Everyone knows that I have little common sense. It’s a huge surprise to me that I’ve made it in and out of my house and back again for the past 31 years. As much as I am very intelligent when it comes to some things, I am fucking brain-dead at others. And now, I can’t even blame it on being blonde, not that I ever really do. I actually blame it on being *charming.
One of my biggest issues is that I have a tendency to use idioms incorrectly and/or I happen to just throw them in where they absolutely have no place in that conversation. I will blame either my parents or the U.S. school system because at this point in my life, there’s only so much I’m willing to take blame for.
Anyway. Back to my charming use of the English language.
Below is an example of not really using something incorrectly, but I have no idea why I’d toss this into conversation.
“That owl is at it again.” We’ve been talking a lot about this mouthy owl out back lately. I had been upstairs trying to read with all the windows open and he was all I could hear. I made this announcement on my trip down to get more tea.
“Oh yeah? He’s at it again?” Mr. H seemed mildly interested, but not so much since his Law and Order Marathon seemed to be silencing the constant hooting. But really, the owl has been quite noisy lately.
“Yes, he’s at his most aggressive, just hooting away up there to beat the band.” I have no idea where I get these things.
“Hooting to beat the band?” Mr. H looks perplexed.
“Yeah, you know, when someone does a lot of something, or does it loudly, they’re doing it to beat the band?”
“No, I don’t know what you’re talking about. Who is beating the band? The owl?”
“No, he’s not really beating the band. There is no band. But if there was a band, they are so loud and so festive, you’d really have to be doing a lot of something to beat them at their own game.” This explanation was going nowhere and I’ll note now that I am the one person that never wonders why people who learn English as a second or third language say the cutest things like, “You are shining star, like twinkle, twinkle.” Yep, yep, I AM.
Anyway, he is not convinced and I think he thinks I’m making this up. In fact, I know he does.
“I’m not making this up.” I provide no other examples, just a firm statement and a glare.
“Mmm hmm, to beat the band.” He resumes his L&O Marathon.
This reminded me of the time when I worked in the Senate in DC that I offered this little gem of a conversation….
“You cannot date him anymore. You have to pack your shit, tell him he’s a loser and then leave. And then get drunk. C’mon, let’s get going on this immediately. We’re going to nip this one in the butt RIGHT NOW.” I assume I was giving unsolicited advice and bossing people around for no reason.
“I’m sorry, what?” The girls burst out laughing, which I don’t find hysterical because I think we were figuring out how to get rid of a guy that insisted on wearing sports jerseys in PUBLIC.
“You heard me. Nip.in.butt.” I kept chattering on.
“It’s bud. Nip in the bud.” My friend was giving me the, Awww, you’re so cute, look, which I hate.
“No, it’s not bud. Flowers have buds. And why would you be biting anything in the bud? Butt sounds totally more appropriate.”
“Who said biting? Nipping. And yes, it means to cut, NIP if you will, off the flower bud, you know, before it blooms. Why would biting someone’s butt have anything to do with ending something before it starts?” I do not like where this conversation is going, which is somewhere logical, and I clearly sound fucking insane.
“I don’t believe you. Your reason sounds stupid.” I made sure I gave them the look like, Really? Please.
And then I moved on to something else.
At least I’m fun to be around….