Yesterday I wrote about my husband surprising me with diamond earrings for Christmas.
He had one more bit of jewelry magic up his sleeve. When he bought my earrings at Christmas, the salesperson told him about jackets for stud earrings. Yes, it’s the Northland. Winters are cold around here. Diamond earrings need jackets, don’t ya know.
My earrings got their jackets in March, when I had my birthday. March is plenty cold, so jackets were appropriate. When I opened them, he called them something so cute that I wish I could remember what it was, but it wasn’t jackets. He had substituted some other word.
I remember my oldest son called the grill a congrilla. And on warm summer days, he’d ask me, “Can we get Grandpa George and cook something on the congrilla?” If I had time, we’d get something from the store to grill then pick up his great-grandpa George. My son still loves to grill. Sometimes I still use the word congrilla for grill.
I remember my youngest son, when he was about five, would announce, “I’m thirty.”
“You’re thirty?” I’d ask.
“No, I’m thirty,” he’d say.
“Oh, you’re thirty,” I’d say.
“No, I’m thirty,” he’d say, getting frustrated and near tears.
“Oh, you’re thirsty,” I’d say.
“Yes!” he’d say, relieved his mother finally understood.
I know. I was bad. But he still talks to me.
When my grandkids ask me for a drink of water, I ask them if they’re thirty. “No,” they’ll say, “we’re not that old.” I laugh and give them water. They look at me like I’m the Madwoman of Chaillot.
I wish I could remember what my husband called the earring jackets because his word was better. But he only said it once. It didn’t become part of an Abbot and Costello routine between us. So, the word is in my brain, but the pathway to retrieve it is permanently corrupted. But the imagine of him presenting me with the elegant jackets for my Christmas earrings remains. And so does the moment of humor, even without remembering the funny word.