Column - When we begin to act, sound like our parentsOur parents warned us, but we didn’t listen. “Someday,” they’d say, wagging a finger, “You’re going to be just like us.” We’d laugh at such a preposterous notion.
By: Dennis Dalman, Alexandria Echo Press
Our parents warned us, but we didn’t listen.
“Someday,” they’d say, wagging a finger, “You’re going to be just like us.”
We’d laugh at such a preposterous notion.
If my parents were still here, they’d be laughing now.
“I told you so!” they’d say.
As you get older – and older – you’ll find yourself turning into them. You’ll cough like them, complain like them, keep forgetting things like them, skitter slowly on slippery sidewalks like them, go to bed earlier and earlier like them and not go to movies like them.
One day, in the 1960s, I asked mom why she never went to the movies.
“Ach!” she scoffed. “They’re too damned long and too damned loud.”
I still occasionally go to a movie, but not very often. Too long, too loud.
We not only resemble our parents in looks and actions as we get older; we begin to sound just like them.
I’ve begun to use the same sayings my parents did, in the same tones of voice.
My parents were fatalists. If anything could go wrong, they figured, it sure would. Life was a series of disasters, glitches and disappointments. Not that mom and dad didn’t have fun. Oh, they loved life and had a blast. But, still, they – even in the midst of merriment – remained leery about what is sure to be just around the next bend.
“You just never know,” they often said.
“It’s one thing after another,” and its variation: “If it isn’t one thing, it’s another.”
“You just can’t win – not in this world.”
“Sure enough, wouldn’t you know!”
“They got us comin’, they got us goin’!”
“Don’t bet on it.”
My parents would utter those sayings again and again, always in a tone of voice, a kind of woebegone sigh, filled with a mixture of world-weariness, sarcasm and melodramatic defeatism.
In many cases, their sayings were peppered with choice words I cannot use – not in a family newspaper.
My siblings and I catch one another using “momisms” and “popisms” all the time.
Just the other day, my sister asked me if I plan to take a vacation this summer.
“Not on your life!” I said. “Not with the price of gas what it’s getting to be again. Those gouging jerks. They got us comin’, they got us goin’. You just can’t win.”
Mary turned pale, then she laughed.
“I could swear dad’s ghost just passed through here,” she said.