The Lexicon of Marriage

Main Entry: lexicon
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: collection of word meanings, usage
Synonyms: dictionary, glossary, terminology, thesaurus, vocabulary, word stock, wordbook, wordlist

Do you are your spouse have a language of your own? Do you have catch phrases that send you into fits of laughter, causing strangers to eye you with suspicion?

I read an op-ed piece the other day in which a couple called themselves the “serrated knife people” after being dissed by a salesman at an upscale cutlery store. A snooty salesperson told them Henckels knives were not for them, and they should stick to the utilitarian serrated kind. The expression then became part of their personal communication, and a funny way to say that fancy stuff was just not their style. I loved that sweet little phrase they used, and it got me thinking on all the things we say at here at Chez Meg and Leo.

There is the standard endearment:

He is Dear.
I am Dearette.

Sometimes he is Lion (as in Leo, the…)
Then I become Lioness.

Sometimes we are the Barflies, because we like to eat at the bar (more opportunity to chat!)

While we were traveling in Ireland a few years ago, we were always checking the speed limit signs, and translating the speeds from kilometers to miles. One day we were on a back road, where sheep generally have the right of way and carts of hay are a close second. We saw a sign that said the speed limit was 100 kilometers per hour, which is about 65 MPH. And for a country with a tiny infrastructure, that’s like saying, “would you like to go careening to your death today off the lovely Cliffs of Moher?

Our catch phrase for the rest of our time in the Emerald Isle was “Speed. It’s just a suggestion“.

I know, you probably had to be there for that one, but trust me, every time we saw farm equipment, a pack of woolly animals, and the accompanying speed limit, we howled.

When I think about it, whole lexicon thing can extend to siblings and co-workers too. My sister and I code named my parents the Finklesteins, because they were constantly shoving food at us in every restaurant we ever went to, even before they took a bite of their own meals. We would always picture a loving Jewish couple with some matzo ball soup simmering on their stove going “Eat, please eat“! And thus, the Finklesteins were born.

When we were right out of college, a young Meg and Leo worked at this company. One of our operating systems (which later became the foundation of Windows) was called VMS. It was a fabulous piece of software, and when you wanted to exit out of an program or email message, you did this:

That’s right, the beautiful Ctrl Z. But let me count the other ways Ctrl Z can be used.

Honey, Ctrl Z that trash.
I think these Chinese leftovers need to be Ctrl Z’d.
Ladies, I think it’s time to Ctrl Z out of the office today.
Let’s Ctrl Z this boring party.

Exiting, leaving and pitching trash all could all be neatly wrapped into one fabulous non-threatening sentence, the Ctrl Z. Of course, the Z gone by the way of the dinosaurs, but that nerdy tech humor was good in the day.

I always took these cute sentences for granted, but realize they are an important part of our lives. Our personal lexicon brings a sense of intimacy, a touch of humor and becomes our connection to those we like and love.

What favorite sayings do you toss about in your house?

Is Anticipation More Fun Than Vacation?

I am in the midst of planning this year’s vacation, and have the location, the flights, the lodging booked. I have sifted though reviews on Trip Advisor (which P.S. is REALLY good site, because you can get comparisons from 5 different sites on say, the price of a hotel), evaluated the reviews, and am confident we are going to have a good time. In fact, a blast.

As I was making all these plans and poring over books and websites, I came across an article that indicated the actual anticipation of the vacation was more fun than the vacation itself. When researchers queried a group of people about their vacation experiences, “the respondents were least happy about the vacation while they were taking it. Beforehand, they looked forward to it with eager anticipation, and within a few days of returning, they remembered it fondly. But while on it, they found themselves bogged down by the disappointments and logistical headaches of actually going somewhere and doing something, and the pressure they felt to be enjoying themselves.”

Who are you freaky people anyway?

I have to say, I never find myself bogged down on vacation, because I always do some planning beforehand to make sure we have a bunch of options for fun things to do. For example, I was inspired by my friend Dawn in Austin to take a balloon ride over Napa Valley:

Dawn recently took a trip to Egypt and went on a hot air adventure over the desert. I tucked that away and thought, I have to do that! That’s a little out of the box for me, as I have a thing about heights, but hey, who doesn’t? Thanks Dawn for inspiring me to consider this!

Over at Blue Skies and Yellow Dogs, The Zadge recounted a fabulous trip to the California town of Healdsburg, and I took that under serious advisement, so much so we are staying there for part of our trip! I am thinking a canoe trip down the Russian River would be cool, which is yet another experience I would not have generally considered, but it’s not like I’m going to to have an encounter a la Deliverance, right?

Finally, there are days for doing just this:

Riding around and exploring. Open roads and the breeze at our backs, carrying us off to some sort of adventure.

I DO love the excitement and thrill of planning a vacation, but I have to say, nothing beats being on one; I don’t care what the researchers and psychologists say!

What say you readers, about your vacation experiences? I’m thinking my blogger friends plan some pretty good stuff!

Flummoxed Friday

Meg’s regular little Friday feature has had a case of I Can’t Help Myself interrupted the last two weeks, and that makes her cranky, because it’s her favorite day of the week to sit in the Member’s Lounge and send a few laughs into the blogosphere. Not to mention Meg needs to have a virtual toast with all of her cool blogger friends that she has never met, because it’s fun to picture everyone pouring themselves a cool drink and congratulating their fabulous selves on making it through another week.

Meg and her sister Ain’t Miss Beehavin have been scurrying back and forth to Cape Cod, where Cape Cod is supposed to equal beach and lobster rolls and good times. Instead, Cape Cod has become patient central, where the patient equals their mother who grievously injured her foot in a bizarre beach accident that never should have happened. Climbing up stairs is all I’m going to say.

So Meg and Ain’t Miss Beehavin dusted and vacuumed the entire house, cleaned bathrooms, grocery shopped, and poured liquor down their throats. They helped troubleshoot an errant computer, and managed to get this young one a number 4 buzz cut for summer:

In short, they managed to make one mother comfortable and happy for the duration, and will do it again next week as well, when maybe the mystery of the foot will be solved by an orthopedic doctor. And possibly a toe might be dipped into Nantucket Sound?

So, as I get back on track here, I promise more humor is coming your way. In the meantime, I’m going to make a Bloody Mary, and bid you the best of weekends!


When to Ignore a Friend Request

Did you ever have an ailment or affliction you wanted to ignore? Dumb question, right, because we all want to pretend we are all hunky dory and on top of our game.

Recently, I welcomed my friend the hot flash, which I’ve been dealing with quite well, because it has caused another pesky (ahem) friend to, well, go away. And Sister Mercy, Amen and Hallelujah on that one. And the occasional flash of heat is so close to the summer humidity anyway, you can’t really tell the difference. So basically menopause is weather at this point. Another bonus is I can howl at those commercials with maxi-wings. No maxiness needed here!

But, recently a new acquaintance has come calling:

I thought I had done too much yard work and mulching, I then I had a flash back to my Nana Rita, who was always rubbing her well manicured fingers and trying to get them to loosen up. It never stopped her from looking great and wearing a spiffy pair of high heels, so I suspect I’ve come into the family inheritance where this disease is concerned.

But don’t you wish maladies could have a Facebook Account so you could do this?

Now if I could unfriend my reading glasses, I’d be all set.

When CEO Equals Idiot

Let us count the ways! Let’s start with the most talked about CEO this week, shall we?

I rather enjoyed seeing BP CEO Tony Hayward getting raked over the coals by Congress last week. There he sat, a brilliant shade of scarlet, seemingly unable to comprehend what was going on:

“I can’t answer that question,”
“I can’t recall, ”
“That’s a decision I was not party to”
“I don’t know,”
“I’m not stonewalling.”

Gosh, it’s almost like executive haiku! Why can’t I get a job for five million dollars and answer questions like that?

Tony, inexplicably, still does not get it. After being humiliated in Washington and relieved of his direct duties in managing the oil spill (whatever THOSE were), he went out for a jaunty sailing excursion on his yacht to spend quality time with his son.

Don’t you think something more low key would be appropriate Tony? Like a outing to Mickey D’s for a Happy Meal?

One good thing Tony “did* do is provide New Orleans with a new marketing spin on how to beckon vacationers:

In local CEO news, former Bank of Boston chairman Ira Stepanian weighed in on an op-ed in the Boston Globe, stating the Arizona’s immigration law would be totally great for our state too!

According to him ” Congress should deny all access to schools, deny all health care except for life emergencies, deny all jobs, and deny citizenship to those born in the United States. No profiling necessary”.

And then simply,” make everyone show proof of citizenship, in a one time event. Immigrants would stop coming here, and those already here would just go back to their countries”.

Oh snap Ira, bing bang done, problem solved! You are a genius!

I’m not sure what the answer is on immigration, but I think Senators Kennedy and McCain were on their way with the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007. Sadly, it was shot down and no bipartisan attempts have been made since then.

When I read stuff like this, I am outraged. Outraged that people at the top of companies, the cream of the crop at the pinnacle of their respective businesses, say the stupidest things.

And as a second career after the CEO gig, might I suggest this:

“Welcome to Burger King. Please place your order and pull up to the drive-thru window”.

May I have some extra ketchup, Tony and Ira?

The Red-Winged Blackbird

This time of year brings a flood of memories and feelings. It’s the second Father’s Day without my Dad.

Every year my whole family and an array of friends would travel to the island of Nantucket. We would load our vehicles with coolers of food, plenty of good booze, and cleaning supplies. We’d drive onto the ferry and cruise 2 hours out into the sound, enjoying a Bloody Mary on the deck, attempting to keep a frisky lab from jumping into the waves. Soon we’d spy the church spires towering over the town, and we knew we were minutes away from landing in paradise.

Once there, the we swung into action, with my father as commander in chief. Oh to be so lucky to own a home in Nantucket? We wish. We actually were the “hired help”. We opened the beach house up, swept out the dust, cleaned bathrooms, and anything else on the “list”. Our reward? Being in Nantucket.

Every morning we would sit up on the top deck and have coffee, plan our day, and in the beach grass below, a red-winged blackbird would chirp his morning song. There was something about the breeze in your hair, the sunlight twinkling on the water, and that bird singing that made you feel there was no place else in the world you’d rather be.

As the day progressed, the bird would migrate with us to the other side of the house, for cocktail hour on the patio. We sit there with our drinks and recap the days events, munch our appetizers and dissolve into gales of laughter. And there would be the blackbird, ending the day with us.

There is red-winged blackbird in my yard that sings his song every morning and again at dusk. When I hear it, I always pause, and I can see that delicious sliver of sunshine on the ocean, and maybe if I try hard, smell salt air. And I think of my Dad. Is that bird really him checking in on me? I can only hope.

And like my Dad, that bird likes a good meal, so I better keep feeding him.

Here’s to you, Dad.