Down here in the south, we have our own version of the English language – yes, it really is English! One of the funnest phrases my family uses is “Maman’nem”. I know it is spelled as one word but it is more of a phrase. What this really means is Momma and Patrick. Patrick is my step-dad. He’s married to Momma. This little phrase might insinuate that he plays second fiddle to Momma. He really doesn’t. We always say Maman’nem when we talk about going to their house or anything that involves the two of them. I don’t know why; we’re just Southern. “Somebody”an’nem is just what we say down here instead of naming off the whole household or the entire group being spoken about. For instance, with this past weekend being Memorial Weekend, I spent a lot of time down at Maman'nem’s. Saturday, June 7 is my family’s annual “June Saturday” event where all the adult members of our family celebrate their birthdays together. Mamannem always host this party. My sister, Michelle and her family used to have a swimming pool. Back then, Michellean’nem always hosted a pool party on June Saturday. I used to go Christmas shopping every year with Judyan’nem (my friend Judy, her sisters, and step-mom). The one used most often around my family though still remains Maman’nem. That's Maman'nem's picture up at the top. Patrick (‘Nem if you will) is from upstate New York and had never heard this before he got in our family. You might think he would be offended by this hick phrase, but he doesn’t seem to be. I think at first he had to get used to being ‘nem and realize “who he was” there, but he has adapted very well over the last 8 or 9 years. I want him to know first-hand that being ‘Nem is pretty special and he should not feel slighted in the least. I think being ‘Nem is special because as long as your ‘nem, you’re always a part of a group and not alone :) So, to all the ‘nems out there and there are lots (Daddyan’nem, Aunt Peggyan’nem, Uncle Lutheran’nem, Amyan’nem, Grandpappyan’nem, etc.), I salute you – SALUTE!