Tuesday, June 8, 2010

deposit slip of the tongue

Growing up, I'd venture to guess 99% of conversations with my parents didn't even make it past my ear lobes. I was too busy playing "Oregon Trail" and planning my wedding to Joey Mcintyre to devote attention to parental pearls of wisdom. 

However, once in a turquoise moon, a few things got through, and inevitably caused me complete public humiliation.

I'll give you an example.

My parents have their own language. I'm serious. Not Klingon or Na'Vi, but they truly do have their way of speaking to one another. I suspect a lot of couples develop this language of love early on in a relationship, and it helps to secure and strengthen the bond together.

Generally this "couples talk" begins as something you do only in private. (Kind of like fighting.  Because really, when you're first together, NO ONE should think you're doing anything but having mind-blowing sex and eating grapes off each other's belly buttons.)

Inevitably though, time passes, and the secret love language begins to seep into your everyday chit chat.

(And subsequently so does the airing of the dirty laundry. "Oh, hi, Mr. Mailman!  Hubs TOTALLY erased my DVR'd "Real Housewives Reunion last night. Can you BELIEVE that shit?")

(Anyways...that's neither here nor there.)

The problem with my parents' special language was that they never clarified when they were speaking bogus silly talk, and when it was for real, leaving us to figure it out the hard way. 

My parents volunteered at our church for various activities.  One of them was to count the money from the church offerings on Sundays.  My brother, sister, and I would wait in the church library and fight like wild banshees read church books while our parents tallied up the week's take.  We would then load up in the car and head to the bank to deposit the funds.

Each time we performed this routine, the same thing happened. Dad rolled the van up to the bank drive-through, pulled down the heavy lead door and exclaimed, "Here we are! Pass me the money bag, honey.  Let's put the church money in the suppository!"  And Mom would laugh.

I never understood why.

For YEARS we did this.  My parents are creatures of habit, so literally this happened EVERY SINGLE TIME we took money to the church.  And I thought nothing of it.

Fast forward to 1997.  I'm 16.  I've been offered my first job at the mall, and it requires me to occasionally close the store by myself. On those nights, I'm required to take the cash from the day and deposit it at the bank a few blocks away.

Easy.

So, the first night that I have to close the store arrives.  My manager shows me the bag to put the money in and gives me the drill about watching for muggers, yadda yadda.

I'm pumped. I'm excited. This is big responsibility for a 16 year old. 

Manager: (checking that I've labeled the money bag correctly) So you remember where to go?

Me: (nodding vigorously) Yep!  I've got it.  I drove by the bank on my way here today to make sure I know exactly where it is.

Manager: (clocking out on the register) All right, well call me if you have any problems. I'll be at my house in ten minutes.

Me:  (thinking) Actually, now that I think about it...the bank will be closed at this hour, right?

Manager: (nodding) Yes, they close at 6.00.

Me: (picking up the money bag) So I'll just put the envelope in the suppository at the drive-through, right?

Manager: (hurredly digging through her purse for car keys) Yes, honey, yes.  Just put it in the door that - wait...what did you say?

Me:  Ummm, I take it to the drive through.

Manager: (slowly) Yes, but did you say...SUPPOSITORY?

Me: (racking my brain as to why this is a big deal) Uhhh, yes?

Manager: (clutching her chest)Oh. My. God.  It's DEPOSITORY.

Me: (still totally lost) OH! (throwing head back in fake laughter) Yeah, that's what I meant! Of course! I'm just tired; got the words mixed up.

Manager: (shaking head as she walks out) Woo hoo.  Suppository at a bank.  I gotta remember that one.

***

Two hours later, I sit on my bed and look up "suppository" in the dictionary.  I then proceed to make a very, very long list of ways to get back at my parents.

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