Lyric-ese

languages

I love languages, I have since I was in 6th Grade where I had my first brush with Spanish. Took a little German in college, and over the years have learned salutations in over a dozen languages. The Filipina caregivers are very impressed with my ten words of Tagalog as was my Egyptian coworker when I wrote my name in Arabic.

Unfortunately, my children are monolingual, and I’m not too sure its English they speak. The words are English, the grammar and syntax appear to be English, but, for the life of me, there are times I’m not fully understanding them, or they’re pulling the wool over my eyes. I texted my Author Talk flyer to all the kids, I got a few responses: cool, do I have to go? and finally, it’s gonna be lit! Huh? I know I’ve heard these phrases somewhere before, and then I had an epiphany. During one of our many “drive-bys” by the ocean, I heard their language, it’s their music, the lyrics from the songs they play…over and over and over again. They speak lyric-ese, some kind of new slang.

Since most attempts at conversation with my young people result in “huh?”, this is how I imagine they’d go if they did respond:

”Eva, what  time you gonna be home? And don’t get in a car with a driver whose  been drinking AND don’t take a drink from anyone.”

…Like why you so obsessed with me.  What’s that suppose to mean? I’m your mother.

”Ellie, where are my clothes? Weren’t you gonna put them away?”

To the left, to the left, everything you own in the box to the left. Don’t sass me!

“Eloisa, what do you think you’ll do after you get out of school?”

I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadow, if I fail, if I succeed, at least I’ll live as I believe. That’s, uhm, good. Relax, a little, we’re just talking about 8th grade.

‘’’Beasto, you’re so quiet, what are you thinking about?”

I got money on my mind, and my mind on my money. Good.

Espi, you’re almost done with school. How exciting! How does that make you feel?

Young, dumb, broke high school kid. Okaaay.

”Hey, quiet it down in there.”

Let’s get it started…hah! Let’s get it started in here. (They are bad kids.)

Well, two (or eleven) can play at that game. When I’m done raising these kids, I’m gonna take this job and shove it because I’ll be ready to take a chance again. I’ve looked at life from both sides now from win and lose and still somehow it’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life at all so if you miss the train I’m on, you will know that I am gone, you will hear the whistle blow a hundred miles.

I may never pass this way again so don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy, lighten up while you still can, don’t even try to understand, just find a place to make your stand, and take it easy. So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu, adieu, to you and you and you (+ 7). I’m glad to go I cannot tell a lie, I flit, I float, I fleetly flee, I fly. And kiss today goodbye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Put A Little Vaseline On It

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As I embark into my sixth decade, I am realizing that there are certain things I really need. I prided myself for many years in being able to thread a sewing machine needle without my Dollar Tree cheaters. Evidently from the text I sent my daughter last night – “I unlicked doir” –  I need my glasses all the time for reading, writing and arithmetic (especially since I’m in accounting). Last week, a friend of the family sent up a distress Facebook post needing prayer for the final weeks of her MA program. It was late, but I wanted to chip in my support, which I did with this message: “Im peaying, habg in ghere. So olose.” I checked the comment in the morning – oh snap – she’s gonna think I’m drunk, that’s not what I wanted to communicate. I added a comment which translated the above sentiment and assured her I was not intoxicated in any way, just forgot my glasses. She responded with a hearty laugh emoji. Without my glasses, miscommunication events will likely happen again, especially when I’m depositing money into offspring accounts, so I better keep them close.

Speaking of miscommunications, one of my favorite stories goes like this. My sister and I were at my parents’ house one day. Standing at the kitchen counter, we were engaged in a serious and riveting conversation about what we all discuss in the kitchen: hemorrhoids. Who knows who was the afflicted, but our conversation covered causes, symptoms, side effects and various and sundry methods of treatment. My mother entered the kitchen while we discussed the burning, itching and pain. She listened for a bit. And, in a humph, she pronounced her expert therapeutic remedy: “Just put a little Vaseline on it; and, for Pete’s sake, stop licking it!” Yes, miscommunication at its most humorous. No, Mom, we’re not talking about cold sores.

Unfortunately, we live in a time when miscommunication is rampant. Fake news, fake polls, fake people assail us on a daily basis. It takes a real serious effort to find out the veracity of a story, if we can at all. One has to examine multiple points of view, multiple forms of media and multiple sources to even glean or hope for a true understanding of an issue. It can be a real pain in the, um, backside, like our favorite kitchen conversation topic. But to be as informed as we can, we need to persevere in understanding what is going on. Whether that makes a difference in the long run, I don’t know; but, for me, I need to try to get the best and most objective understanding of a subject, I try to consider all points of view.

Putting a little Vaseline on it may work for cold sores and even may work for hemorrhoids – I know it works for diaper rash – and I suppose (hah!), metaphorically, it may work for us adults who are trying to soothe the painful troubles of our times. If we realize what we see and hear on the TV, the Internet, the paper and even what we hear from our friends is not necessarily the whole story or even the true story THAT can be the first course of treatment in getting to a higher place of understanding. And maybe from there, we can assuage the burning issues with the balm of compassion and commitment which will lead to respect, respect for each other and for our different points of view. And from that place of respect, I am confident, we can begin to heal our country’s ailments. Fifty years after MLK, RFK, Vietnam and Watergate, we should be there by now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#OOMF – ONE OF MANY FOIBLES

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I consider myself relatively hip. I have four teenagers, and they keep me abreast of all the newest music, videos and lingo. I have a Facebook account where I keep in touch with my older kids and reconnect with pals from the past. In fact, my Facebook friends have been a great support and encouragement in my writing career. I have a Twitter account. This I don’t use as much as Facebook. I have a whopping 11 followers, and I follow about 40 people or groups.

I follow a couple C.S. Lewis and Henri Nouwen groups. Their quotes are often very serious, which I don’t mind; but if they’re tweeting up a storm, it can get a little too serious. So in order to lighten up my Twitter page, I follow one of my kids and #Portuguese Problems. Between the two of these followers and the others, I now have a pretty balanced source of information. Beautiful, thoughtful inspirational quotes find themselves next to “We are not alcoholics, we just get thirsty a lot…” and “I don’t wanna be a playaaa nomore.”

I noticed some of my daughter’s tweets referred to #OOMF. She seemed to have an on-going, drama-filled tweet-a-tête with this person. As any attentive mom would do, I tried to find this friend. Was it somebody I knew? I looked through her Twitter friends and couldn’t locate someone with the handle #OOMF. I went into full helicopter mom mode (#HMM) and searched Twitter for this handle. I got really nervous when all these people were tweeting about #OOMF, at about 20 tweets per minute. #WTHWGO?? (What the heck was going on?) How does my daughter know this person who has so many friends, people I did not know at all? I got very nervous that my daughter might be #ISSS.

I finally went to Yahoo and searched #OOMF. Well I had to #BTTU (back the truck up) when I learned that #OOMF means “one of my followers.” #MB (my bad). While I #WEOMF (wiped egg off my face), I whispered a little prayer of thanks like Steve Martin did in “Bringing Down the House”. But, honestly, I did feel even hipper and cooler now that I knew what #OOMF meant. I told my daughter about my little excursion into her world, and after she #ROTFLHBO (figure it out), she said, “That’s dope!” Huh??