‘With any luck, not quite so literally.’
I just got back from a chilly, wintry walk out here in Amagansett. It was bracing, but not brutal, since almost all of the two feet of snow we got last week has turned into sodden slush. (See my post “S’no Problem” for freezing deets.)
So, no. That’s not a picture of me looking like a human icicle at the top of this post. That’s Her Childness, taken after an evening run in nippy Saskatchewan, where she and her Hub are visiting his Fam. It was a frosty twenty degrees — below zero.
But this post isn’t about literally freezing your face. It’s about sayings you probably heard from your Mom. Real classics like the above frozen warning, given when your face is arranged in a sad frown, petulant pout or angry scowl.
And remember what your mom said when you picked up, say, a stick out in the yard and started pretending it was a sword? Yup: “Be careful or you’ll poke somebody’s eye out.” Why wasn’t it ever “…crack somebody’s ribs“? Or even “…give somebody a bad bruise“?
Oh, and what would she say if you climbed a tree? You guessed it: “Be careful or you’ll break your neck.” Wouldn’t a fall from a tree be more likely to cause a break in an arm or a leg? Nope. It was always your neck that was gonna get hurt.
Speaking of which, my mom used the all-purpose “Somebody’s gonna get hurt” quite often. This phrase was intoned more than merely said, usually delivered with a world-weary shake of the head.
She has a million of ’em, my mom. “Good night, Nurse” was something she used to say (and still does) when exasperated. And of course there was the ever-popular and ubiquitous “Because I said so, that’s why.” (You can read more about these in “Get in the Back Seat if You Want to Wiggle Your Behind.” Which I’m betting is a saying unique to my personal mother.)
But my mother wasn’t the only person in my life who had some doozies, sayings-wise. My Starter Husband, whom I have written about before, most notably in “My Polio-Shot Marriage,” was a virtuoso of the colorful bon mot.
I can’t recall what he’d say when it was very hot. But he had a good one for cold that I do remember. He’d bat his big brown eyes and say, “It was colder than a witch’s t*t in a brass brassiere.”
And if he thought someone was, ahem, intellectually challenged, he’d say, “That guy’s brain is so small it rattles around in his head like a BB in a boxcar.”
I wish I could remember more of those. But forgetting the colorful sayings of one’s ex-husband is not the worst memory lapse I can imagine.
Well. I have a bus (excuse me, “jitney”) to catch. So I’d better “get this show on the road,” to use a not-particularly original phrase.
Oh. If you’re smiling after reading this post? Go ahead — let your face freeze that way.
Amagansett, New York. February 2022