Thursday, March 05, 2009

Nick's first lesson in speaking Betty

Long before she met Nick's mother, Betty asked Nick what his mom's name was. The conversation went pretty much like this.

"Nick, what's your mom's name?"


"Oh! Like the sled!"

She says this definitively, confidently.

He blinks, cocks his head. "Like the herb?"

"Yes. And the sled."

He has no idea what she's talking about. And she is waiting for him to get it.

I decide to help out.

"Citizen Kane."

Blank look.




  1. My brother-in-law finds it fairly easy to communicate with my mother - provided Sibling and I are in the same room. If she and I look at each other just so after my mother has said something particularly . . . eccentric, he knows to act as though nothing out of the ordinary has occurred, and move on.

    This may or may not have saved his life on more than one occasion.

    I kind of love family language, though. There's something comforting about knowing exactly what someone is trying to say, even if you're genetically preconditioned to disagree with it.

  2. I so knew what she was referring to when I read "like the sled" for the first time, that I forgot it was really Rosebud, until I got to that part!

  3. Dagny - I love family language too. I get the Bettyspeak, and my brother used to. My dad usually doesn't, and Nick still has no idea.

    And I love when this happens with friends. I love "in-language" - or maybe what I love is the closeness that has to be there for it to happen.

    Jennifer - I'm glad you said that! I felt like it was so easy to understand.

    But then again, when she told us all that someone said our dog looked like a "Jack Daniel Fox," I knew she meant "Jack Russell Terrier."

    So I'm too close to know what's what.

  4. Betty is adorable! I always enjoy Betty stories here on LG.

  5. That is just perfect! At least you were there to translate. And maybe it's a female thing, because I got the sled reference too.

  6. Ah, the nuances of each family's "crazy". They do make life interesting...

  7. Betty is awesome!

    What does it mean that both of those examples (Rosemary and the Jack Daniels Fox) are perfectly clear to me?

  8. Jo - She is, she's really cute. :)

    HKW - Thank you! Hugs to you!

    J - Maybe! I hadn't thought of that.

    LiLu - What is funny is what is totally normal for each family.

    Cheryl - She is, she really is.

    And on a small scale, congratulations! You're in the tiny club of people who speak Betty. In the larger scheme of the world, I am not sure what this might mean about you...

  9. Ok, imagine Betty Speak combined with not being a native Engilsh-speaker. And then multiply by two (mother AND mother-in-law). Welcome to my world. I had the fun of decyphering Binks Bond into Vince Vaughn a few months ago when my MIL was talking about a movie she wanted to see. *sigh* My husband and I were picturing a mixture of Jarjar Binks and James Bond and had fun imagining what THAT movie would look like!

    Families are fun.

  10. I love this. Family language is something really amazing. My mom and I can have an entire conversation that sounds like total gibberish to other people and WE know exactly what we're talking about. My poor husband just stands there thinking we're crazy. (Oh, I knew exactly what Betty meant!)

  11. It was easy to understand. Nick just wasn't surfing the same wabve. Or he doesn't know movie trivia that well. You could have said, "like the baby" or "like Mia Farrow" and he may still not have gotten it.

  12. Luna - This made me laugh so hard. I love it - Binks Bond! That's what I'm going to think of when I see him from here on out. Binks Bond. And what an excellently bizarre moving that would make for.

    Cheryl S - Yes! That is EXACTLY what it is like, and I love it too! My father, who has known my mother for, what, over 50 years now, and me my entire life, will watch an exchange between the two of us and not have any idea.

    Anonymous - Very true. He might've gotten your references, whereas it took me a while. And they both actually lead to "Rosemary."

  13. Oh, how I love Betty. I remember my mother, who has a southern Indiana twang, asking MathMan if he liked "playing cards."

    But he heard "plane cards" and was utterly confused.

    I had to translate "Play -ing cards."

  14. When I was a teenager, I was a huuuge Def Leppard fan. My dad (being my dad) used to always call them Dumb Puma. How I wanted to crawl under the couch when he asked my friends if we enjoyed "The Dumb Puma?" concert...but now I think it's sweet. =-)


Tell me about it.