My Real Life

January 18, 2010

“Spaghetti in the Microwave” and Other Family Phrases

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amy @ 11:30 am

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???

Not good.

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?


  1. We don’t have saying like yours but we do have a few that we use all the time….. ‘beep, beep’ instead of bye, when kids are acting goofy we call it ‘they are having it on their stoypes’ (a dutch saying). That is all I can think of right now. I love your families saying ‘spaghetti in the microwave’….there are so many times when I am doing something and hubby asks me to do it! DUH! I will have to start using it! LOL

    Comment by Debbie — January 18, 2010 @ 1:21 pm | Reply

  2. OMG!! I wish our family had at least one saying like that!! Love ‘Centrum in the toilet’ the best!! Wish I could have seen your wide-eyed look at your mother!! Mahalo for sharing again!!

    Comment by Mauimagic — January 18, 2010 @ 3:02 pm | Reply

  3. I can’t think of any right at the moment, but I am sure that we have at least one. It is neat to hear how these sayings come into use.

    Jean/Jas (frugal village)

    Comment by Jean Speer — January 18, 2010 @ 3:19 pm | Reply

  4. I am sure SO & I have some phrases, but I can’t think of any off of the top of my head! I love “spaghetti in the microwave”! It drives me batty when SO “reminds” me to do simple tasks that I am already doing. Thank you for sharing!

    Comment by Stephanie (Kitten20) — January 18, 2010 @ 3:56 pm | Reply

  5. Amy, I always enjoy to read your blog, and today was no different.

    I got a chuckle out of today’s post. A very mu ch needed one as well, I might add. Thanks for making me not only smile, but even laugh.

    Comment by Leah — January 18, 2010 @ 3:59 pm | Reply

  6. What a great start to the morning. These are very funny. Thanks Amy.

    Comment by julie ramseyer — January 19, 2010 @ 8:32 am | Reply

  7. One of ours is “I said ‘ha ha'” meaning “Well, what else do you want me to do about it? I already did my part by saying ‘ha ha'”

    Comment by Linda & Scot — January 19, 2010 @ 3:28 pm | Reply

  8. That’s funny! I love ‘Mom this may be spaghetti in the microwave but….’
    Thanks for hooking up at the Hump Day Hook Up

    Comment by Molley@A Mother Life — April 17, 2013 @ 5:42 pm | Reply

    • I’m loving Hump Day Hook Up! What a great idea!

      Comment by Amy — April 17, 2013 @ 8:45 pm | Reply

  9. Those are great ones! I don’t think we have the flair for drama that you do. (I came from the Hump Day Hook Up.)

    Comment by Ginger Kay — April 17, 2013 @ 6:08 pm | Reply

    • Oh…we’ve definitely got the drama! 🙂

      Comment by Amy — April 17, 2013 @ 8:44 pm | Reply

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