A Name Change for Love and other Problems


What Hubby looked like at the end of an afternoon with me.

In my second year of nursery school, my sister Karen joined me, many things changed that year, not least, the name of Elizabeth. Karen at two and a bit, had great difficulty pronouncing the name Elizabeth, and it came out sounding like “Lubbish”, and as much as we tried, we could not get her to say it correctly. 

One day I overheard two mothers talking about a wonderful person that did so much for them, made their lives easier, worked hard, took care of all their needs and wants, was so loving, understanding, helped with the children and was and all-round wonderful person. I smiled at them, because I also had someone like that, Elizabeth. Then I heard one of the mothers use the name “My Hubby”, being only four years old, I asked the lady if that was the person’s name that they had been talking about and she told me that it was a nickname, a term of endearment. In my defence she never explained that it meant husband, so when Elizabeth picked us up that afternoon, I started to call her Hubby, explaining to her that it was a nickname that meant an all round wonderful and loving person. When Elizabeth died many years later, I do not think anybody called her Elizabeth, even her husband John used the name Hubby. Once again I get ahead of myself, she was not married at the time, and John only arrived a few years later. 

Having Karen at school with me was torture, as she was such a little teachers pet, always doing what she was asked to do, and working oh so diligently. That was the first year that I heard the phrase, “Why can’t you be more like your sister Karen?” I have heard that phrase ever since.

To be fair, she was kind of exceptional, always top of her class, neat, diligent, hard working, and a mass of curly brown hair and huge brown eyes. She was also my sister, so the only person that was allowed to say nasty things about her was me. Which of course meant that I was to be involved in many fights to protect my sister’s virtue over the years, even if the other person said things about her that I had probably said first, or even agreed with, which of course got me into a lot of trouble, and led to the teachers thinking that I was a trouble maker. 

Karen if truth be told was actually my best human friend, as Tina was my undisputed best friend. You must bare in mind that school finished at one o’clock in the afternoon, and that we spent all afternoon and evening together. At that age we were not allowed to have friends over, or to go visiting, so Karen was the only person that I had to play with after school. She always played the games I wanted to, and only played with her dolls after we had bathed and I was reading in my bedroom waiting for our mother to arrive home. 

Hubby was not allowed to cook the evening meal as my father thought that it was the duty of the wife to cook for her husband, even if that husband did not arrive home for dinner. So Hubby prepared the vegetables and other things, then waited for Mother to arrive home from work. My mother was catching the bus home by that time, as my father had to “work” late on many nights to grow his business.


2 thoughts on “A Name Change for Love and other Problems

  1. tubby Larkan says:

    Sven true of that era our hubby was Lillian and we lived in Glenashley off Umhlanga rocks drive,I am really enjoying this so many memories flood back regards Tubby

  2. svenwg says:

    Tubby, it was another time, when those that worked for us were part of the “Family” and their family was as much part of ours as we were of theirs. Times have changed unfortunately.

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