Friday, September 3, 2010
Godamn It Ina and other pet names
You know you're in the presence of true love, the everlasting 50 years married kind when you can finish each others' sentences. Or better yet, when your pet name for your spouse includes curse words.
I was reminded of this the other day when my aunt and uncle paid an impromptu visit with my parents to my office. Yes, Cell Block C was the location for this epiphany. As we stood out in the parking lot with Mags and Joe and my beloved Aunt Ina and Uncle John, I was reminded how the occasional godamn it Ina could come from a place of love. I learned my first swear words at a small back-split on Aberdeen Cres. where I would hear my uncle, also my next door neighbour, yell from the kitchen "Godamn it Ina, you did it again." For years, I thought that was her name. For some reason, I knew enough not to call her that. She was Aunt Ina, my mum's best friend and our excitable neighbour and later one of my swimming teachers as she watched and coached me as my dad threw me in her pool. "Godamn it Ina, you shouldn't condone that," my uncle would yell.
Both Aunt Ina and Uncle John and my parents have been married for over 50 years. My parents will celebrate their golden anniversary this October. It's been longer for my aunt and uncle, and to this day, he still calls her Godamn It Ina, and she laughs.
"I bet you thought that was my name," she said to me. And I agreed. And she laughed and hugged my uncle.
My mother's name is Jesus Christ Margaret. My mother is a damn sight better than my father. Maybe it's from her upbringing in a rather rigid home, but I've heard my mother swear about five times, and never the big words that would bring fire and brimstone. Bitch. Asshole. Damn it. And that is it. But she has been known to smack my father upside the head and he always deserved it. Not full-out of course, but just with enough impact to appear like teasing but with a bit of a sting so he gets the point. He usually gets a "Joe-seph!" before impact.
I don't condone hitting, especially between spouses but sometimes it's the only thing that gets the point across - a well-timed pinch, a light spank - never set out to hurt or maim.
The Man doesn't understand the importance of choosing a pet name and always insists on creating these sappy, over the top gestures. "My Angel of Devotion" is not my favourite but he giggles as he says it. I call him Bumfluff and Honey Bunches of Creamed Corn. I don't know where they came from but they formed instantly and I can't seem to break myself of them. I also can't seem to break away from the gentle love-tap upside of the head.
He thinks I'm weird and violent. I tell him it's from years of Godamn It Ina and Jesus Christ Margaret. I think I've come a long way. Baby. And don't get me started on the spanking... I know... some of you just threw up in your mouth. Me too.