Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Number one

When we were younger, pre-teens, we were not allowed to curse. My parents rarely swore or used any type of bad language. I should say my dad rarely swore or used bad language. My mother, on the other hand, would use shit, damn, hell and bitch, but always in context and most likely due to one of us kids driving her crazy. She usually cursed towards the end of the day when her patience would be running out. Here are some examples.

Example 1
Kid: Mom? Michael stuck a quarter up his nose and we can’t get it out.

Mom: Shit.

Example 2
Kid: Mom? I think you left the spaghetti on the stove too long. It is bubbling all over the place.
Mom: Damn it.

Example 3:
Kid: Mom? I think we broke Bobby’s (my best friend and the kid across the street) collarbone.
Mom: Aw Hell. I will call Midge.

Example 4
Kid: Mom? Michael stuck his head in the radiator and he can’t get it out.

Mom: Son of a bitch. He will have to wait until his father gets home.

There was one swear word she would use if she was really, really mad and it was usually only uttered if someone spilled their milk at the dinner table. Spilling a drink at the dinner table was one of worst crimes we could commit. It drove my mother batty.

Kid: (Knocks over glass)
Mom: Jesusmaryandjospeh.

My parent’s rarely fought in front of us as well. Sure they would get mad at each other but most arguments, if there was an argument, happened behind closed doors. Out of the earshot of the kids. As we all grew and entered our teenage years we could get away with a few four letter words as long as they were not directed towards another sibling. Any curses spoken to or about another sibling that was overheard by my mom resulted in our mouths being washed out with soap. Also, as we were all mostly in our teenage years my parents became a little more relaxed about their arguing in front of us.

I remember the first time I saw my mom directed a middle finger gesture to my dad in front of me. I was about 16 and I was shocked. I asked her why it was okay for her to flip the bird to my dad when if I did it I would get a bar of Irish Spring as a snack. My mom’s response was quick.

“I wasn’t giving him the finger. I was telling him I think he is Number One.”

Calling someone Number One is now sort of a term of endearment for me. If someone has a smart-ass comment with me, if someone is busting my stones, or if I am having a playful argument I usually call that person Number One.

Number one
Originally uploaded by batmeaks.

"Hey Uncle LawnWhisperer, I think you are Number One."


Mainline Mom said...

Hi Bill. That's such a cute picture of Max.

Anonymous said...

I can still taste the Dial.

TBG said...

That picture is adorable!

Sharfa said...

I'm adopting that line! I know so many number ones in my life! It will confuse the hell out of them too!

No_Newz said...

Someitmes it seems we grew up in the same house. You're number one is a common Lane phrase too. Irish Spring and Zest were the two snacks of choice at our house. Jesusmaryandjoseph also was our mom's "cuss" of choice. Dad had a Ralph Kramden/Fred Flintstone cussing way about him. :)
Max is so cute! And so smart to tell Uncle Weed Whacker he is number one.
Lois Lane

Effie said...

Funny, around my house there was swearing only by Dad--he would TRY to clean it up a bit by saying SHHHHHHHHazbat or Shhhhhhhhhimlefinneys but sometimes the word would come out. Mom's worst was saying "Damn!" and not often at all!

I remember once actually getting my mouth washed out with soap for calling my brother, get this, a "Nincompoop" because I meant to hurt his feelings. I will never forget that one....blech!!!!

Kami said...

What a great picture! Love it.

Allyson said...

Where has LW been anyway?

Teri said...

it's great that Max loves his uncle so much.

it's great that you're passing traditions along the next generation.

eclectic said...

"Jesusmaryandallthesaints" was my grandma's verbal poison of choice. It still makes me laugh!

Sandy said...

Your mom sounds so cool..and after having 9 kids, very quick witted! Guess she kinda had to be..lol.

Circus Kelli said...

Hee hee!

I LOVE the expression on his face!

rzdrms said...

i hope your mom doesn't fuss you too badly here in your comments section. and thank heavens max didn't call your youngest brother "number one" because you know your mom would be all over that one in his defense.

but...i think i'd rather be called "number one" rather than "number two."

Ern said...

My dad was the one who swore. I think I was in college before I heard my mom utter a cuss word, and I still do a bit of a double take when I hear it from her. :)

Lynn said...

My 86 year-old grandmother is a retired Catholic school teacher and almost never swears. I think she has said damn two or three times over the years. I'm not the only one who has a hard time being around my mother when she's in a certain mood. The last time my Gramma had to put up with it she actually said BIATCH. I just about fell out of my chair.

judypatooote said...

That is so funny.....Max and his half up, middle finger....my grandson Christopher held up his middle finger when he was little and quickly mentioned that it was an accident.....lol and when my Linda and Joey were little, Linda came tattling to me that Joey said the F word....I said what did he say and she said Fart.....whewwww..

momo9 said...

The Number One quote came from Dad! Get your story straight! I am looking for a Libel Lawyer, and your father is looking for copy-right infringement experts. He can't believe that you gave me credit for his wording. TRUE! After he did it to me so many times, the ONE time I did it back to him, you had to witness! Jesus, Mary, and Joseph was my daily prayer. Seeking help from the heavens for strength! Not a curse at all! Don't be teaching Maxfield bad things. He is so sweet! Don't damage that image. You'll be hearing from my lawyer, William!

Suzanne said...

We were never allowed to say stupid or hate - along with all the other swear words. I didn't understand why when I was a child but now I totally understand.
I love the photo of Max :)I have one of Elizabeth doing the same thing - lol.

Teri said...

you're winning alot of points with your mom lately. I think you might end up being the least favorite of the kids.

you might have to do some major sucking up to momo9.

kalki said...

That Michael kid sounds like a real pain in the ass.

kimmyk said...

ha! love the picture of max!

Brenda said...

When I was 23 I heard my grandma fart for the first time. I swear to God. I was so shocked I almost fell over.

Notta Wallflower said...

Ha, ha - your mother's responses remind me of my grandma. My mother swore, but she was a bit more "refined" about it than my granny. Granny taught me all my swears. :-P