Everyone has their secret language with the people who know them best. Phrases, words, inflections that mean something only to them. It's part of how we feel connected. Whether it is referencing a specific memory of an event or saying something with, for instance, on outrageously bad French accent, we reinforce our ties to one another with cues about our history together.
My oldest friend and I can dissolve into a fit of giggles if one of us says, "Follow that Bug!" because that's all it takes to evoke a long ago escapade we embarked on together.
I sometimes listen to instrumental music while getting things done. I can't just put my iPod on shuffle because changing music tends to hold my attention. Instrumental music blends into the background and helps promote thought rather than demanding focus. I'd love to claim that I listen to the great composers, but I don't do that frequently, instead I tend to have the musical soundtracks for movies that I've liked. Why? I don't know. Again, classical music is something I tend to focus upon, soundtracks just exist in the background, pretty much by design.
Long ago when I met my husband I was listening to a soundtrack while compiling a project.
"What is this?" My now-husband asked.
"It's the soundtrack to Last of the Mohicans."
My now-husband didn't know me all that well at the time and said, "I didn't think you liked cheesy romances."
I stared at him for a moment. Let's see, was the scene of Magua ripping out the heart of his enemy cheesy? Or the scene of Chingachgook practically vivisecting Magua what he thought was coated in fromage?
"Huh?" I replied, because no one speaks eloquently all the time.
"Stay alive, I will find you!" He quoted. "Talk about drippy."
"You've never actually seen the movie, have you?" He confirmed that he had not. I downed tools, went in search of the DVD and sat my action-adventure-loving then-boyfriend down for a viewing party. As it happens there are a lot of cheesy elements to the movie, but it's visually gorgeous, and it's actually rather violent.
"God, this is hardcore." My husband said, staring at a scene I'd rather not describe seeing as I don't have a mature rating on this blog. The movie segued into one of its cheesier moments when poor doomed Duncan translates the Chief at a speed only seen in movies, and envied by those who work for the United Nations.
"What are the Huron to do?" Soon-to-be-crispy Duncan translates at a breakneck pace, and in a very amusing French accent. My then-boyfriend started laughing and parroting him.
"What are ze Uron tu dew? What ARE ze URON tu DEW?", and then Duncan meets his incredibly grisly fate and that shut him up as effectively as throwing a switch. He switched tones, "Gaaaaaahhhhh! Don't mess with the Huron!! Don't mess with the Huron! The Hurons get things done!!"
Now over a decade later, we still say that to each other when trying to accomplish something. It doesn't really fit with the scene in the movie, but it's one of our points of connection. That personal shorthand we work out with the people who know us best.
Every October a blog called Tomato Nation rallies together and helps to fund public school projects through an organization called Donors Choose and I was fortunate enough to participate last year. Here's the funny thing, I don't read Tomato Nation. That's not any kind of judgment on my part, it's a good site, but there are only so many hours in any given day. I found the drive through a blog that is now defunct, but I still read Velcrometer, the blog of a humor writer whose work I've always liked.
It's a great feeling to be able to participate, but I understand that not everyone can. Still, it's a fun thing to check out because people get together, address the problem of under funded classrooms, and make a difference together. Shorthand on the internet for getting things done, and all that.
We all feel a little bit lost sometimes. We have things come up, we aren't sure how to solve some problems. Life is sometimes a difficult path, but there are other things that come up, things that make us feel as if hurdles can be taken on, and put behind us.
When I found that another blog I read was linking to TN's efforts, I went to my husband, who is the family accountant. He loves this project. Like me, he is a fan of direct impact charities. We're fortunate people, and grateful to be so, and we try to make a difference in the ways that we can.
Even if you can't participate, check it out. It's just amazing to see the "Project Funded" icon put in place through the efforts of people banding together to bring a problem down.
Sometimes we all feel helpless to our problems, and sometimes we get to feel as if no effort is wasted.
"Remember that school funding organization?" I asked my husband, as I entered his home office. He was busy doing something, I'm not sure what. He was playing music, the kind with those distracting lyrics, I don't know how he gets anything done.
"Hmmm." He answered, then he turned around and said, "Oh yeah, I do. Well, What are the Huron to do?"
Our personal shorthand. Sometimes we also say, "Release the Kraken!" and sometimes we actually communicate in fully intelligible sentences, just not in this instance. We'd been discussing a budget for this last month, and that we had done in actual, understandable English.
"Be the Halloween Cat, just be him." I answered because when you get right down to it, I married the right guy.
By a lot.