Really, she's just like Godzilla with the tiny arms and the blazing death ray eyes.
"Do you WANT me to FIND it? Do you want YOUR Mother with her DILATED CATARACT-RIDDEN eyes to PORE over this book and find the passage that SAYS Simon was French? Because I WILL DO IT."
"Well maybe Simon was French Huguenot too. Maybe that's what he and Florence had in common," I snickered.
Well, in case you couldn't see it coming, page 23 states quite clearly that Simon was from "a distinguished Huguenot family." so...
"Still, Mom, how could he be French with a German name? She wasn't Granceil Le Loup."
She directed me to the family genealogy, which I started quoting gleefully. "A great favorite of the Emperor of GERMANY!", extreme emphasis on "GERMANY!" to the point of bellowing it. I read backwards until I got to 1427. FOURTEEN TWENTY-SEVEN, when one of the Damn De La Loups followed Princess Matilda to the German court after her marriage and he Germanized his name. Bastard. Traitor bastard. Traitor bastard causing friction almost 600 years later. If he had kept his name I would have known we were French.
I need to stop being stubborn and rational and get more emotional, obviously, now that I am French. (And given that the above geneology came from "Israel De Wolfe," I need to investigate the possibility that we were actually the DeWolfe-Cohens at one point.) And, as a Huguenot, I need to re-think this marriage to the Catholic Persecutor.