Firsts

This is the “Semi-CIDU” marked for this post. It’s Cynthia’s friend who says “Lots of firsts that day” but mostly it was Cynthia herself experiencing those firsts.

BTW, what do you think of the drawing techniques used to show us the girls are their younger selves in the last two panels?

[This was a Friday strip. The Saturday strip that follows continues the flashback, and gives an explicit answer to the Semi-CIDU question we posed; so we’re withholding that one until people have had a chance to comment on this post, and then will put it in comments.]


Bonus Barney. This is the “CIDU only because of a cultural reference you may not already know” marked for this post.

If you’re familiar with the story of Boggs, do you think the summary in the fourth panel is seriously in need of some amplification/clarification?

17 Comments

  1. I didn’t understand it was a flashback until I saw the explicit identification in the next day’s strip. If they put it there, they could have put a similar line over the third panel here. At the very least, the wobbly border (on the right side of the second panel) could instead have been used all around the third & fourth panels, to give them a “dreamy flashback” look.

    P.S. On the second strip, the description in the fourth panel isn’t absolutely accurate, but it’s probably as close as one can get in three short dialog lines. Boggs never “passed” anything off, he was always perfectly honest that his artwork were not authentic banknotes, but he never exchanged them for anything less than their nominal value.

  2. Not only did I not realize the flashback aspect when I saw this strip on Friday, I’ve never realized that Cynthia’s taller friend was also a girl (rather than a boy) until you pointed this out just now (and I’ve been reading the strip for several months). Time for new glasses?

  3. @ Shrug – I had vaguely picked up that the blond character was a girl, but that was primarily because of the way she interacts with Cynthia, and not her rather indefinite appearance. Her name is “Katy“, but it is not documented anywhere that is easy to find:

  4. “gives an explicit answer to the Semi-CIDU question we posed”

    There isn’t even a question mark in the post until we get to the second posted strip (about money). What question is being posed??

  5. Sorry, I must have been tired and negligent when posting this. I forgot to Tag the strip title and creators, and forgot the question mark on BTW, what do you think of the drawing techniques used to show us the girls are their younger selves in the last two panels?.

    But, Powers, that is not the question you are looking for. When there’s a CIDU you can always read in an implicit question along the lines of “What’s going on here?” or “So, what’s the joke supposed to be?”.

    In this case it could more explicitly be put as “How do you explain the flashback scenes, taken together?” or perhaps “In what way was that a day of lots of firsts?”.

    And the answer, if not figured out from this strip, was made explicit in the next day’s strip. This was Cynthia’s first encounter with a family or household with two moms. (Leaving aside that she herself has sort of two: an original mom and a stepmom. But they’re not a household or a family unit.)

    (Also her first experience with beignets. But that was already given.)

  6. maybe it’s just my age, but it didn’t click that Katy currently has two moms until the second one. And I didn’t even notice the different ages. (I do need cataract surgery.) I thought she meant serially, like Cynthia does.

  7. I’m new to the blog, and I’m enjoying the introduction to unfamiliar strips. So, today’s CIDU, links and comments were terrific. Thanks Powers, Kilby, Shrug & Mitch4.

  8. Isn’t it the practice to have distinguishing names for the parents, ie isn’t it odd that they are both “Mom”?

  9. larK, you’re probably right, in the general case. But of course there will always be instances that don’t follow the general pattern, for anything. I don’t have the energy today to offer to go back and watch some of The Fosters and see how they handled it, but I think it was indeed different designations.

  10. It’s a relatively new problem for parents, but an extremely old issue for grandparents. In German, it is rather common for kids to address one pair as “Opa & Oma“, and the other as “Opi & Omi” (effectively the same distinction as “Mommy” vs. “Mama” in English).

  11. Swedish has mormor, morfar, farmor and farfar for mother’s mother, mother’s father, father’s mother and father’s father. You see that and think “why don’t WE do that?” I don’t know what happens if there’s a divorce and remarriage somewhere.

  12. I got the “two moms” thing immediately. I didn’t notice Katy was a girl until reading comments, although I should have realized from the uniforms in Panel 3.

    I also saw a documentary of some sort about Boggs quite some time back.

  13. We called our grandparents – if one set present “grandma and grandpa”. If both sets present or talking about them in the third person they were referred as Grandma (or Grandpa) with their first names. We could not use initials as both grandmothers’ names started with S and both grandfathers’ names started with J – though they did not have the same names.

  14. Everyone called my paternal grandmother “Ma,” (she had 10 children so I had 30+ cousins when everyone finished), so I followed suit. My maternal grandmother is generic “Grandma.” However, my younger brother went with designating them Brown Grandma and “Lellow” Grandma

  15. My paternal grandfather died when my farther was still a boy, and my paternal grandmother died when I was 3 or 4, so I am unaware of how they referred to her, but there was never any need to make a distinction between maternal and paternal. My maternal grandfather was always Papa, mostly, I think, because that’s what his children called him. My cousins called their respective fathers Daddy or Father*. My father had also died by this time, so there was, again, no need to make any distinction. My maternal grandmother was Big Mama. It’s a southern thing, and not necessarily limited to the African-American community.

    This may sound a little pretentious for a hick southern family, but this uncle(-in-law, obviously) was older than my grandparents. They even referred to him as Mr. H—-.

  16. My paternal grandmother was French Canadian originally, so my father and his siblings called her “Ma Mere”. Some of my cousins also called her that (or really something like “memmer”) but we just called her Grandma.

    My dad had a few French phrases that he would sometimes use, generally in imitation of my grandmother. One was “va coucher”, meaning “go to bed”. The other sounded like “clummagluss”, for ice cream. Years later I determined that it was poor pronunciation of “crème glacée”, the typical French-Canadian term for ice cream.

  17. “she herself has sort of two: an original mom and a stepmom” —
    Three, if you include the nanny. When I first saw this, I got that the “joke” was her acceptance of her friend having two moms, but both the flashback and the friend’s sex totally escaped me.

    larK, “distinguishing names” would seem to be necessary when the kid hollers “MOM,” but I have no personal referents there.

    And those Swedish nouns totally make sense. Like Meryl, if I had to distinguish between my grandparents, I would say “Grandpa Charlie,” and so on.

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