Sunday, October 25, 2009

My family has a secret language

Every family has a secret language, and yours is different than mine. "But wait," you say, "my family doesn't have one." Yes, you do; you just don't realize it.

I'll give an example: Earlier this week, my wife and I were extremely busy, scurrying to and fro trying to get the house in order. She works long hours and I have my hands full with homeschooling and maintaining our Amazon account, so some aspects of housework get shunted aside until we have a free moment or two. Passing her in the hallway -I just having finished a load of dishes and she with a bottle of Fantastik and a cloth, off to clean something or other- I threw her a glance and said "Olive juice." Without missing a beat, she returned the look and grin and replied with the same.

"Olive juice?" you ask. As a kid, I read in a children's magazine (I forget the name) a list of words and phrases that look like something else to a lip reader. "Olive juice" looks exactly like "I love you." It's our own, silly way of saying I Love You. Why say that instead of the actual words? Hell, I don't know. But it's part of our Secret Language. Try saying the same two words to another person, and 99% of the time, they'll look at you with confused look on their face.

The Secret Language isn't comprised only of short phrases. It can utilize single words, long phrases, or whole sentences. We've watched a lot of the same movies, TV shows, etc., and a lot of our Secret Language consist of quotes. Some of these apply to our life, some are just memories of funny situations we fondly remember, and some are just nonsensical, thrown out to give everyone a giggle. For years, all my wife had to say was "Ekky, ekky," and I, unable to stop myself, would respond "... ekky-ekky-PTANG-zoom-boing-z'nourrwringmm!" (Fifty internet points if you can name the reference.) I was like Cartman from South Park when anyone started the intro to "Come Sail Away".

All four of us play World of Warcraft, as well as Magic: the Gathering, AD&D*, and plenty of other geek entertainment. Sometimes we'll have whole conversations laden with in-jokes and names from these games, leaving any eavesdropper with the belief he is having a stroke. Example:

Me- "Where is your Tauren?"
Son- "In Org, doing Alchemy until Warsong Gulch opens up."
Neighbor- "What?!?"

Son #1- "ChannelBall!"
Son #2- "Memory Lapse!"
Grandpa- "Do you smell hair burning?"

And so on...

Now that my wife and I have discovered Dexter, our conversations are sprinkled with the kind of lingo and phrases usually reserved for death row inmates. We're watching Season 3, which, as far as we can tell, ratchets up the hot and sweaty sex a few notches. This next Secret Language phrase requires some set-up. Dexter's girlfriend, Rita, is portrayed by actress Julie Benz. She was also a regular guest on Buffy: the Vampire Slayer and it's spinoff, Angel, playing the vampire Darla. Darla was also the name of a character in one of our favorite movies: The Crow. One scene in The Crow, uttered by a character named Skank, was "He's upstairs, bangin' away on Darla!" Whenever Dexter's girlfriend appears, either half-naked, naked, or screwing the main character, one of us is required by matrimonial law to announce "Bangin' away on Darla!"

I know... we're sad people.

What is the point of a family's Secret Language? Nothing, really. But, it's a bond, a way of sharing memories and feelings common words just can't convey. It's a way of letting one another in on a joke, or forbidden knowledge without others comprehending. It's ours, and that's all that really matters.

*Yes, I know there is NO Advanced Dungeons and Dragons anymore. We play with the old 1st and 2nd edition books, so that's what I call it. Deal with it, nerds.

1 comment:

  1. My girls have a secret language. My husband calls it "Twin Talk." They are not twins but really understands eaach other very well. A family's secret language, it's just another way to enjoy the closeness of being a family. I agree with you, it's a bond.