Shanny the Granny


You may feel the need to go to bed at 10p.m. on a Friday. Or maybe your jaw drops when you see the outrageous outfits worn by tweens. Perhaps you fear loud music and don’t understand why kids these days bring their parents to job interviews.

You, my friend, are a granny trapped in a Gen Y’s body. A Generation grannY. [Technically pplicable if born in the early 1980s-early 2000s, but I’m not picky. All grannies are welcome here.]

Generation grannYs often experience a sense of confusion. We feel the instinctual urge to be young and wild, but also can’t quite fight the voice in our heads that says high heels aren’t worth the pain. Traveling is exciting, but road trips have lost their appeal. We go to bed early, but somehow still sleep in really late. We know that a block of cheese isn’t a well-balanced meal, but wash it down with a bottle glass of wine anyway.

Being the practical types, most of us are able to compromise. Weekend dinners and all-nighters are replaced by brunch and day drinking, mini skirts are traded in for sweater dresses (passable for both the office and Happy Hour), and we don’t respond to texts like they’re time bombs waiting to be deactivated. Despite finding this balance, however, we still need to lean on our fellow Generation grannYs to know that this weird, conflicting world we live in is, in fact, normal.

View More:’s why I’m here.

My name is Shannon Oliver Leyko, affectionately known to my family and friends as Shanny. This nickname is not used constantly, rather pops up in the following circumstances:

A) When I mistake coffee for syrup at IHOP: “Shanny…you know you just put coffee on your pancakes, right?”

B) When I bring a 50 pound suitcase with broken wheels on our family vacation. “Oh, Shanny. Only you.”

C) When someone is waking me up from a nap: “Shanny…?”

I’ve also been known to sing the National Shanthem or wear Shanimal print. Similar concepts to “Shanny,” only more specific.

blog37Anyways, Shanny the Granny came about when I needed a new Instagram handle after relinquishing my title of Miss New York (yep, real). My gay BFF suggested I go from “Shanny_MissNY” to “ShannytheTranny,” but after a short deliberation, we realized the new name might not go over well. Considering my grandma-ish tendencies, we switched that “T” to a “G” and, voila! Shanny the Granny was born.

My life thus far has been pretty exciting. I’ve been to about 20 different countries, with experiences like working in AIDS homes and leper colonies in India, swimming with dolphins in Belize, and climbing the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I’ve completed an Outward Bound dog sledding course (meaning I slept on frozen lakes with 17 dogs in -15 degrees for six consecutive nights and cut down a tree with just a hand saw and my right arm), and performed for tens of thousands of people as a singer at Busch Gardens, in professional shows, and for random events. Sometime during all that, I was a dedicated horseback rider, founded a diversity education organization, became Miss New York 2012, was a guest correspondent on a national news program, and received my Psychology degree from Christopher Newport University.

In most recent years, I supported myself in NYC while pursuing waitressing musical theatre, then made the jump to the D.C. Metropolitan area to have a go at stability writing, and now find myself back in my hometown of Virginia Beach, VA, where I manage this blog, lounge on the beach, and actively love life. I also married the most selfless, fun, and good-looking guy I know on December 12, 2015. Proud to be a Coast Guard wife, believer in God the Father, and dedicated crow’s feet activist. 🙂

As this blog unfolds, you’ll find that some posts reflect my millennial side, while others reflect my granny side. I guess that’s to be expected given that I’m the self-appointed face of Generation grannY. Enjoy!IMG_0785


3 responses to “Shanny the Granny

  1. So interesante! You’ve done more in – how ever many years old you are- than I have in 41. By the way, kind of funny in the picture above thhe guy looking at you. Funny stuff. Looking forward to reading more.

  2. Michael Matsos

    So I met your cousin at a bar in Northwest Virginia. Don’t ask me how your name and CNU came up but I promised your cousin I would check your blog out and write something in the comments. You are a good writer.

    Mike Matsos
    Class of 2011

    PS Road trips aren’t dead! I just did a solo drive from Virginia to Mexico and had a blast. I highly recommend it.

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