My mother of course had her own catch phrases. She had this weird George Bryson reference she used, which I still don't understand. Or know how to spell. Maybe he was a Canadian super hero or something. But, her other one was up the yin yang. Let me give you an example. "Turn off that light our electric bill is going to be up the yin yang." At the time I didn't know the yin yang was a river in China. I thought yin yang referred to the place where the sun don't shine. If you know what I mean. But the fact that it's Chinese in origin might explain my brief stint with Chinese medicine in acupuncture school. And then my early departure where I told the administrators what a painfully disorganized school they ran, that I was leaving and that they could take it up the yin yang. If you know what I mean.
But I'm sure there's no correlation between my mom's saying and that school. Or that I really enjoyed sticking needles in people. I mean really, it was awesome. And no, I don't use yin yang with my kids. Nor do I stick them with needles if you must know. Not often anyway.
No. My buzzword is ridiculous. Used as a noun and not an adjective here. I say it a ridiculous amount of times a day. In completely ridiculous ways. Until I'm overcome with how utterly ridiculous I sound. It's just ridiculous. It's not just on the menu a La carte. No. I also serve it up in a combo platter. I tag team it. Are you kidding me you ask? No. No, I'm not. Cause that's it. That's my idiom. Are YOU kidding me? Notice the stress on the you. That's very important. Let me give you an example. "You forgot your brand new swim suit I just bought you in the locker room at school? Are YOU kidding me? That's ridiculous." And yes, that was a real life example from yesterday. In case you wondered. Not that I'm still bitter it was lost the first time it was worn or anything.
The beautiful thing is, this expression is so generic it covers anything you need to convey: disgust, disbelief, horror, surprise, excitement. Seriously, YOU can stick anything else in there. It WILL work. Try it. Try it now.
And then I wonder how screwed up my kids are going to be from me saying it repeatedly. No one else on the planet said things my mom said. But my words, they're so utilitarian people say them all the time. So what are my kids going to think when their college professor calls the Stages of Freud's Psychosexual Development Theory ridiculous? Will they be traumatized and simultaneously feel disgust, disbelief, horror, surprise and excitement? And is that Freud's fault? The professor's? Or mine?
Are YOU kidding me? As if I needed to ask. How ridiculous!