Your family stories

Sometimes I waste the precious hours of life on Facebook. And when I’m there, I speak with those of you who waste the precious hours of life reading this blog.

Together, we came up with a blog idea we’re going to iterate today. Am I using “iterate” correctly?

Family stories. Like, in my family, there was this one time that my Uncle Leo’s brother, Bob, (apparently they were really into three-letter names in his family) and Bob’s wife, Lana, got a pool.

I believe it was my cousin Katie who finally blew up over this detail. Because my Uncle Leo said to her, “Did you hear Bob and Lana got a pool?” and then later that day someone said to her, “Hey, Bob and Lana got a pool” and then the next day her grandmother said, “Did you hear Bob and Lana got a pool” and—

—just for the record, never once was I invited to that pool.

Anyway, finally my cousin Katie was all, “OH MY GOD I KNOW THEY GOT A POOL.”

So that’s become our saying whenever you hear something 47 times in our family.

In Ned’s family, they were all going to a restaurant or something, and their grandmother saw someone had parked right on the parking lines.

“Look at that,” she said. “They ruined it for everybody.”

His family loved this dramatic statement.

I have to tell you that TO THIS DAY, when I see someone parking stupidly and getting on my line so I have to get out the passenger door, I think, You ruined it for everybody.

I’ll tell you one more and then I will go to work so I can make biscuits. Wait. The cats do that. Maybe we could switch today and I could make biscuits and they could copy edit things. Catty edit. I really need to get out more. Maybe to a pool. Does anyone have one?

Years ago, on this blog where you waste the precious hours of your life, someone told me about how in her family, they were all gathered in the hospital, because the storyteller’s father was quite ill. The priest came, from their church, and suggested they all go into the hall to pray.

See. I am already giggling telling you this.

The storyteller, her sisters and her mom all knelt in the hallway with the priest, and in an unfortunate turn of events, the mom

BLAA-AAA-aaaa-ttt

expelled some gas as soon as she kneeled. She jumped up, turned her white patent-leather shoe this way and that, and said, “These darn shoes.”

She blamed it on the shoes! It was such an excellent save!

Naturally the storyteller and her sisters died right there.

It’s my favorite story of all time. I realize this makes me not lofty, and I had to disabuse you of the notion that I am lofty, attitude toward Joann Fabric notwithstanding.

So now tell us your stories. Don’t ruin it for everyone. Tomorrow I’ll write a post on Bob and Lana’s pool.

XO,
June

122 Comments

  1. About two months ago, I told my father about the big discovery I’d made on Ancestry.com. His grandparents were “half”first cousins (cousins with the same grandfather; different grandmothers). The look on his face was priceless when I tried to explain that his grandfather and grandmother were also his 2nd cousins; his paternal/maternal uncles/aunts were also his 3rd cousins; his first cousins were also his 4th cousins…. 😂 And to make this more special, his mother (daughter of the two “half” cousins) and her female cousin (who was also her 4th cousin) had both married brothers. So my cousins from that great aunt are so interrelated to me, it’s insane. I’m so confused at this point… I’m wondering if my own siblings are also considered “distant cousins???”

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  2. I drive my son to a lake where he goes to camp every summer. In the resort village there’s a little cafe that serves the most delicious pecan pie and I always make a point of stopping in after dropping off my son. One time they didn’t have any and the cook told me to come back next time I’m in town. From the front of the counter with other people around, I announced “I only come once a year!” They all looked terribly sorry for me … as well they might! -Kate

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  3. Oh, my gosh! What fun this was to read!

    I know we have MANY of these private jokes, but the one that I can think of right now is this: My husband and kids and I were sitting around the kitchen table, and something happened–I can’t remember what–that had all of us cracking up…you know the kind of laughing when you have tears running down your face? That kind. All of a sudden my oldest daughter got a funny look on her face, and then started laughing harder–she got up and ran to the bathroom leaving a puddle in her chair. We all lost it all over again at that point. Now, whenever we are all laughing hard somebody always says–“Don’t leave a puddle!” To which we all laugh harder!

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  4. Oh and also too June? I dreamed (dreamt? who knows?) that you asked for not-blog topics and I suggested ‘what are things you did as a kid that didn’t seem weird at the time but you know realize were totally bizarre”? And I had about 100 answers. I grew up weird!

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  5. I just had to return to say you all are my kind of people. I’ll be laughing for days about these!

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  6. I’m super late to this laugh riot party! Everyone’s stories are so funny I screeching with laughter & tears running down my face!!

    My dad had a stroke, paralyzing on half of his body and he & we were all still learning. We had discovered what we called ‘adult Garanimals’ type of clothing – athleisure before it was called that. Basically all pants were baggy, soft cotton pull up elastic waistband and shirts were baggy cotton. My sister who lived closest to him, had 3 kids, the youngest turned 1, finishing nursing school – meaning she was a bit stressed. Anyway a couple of pairs of these pants ripped or something during the first wear and the home care nurse just put them in a bag to be returned.. So she took her youngest and my dad to Target to return them. My now stressed but typically super sweet, non argumentative sister was dealing with the return clerk while my dad was behind her in his electric wheelchair. The clerk looked at the pants and my face & gave my sister a dirty look. She was confused. The clerk ask in a condescending tone, “you want to return these?” Uh, yes stressed sister responded. The clerk called a supervisor. Typically my sister would have said whatever and left at that point but being stressed – did I mention she was stressed? – she was feisty and was ready for a fight. The supervisor came and the clerk filled her in and the asked incredulously again if she was trying to return these. My sister got snarky and said, ‘no, I’m just standing in this line waiting because I’m bored!’ She and my dad were commiserating on how dum this all was, etc. They huddled, called someone else over and then that person started inspecting the pants and the 3 of them were giving my sister dirty looks and also making disgusted faces. Finally my sister wanted to know what the problem was. The supervisor brings over the pants and before she even got close my sister could see… um, well, uh, this would be a good time to tell you nobody in my family wears underwear… My sister is HORRIFIED. She then panicked and was trying to explain and talking really fast. ‘Oh my gosh my dad just had a stroke and he’s learning to maneuver…” she turns around to include him in the conversation (probably to take the blame off herself!), but he’s not there. They of course would have never seen him because behind their counter they wouldn’t have ever seen him sitting in the wheelchair. Anyway, she just quickly says never mind and runs out of the store. There she sees my dad sitting there laughing so hard he has tears running down his face and he can barely breathe! She was SO mad and embarrassed she refused to go to Target, any Target, for years. Now when anyone needs to return something we all yell with delight, “Have Kim return it!”

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  7. Hey Guys! So sorry to be late to the party. I have giggled so bad reading all these stories. Y’all are hilarious! I have two crazy sisters, and when we get together for anything we usually end up peeing our pants laughing about something stupid one of us does. In 1996, I went through a terrible divorce, and my ex married the woman he was screwing around with, so even though we do a great job of publicly getting along, he doesn’t like me and I don’t like him. We have two grown children together, and my son and his wife now have a daughter. When my granddaughter was about a year old, she was baptized in the Methodist church they attend, and of course that meant all my family and all my ex’s family were there together in the church to celebrate that sweet little life. We weren’t raised in the Methodist church, so we aren’t completely familiar with their ceremony procedures. My two crazy sisters attended the baptism, and I waited for one of them to do something slightly embarrassing, even though I was trying to stay on my high horse since I was in the presence of my ho-ex and his ho-wife. At the end of the service, there was a communion. I always skip it because I’m not interested in sticking a piece of germy bread in a chalice of germy grape juice. Both of my sisters, though, being the kind of people who are always ready to share in the WHOLE experience, hopped up out of their seats and gathered with the crowd at the front of the church. The proper way to take communion in the Methodist church starts with a church volunteer handing the participant a chunk of bread off a loaf, and the participant holds that little chunk and then dips it into the chalice that another volunteer is holding at chest level with both hands. Then the participant eats the grape juice soaked chunk of bread and probably says a silent prayer or something. Who knows. My goofy sisters didn’t watch the communion participants who went before them to see what the correct procedure looked like. One of them, Dawn, got her chunk of bread and popped it right in her mouth. She didn’t wait to dunk it. Then she moved up in line to a twelve-year-old boy who was holding the chalice full of grape juice. She reached out and took hold of the chalice to take a sip. The twelve-year-old pulled back on it. Dawn got a better hold on it and tried to wrestle the chalice away from the kid, who was not letting go. He muttered to her under his breath, “You dip your bread!” and she didn’t understand what he was saying since she had already swallowed her bread. She was totally confused about how she was supposed to get a drink of the grape juice, so she quickly decided she was supposed to let him give her a drink. She bent over the chalice with her lips all pursed for a sip. I guess at that point, the kid was all, “screw it, this lady is wacko,” and he just stood there as she “kissed” the edge of the chalice. Then she raised back up and walked back to her seat. We all, and I mean, ALL, then gathered for lunch together later that afternoon, and everybody except my ex and wife-in-law laughed all afternoon about my sister’s faux pas.

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    1. This is hysterical! Maybe I find it so funny because every darn denomination has a different way to do the communion. Good for your sister!

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    2. This cracked me up! I’ve witnessed someone try to take the cup during communion, but not so determinedly!

      When our nephew was baptized (also in a Methodist church), our other nephew (raised Baptist) took the bread and tossed it in the cup of juice and kept right on moving. He was so embarrassed when he realized he got it wrong. Later, when he wasn’t around we howled laughing about it and how the person holding the cup just looked so puzzled.

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  8. When my daughter was a toddler she was a climber par excellence. It was the summer she was 3, and she was playing in the backyard right under the window where I was working. Suddenly I heard, “Mom! Mom!” I looked and she had climbed at least 20 feet up in a white pine tree. I ran out to claim my Neglectful Mother of the Year trophy. As soon as she saw me she started yelling, “Get me a book! Get me a book!” I asked her what kind of book, was she going to read up there? She said, “Get me a book on figuring!” Figuring? “Get me a book on figuring, I can’t figure how to get down!”

    I swear to the truth of this. To this day if she has trouble with something she will tell me to get her a book on figuring.

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    1. OMG, get me a book on figuring! LMAO!! My son is an amazing climber as well. One day, we heard this odd OOOooooooooohhhhh! coming from outside, so the 5 of us crowd to the bay window to look out into our yard, but we can’t tell where the noise is coming from. We notice it’s only happening when the wind starts gusting and finally realize that it’s coming from our son, who has climbed to the very top of a tall fir tree and is screaming when the wind blew because the top of the tree was swaying back and forth, quite a bit with the addition of his weight. Lovely family that we are, we couldn’t do anything for a few minutes because we were laughing so hard. My husband eventually went out and coaxed him down.

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  9. Several years ago my husband had an aortic valve replacement and the surgery went horribly wrong. He ended up in ICU being kept unconscious for days and days with them telling us each day things didn’t look good and if he did wake up there was no guarantee of what his mind quality would be. We were told on Thursday evening that they had tried to revive him that evening but it hadn’t gone well and they were going to try again the next afternoon. The next afternoon 6 of us were gathered round his bed holding our own breaths while they tried to bring him back to consciousness. His eyelids fluttered, I leaned close to hear what he might say, if he could talk after a week on a ventilator. He looked into my eyes and said, “The capital of Idaho is Boise.” Then he looked around at his gathered loved ones who had tears running down their cheeks and said, “What’s with the entourage? I don’t want an entourage.”

    I can’t tell you how many times you hear “The capital of Idaho is Boise”. or “What’s with the entourage?”

    (We have never lived in or near Boise or Idaho but one of his quirks is naming all of the states and their capitals. )

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  10. I know I’m late to the party here! When my daughter was about 7 years old, she was “stranded” on the potty. To get our attention she yelled “I need a loaf!” To this day, when we need a new roll of TP, we ask for another loaf.

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  11. The earliest funny story I remember is as a child, being in a department store with my Mom and Gma. A woman walks by and my Mom says, “She looks like Helen Black!” (A lady who went to our church.) And my Gma, a very devout Sunday School teacher who wouldn’t have dreamt of swearing, said, “She doesn’t look that great in brown, either!” The adults laughed about that for years, even though it took me years to even understand the joke.

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  12. My dad mispronounces most words and makes up the rest. Our family calls it Pappanese (our kids call him Pappou). Just a few examples of his so often used words that are now part of our everyday vocabulary include; durgs (drugs), cohlards (collards), sausheshes (sausage), and Rex Humbar (Frank Sinatra). The most memorable mispronunciation happened when he was in the hospital for a heart bypass and he announced, VERY loudly, that he was not going to let Dr Asshole do the surgery. Yeah, the Doctor’s last name was not pronounced Asshole.

    Several years ago my daughter proclaimed it didn’t feel like Christmas because we weren’t listening to carols as we made breakfast on Christmas morning. She cues up Christmas carols on her phone and we all start singing along. As she’s searching for a specific carol my husband jumps in to provide Christmas music from his playlist. He plays Supertramp, Goodbye Strangers. Because nothing says Christmas like goodbye Mary goodbye Jane. It’s now a tradition and we listen to Supertramp Christmas morning while fixing breakfast.

    About two years ago our youngest son, 16 at the time, arrived home from school to find his dad already home from work and the two of us standing chatting at the kitchen counter, our son walks in, looks at his dad, and asks what’s going on why is dad home early. I tell him it’s because we need to talk to him. We’ve been waiting for the right time. We decided he was old enough to know he’s adopted. The poor kid believed us! Said he’d always wondered. Asked if we knew his real parents. Asked why we decided to tell him then. He was visibly distraught so we finally died laughing and told him we were kidding. He chuckled and said okay well he wondered how we’d gotten a kid that looked so much like his siblings and goes to his room. He returns not five minutes later and asks if we are kidding. Are we sure he wasn’t adopted. Do we promise he wasn’t adopted. We ended up pulling out baby pictures of he and his siblings to ease his mind. It’s now a household joke and he’s told at least once a week he’s adopted. Poor kid, he’s the same one who announced one Christmas that it was his first Christmas as a 13 year old. We now announce each Christmas that it’s his first Christmas at whatever age. He can’t catch a break with us.

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    1. These stories are great.
      Looking at a menu while at a restaurant, my uncle saw there was quiche du jour on the menu. When the waitress came over to take our order, he asked her “what is the quickie of the day?’ We all about died from laughter.

      My father mispronounces things all of the time ,as well. He once referred to Menard’s (the local home improvement store) as “Minerds.” with emphasis on the first syllable. Every time the commercial comes on the TV, we now sing, “Save big money at MINerds.”

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  13. I’m dying laughing and my daughter thinks I’ve lost the rest of my mind. Anyway, a few years ago one of my daughters decided she was going to make a garden. I left with the other daughter. We get a call from the garden digger and I hear my daughter say, “What?! How did you hit your head?” “I hit my head on the hoe. I’ve probably got a concussion from the hoe!” From then on whenever someone hits their head, the phrase, “I hope you don’t have the hoe head” is said.

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  14. When one of my cousins was pretty young he walked into my grandparents’ house and announced “I don’t have bread under my hat.” Sure enough, a short while later he lifted up his ball cap, removed the piece of bread, took a bite and then put everything back. It’s our catchphrase now for when is badly failing at being subtle.

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  15. I was in my late 20s and out to dinner with a man. I knew so little of anything! I had recently seen a t-shirt that said something funny and after I had ordered a chicken dish and before the waiter walked away, I repeated what I had seen on the t-shirt, “Do you think they choke their own chickens?” The look on their faces! I rarely tell anyone that story.

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  16. A few years back, my grandmother (who will be 100 in April) was at an Italian restaurant and when the server asked for her order, she said “I’ll have the spaghetti with marijuana sauce.” Also, someone mentioned their family member saying “hell’s bells” – my mom used to always say “damn Sam” and I always wondered who poor Sam was. LOL.

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  17. My grandma was a very polite and composed person. She loved to watch birds in her yard, and was very protective… so the very first swear word I remember hearing in my whole life (I might have been 5) was: “There’s that DAMN cat again!” I repeated it when I got home to my mom’s dismay. We said it whenever we saw a cat in our yard… many years and states later, I still think it 🙂

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  18. My mother grew up in a small town in Missouri, enlisted in the Marines during WWII, and ended up stationed in Hawaii. Afterwards, she went to college on the GI Bill, earning her degree in Dietetics, and working as a hospital dietician at a VA Hospital, where she met my father, a career Army officer. This sent them packing around the world, including the Panama Canal Zone (where my brother and I were born). In the 50s it was quite the social life there. Tropical, exotic for visitors, warm and sunny, a plum assignment. Perhaps this is where she learned how to drink martinis.

    Most years at Christmas, her older sister and husband would come to our house. They didn’t have children, so instead had a more sophisticated lifestyle, traveling, entertaining, being the favorite aunt/uncle for all the nieces and nephews. Getting ready for their arrival involved preparing the Scotch for my father and uncle (soda or water), and the martinis for my mother and her sister. A batch was always ready in the fridge, in a re-used glass mayonnaise jar, olives marinating away. To me, that seemed just the right amount of adulthood, having that jar ready to pour, and I always got to have the olives.

    In their memory and honor, we had a framed cartoon, showing two granny-type ladies sitting politely in the front room: “I think it’s fun looking like little old ladies, and being able to knock down martinis the way we can!” That was the two of them, love and miss them both.

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  19. Ok, so my now deceased Mother in law was kind of a simpleton. Airhead, whatever you want to call it. She used to say a lot of things for attention ….almost child like. One night we’re out to dinner ( my husband, her and my father in law and myself) and we’re discussing what we all did that day. She pipes up….loud and proud and announces ” I biked 20 miles in 10 minutes today!! all smiles and self congratulations. My father in law and I lock eyes and try our very damnedest to not smirk cause she was definitely one to get her precious feelings hurt. It’s amazing how often you can exclaim ” BUT I biked 20 miles in 10 minutes today ” in any conversation if you just wait long enough.

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  20. Years ago when my mom got a new dining room set, my 3 sisters and I sat there trying to come up with ideas to decorate it. . I think it needs something long and low on top, said one of my sisters. Something low but long would be nice, said another. We each chimed in, it needs to be low. Yes, but long. It went back and forth. Not really listening to each other. Then my brother in-law cracked up because we each were saying the same damn thing. And now when we do floral arrangements each thanksgiving one of us will say, yes, we need something long and low.

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  21. I have a very religious uncle who does everything SLOOOWLY, including praying. At a family meal with multiple aunts, uncles and cousins he offered to give the prayer before dinner. His prayer droned on and on, slowly, painfully. Until another uncle muttered “Good God” and just started eating. All the cousins busted out laughing while our moms shushed us.

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  22. My longtime friend and her husband were on a road trip, and she used to talk in her sleep a lot. And one night on this trip, she sat straight up in bed and was waving her hand in the air. Her husband said “What are you doing?” and she said ‘TAKE MY HAND.” So he took her hand. She said NOW STEP DOWN! He said, “I’m stepping down.” And she said “WELCOME TO NORTH CAROLINA!” and laid back down.

    We all still say “Welcome to North Carolina” whenever someone finally gets a joke or understands something. “Well that makes sense! Welcome to North Carolina!”

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  23. When I was little my mom would point out animals to me usually by what sounds they make. For example, “Look, Kelly, a whinny-whinny!”. (To be honest, I’m 36 and I still do this alone in the car.) She also needed glasses but to this day denies needing them for anything but reading. So sometimes what she saw out in the fields looked a lot different when we got closer. My two favorite examples are, “Look, Kelly, it’s a moo…horsey.” and “Look at that, it’s a Shetland…pig.” The confusion in her voice was hilarious.

    My absolute favorite is from a few years ago when the doctor changed her anti-depressants. The new ones made her really loopy and fall asleep a lot. She also started talking in her sleep. One day she fell asleep while we were talking and I woke her up for lunch. She was mostly still asleep and started mumbling about the “fire wmph” (swear to God that was what it sounded like). I was confused and asked her what a fire wmph was. She was quiet for a few seconds and then got this really confused look on her face and said, “I don’t know.” We still talk
    about that mysterious fire wmph.

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  24. Love all of these! 30 or so years ago, my grandmother had a friend who would walk into her home, yelling “YOO-HOO!” to let Grandma know she was there. It surprised the heck out of us the first time she did it during one of our visits to Grandma’s house. Ever since then, a family member will yell “YOO-HOO!” out of the blue and then the rest of us all start yelling it too. We used to call Grandma’s friend Yoo-hoo instead of her name too. Ha! I haven’t thought of that in forever.

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  25. Oh my God… the dentist chair… the no-brainer … I’m crying in here…

    This assembly of people is the best group ever.

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  26. My work is a stress pit today, so this is saving my sanity when I sneak over here to read a few. It is hard to explain why I’m bouncing up and down silently laughing, though.

    I can’t remember a single one and with my family, I’m sure there are many. But I’m afraid we are so accepting of them we don’t realize they are odd.

    June reminded me on FB that my husband, when our children were small, once gave me a Mother’s Day card. Part of the sentiment read “…and for loving my children as your own…”

    I can’t WAIT to get home and remind him, and the kids, about THAT!!

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  27. My mom has a tendency to blurt things out that she thinks are Deep and Profound statements. Statements that usually have no basis in fact. For example, if you suffer from allergies, it’s all psychosomatic according to her and you can cure your allergies by touching whatever it is you’re allergic to on various points on your body. She claimed her allergies to rabbits (which was the first any of us had heard about that) was cured by going to a healer who touched pieces of rabbit fur to her pulse points. So now, whenever she mentions anything about allergies or colds, sickness, etc, we all quietly pretend to touch our pulse points with invisible rabbit fur. She has not caught on.

    Another time, we were in Palm Springs and had gone to dinner at a restaurant that was about a mile or so from the house. One of my sisters decided that she was going to walk back to the house because it was a beautiful evening and my mom screeched out “You can’t walk back, you’ll be arrested for vagrancy!”

    My sisters and I always say we need to write down all the ridiculous things my mom blurts out and turn it into a book one day and call it “Tobi-isms.”

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  28. I told this same story when you asked this the last time, but it still makes me giggle.

    My grandmother is the pickiest picky who ever picked. Either it’s too hot, too cold, too soft, too crispy, overdone, underdone, etc,. As you can imagine, she’s a complete joy to cook for. My aunt made this dish (that was delicious) one Thanksgiving. My grandmother put it in her mouth, swirled it around like a sommelier. Everyone kind of watched and held their breath. Then she tried another bite, and SPIT IT OUT. She said, “I know the problem, your nuts are rancid.” I was an older teen and the time and I couldn’t stop laughing. That has become a catch phrase for any new food our family tastes.

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  29. My grandmother was visiting my husband and I after we had our first son. We were having a nice dinner on our enclosed porch (which was a step down from the kitchen) and she decided she would help us clean up. She grabbed the butter dish and just walked straight ahead without stepping up and fell down. She said “sugar, I dropped the butter!” Now whenever we drop something that’s what we say.

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  30. One of my sisters had a house in Palm Springs (she still does, it’s just a different house now) and our other sister and her family were visiting. My niece Sarah, who was around 6 or 7 at the time, had a flair for the dramatic. When she felt she wasn’t getting attention, she would let out these bloodcurdling screams for no apparent reason. Anyway, this particular visit, Gerald Ford died and it was a Big Deal because he was in Palm Springs at the time. We are all discussing it when suddenly, S lets out this loud wail and then completely out of the blue, wails “EVERY TIME A PRESIDENT DIES, EVERYONE ALWAYS BLAMES ME!” After a minute of being completely dumbfounded at that out-of-nowhere declaration, everyone fell to the ground with peals of laughter. 14 years later, we still howl at that one.

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  31. OK, time for one more. This is my Dad, again.

    When my Mom retired, they moved back to her quite-aware-of-its-historical-significance hometown and bought a stunning historical home. Keep in mind that my Dad, for all of his education and experience, was a country boy at heart. Also, he lived through the echoes of the Depression and into the rationing of WWII so knew how to be frugal. For all of his married life, he had just one set of “yard work clothes”, after all, as he’d tell you, why do you need new clothes if you’re working in the yard?

    So by the time of their move, these clothes are 30+ years old. Vintage. Well-worn. He looked like a vagabond. Also, he loved working in the yard, planting, keeping up the landscape – it was his Zen moment, although he’d not use that term.

    One afternoon, as he is out in the front yard, a sleek black Cadillac sidles up to the street, Engine still running, the electric window whooshes down, emitting highly air-conditioned and expensively perfumed air. Dad, thinking it is one of the country club ladies needing some directions, walks over to the car, leaning on the rake.

    A perfectly coiffed, blonde but not by nature, woman leans across the seat, “Are you the yard man here?”, she purrs.
    “Yes,” Dad says, having never paid anyone to do yard work. [Well, other than us kids but that was part of earning our allowance.]
    “I’ve been admiring this yard… My yard could use some attention like this. What are your rates?”
    “Well, m’am [oh, Dad is just warming up here], I have a special arrangement with the lady of the house…..”
    “Whatever she’s paying you – I’ll double it! Name your price!” This is a woman who is accustomed to having her way the way she wants it.
    “…. This lady lets me spend the night -”
    And at that, the window whooshed shut, the engine revved, and that Caddy peeled away from the curb.

    My husband loves this story, Whenever he can, he likes to work in “this lady lets me spend the night” in reference to his picking up the tab for our purchases at a tag sale, restaurant, bringing me a drink…

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  32. One more. My grandmother’s best friend, Sarah, was a very large woman, who was married to a tiny man. My grandmother loved to fish, and would pile all of us grandkids into the car, later it was a truck/camper, and drive up to the lake. Sometimes she’d take her friend Sarah along with us. My adventurous grandmother would drive on dirt roads, over hills and slopes, to get to the best fishing spots. If the trail happened to slope one way, she’d have all of us kids move to one side of the car to counteract the weight of Sarah, so the car didn’t tip over. One time Sarah’s husband Claucene came with us. Grandma had waded out into the lake to cast her line out further. Sarah decided to do the same. But as she waded out, she sank down into the mud. She started hollering, “Claucene, Claucene, come pull me out!”. His response was, “I can’t pull you out, woman!”. They finally got her unstuck by tying one end of a rope around her, and the other end to the bumper of the car, and backing the car up. To this day, all of us cousins still laugh about that.

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  33. Geez, laughing so hard – and so glad I never wear mascara or it would be a mess! Such fun and please – never stop writing your blog, June. I need this therapy every day!

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  34. These stories have made my morning!

    When my older daughter was about 8, she and I were sitting in the dining room on a Sunday afternoon.
    My husband was in the living room, enthralled with a football game on TV.
    My daughter was writing a letter to someone (we used to do that in the old days)
    She had a box of envelopes, but it was empty. She said “where have all the envelopes gone?”
    And before I could open my mouth to reply, my husband from the next room, still watching the game, in patient-dad-teaching-mode, said
    “There are still some around. Mostly out west. They travel in herds. But most of them have been killed and eaten for food.”
    And she and I looked at each other, question marks almost visible over our heads, and started laughing.

    He thought she had said “where have all the antelopes gone?” and was explaining.

    Liked by 7 people

  35. My only sibling was an older sister. For some reason, back in the days of mid 50’s and early 60’s, fruit cocktail was a big deal to us. One day my dad took a can out of the cupboard, and discovered someone had punched a hole in the fruit cocktail, drank the juice out of it, and put the can back on the shelf. Both my sister and I denied it, and I honestly don’t know if I did it or not. For all the years since, the big joke in my family was asking, “Who punched a hole in the fruit cocktail?!”.

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  36. I forgot one!!! So my mom had just had surgery and couldn’t drive, so I drove her from Ohio to North Carolina. For Christmas, I think. We got to Ghent, W.Va., and the ice was getting really heavy. I realized we had to get off the turnpike and stay over, rather than try to push through. Honestly I was so scared to drive on that ice in the mountains. Ghent has nothing much, unlike Beckley, where we had just stopped for dinner at Cracker Barrel. It has a gentleman’s club (which my husband has taught me to call a titty bar) and a cheap chain motel that share the same parking lot. So we and half the rest of the traveling world stayed in that chain motel and rode out the ice storm and had the free breakfast next morning. When I talked to my aunt later (and she put me on speaker phone like always) that week and she asked how the drive went, I said, oh, it was fine, we just stayed across from the titty bar when the ice storm came. “The pity bar?” said my aunt, who was in her mid 70s then. “What is a pity bar?” No, it a titty bar. “A what?” In the background my cousin (40something) is dying laughing because his mom is trying to figure out what I’m saying and I have already said it. She finally got it, but decided that pity bar was still a good name for a place you went to drink, with or without topless dancers.

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  37. These are hilarious, and I love your blog and so does my friend Diane (who NEVER comments!).

    My dad is an accountant and always payed close attention to where our money was spent when I was growing up. Mom had to hand over receipts for everything she bought so he could account for it. I thought all families did this. Ha. Anyway, there were 5 kids in our family. My dad could hear us open the fridge from the next room. He would holler, “DRINK WATER!!!” So we would save him a few coins by not having a glass of milk or juice. We say this all the time when someone wants a drink in a real grouchy-ass voice: “DRINK WATER!”

    My husband, Coach, was grilling burgers a year or more ago. He didn’t bother to put cheese on the burgers or he was going to wait until after they were grilled to add the cheese – not as delicious though, right? I tried to ask him about the cheese, but he felt like I was overstepping as this was HIS meal preparation thing, not mine. He got grouchy and felt nit-picked. The next time he came in from the deck after gathering more burgers from the grill, he turned to me and our 6 kids who were all sitting at the kitchen table and shouted, “STOP LOOKING AT ME!’ We say this ALL THE TIME now.

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  38. Oh my word, these are wonderful! I so needed this cathartic laughing fit.

    Where to start….
    My father, bless him, possessed both a sharp wit and patience that thinned quickly. [Building your own business by working 80-100 hour weeks could be part of it.] However, after my Mom retired and they moved to a small town that is extremely aware of its historical significance, he bloomed. [Grandchildren helped.]
    On afternoon, in his role on a historical committee, he was discussing options with another member whose name is Elaine, The desired answer was in the affirmative or negative but Elaine continued to discuss, ad nauseum, all of the potential repercussions of both options. This went on for a bit … then more… then finally,exasperated, my Dad exclaims, “Yes or No, Elaine, yes or no!”

    To this day, if someone is waffling, we’ll say Yes or No, Elaine, YES or NO.

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  39. I had a funny uncle who liked to tease his wife, telling people that he had Playboy magazine send to him in his wife’s name. She woujld look so embarrassed!

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  40. My nana at 100 years old, commented “only the good die young” on her birthday. That is the standard birthday greeting now in our family.

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  41. I divorced my son’s father years ago and he remarried a woman named Beverly. One of my ex’s prized possessions was a cat-eye ring, often called tiger-eye. He passed away and Beverly gave the ring to my son. I was trying to tell my current husband how touched I was that she had done this, I said, “ Beverly gave Ricky his Dad’s cat-eye ring. Isn’t that nice?” My husband looked at me with a stunned expression and didn’t say anything for a few seconds. Finally in a most exasperated voice he said, “What the hell does he need with a cat named Irene?” You would not believe how often we are able to work “Cat named Irene” into almost any conversation.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Cat Irene! Oh my goodness I love this!
      (And June, maybe put Irene in your list of possible future cat names….)

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  42. When my youngest was two, I had to go away on an overnight work trip. When I got home, she ran up to me and said, “Mama, I was crying for you!” Her dad looked at me and said, “no she wasn’t.” She wrapped herself around my legs and said, “Well, I was crying on the INSIDE.”
    We still use that to this day when something happens-and she’s 23 with a baby of her own!

    Liked by 3 people

  43. When I was young I couldn’t say words that began with s and I replaced it with an n for some reason. I was in our basement playing and a snake came through the wall. Well I went up and asked my mom if worms go like this ” and stuck my tongue out like a snake” and she said no and I said: “nake, on no, I naw a nake” Now when something bad happens everyone in my family will say on no I naw a nake!

    My father also has everyone in my family trained that alright then means time to go. To this day my adult brother and I can be a a party with my dad and when he says alright then we instinctively grab our coats. Great when you are on the phone too and you have to go, I can say to my brother, alright then.

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  44. When I was pregnant with son #2, my older son became intrigued with a book that had a cartoonish diagram of the internal organs, including those necessary for reproduction. When younger son got to the age where he had questions about where babies came from, the elder yells, “I’ll go get the book.” The two of them sit close together on the couch and elder son starts furiously flipping the pages. I warned him to use the right words while he explained. They were 5 and 9 or so. He gets to the diagram, points his finger and announces, “THIS is a dick!” I reminded him to use the correct names. So he then says, “THIS a penis.” Younger son looks at him with a puzzled look and asks, “A what?” Elder son lowers his voice and talks out of the side of his mouth, “it’s a dick!” I had to take over at that point. They are in their late 30s now and one of us will pop off with a random “It’s a dick!” once in awhile. We’re a classy bunch.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My dog just came to check on me to see if I’m okay – I can hardly type this I’m laughing so hard!

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  45. My mother is a fraternal twin. Their personalities are completely different, my mom is a worker bee and her sister is rather lazy. She was staying with my parents for a visit and my mom was going to work and the aunt promised repeatedly to bread the pork chops that my mom was making for dinner. My mom came home to no breaded pork chops and had to do it herself. That was thirty- seven years ago and to this day any form of procrastination or laziness is referred to as breading the pork chops in our family.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. My poor mum used to work on call shifts where she could get called in at any time and would sometimes go days functioning on 2-3 hours of sleep snatched here and there. She also tried SO HARD to stay engaged with me and my sister and would never tell us to STFU and leave her alone. We were 7 and 4 years old and the stream of chatting pushed her into a strange half awake/half asleep state and she responded out loud to something that was happening in a dream. We have now stolen that sentence and if anybody tells a boring or overly long story we slump back, cross our eyes, and mumble “I couldn’t possibly eat right now!”

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  47. These stories are so hilarious. Excellent idea!

    My sister was at work one day as a bank teller. The sky started looking ominous. Our dad worked for the state police and always had the most up to date weather alerts. She called him from the bank and asked what to expect from the weather, and he told her, “It looks like it’s about to brown up and shit.” She should’ve have known better than to have him on speaker phone!

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  48. My Gram was a very sweet Catholic lady with a terrible snot for an older sister. Her sister, who lived in the city, never had children and basically loathed everyone because she was better than everyone and she was more than happy to constantly point that out. Whenever her sister would visit us on our ranch in the country she’d spend the entire time complaining, she always looked like she walked around sucking on lemons she was so nasty. One afternoon, I dragged my younger brother into my Gram’s kitchen covered in mud because he fell (or was pushed, who can say…) into the shit pile behind the barn while he was playing with all the cousins……old Auntie was APPALLED, jabbing her finger into the table and exclaiming “Where….was…the…MOTHER!” To this day, whenever anyone’s kids are doing anything at all we all say “Where….was…the…MOTHER!” in our haughtiest voices and we die laughing, even more so if the kid has done something on their dad’s watch! When Auntie died, it was the first and only time I’d ever heard my Gram swear “oh that woman was such a bitch!”

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  49. My aunt and I are only 10 years apart in age, so naturally I adored her and treated her like the cool teenage sister I always wanted. When she was 16, she got pregnant and was permanently grounded by her parents/my grandparents. My aunt became my full-time after school babysitter, which now that I reflect on it, was probably another punishment my grandparents thought up for her. Anyway, after school one day, she was eating Chef Boyardee ravioli out of the can (which made her even more cool in my six year old opinion) and I desperately wanted some. She said no way, eating ravioli is how you get pregnant! Naturally, I was horrified and backed out of the room and never asked for ravioli again. This became a regularly referenced piece of family history for years.

    Twenty five years later, I was getting married and my aunt handed me a beautifully decorated box with a very heartfelt card attached. I was getting a little emotional, so I had my husband open the box. Unaware of the infamous family story, he was very confused by the contents of the box – six cans of Chef Boyardee ravioli with condoms stretched over the top! Now it’s become a family tradition to give a newly engaged person Chef Boyardee and condoms.

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  50. My mother liked her meat well done, almost burned, some would say. We were out to dinner with my sister and daughter one time, and Mom ordered a steak. She told the waiter, “I want it wellll done!” To emphasize, she held out her hand, palm down, and swung it back and forth. She’s gone now, but whenever my sister and I or my daughter and I are at a restaurant, we can’t help doing the hand motion. No need to say a word.

    Liked by 1 person

  51. My father-in-law, Jim, was the most good natured man I’ve ever known, but he wasn’t one for details. When my husband, Dan, was in high school, Jim’s sister, Bonnie, asked her brother to pick up her dog, Peaches, from the groomer. Dan walked in from school to a strange dog in the house. When he asked what it was doing there, his dad told him he’d picked up Peaches from the groomer for Aunt Bonnie. “Dad, that’s not Peaches.,” Dan said.

    It still cracks the family up to this day that there were two Peaches at the groomer at the same time, and my father-in-law didn’t even notice he went home with the wrong one.

    Liked by 4 people

  52. My Mother was not a woman of few words. When she got really irritated, she would angrily say “Hells Bells”! Time to leave the room when this came out.
    Hell’s Bells is still a favorite.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My mom said that too!!!! And sometimes my sister and I will imitate her just to get her to laugh, which actually makes us all laugh.

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  53. I love these stories! Mine is about my husband’s friend from college who struggles with spelling. Email came into our lives when we were all in our late 20s and said friend wanted to organize a trip. He sent a group email detailing his ideas and couldn’t stop misusing the word sweat for the word sweet. “We could golf at some sweat ass golf courses. It’s going to be sweat!”
    I can’t tell you how many times we say “it’s going to be sweat!”
    It makes us giggle every time.
    Also when we go golfing (we’re avid recreational golfers) we throw in an exclamatory, “this is a sweat ass golf course!”
    We are our best audience 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  54. When my mom was recovering from a bad seizure,she was a bit out of it and hallucinating. She was telling us that there were men looking into her hospital window – she kept saying “those jerks in the window!”. So now whenever we are annoyed with anything – we says” those jerks!”

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  55. Reading your blog has never been a waste of my time, or your time writing them. I have spoken. These stories are priceless.
    Tee

    Liked by 4 people

  56. I love these! I’ll be checking back all day to see more!

    When my kids were little (10 and 4), we went on a family vacation. It was time for bed, so the hotel room was dark and we were all settling in to go to sleep. As we’re drifting off, we hear a bit of muffled commotion outside (adults talking, whining kids) and then the dad yells “You know what?! WATCH IT!!” Well, I don’t know if it was because we were all exhausted, but we LOST IT, hysterical laughing, even the 4-year-old. We’d try to settle back down but then someone would start giggling again. We all still throw out a “You know what?! WATCH IT!” as a warning shot if someone’s getting testy, or even when we’re just joking around.

    Kind of related – we all still say the incorrect words our kids used to say when they were little. We still refer to steak as “snake”, the remote as “the mote”, hamburger as “hangabur”, taste buds as “taste bugs”, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This reminds me of a time when Marvin and I had to fly back to Michigan at the last minute because his grandmother had died. Naturally there was a snowstorm, because Michigan, and we circled for ages and finally had to land in Ohio and drive through a terrifying storm to a hotel. It was like 3 a.m. by the time we got to our room and we were finally falling asleep when someone tried to get in our room. We heard her use the card and try the knob.

      For no discernible reason, Marvin jumped up and pounded on the door. The woman trying to get in said, “Yeah?” LIKE *SHE *WAS INSIDE AND *WE* WERE TRYING TO GET IN.

      Marvin, who never lost his temper, shouted, “WHAT DO YOU MEAN, ‘YEAH’? THIS IS OUR ROOM.!!”

      The combination of Marvin knocking on the door for no reason, the nonsensical, “Yeah?” and Marvin’s “WHATTAYA MEAN YEAH?” sent me into hysterics and I shook the bed for ages with my giggles. I know if I texted Marvin “WHATTAYA MEAN, ‘YEAH’?” he’d know what I meant.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. I love those. Dessert is bessert because my thirty-seven year old nephew called it that when he was three. My brother had a lisp before speech therapy and “Gwails, take me to the temesary” was “Girls, take me to the cemetary”. He was still in a couch and the cemetery was our quiet peaceful green art filled escape from our row home filled city neighborhood.

      Like

  57. I LOVE the “These darn shoes!” story!! I will think of that at random times and just giggle to myself. All of these stories are great today!

    In college, my roommate (and now best friend) and I would stay up really late just talking until things made no sense. We were talking one time about what we would name our future children and we thought the name Daphne would be pretty, but I said that I would have to spell it Dapfnee (because my maiden name starts with Pf but the P is silent- it’s German) and we giggled hysterically at that, but then we decided her nickname would be Pfnee and so for the next half hour we said Pfnee over and over again and just died in fits of laughter. To this day, 30 years later, we still call each other Pfnee. She even had a blanket embroidered for me with that name on there and gave it to me for my birthday. We both will forever be known as Pfnee.

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  58. My late father was in the dentist chair for a difficult extraction. No matter how much the dentist tugged and pulled, he couldn’t get enough leverage on the tooth to pull it. Finally, with a mighty heave, he got it out. At that exact moment, dad let an enormous fart that reverberated off the vinyl chair. Into the stunned silence he observed, ‘Jesus, Doc! If it’d been any deeper, I’d a shit.’ We sure miss him.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. It took me nearly 5 whole minutes to recover enough to comment here on how funny that story is. I’M. CRYING.

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  59. My grandparents were related to a couple named Paul and Dixie. Dixie was quite overweight, and this was more unusual in the hard olden days than today. Every time my grandfather saw an extremely overweight woman, he would say,”There’s one fat as Dixie!” Well, the only Dixie I knew about was from the lyrics about the land of cotton (“I wish I was in Dixie”). Ever time he said that, I pictured someone as large as the entire southern United States. I watched cartoons all the time so that image was possible in my mind. I”m sorry to report that we still say “fat as Dixie” in my family.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My Uncle Jim, who was officially a terrible person, said he never knew any thin women named Tina. Once my Aunt Kathy was trying to move something not very successfully, and my Uncle Jim shouted, “Put your weight behind it, Tina” and then she was laughing too hard to move anything at all.

      Liked by 3 people

  60. I think I told this one here once before, but my dad had brain surgery for an aneurysm. It was a big fail. My mom, my brother, and I met with his surgeon (who’s name was FUCHS. If you think we don’t still laugh about how he FUCHED UP, you’d be wrong) to discuss the next steps for my now brain dead father. He was telling us the results of several tests they had run and the kinds of things that point to potential positive outcomes and how he had some of those signs but not others. He finally let out a deep sigh and said “If only all the signs were either positive or negative, this whole thing would be a no-brainer”.

    Well. I regret to inform you that my brother and I fell out laughing. We laughed and laughed and laughed. My mother was APPALLED. But honestly… where else could you go with that? And have we ever let it go? No. No we have not.

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  61. I am proud that “These darn shoes” is my family’s catchphrase for when something goes amiss. My sister and I had to overcome a mighty urge not to have that printed on a ribbon on a wreath at my mother’s funeral.
    These are hilarious! Thanks for letting the hilarity ensue today, June.

    Liked by 4 people

  62. We have so many I’ll try to give my favorites.
    My grandmother was bedridden and in ill health for years after my dad, her youngest, was born. When I was an adult I asked my dad what her affliction was and he answered, “well, she got milk leg.” I asked him what on earth that meant and he looked at ME like I was the crazy one. Apparently milk leg is deep vein thrombosis. Anytime anyone has an affliction we refer to it as milk whatever. My sister’s breast cancer- milk boob. My issues with fibroids and cysts – milk uterus/ovaries.

    Here’s one more: I’m a pretty easy going person. Until I’m not. When my niece was in middle school some bitchy girls were being mean to her. I offered to pick her up one day and talk to these young ladies while eating an apple with a knife. Slowly and full of menace. Now anytime someone has a hard time with another person we say, “let me get my apple and knife.”. I often answer texts 🍎🔪
    I’ve decided if I ever get a tattoo it will be a small one of…. an apple and a knife.

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  63. My mom’s dad used to joke that he had another family and the other family had a perfect child name Chickadeena. So if they were behaving badly or getting to rowdy, he’d say to my mom and her sister, Oh, I’m going to leave and go to my other family now. And they’d plead, no, no, dad, stay with us, not Chickadeena. It was always a sort of “you had to be there” kind of thing, but I will agree that naming a child Chickadeena would be hilarious.

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  64. My best friend at college and I talk .. a lot. And frequently over each other. Esp when we’ve been overserved. So this one time (at band camp), we said, at the same time, LOUDLY, “I’M TALKING NOW.” So now whenever we start talking, and start to interrupt one another, someone says that. And we laugh and laugh.

    In my family, when we were pre-teens, my older sister (by 17 whole months, she’ll tell you) remarked at dinner that the meal was “a delicious roast.” So now… every family meal is “a delicious roast” (even if not in fact a roast at all).

    I’m sure there are more. There we six kids. We were dumb. It was the 60s.

    Liked by 1 person

  65. Years ago, my grandmother said, “I’ll have you know they’ll give you a ticket if you park in one of those CRIPPLED CHILDREN spots on the court square!” Forty years later, my family still calls handicapped spots, crippled children spots.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Not being known for being PC, my 105 year old Grandma called her handicap decal her “retarded sticker”.

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  66. When my dad was a kid (mid to late 1940s) my grandparents were driving with him to Florida and pulling a boat on a trailer behind the car. At that time, the trip was on two-lane highways and the cars didn’t have a/c, so it wasn’t exactly fun. At some point in the trip, they were stopped in traffic and my grandfather was getting annoyed about the heat and the delay. When traffic finally started moving, my grandfather pulled the car and trailer out across both lanes to jump ahead of everyone. My grandmother asked him what he thought he was doing and he said “I’m gonna run me over somebody.”

    At that EXACT moment, he flooded the engine of his car and he was stuck – blocking traffic in both directions. My father was in the back seat, laughing like a hyena, and they had to sit there until the excess gas drained from the engine and the car would start.

    Now in our family, whenever someone is about to do something risky while driving or when we’re stuck in traffic, we say “I’m gonna run me over somebody.”

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  67. I used to teach middle school and every afternoon at dismissal time, I’d stand in my door while students packed up. The special needs kiddos in another class were always taken first to the busses. One boy always said “see ya Friday” to me as he passed by, no matter what day it was. My family has adopted this as our standard good bye. We even have our friends saying it and my husband always says it as he drives away from any drive through window

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    1. Omg, my husband is home from work and I am reading some of the best entries to him while he howls with laughter. I can tell you right now that he will say, “See you Friday!” to everyone for the rest of his life.

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  68. I love this blog!!! Thanks for sharing your family secrets. With my family, it was, “Mama milk my goat.” I’ve already written about it. Perhaps I can find the link…Thanks for starting my day out right.

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  69. A family member on my husband’s side was apparently an asshole whose sisters took care of him towards the end of his life. At his funeral, one of the sister’s said, “We are going to miss him.” The other didn’t miss a beat and said, “but it’s going to be a good miss.” We say that all the time now.

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  70. My maternal grandfather was a funny guy. He liked to tease us and eventually he would earn himself a smack on the arm. Immediately he would grab his arm and yell to my grandma “Mija! They hit me in my cancer!” (He didn’t have cancer…) Her reply would be “you probably deserved it,”. The look of indignation on his face would send us into fits of laughter.
    He died in 1999 but I can still hear his voice calling out to my grandma “Mija!” and it brings a smile to my face.

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  71. Not technically a family story, but a close friend of mind told the story when she and her sister, in much younger years, attempted to make cookies by themselves and made a huge mess. When their mother got home, she just laughed and asked “but did you have a good time?”.
    That became our catch phrase. But did you have a good time?

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  72. My brother caught my 7-year old daughters hand in a car door on the way to her birthday party. Always with a flair for the dramatic, she wailed, “WHY?? WHY?? Why today of all days?!!!” We still say this when something goes wrong, and she’s 30 now!

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      1. Our two young nieces got into a tiff while the adults were talking in another room. The youngest went to the hallway and started flipping the light on and off quickly and loudly proclaiming, “I’m crying in here!” We still do this at my house.

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        1. Haha! My family has a story like that about my Great Aunt Lucy: she went out on the back porch to throw a tantrum about something, and when no one went out to check on her, she yelled into the house: “Mama? I’m out here cryin!” We all still say that whenever we are being dramatic or sad and want attention. Or just want attention. “I’m out here cryin!”

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  73. My father-in-law enjoyed adult beverages. He wasn’t an alcoholic but he liked to have a good time. Whenever we were out for dinner and he would order a beer…he would tell the waitress to bring him two and save herself a trip. Anywho…on our wedding day he might have a had a few two too many. It came time to leave and he couldn’t find the keys to his car (good God…he shouldn’t have had his keys in his state). He went around asking everyone if they had his keys. He finally yelled “WHO HAS THE FUCKING KEYS TO THE BUICK”!. Whenever something or someone can’t be found…WHO HAS THE FUCKING KEYS TO THE BUICK! It never gets old.

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