Do you have any special phrases that your family uses that sound like one thing, but have a completely hidden meaning, only understood by your family?
We have a few.
“Spaghetti in the microwave” is one of them.
Years ago, when Real Man and I were dating, we were at my parents house for dinner.
My Mom made her famous spaghetti and meatballs, and we were chowing down.
It was not pretty.
The bowl on the table that held the spaghetti was just about empty, and so, I stood, refilled it with spaghetti from the colander in the sink, walked over to the microwave, opened the door, and was actually setting the bowl in the microwave as my mom calls from the table (as she’s watching me),
“Honey…can you put that spaghetti in the microwave?”
I stopped, bowl in midair, and slowly turned around with enormous eyes.
Real Man was looking at me with that, “Oh no…she’s gonna blow!” look, and my Mom and Dad just continued to eat their dinners, oblivious to the eruption that was in danger of occurring.
I don’t like to be reminded to do common sense things.
However, to be reminded of those things when I’m already doing them???
So, “Spaghetti in the microwave” is a phrase we use in our house when one of us asks the other to do something that they are about to do, or are in the midst of doing.
I’m sure it sounds strange when we are in mixed company and one of us says, “Sweetie, could you please get me another piece of pizza?” and the other stands, with pizza slice in hand and says “Spaghetti in the microwave.”
For those of you who watch “The Office,” it’s a bit like our own “That’s what she said,” although we use that one, as well.
This morning, it was Monkey Girl who used the phrase. It has become such a part of our vocabulary, that her sentence was, “Mom, this may be spaghetti in the microwave, but can I have the pink cup?”
Family phrases, once they sneak in, they never leave.
Another of our oft used family phrases is “Centrum in the toilet.”
When Real Man and I were dating, Real Man came to see me at the house that I rented. He was quite sick, but as he is a “Real Man,” he doesn’t do doctors.
So, he was at my place, hacking and coughing and looking sicker than a dog, and I said, “Why won’t you just go to the doctor?” to which he responded, “I’m fine, I’m fine.”
I, the girl with the lightning fast temper, went from 0 to 60 in less than a second and said, “Fine!!! If you won’t take care of yourself, then I won’t take care of myself, either!”
With that, I walked to my dresser, swiped my brand new bottle of Centrum from the top, with extreme dramatic flair, and stomped to the bathroom, where I proceeded to unscrew the lid and dump the entire contents into the toilet.
As, approximately, the third pill fell into the toilet, I realized what a supreme overreactor I was being, but by that time, it was too late. You start a dramatic protest, you need to finish the dramatic protest.
So, I shook them all out, shaking extra hard so he could hear them plopping into the water, then flushed with flourish.
By the time I got back to my room, his head was down, but his shoulders were shaking and I knew he was laughing.
And by then…I was laughing, too.
What a dope.
So, when one of us makes some dramatic gesture that is ultimately ridiculous, the other just calls out “Centrum in the toilet,” and we are reminded to take a chill.
These days, it’s usually our resident drama queen, Monkey Girl, who has the Centrum in the toilet moments. But, it’s still good for a reminder.
So, what about you?
Any family phrases that wouldn’t make any sense to an outsider, but tell a story for your family?