Our Secret Language

My wife and I have our own way of communicating. There are words I use with her that only she would understand. We’ve been together so long that grunts have become part of our vocabulary. A quick “grrr,” means “I’m so frustrated I’m over this.”

Mornings start with “bubbly”, and no it’s not what you’re thinking. Bubbly is what I call Alex’s carbonated and flavored water. It’s just easier to say bubbly. Random people we see or run into doing our daily routines have secret nicknames:  there’s Slowpoke, Bubba, Crazy-Flower-Lady, Jackass, Wife-of Jackass, etc.

There’s a certain non-verbal dance we do when we approach a grocery checkout line. We both do a quick scan of the amount of items in each cart, age of customer (which usually determines payment type, ergo speed of transaction), and who’s working the register. If it’s Slowpoke at the register, I’ll immediately jump into the line next to us. Alex will notice my move, rescan the situation and either join me, or not, depending on her specific criteria. She’s got the extra burden of coupons, which sometimes supersedes my need for speed.

At home, we have a splash, meaning a glass of wine; the clicky instead of remote for the TV; and the cats are often called babies.

The cats have a whole subset of terms related to them. We have a screened-in porch that let’s our indoor cats be “outside”, which Alex calls the kitten-porch. Another cat-themed term we have is water-cave, which is not somewhere we put them when they’ve been bad. They used to drink our water from the glasses on our nightstand at night, so I found a little wooden box just big enough for a glass of water, turned it on its side, and voila: cat-proofed. I guess it would be better named as a “water-box”, but somehow water-cave stuck, and it is really hard to unstick such a thing.

I can just see one of us years from now, old but totally with it, trying to communicate with someone who thinks we’re going senile, using words that only the two of us would recognize as normal. “Take the bubbly out of the water-cave and find my clicky on the kitten-porch.” “Uh, we’re going to have to up your dose of meds sir.” “Grrrrr.” “Are you growling at me sir?”

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