Living Retired — “Forgotten Words’
Living Retired — ‘Forgotten Words’
By Gary Chalk.
The other evening a group of friends were reminiscing about things we no longer say. For instance…
I no longer ask Jan where my reading glasses are because she will become upset with me and say, “Gary, this is the umpteenth time you have misplaced your glasses TODAY!” Then she will add something totally unrelated. “Gary, your fly isn’t done up!” As if there is a relationship between my missing reading glasses and my pants zipper!
But most of what we don’t say anymore goes back to when things were different. I can’t remember the last time I said, “Jan, if you are the one who left a Beta movie tape in the VCR it’s jammed and won’t come out.”
“Gary, it wasn’t me. I’ve got all my Jan Fonda workout tapes with my leggings.”
Everyone agreed that most of the things we no longer say are comments we often said when our children were young.
One couple recalled going to their sons T-Ball games. “We sat in lawn chairs. Towards the end of the season my husband couldn’t take it anymore. He screamed at the top of his lungs: “Don’t just stand there, swing the damn bat!!”
Another couple said their children’s birthday parties were a source of things we no longer say. “You blew the candles out and it’s not even your birthday! What did you do that for?”
I remember a discussion at dinner one evening. “So Tyler, if daddy didn’t do it. And mommy didn’t do it. Who else would flush your He-Man underwear down the toilet?”
Speaking of dinner discussions with your children, who at least one time didn’t say, “If you don’t eat everything on your plate, there is no dessert for you!”
Or out for a celebration dinner at a fancy restaurant. “Look. We are in a restaurant. Take those French fries out of your nose right now!” Followed by, “NO! Don’t put them on my plate!!!”
Everyone has memories driving to Myrtle Beach for spring break. “Mommy and Daddy have reached the border now. This is where the man will lean into our car window and ask a few questions and want to know if we have any fireworks. If you know what’s good for you you’ll shut up!”
Another friend talks about the time they drove to Florida with their two children and his mother-in-law. The kids squabbled the entire time, complaining about who got to sit in the front seat, to who got a bigger piece of candy. Eventually one child screamed that his sister was “breathing the air on my side.” My friend couldn’t take it anymore and shouted, “Look if there is as much as another peep out of either one of you I’m going to turn this van around and we’ll go home! Do you understand?” Silence — until his mother-in-law said sweetly, “Oh you wouldn’t do that.”
One couple who will remain anonymous talked about driving their kids to the kindergarten parent teacher night. “I don’t want you to tell Miss Masters what daddy said she looks like. Okay?”
How about this one, “Before we get to Grandmas, don’t ask why she tucks her Kleenex in her bra.”
What are your forgotten words? Things you used to say? How about, “Go ask your mother.” “Go ask your father.” Fathers of teenage girls surely remember saying, “How much longer are you going to take in the bathroom? Did you fall in?”
How many times did you say, “How many times do I have to tell you?” Or, when your kids left the door open, “CLOSE THE DOOR! I am not paying to heat the entire neighbourhood!”
Finally, remember saying to your young children, “Next time you come into mommy and daddy’s bedroom PLEASE KNOCK!”
Sometimes, the forgotten words are the most important.