Monday, March 24, 2008

Talk Talk

Do you have a secret language with your friends and family? Terms that you and they alone understand? I think it would be entirely possible for my college friends and I to have a conversation that is unintelligible to an outsider. We have just that much lingo. My friend Bob Frawg has compiled an entire lexicon. If we had all put as much energy into academic pursuits as we did flapping our jaws, we could all be Noble prize winners today.

My family is also guilty of having our own little dialect. Here are some examples:

My sisters and I all refer to my mother as "The Mom." As in, "So, I talked to The Mom the other day and she said she adopted a seventh cat." This came about one summer vacation long, long ago when my sisters were out on the balcony waiting for my mom to return from the bakery with croissants for breakfast and my sister, C. shouted, "There's the Mom!" She has been "The Mom" ever since.

Oh me Lordy---As one collapses on the couch after an evening of toddler-wrangling, one sighs and exclaims, "Oh me Lordy."

Car Car--"Let's get in the car, car."

Terrible Bad-- When something is truly awful, it's "terrible bad."

Too much Santy--When everything is overwhelming or just too much, you say "Too much Santy." This expression is most suited for Christmas, as it means too much Santa Claus, but it is used year-round.

Alligator Sandwiches--ice cream sandwiches. We always got a stare from people in the grocery store when we asked for alligator sandwiches. I have no idea where this came from.

Happy Fatso--self-explanatory

Our betters-- Anyone that has more money than us

Out amongst'um--Whenever my sisters and I were going out for the night, we were going "out amongst'um."


Tortillars-Tortilla-- based on the time way back in the 60's when my Texas-born grandmother moved to SC and had to special order tortillas from the local grocer and he referred to them as "tortillars."

Koogo-Kroger as coined by my son.

All elephants are Dumbos at my house.

If something is tastes bad, it is "not much good." This one was contributed by my husband's grandfather.

My family also has odd names for grandparents. My great-grandmother was called "Tookie," and my son has named my mom, "My," for no apparent reason at all.

So, what are your odd expressions?

August Can't Come Soon Enough

In four months, I will be going back to work. I agonized over the decision for a long time. Back when I was in therapy for postpartum psychosis, my therapist tried very hard to get me to plan to go back to work that fall. I wasn't sure that it was the right decision at the time and didn't do it. Then, last October, I finally decided that this would be my last year at home. I just can't do it anymore. It was a hard decision, but the right one. Sometimes I still have moments of doubt, but I have noticed that the universe often gives me little reminders of why I want and NEED to go back to work.

Two such reminders occurred this weekend. On Saturday afternoon, we were all driving home from the library, my husband at the wheel of my car. He was playing around and accelerated quickly to entertain my son. I jokingly asked him to please be careful with my car. He replied, also laughing, "Well I paid for it."

Now I know that this was all in fun at the time, but that comment really irritates me. There have been other occasions when he has said it in a completely serious manner, so he does really mean it to a certain extent. It bugs me because first of all, it is not true. The car was paid for in part with a trade in from my old car bought before I even met him. And for the first year we had the car, I was working.

Second of all, we made the decision for me to stay home jointly. He knows I don't love being at home, but it was important to him for me to stay home at least while the kids were very young. He knows that I do a lot of work at home, taking care of the kids and the house. When a married couple makes this decision, it seems to me that the income coming in still belongs to both of them. And to hold it over my head that he makes the money makes me feel like I am beholden to him and that I am somehow less of a partner in the marriage. It implies that I am dependent on him, just as the children are. That I should be grateful to him for providing a car for me. That he ultimately controls things. So I will be very happy when I go back to work and he can no longer say nonsense like this.

The second incident happened yesterday morning while I was trying to get ready for church. The problem was that I really have nothing to wear to church. We have not gone much since Ladybug was born and I lost a lot of weight postpartum. I am thinner than I have been in years and my old clothes don't even come close to fitting. I can get away with some of the tops, but the pants, skirts and dresses are impossible for me to wear now. Even if I could wear them, they are all 5-10 years old and some are noticeably out of style and pretty worn because I really haven't bought much since I quit working.

Because money is tight now, I have not been able to buy replacement clothes. My parents and in-laws generously gave me some money for Christmas and my birthday and part of that went to new clothes, but there were others things we needed first. Our double stroller had to be replaced, we needed a new vacuum and we had to pay a large deposit on the condo we are vacationing in with friends this summer. I also needed a couple of pairs of new shoes. So, the money leftover didn't go too far, especially with clothes prices as high as they are now. And I know that my husband worries all the time about money and he makes it known he is not happy when he thinks I spend too much on stuff for the kids or groceries or whatever, so I have not felt that I should spend any money on new clothes. I don't want to cause even more worry for him.
So, yesterday, trying to find something to wear on Easter, I got upset and we got in a huge fight that pretty much put a damper on the whole day.

It's not like I will make a ton of money teaching, but it really is becoming clearer to me that we can't make the sacrifices anymore. We simply need the money and I need the independence. I think we will all be happier for it.