Things

Reid mentions in one of his blogs that my “growing up with both English and Italian cultures has had an effect on Luisa’s speech patterns.” I admit I have a slight problem with speech, but it’s not due to my learning to speak both English and Italian at the same time. I don’t know what causes it, but it’s definitely inherited. My brother and I have both gotten it from my mother. My dad has often stopped dead in his tracks, to stare at my mother incomprehensibly with “the look”, (head tilted to one side, smirking), as she declares “Go get me the thing in the stove”, when I know, quite clearly, that she meant “Go get me the container full of spaghetti sauce in the fridge.”

Boy, the brain can be a strange thing. I just seem to lose words sometimes. I can’t think of the word and so insert “thing” most often. It seems to get worse as I age. I’ll often slip the wrong word in now. For example, I can’t believe how often I’ve said, “OK kids, bedtime! Time to get your bathing suits on!” And then Michael will assume “the look” (head tilted to one side, smirking), and say “Do you mean PAJAMAS???”

We all love my mother’s sausages (especially Reid!) She was here for the past weekend and she decided she would show us how to make them. My brother came over, and we started the long job. Reid helped and took pictures, but often, he looked after the kids. When the three of us (mom, brother and I) worked together, I found we worked like a well-oiled machine. When we spoke, using “thing” or “stuff”, we knew exactly what the other meant.

I’ve only found one other person outside my immediate family who understood me without my having to remember the word I meant for “thing”. He was a fellow I used to work with for years, Alvin. Alvin, another co-worker Jim, and I worked on a project together for a long time. I would try to make a point, and Jim would just stare at me with the “look” (head tilted to one side, smirking) and I would realize he didn’t understand me. No doubt, somewhere back there as I explained my point, I used the word “thing”, or perhaps I slipped in the wrong word. I’d get frustrated and turn to Alvin and say, “Do you get what I’m trying to say???” And mercifully, Alvin would understand completely.

Perhaps this is why I consider myself to be lacking in writing skills. Sometimes getting the right word out of my head is like pulling teeth. (It does no good to insert the word “thing” in a technical document I might be writing for work!) I’m a terrible speller as well. Thank goodness for spell checkers and thesauruses (thesauri??).

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