Since my last post I have been thinking about the past several decades, most of which brought a big smile to my face. The images of myself in all of my grandeur are just too pathetic not to laugh. While those images will be quickly forth coming (yes, I will post the actual photos), today I wanted to focus on words.
Words, words, words. I love them. I read them. I eat them. I speak them. Unfortunately the latter I have not always preformed correctly. If you are like me you may have grown up thinking a phrase of words was something entirely different from what it actually was. Right? No? Lost you already?
Rewind 20 some years ago to when I was a young adult. I was sitting at my parent’s dining room table, THE social hub of the home, telling my Mom about a venomous women I had the misfortune of encountering. It was not enough for me to merely describe this female with her fangs and claws. I felt as if I needed an association for my Mom to truly get it. So, with extreme emphasis I said,
“She’s a real Natilda the Nun!!”
There was a very brief pause accompanying the momentary blank look on my Mom’s face. Then, she burst forth in gut wrenching LAUGHTER spewing partially chewed food across the table (so not the reaction I was expecting.) After she regained her composure and had the Heimlich maneuver performed a time or two, she managed to choke out,
“You mean Attila the Hun”
Natilda the Nun, Attila the Hun — eeh, close enough. Although at the time I was horrified with my blunder not to mention covered with my Mom’s sprayed food particles. Gross, but effective.
The first time I heard this phrase, Natilda the Nun made perfect sense in my young mind. Especially after I listened to the stories my Dad told of the Nuns whacking his hands with rulers in the Catholic school he attended.
Natilda the Nun seemed like an ideal match to the phrase and had my Mom not so memorably corrected me, I would continue to bring Natilda the Nun to many conversations today! I just wonder if anyone would have the jazz to tell me Natilda is really Attila? Probably not. But not to worry, Natilda is still very much a part of our verbal dialog because dear ‘ol Mom brings her up every chance she gets!
Here are a couple other words of mistaken identity we have embraced.
- “Let us snot into temptation.” This is from the Lord’s Prayer and should read “Lead us not into temptation.” As a young child it seemed totally reasonable to me that snotty nosed children would be the ones walking off to engage in tempting sin. Thankfully, the realization of my error came by way of self-revelation after reading (yes, again delayed revelation) the Lord’s prayer IN PRIVATE. Because it was only a matter of time before someone heard me proudly belt out “LET US SNOT INTO TEMPTATION.” And then they would laugh. And mock me for years to come. Let us snot into temptation…because if you’re going to sin, do it with some snot!
- “Maury Deemer:” While the song ‘My redeemer lives’ was playing my youngest asked “Mom is Maury Deemer the Jewish name of Jesus?” I also had the momentary blank look and pause of my Mom but spared my precious child from the trauma of forceful laughing, food choking, ridicule and simply asked “Why?” He was quick to reply “Because that song is saying Maury Deemer lives and I just wanted to know if that’s Jesus’ Jewish name?” Melt my heart. And the fact that he is 7yrs (rather than my pitiful mid 20’s) is adorable and stills the laughter.
- Kill-her: My youngest defined the word “killer” (which he pronounced kill-her) when he was 4yrs old as, “a man who only kills women.” I let him continue thinking that his definition was correct for about a year until his siblings provided the appropriate definition (sans mercy). I have listed more of his 4yr old definitions below.
- Hillbilly: A person who lives on a hill and loves billy goats. There was too much truth to correct this one!
- Psycho-mean-and-act (his exact pronunciation): “psychomaniac” He informed us this was a psycho person who was mean and acted out. He particularly enjoyed calling the grocery check out cashiers this name. I guess he felt some sense of empowerment as he muttered “Psycho-mean-and-act” after one cashier impatiently yanked away and bagged (the nerve) his ring pop.
Women and their rings. No wonder men curdle at the thought of engagement ring shopping. They’ve had one too many Natilda the Nuns hijack their ring pops.
From nuns to psychos, what words of mistaken identity can you add to this list?