Friday, January 22, 2010
FINE AND DANDY
My mother would always answer questions and finish sentences with song lyrics. As a number of my family members, including myself, continue the practice, it doesn't seem particularly unusual to us.
When my husband and I were dating, he came to pick me up and it was on our third date, he asked my mother, "How are you, Mrs. Shirkey?" My mother answered with the song lyric, "Fine and dandy, sugar candy." I could see the bewildered look on his face, but always being a well-mannered person, he didn't respond. As we were walking to the car, he turned to me and said, "ABOUT your family.." I was immediately offended and answered, "What about my family?' He said, "It's like being in a Hollywood musical--you guys sing for no apparent reason!"
When my nephew Joshua came home for the first time after beginning studies at Harvard, I asked him what it was like being with all those elite people. He said that the only thing that impressed them about him was his vast knowledge of song lyrics. My mother had been his baby sitter while my brother worked and my sister-in-law Sheila went to college. Joshua knew everything from folk music to Sinatra, to Scat, to Country and to Broadway show tunes.