I want to talk to you about catch phrases. You see, we all have them. Often they are uniquely tailored to the people we are around.
For instance, my husband and I have an Army buddy we’ve known for years. Buddy met him at Ft Leonardwood, MO at the beginning of his career in the late nineties while I met him my first weekend at my first duty station in Hawaii (which coincidentally was the first time I ever saw drunk people). He and Buddy have long maintained a dream of becoming a stand-up comedy duo and spent much of their early friendship riffing until people stopped breathing to make room for more laughing. Whenever a truly hilarious exchange happens one of them says, “That’s going in the Bit.” The Bit is, of course, their comedy bit that would make them rich and famous. Sadly, they never wrote any of it down. So while the Bit has reached monumental proportions in length and humor, recalling any of it for later use will never happen. The few attempts made at recording the Bit have turned out to be nonsensical phrases that lack entirely in gut-busting hilarity.
As the wife of one and the friend of the other, I was inducted into this catch phrase, especially because I can be funny, too. Plus, I’m a writer so they kind of have a chance of saving some of the Bit for posterity. I’m the Bit-Scribe and a contributor.
While Buddy was gone, we had a conversation that had to go in the Bit and I actually managed to write it down:
“Ice cream or beer that makes you ripped. Microscopic dinosaurs in ice cream. Expand when they hit stomach. Person ripped open. Success.”
See? I’m funny. With Buddy back, hopefully I’ll be able to record more of these moments, if only to confuse us later because that couldn’t be what caused all the rolling on the floor the night before.
Other phrases belong to specific groups of people and I see lists of them on the Facebook all the time. Top 10 Things You Never Thought You’d Say Until You Had Children. 12 Phrases Only People with Seven Siblings can Understand. 9 Sentences That Civilians Will Reasonably Misunderstand, Making Military Personnel Lose Bladder Control from Laughing Too Hard.
I saw one that was supposed to be the standard questions posed between spouses. None of them applied to us. Because of the way we have structured our relationship, our most common question is, “Who’s Turn is It?” Your turn to pick/make dinner. My turn to pick the movie. Your turn to drive. My turn to run the dishwasher. And we are very mature about it. I never groan loudly and mope on the couch when it is my turn to take out the litter. And Buddy never points and laughs singing neener neener neener until I smash him in the face with a pillow. This question is the reason I have a whiteboard on the fridge dedicated to mapping the unwanted chores in our lives. You think you can keep track of when you did litter last (how can I possibly forget doing something that icky only last night?), but then you recall that remembering the good parts of the day (i.e. what you had to eat) is almost impossible even after a strong cup of coffee.
This is a wonderful routine. Why? Well, because it was easy to pick up again when he got back. I don’t mind that it is my turn half the time because it isn’t my turn the rest of the time. I was a little nervous about him coming home because, being a military spouse, I had heard all kinds of horror stories about the “transition time,” where everyone is getting used to each other again. I’m not saying we aren’t transitioning. I’m trying to dial back the OCD habits I allowed to flourish while he was gone (does the silverware really have to go in the dishwasher that specific way to improve the process or does it just make my brain happy to see things in neat lines?). But that little catchphrase has been a nice touchstone to life before SKorea. So I’ll take it.
We went for a walk this morning and it was so much warmer than Tuesday that I’m suspicious that it must have been below freezing that day. Which really ruins my cold weather excuse. I guess if it is above 20 degrees, I’ll risk it as long as the sun is out. Tonight we went to dinner with the Army buddy mentioned above and his wife and toddler. It was a lot of fun, and not only because the Bit came up and the part I wrote down got a lot of laughs. Also, the restaurant (Food for Thought in Williamsburg) was absolutely amazing, as usual.
Now I must adjourn to my kitchen to finish prepping the overnight cinnamon rolls. Adieu!