G is for Grownup

Giovane Cafe + Winebar, Vancouver

Graham tries his first cappuccino cup.

His small hands proudly clasping his cappuccino cup, Graham sips his drink and grins. I was at Giovane Cafe + Winebar with Graham and Susan, his mom, enjoying some brews. I had a latte, and Susan and Graham were sharing a hot chocolate. I had brought Graham a small cappuccino mug, the perfect size, so that he could drink from his own cup, and he really seemed to like this grownup ritual.

Giovane and Graham share the same initial g, and it was a very sweet moment with him and the cup that featured his letter. Lower case g is possibly the friendliest letter in the alphabet, especially the two-story version. Not everyone agrees. In her book I Wonder, Marian Bantjes writes that she finds this version a “baroque excess.” She prefers the single-story whose descender she calls “one of the greatest pleasures in life.” Well I think any version of g ranks up there in life’s pleasures.

The swirly capital version in The Alphabet by Alessandro Novelli is both divine, and ironic when you notice what his G illustrates. Illustrator Steve Mack seems to favour the one-story as well, as seen in his illustration “gum.”

The brand that is the alphabet has lived for centuries, and will continue on longer than Coca Cola. Along with the lower case g, its letters offer giggles, glee, and grandeur galore.