Was Grandma’s Mother “Mousie”?

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Friday, May 17, 1912: Went to McEwensville this afternoon. Mousie had some business for me to transact.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

I assume that Mousie referred to Grandma’s mother.

Mother: Phoebe Muffly

Did Grandma think that her mother was “mousie” and lacked an appreciation of what fashionable dresses should look like?

The previous day’s diary entry referred to a disagreement with her mother over a dress that her mother was making for her. My take on that entry was that her mother didn’t quite get how to make the dress look stylish— probably because her tastes were mousie–but that Grandma persevered and the dress ended up okay.

8 Responses

  1. I am sure mothers and daughters have had different views of fashion forever! But I am surprised that she would ‘dare’ call her mother mousie; it seems very disrespectful for the time.

    • I suppose that she saw the diary as something that no one else would read and as a place where she could take out her frustrations.

  2. Ha ha! That made me laugh! Some things never change- I have two teen daughters, and they are rather particular about their clothing too!
    I love to sew, and have enjoyed your hundred year old dresses pictures.

    • Clothes are important to teens! I had a lot of fun pulling the old dress pictures together for these posts–though I can’t imagine how complicated it must have been to make some of the pictured dresses.

  3. I’m sure your grandmother had no idea we would all be reading that she called her mother mousie. ;-P My sister and I used to call our mother “Dot” sometimes to each other (her name was Doris). I am very sure she had no idea.

    • Yes, that makes sense to me. Sometimes I think the out-of-earshot nicknames are almost a sign of endearment even if on the surface they aren’t exactly nice . .

  4. My sister had the nickname “Mouse” or “Mousie” as a kid, and in her case it was kind of a diminutive term of endearment, I think.

  5. My husband’s grandmother had a few nick-names, one of them being Mrs Mouse (I think because she was terrified of them!) She was a favourite person to all her friends and family, so no disrespect was intended. But who knows with Helena, as it was her “private” diary, after all. :)

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