So, What Are We Really Trying to Say?
[Previous Rural Farmgirl, April 2009 – May 2010]
“Sayings” almost always distract me. They make me question where they came from and how they originated. Some of them make me laugh. Others make me roll my eyes. And others just annoy me.
A perfect example of the annoying type is, “If you can’t stand the heat get on out of the kitchen.” This saying goes against everything I was taught and all that I believe. Maybe it should go more like, “If you can’t stand the heat, turn on the fan and get the job done anyway.” While not as clever, it at least doesn’t give us permission to throw our hands in the air. I don’t like to “throw in the towel,” and I don’t like to be beaten by any task. Although, like most people, I have run screaming from a situation or two, I would prefer to see it through and enjoy the sense of accomplishment that it brings.
A saying that leaves me perplexed is, “It just tickled me to death.” Is that a good thing? I usually hear it in the context of “I saw the cutest thing, and it just tickled me to death…” Hmmm…I don’t think I would like being tickled to death, but maybe that is just me. I remember the feeling of laughing so hard that you can’t even catch your breath, and it is a horrible feeling.
Of all the sayings I’ve heard, the one I love most would have to be, “Bloom where you are planted.” It has been my mantra. My life has had some bends and curves, and this little saying has reminded me time and time again that my life is here in this moment and that putting life on hold is a waste of time.
I also love it when I hear someone from the South say, “That dog won’t hunt.” I am not sure why it sounds better when it‘s said with a southern drawl, but it does. I must admit, it is one I use in those quiet times when I just know “that dog won’t hunt.”
One saying that has had a lasting impression on me is one that was handed down from my dad, and I suspect that it is one he heard from his dad. My dad would constantly say to me, “Anything that is worth doing, is worth doing well.” It has become a model for how I want to live my life. I am apparently passing my own sayings on as well, as I recently heard one of my older kids repeat one that I am known for saying: “Did you do that to my standards, or to yours?” Oops!
I think every family and every region has their own set of sayings. Some are funny, some poignant and some just off the wall. I hope you will share yours with me. I love words. I love how you can tell a little about people by their word patterns and the way they phrase them. Word pictures are just fun. They are like an abstract painting, where sometimes you almost have to stand on your head to try to find the meaning. Oftentimes they can mean something completely different to different people, and quite often they keep us wondering, “What are we really trying to say?”