Last week’s column about swearing seems to have struck a chord with some folks, which has left me in a “hard act to follow” predicament.
Do I follow up with a tale of the time we heard Boychild utter the word that begins with “f” and is followed by some asterisks? He was only about two at the time. He was playing with his friends Buddy and Chum while we grown-ups chatted when we heard, “[Insert sound of horns blaring], Buddy!”
The little boys continued to play as if nothing had happened, but we adults fell silent and looked at each other as if to say, “Did we just hear what we think we heard?” It was as clear as a bell and used in the proper context, but possibly was some sort of vocabulary mix up brought on by inexperience with the whole talking thing. Maybe he meant to say, “Move, Buddy!” or “Mine, Buddy!” or whatever rhymes with [insert sound of horns blaring] that would have made sense. Duck? Muck? Tuck? In any event, no one flinched and the word wasn’t repeated.
I could also follow last week’s chronicle with the legendary story (at least in my family) of the one time we kids can ever remember Dad inserting the sound of horns blaring. Picture it: Family vacation, I think it was 1982. Probably at least one of us was wearing plaid shorts. We were navigating hilly Canadian Shield land in a big ol’ Chevy Caprice Classic pulling a trailer on the way back from a family 50th anniversary party in Northern Ontario.
Dad was growing impatient with a driver up ahead who would speed up during the rare straight stretches and slow right down around curves and on hills. You know that guy – we’ve all followed him. The tension was building. There was muttering in the front seat. I was probably fretting about how much gas we had (as I was wont to do). My brother and I (for once) were sitting pretty quietly in the back when my father roared, “You [insert sound of horns blaring]ing something something!”
Then it got really quiet. I bet my mother was trying not to laugh. My brother and I were amazed for years. The story continues to be told at family dinners.
With that, I’m pretty sure I have now revealed all the times anyone has ever said [insert sound of horns blaring] throughout the history of time in my family. Indeed. Unless you count the times my old computer malfunctioned.
Moving on to nudity, then?
As I get older, I wear more clothes. There are many reasons for this – partly it’s modesty (read: hiding perceived flaws), but mostly it’s because I finally grew into my brains. When it’s cold out, if I wear lots of clothes I will stay warm. In high school it was cool to go bare-headed and with no socks in winter. After that, well, I preferred warmth.
It’s interesting to see how this evolution of dressing occurs. I have spent years bundling up my small kids appropriately in cold weather and they have been mostly compliant. Now the pendulum is swinging, particularly with my “no one will ever call me compliant” daughter, who has an aversion to wearing tights.
Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal as girls can wear pants with socks, right? Well, she has an aversion to pants, too. She’s an “all dresses, all the time” kinda girl.
I don’t blame her about the tights. I avoid pantyhose like the plague. But that doesn’t mean I tolerate them only while I’m outside and then strip them off when I get to indoor events. That might not go over well at meetings.
The fun doesn’t stop with tights, either. This child would happily streak around in undies all day if we let her. If you come to the door don’t be surprised to see her, on the coldest day, wearing a flimsy summer dress or a bathing suit.
It makes me shiver.
I hope this trend passes before she is a teenager. (I know, I know. It could be foreshadowing.)
Okay. So we’ve covered swearing and nudity. Next week: hangovers?