Friday, January 22, 2010
Our family motto is "Where there's a will, there's a relative." In my family, one better not use
any cliches or one is pounced on immediately by the Cliche Police! Thus, "I love you with all my liver"
and "Cold hands, warm pancreas" are among the responses when one is guilty of a cliche infraction.
Outsiders don't "get" it, but the offender will immediately know that he/she has committed a faux pas.
At a recent dinner party, we had several guests who were not family members and I committed a "screamer" by saying, "That's like calling the kettle". Of course I didn't have the opportunity to complete the phrase as my niece chimed in with, "Ebony and Ivory." All family members laughed but I had to explain the exchange to the guests. Although we don't know who made the rules, it is not allowed to target guests.
Another family oddity is that whenever a military term is used, we salute. When our guest Hannah Case mentioned she had "majored" in French literature, all right hands went to heads. I must admit, that oftentimes, we throw the terms into conversations on purpose just for the fun of it! Thus, "corporal punishment", "generally speaking", "No Time For Sergeants" and "major malfunction" were thrown into the conversation to allow saluting! My brother said that if I throw "The French Lieutenant's Woman" into another conversation that he is going to disown me. O.K., so my favorite Meryl Streep movie is "Sophie's Choice" and NOT "The French Lieutenant's Woman" but I do love the book!