There is a campaign out there to make people stop using the word “retarded” to mean anything less than perfect, anything awkward, anything unliked. I’m all for it and I’ve been doing my best to help those around me rethink their word usage. It’s not easy. It’s like using the word “gay” to mean anything less than perfect, anything awkward, anything unliked.
I’m sensing a pattern…
Anyway, this post isn’t about the misuse of the words “retarded” or “gay” (and I’m putting them between quotation marks to indicate their significance, not because I think they’re… less than perfect, awkward, or unliked). This post is about the word: “Remember”.
As in, “We already talked about this, ‘remember’?”
I found myself saying that over and over again when I was visiting my parents and every time I said it, I would mentally slap myself because NO! They don’t “REMEMBER”.
Every time that word would slip out of my face, I’d regret it and wish I could take it back. But it was out there, dancing around whichever parent I was talking to, sticking its tongue out and echoing, “remember? Remember. Remember?!” in a sing-song voice. If I hadn’t been so impatient and exhausted, I would have attempted to formulate less hurtful ways to remind them that topic had already been discussed and we’d reached a conclusion. They just needed to be reminded of the conclusion in a much kinder fashion, but it’s not easy after the 100th time reminding them of something.
Three times explaining to Pop that “We are going to the Mexican restaurant but we have to stop at the bank first. Remember?”
Multiple times telling my mother what I needed her to do. “You need to find a bucket to empty the cans into…remember?”
“We’re going to take this load to the recycle and this load to the dump, REMEMBER?”
“We already went through this pile and it’s ok to throw away. REMEMBER?!?”
So many times that word slipped out because I was not thinking and I just couldn’t…remember to stop.