Why, Fi?

I just spent an inordinate amount of time trying to make my WiFi work, and one is reminded of when Grammy could not get the electric can opener to do what she wanted so she threw it down the basement stairs. To me this is a perfectly reasonable response.

So now I have to begin working in 12 minutes and I don’t have any time to talk to you. Since the pandemic, I’ve been remarkably on time for work, way more on-the-dot than at any time when I had to drive in and be at a desk. I guess I feel nervous that someone is in a giant 1960s computer room, recording what time we all sign on on a clipboard. If it’s 8:31, I’m all, “I’M LATE!” these days. And we aren’t — weren’t — that kind of office. We were creatives. We were some-people-get-there-before-the-dawn/some-stroll-in-at-11:00. But now everything feels different.

Anyway, since I don’t have time to chat with all y’all and I had to UNSCREW MY RING DOORBELL and screw it back on (this morning, man. This morning tried my patience.) let’s discuss something. We’ll have participation day. But on what?

Oh! I know! OK, you know how my grandmother threw the can opener down the stairs and to me that seems a perfectly reasonable response? … It’s right up there three paragraphs ago, Sparky. Honestly, 14 years of doing this assures me someone will ask. “Where, June? Where did you say that?”

What kinds of family traits do you have? Like, what’s a thing you do where you say, “Oh, dear lort, I’ve turned into Grampa Henry.”

My other grandmother once chased her husband down the road with scissors. Again, seems reasonable to me. I think I’m not good at having husbands.

All right, let me know. Didn’t we have some kind of family story day recently that killed me, it was so funny? I have a vague recollection of adoring that day. Of course, nothing will top the “These darn shoes” story someone told me here once. I’d tell it but I now have THREE MINUTES to begin working on time.

Taking the morning train with my paper under my arm,
June

83 thoughts on “Why, Fi?

  1. My paternal grandfather was not a people person but my grandmother was. She would invite people to dinner and when my grandfather had enough he would say “Maybelle. We better go to bed so these people can go home.” I am grandfather.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anytime someone visits my parents’ house and prepares to leave my dad says, “Well, what’s your rush?”
    He says that no matter how long you’ve been there – 30 minutes or all day. I can’t wait until this dumb virus is in the past so I can visit them and hear him ask me this question.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My grandmother would tell us whatever was wrong with us (scrapped knee, etc) would heal by the time we got married.
    My grandfather loved to lecture people and he was a bit of a socialist at heart. My aunt used to tell him he needed a one way ticket to Russia. Then she went home. She was married and I was young and single and living there, stuck with the lecture.
    When I was dating an older seperated guy with two kids he highly disapproved. He told me to be careful when I laid down in my bed that I wasn’t picking a rock for my pillow.
    My mother was the one with a temper. I got my throwing things in the heat of an argument (with my husband, not now) from her. My late husband could out shout me. Throwing things shut it down. I LOVE the image of your grandmother throwing that can opener down the basement stairs. A physical release can be so satisfying when rage is pent up. The scissor chasing grandmother sounds amazing. I never knew my mom’s mother but she killed live chickens. She was a force to be reckoned with, married to an older, sweet mild mannered man.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I look identical to my mother but inside I’m all my father. We have the same sense of humor, same road rage, same wit, and we both have to be home when it’s dark outside. The best part is we have the same sense of mischief. Maybe its assholishness. One lunch he tried throwing things in everyone sauces. Something I would have done if I would have thought of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My mother would do negative self-talk when she’d mess up; you could hear her her saying “Oh, Arlene, if brains were dynamite, you wouldn’t have enough to blow up a peanut shell”. And when I mess up, I say to myself, “Oh, Linda, if brains were dynamite…”. I don’t finish it, but I think of my mom every time.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I remember a long time ago, one of my grandmothers in Martinsville, Virginia, would buy a frozen pizza and add her own ingredients to it. (I wonder how frozen pizza from 1980 compares with today’s; they didn’t have the higher-end choices back then.) I thought it was weird, like, “What are you doing? You’re not supposed to mess with what the corporation produced for you.”

    Forty years later, for some reason, I ordered my first frozen pizza of the pandemic, and I added my own mushrooms and piles of yellow onion, and it would have been only 40% as good without that.

    Like

  7. We just finished dinner and I remembered a really good one. If you have to poop right away after eating something “That went thru me like sauce thru a widder(widow) woman.” I have no rational explanation just hillbilly. If you looked really bad you’d get “You look like a haint before daylight.” Or the more severe “You look like a Koots.” A very disreputable family in a way back Holler(never Hollow.)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. After my first comment I’ve been thinking about this all day. I am quirky and superstitious about things and most of them come from family quirks.
    – I won’t allow anyone to sit on or lay in my bed after it’s made (Hi, Tee). Stemming from my mom
    – I knock on wood any time someone says something bad could/would happen. Stemming from mom
    – I also follow up (for good measure) with “God forbid”. (mom again)
    – Any time I dread something (recent example: dental work) at some point (after IV is in or dental shots are done) I say to myself, “Well it’s all over but the shouting” which, to me, means the worst is over. This is from my Aunt Della I’m pretty sure
    -I have certain knives for certain things: my apple knife, my potato peeling knife. This stems directly from my mom and Aunt Della.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m fighting a fairly small medical bill, not because I can’t afford it (luckily, very grateful for that), but because they didn’t inform me that this charge may come up. Someone signed a document saying I received the information and it’s in my medical chart now, but it’s not my signature. I was alone at the hospital (thank you Covid), and since I was the sick one, they can’t legit say I received it since I was not in a good physical state to receive/understand information.

    So now it’s about the point of the matter, not the money. Totally a mom move, she was always up for fighting the system. This is not a bad thing to morph into.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I think I may have gramma who threw the can opener done the stairs beat. But not gramma with the scissors, she is hands-down, my hero.

    I once made an almond cake that failed every single time. I tried to make that stupid cake three times in one day. The third time it failed, I took that cake and put it in my car and drove that cake to some woods that wasn’t too far from our house and threw it in.

    What makes this story more bizarre – way out in the backyard was a grove of trees. But I was so pissed off at that cake, but I didn’t want it on my property. The Husband and Man-Child still bring this up nearly 15 years later. And you know what? I’m STILL pissed off at that stupid cake and have never tried to make it again.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I love these days!!
    My family has a ton of those old sayings.
    I love you 8, 9, 10, A big fat hen!
    The home again, home again, jiggedy jig. And the nobody here but us chickens.
    When you are so tired from standing and working on something all day and then you sit down and you can’t move, you’re all stove up.
    Quit that cussin’, it sounds like hell.
    Hell’s bells and little catfish.
    Calling a beer bottle opener the church key.
    Kisses were either sugar or a Yankee dime.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Our family also uses the all stove up expression, but we have always said home again, home again, jiggedy jog. Maybe we are the only ones. And I still call the bottle opener the church key.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Loved this ! I needed a laugh! But then, I do every day these days like most of us!
    I can’t – just can’t- name names here but have to say, I learned early on not to ever say “How are you” to certain family members! haha… If I did, I would get at least a 30 minute rundown on their ailments and those of every family member around!
    Families are wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. My dad was always suspicious of people driving slowly past our house “They’re casing the joint.” Yes,Dad, people are itching to break into this old 3 BR, 1 BA home with 6 kids and a dog. I’m sure they’ll make off with millions. He also always parked the car/truck/camper backwards in the driveway before a trip so we could load the car under cover of darkness and nobody would know we would be leaving the mansion unguarded for a few days, even though our neighbors watched out for us while we were gone. But the only time he ever parked this way was when we were going somewhere so everyone knew anyway. I find myself trying to do the same thing but my family prefers to load up BLATANTLY in front of all the burglars casing the joint. I comfort myself with the thought if our home were broken into, the burglars would look around and say, “Oh, never mind. This place has already been ransacked.”

    Liked by 5 people

  14. If me and my sister were running around being annoying as children, my dad would always say, “you want a whoopin’?” or “Ima beat all the hair off the side of your head and then beat the place where the hair was at.” I have used the want a whoopin question with my own three girls growing up, and they would always laugh and say “yes please.”
    My dad used to also think it was hilarious to randomly grab me or my sister by the throat and choke us just for fun. Or hold us down and tickle us until we peed our pants. Once we were in a swimming pool and Dad told us to swim through his legs. I refused, but my dumb sister did. He closed his legs, trapped her under the water and she about drowned. Of course, he thought that was hilarious…you know, writing this out it makes it seem like I was abused as a child…it was just the norm in our house.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Whenever my mom had potty problems, she said she had “the trots”. So now I say that too.

    Also, when I was in cosmetology school, one of our teachers told us if we ever had to sneeze while a client was in our chair, to think about a cow. Apparently the forced distraction helps. So now my stepkids will say that anytime I say I have to sneeze.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. My mother instilled the fear and necessity that before sitting on a “strange toilet” to always take two long strips of toilet paper and lay on each side of the toilet seat, This was any toilet that was not the home toilet. So when my kids were potty trained, they learned the skill of the toilet paper strips if no fancy toilet paper shields were not available. I guess the trait that was passed down would be a fear of toilet germs or germs in general. Which comes in handy in these Covid times. P. S. We also had the first dishwasher in the neighborhood so the germs would get washed off the dishes. OK I accept the fact that both parents were germaphobes and I’m proudly carrying on the tradition…though my adult kids are only about 75% germaphobes.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We were also taught about putting the strip of toilet paper on strange toilets. I still do it to this day when traveling if the paper shields aren’t available.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not sure if you want to know this or not, so don’t continue to read if you are committed to the toilet paper strips and/or paper shields. Toilet paper strips and paper shields actually increase the probability of germ and virus transfer from the toilet to human skin. Germs and viruses live longer with paper contact than they are able to live on the hard surface of the toilet seat.
        That’s what I learned working with a world-renowned virologist and having a child in cancer treatment for over 10 years.

        Like

  17. My poor mom was always trying to have a BM.

    One of her sayings was “You made your bed, now lie in it.”

    She would tell the story of her cousin who ran off and joined the circus. Somebody was sent to bring her back, but she was ruined then, I tell you, ruined.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Raised by a hillbilly, raised by generations of hillbillies. Going grocery shopping was going to trade at Ball Brother’s.
    So, my throughly modern daughters go to trade at Ball Brother’s.

    I like these days. My contributions are boring ,but everyone else is hilarious.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. My grandpa had an open tracheotomy so he couldn’t yell. One time I was feeding the dog under the table at dinner, and since he couldn’t yell grandpa threw his fork at me to get me to stop. I was heartbroken and ran off sobbing, mostly because my grandpa was my favorite person in the world and I just didn’t want him to be mad at me.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. When we would hurt a particular body part and would cry and carry on, my dad would tell us, “Well, we could just cut it off.” Then we’d cry harder while giving him the side eye, before we decided it was safer to just stop crying and walk away. I will admit I did resort to using this technique a couple of times with my own kids and my nieces. From my grandparents down to my children, we’re pretty much a suck it up and get on with it kind of family. By the way, my dad did end up having a below knee amputation when he had blood clots in his foot.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Both my grandmothers were very neat and precise about everything they did, so was my mom. The fruit didn’t fall far from the tree. My mom and her mother would not allow anyone to touch the bed once it was made up. I’m not that way. Also, my mom had certain clothespins to hang certain clothes (we didn’t have a clothes dryer until I was a senior in high school). I always thought that was nuts, I always said that was being tookie. She was sooo tookie about lots of things. Just this morning I found myself being tookie about my husband’s t-shirts that I take time to fold neatly, stack neatly AND rotate so he doesn’t wear the same shirt over and over, when he was looking for a certain shirt and unfolded one to see if that was it, which it wasn’t, and just crammed the dang shirt back into the cubicle where they are kept (he does his jeans the same way). I told him I was going start just cramming his t-shirts and jeans into those cubicles! When I do THIS my grandmothers and mom are going to rotate in their graves. I think this might be a little like throwing the can opener down the basement steps, maybe not. My mom and grandmother always rotated their clothes, towels, dish towels, bed linens…I do the very same thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My grandfather, Pop, always call me and my brother “boys.” He just used that term a lot. My grandmother always said, “you’ens.”
      “Okay, boys, let’s not be a fightin over there.”
      “Okay, boys, let’s get goin here.”
      “Okay, boys, there’s a place right up here on the right to buy some good homemade pies.” My dad, also Tee, was driving him to the mountains to fish a few days and wouldn’t stop to buy pies, or pee, or nothing, ever. “Dammit, Tee you just drove by the place.”
      I find myself saying, “okay boys” a lot and it cracks me up and give me very fond memories of my Pop.

      Liked by 1 person

              1. Yes, I’m Tee, teesmithii, and Tee Smith. I was Teewithpie, but FB didn’t think that was my real name, I’m not sure why. [Laughing face here]

                Liked by 1 person

  22. Yes, I remember when TV shows had theme songs. Like people wanted to hear every week why Gilligan was on a Island. At least that was a good song, not like the Brady Bunch one.

    As for sounding old, I mentioned “slacks” once in the presence of a co-worker and that was all it took.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. My mother’s fraternal twin will say , ” I am now wearing a size 14 slack.” A slack! We die laughing inside ( quietly kicking each other). She also used to like to go to the “wrastling “matches with her boyfriend/lover/ live in guy Shotgun Harry. His wife left him and he shot himself but survived. That was his nickname behind his back at work. My aunt’s husband left her and she didn’t know where he was. We found this out later. She tracked him down, divorced him and married the next guy after Harry died. She had lost custody of her kids. First husband had them adopted out. I am friends with two of them on Facebook, pretty good friends with the one. The others are MIA even the sisters don’t know where they ended up.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. I was in a bar a few years ago and the entertainer was trying to get the audience to sing along with her. She tried all kinds of different songs and no one would join in. Finally, she started singing the theme to “Gilligan’s Island” and the entire bar started singing with her. I always wondered what that said about all of us.

      Like

  23. My cousin’s daughter got mad and threw the remote at a flat screen tv a few years back and broke the tv and she hadn’t even hit puberty yet so my cousin is in for some fun….. glad I wasn’t there for that. My father always says Alright then…. when he is ready to leave or get off the phone and my brother and I do it now as well. Now when someone innocently uses this phrase I say ok bye and hang up the phone or grab my coat if we are out.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. We once lived in a house with a poorly placed smoke alarm. When We were cooking, it would frequently start screaming at us. One day my (late) husband had had enough. He picked up a potato and threw it at the alarm. Hard. That was the last time we got a false alarm. Now my kids and I still talk about throwing a potato at whatever is causing problems.

    Liked by 5 people

  25. I don’t have action stories just sayings. My mother always said “get the hook” if someone on tv was boring. Because in vaudeville days, they had a hook they would use to pull someone off the stage if their act was terrible and the audience would yell that. She got it from her parents.

    Like

    1. My grandfather said that while watching The Gong Show, which did indeed have a hook for the worst acts.

      Like

  26. My grandmother always had a tissue tucked into her sleeve as most of her clothes had no pockets and those tissues would often fall out and we’d find them wherever she had been. I have one watering eye (my tear duct does not drain) so I always have a tissue somewhere on me and they often fall out wherever I have been.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is no pocket that my mother ever has owned, ever, that does not have a wadded-up Kleenex in it. Even her Hot Pockets have Kleenex in them. Thankfully I did not pick up this trait.

      Like

      1. My grandmother was the same, except she always wore a dress and an apron and there was a wadded-up Kleenex in that pocket(s). She never had on a pair of slacks (that’s for The Poet) and certainly not jeans. And a HUGE wad in her purse, along with her snuff can and chewing gum (Juicy Fruit).

        Liked by 1 person

        1. My Great Grandmother was a Bruton Snuff fan too! She always had a tiny little stick she moved that “wad” around with. Thankfully, she always wore a dress with same material apron pocket to hide her vice inside.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. What is it with the Kleenex in pockets? My grandmother had drawers stuffed with old wadded up Kleenex. My mom now has them in every pocket and tucked into the band of her pants if she doesn’t have a pocket. She gets up in the middle of a meal to go get a Kleenex to add to her arsenal. I hope I don’t suddenly take up this trait too as I age.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. As you get older , there are times your nose just starts to run. Kleenex a must in pocket. No buying anything that doesn’t have a pocket.
          When my granny was trying to get up from a chair and wasn’t quite able she would say “oopiejump”. Gave her a bit more heave ho.
          Something that you were eating that was exceptionally good . You got a good scald on that.
          Larrupin was also something that tasted good to you.
          We would be ready to go somewhere in the car and mom would be in the house yet, we got to saying that mom was painting the living room before we left.
          Fun .

          Liked by 1 person

    2. My grandmother was the same but hers were handkerchiefs in her housedresses. I only ever saw her in a blouse and pants once. My aunt bought that for her. She could not make the change. She was extremely intelligent. She loved crossword puzzles, game shows with smarts (password). She never smoked, drank or cursed (on the f word, “It’s nicer to do than say”, a quote from her boss). She was not temperamental. She would get even with my PITA grandfather by not speaking to him for days. It drove him crazy. He loved to talk.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. OH I love family stories too! Did we already do the thing where we say things in our family no one else says? My Gaggie always said “Nobody’s home but us chickens” when people came in. And also “home again, home again jiggity-jig” when coming home. And the one I say most often is, “I have the can’t help its” when feeling out of sorts and you don’t know why. My husband and his family even say it now.

    Like

      1. My Tennessee Granny also said “home agin, home agin (with or without the jiggity-jig)” and “the caint hep its”. The first one drove my Illinois mother crazy. Thanks for the reminder!

        Florence

        Like

    1. Ok, this now shows how old I am. Those two phrases are songs. Probably popular in the 40’s. “There Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens” was a big band number, and the jiggity jig one, I think, is called “To Market, To Market”. It’s even older and a nursery rhyme. I can even sing them both for you, just to prove me ancient-ness!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I was just wondering if any of these young folks knew the origin of jiggly jig! I guess no one’s family ever did the first line: To market, to market to buy a fat pig. I am also ancient.

        Like

    2. To market to market to buy a fat pig; home again home again jiggity jig! I text my family “home again home again” when we make it safely home from their houses.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. I love family story/sayings day! We’re a Portuguese family in California. My Gram & Gramps said the same 3 things! My Gramps would use the “can’t help it’s” as kind of an insult for someone who didn’t work hard or was up to no good. My Gram would answer the phone (old avocado green rotary dial! with a mile long cord so she could talk in the kitchen while she cooked 3 hot meals a day or in front of her old console tv while she watched her “programs” [soap operas!]) with the chickens phrase and then giggle every time, while my Gramps would say the home again and sing-song it – I imagine like the nursery rhyme. When he’d see you walking down the lane towards his house (we lived next door to them on a big ranch) he’d sing “where are you going my pretty maid!”. Oh thinking about that just brought back so many happy memories – much needed this week since California & mother nature are trying to lightning strike/wind storm/wildfire kill us all again, sigh.

      Like

  28. We have a missing person in the family! Well for awhile he was anyways. He didnt get kidnapped and the mob didnt rub him out. He simply up, and left his wifey and kids. How do we know this? The family was contacted after he died( the early 1960s?) by social security i am told. He lived the rest of his life in the same state he went missing in, ( left a family in.) He remarried and raised a completely separate family too. This all happened before i was born and its a skeleton for sure but one that i regail people of when i get the chance. I shall not mention his name out of respect for family members but i inherited one of his names and so did my Son.(Why?) Someday ill tell you about my Aunt, whos face and description, were literally, really, honestly put on a milk carton. Yes, my family is full of strange and amazing stuff.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. My grandmother always said her grandfather died in the Civil War, but when we found his date of birth and death it would have been impossible, so my mom and I decided he abandoned his family and they made up the story that he died to cover that skeleton.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. My grandmother was a fiesty little redhead who rode on an orphan train from Pennsylvania at 5 yrs old and was adopted. Needless to say she put up with no nonsense from anyone. One time when my grandfather spent too much time at the bar downstairs from their apartment (as kids we used to love to visit because the cooks from the bar would give us cokes in glass bottles) grandma poured water in the corner of their bedroom and in the morning she told grandpa he peed in the corner when he got home late.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. I used to spend summers with my Aunt Della who is my favorite person in the world. No matter what ailed me (upset stomach, headache, stubbed toe, broken arm) she’d ask, “Have you had a bm today?”. In her opinion having a healthy bm cures whatever ails you. I now ask my kids (and really anyone) who isn’t feeling perfect if they need to use the bathroom. It’s a perfectly reasonable response because with a lot of things you do feel better once you’ve had a bm for the day.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. See. I knew this idea was comedy gold. Plus, poop talk! Which we all know I adore. Courtesy of my gramma. The scissors gramma. Not the can-opener gramma. I wonder if Jackie Kennedy differentiated her grandmothers similarly.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. OMG Jan, that was my mother, too!! “You need to poop.” From that she went right to “It’s a brain tumor.” No middle ground. Poop. Brain tumor.

      Liked by 4 people

    3. When not feeling well – my mother always said well go away and die quietly. I now use this quite often (not always aloud) and it makes me laugh every time. She meant it too – do not bother her with what ails you she cannot help you or does not want to help. Also awesome mother just in case someone is not reading it that way.

      Liked by 2 people

Comments are closed.