Lost In Translation: College Edition

It’s done. Last week my husband and I packed the car, loaded up the Girl-child, and transported her to her new life at college.  Such stress does funny things to your hearing.

On the road:

What I said: “Why don’t I drive?”

What I probably meant: “Take some time to relax. I’ll get us through the worst of the traffic.”

What he heard: “You’re going to kill us all, you crazy rage-monster!”


At Target buying last-minute things:

What I said: “I think we should get her the blue pillow.

What I probably meant: “The teal will brighten the place up. “

What he heard: “The dog has better taste than you, and she’s color blind.


Touring campus:

What I said: “Do you want some coffee?”

What I probably meant: “I could use a pick-me-up. Does anyone else want one?”

What he heard: “You are a giant, Debbie-downer turd. Please drink some caffeine so you can stop being a turd. Stat.”


On the way home:

What I said: “The speed limit is 70 now!”

What I probably meant: “Yay! We’re finally out of the construction zone!”

What he heard: “You drive like my grandma.”


On the road:

What I said: “Put a Clif bar in your cakehole.”

What I probably meant: “Put a Clif bar in your cakehole. NOW! You’re driving me nuts!”

What he heard: Yeah, okay. He had to get one right.


At home:

What I said: “She’ll be okay. She’s ready for this.”

What he heard: “I never loved her like you do. I should have raised show rats.”

What I probably meant: “I miss her, too.”

Me and my girl.

Me and my Girl-child


Sweet Girl-child, don’t you even worry. You’re going to do great! And we’ll be okay, too.

Lost In Translation: Family Edition

"We're going on a hike." Because you've been bad.

“Hurry! We’re late!” : We’ve joined the Slow movement. Take all the time you need.


“Get down from there!” Preferably by flying.


“I was eating that!” Help yourself.


“That was my seat.” I was just warming it for you. Here. Have my blanket, too.


“It’s time to leave for church.” Please remove your shoes and socks, change into torn pants, and style your hair with my hand-mixer.


“Are those pants clean?” Did you wear them for less than five day in a row? To play in the mud.


“The kids are playing together so nicely!”  I wish they’d start another round of “Mom, He’s Looking At Me!”


“It’s school picture day.” (see “It’s time to leave for church.”)


“Eat it. It’s good for you.” It will make your ears fall off.


“Give Grandma a kiss.”  Please lick her face and poke your finger in her eye.


“Don’t pick your nose!” Unless you plan to share.


“It snowed last night!” Please strip down to your underwear before going outside. Barefoot.


“When you’re finished with that, put it back.”  Under the couch.


Lost in Translation: Spousal Edition

Okay, so it's a picture totally unrelated to my blog. Sue me. No, don't. Please. The only thing I have of value is my Serenity comic book, and I haven't even had a chance to read it yet.


What she says: “Phoebe, I’ll take you out in just a minute. Let me finish this.”

What he hears: “Take the stupid dog out!”

What she may mean: “Sorry, Phoebe. I know you need to go out. Please don’t pee on my floor. I am hurrying.”


What she says: “Sweetie, can you take the dog out?”

What he hears: “Why didn’t you take her out already, you lazy bum? Can’t you hear her pacing around?”

What she may mean: “My task is taking me longer than I thought. I’m afraid the dog may pee on the floor.”



What he says: “Yes, there is gas in my car.”

What she hears: “You’ll be able to get wherever you are going and home again without having to stop at a gas station.”

What he may mean: “Fumes are gas, right? You may not make it to the end of our road.”



What she says: “What do you want to watch tonight?”

What he hears: “I have no preference. You can choose.”

What she may mean: “Not-the-Godfather-Not-the-Godfather-Not-the-Godfather. Please, NOT the Godfather.”



What he says: “Would you like to watch Twilight tonight?”

What she hears: “I am having an affair with my secretary.”

What he may mean: “You’ll be asleep in 15 minutes, and I can switch it TV over to PBS.”



What he says: “Did you get much writing done today?”

What she hears: “Did you do anything of value today? It obviously wasn’t the laundry.”

What he may mean: “Will you be spending another evening swearing at the computer and griping about word counts?”



What he says: “Are you and the baby going anywhere today?”

What she hears: “Will you at least get out of your sweatpants? Maybe even go to the grocery store. Or a therapist. And for Pete’s sake, woman, get some exercise. Astronauts coming off a space mission have better muscle tone than you do.”

What he may mean: “What did I ask her again? Oh, look! Oatmeal for breakfast. Mmmmm. Oatmeal.”



What he says: “If you will re-pot that plant, I will take it to my office.”

What she hears: “Good grief, woman! How many things did you PLANT this year? We only have one window to winter plants by, and you put everything in 12 inch pots! My office looks like a set for ‘Tarzan of the Jungle’ as it is! What am I going to do with bay laurel and rosemary at work? I’m not cooking a stew!

What he may mean: see above



What she says: “Stop! hit your brakes! You’re going to hit that car! STOP, for the love of God! STOP!

What he hears: “You are a reckless driver, and you will one day kill us all!”

What she may mean: “‘Stop – in the naaaaaame of looooove!’ Just singing with the car radio. Loved the Supremes, but wasn’t that Diana Ross a piece of work? Love you, sweetie!”



Lost in Translation, Advertising Edition

This one isn't mine. Mine got thrown away. I am sad.

I know that many people get confused by advertising, and I am here to help. The one we will unpack together today is an ad for Old Spice After Hours. I had a can of my own. Okay, it was my husband’s, but he used it all. I found it in the trash and made it mine. All mine. But he found it and threw it away again. And I got it back out of the trash. He found it again. I know. Threw it away. Why can’t I have nice things?  Now it is gone, and I am crushed. No longer do I have Exhibit One in my Museum of Stupid Advertising.

Buy another one, you say? Not possible. Old Spice has since changed the copy on the bottle. And I never got a chance to photograph its very stupidity. Enter the power of the internet. A quick search has uncovered the very words I seek, and now I share them with you.

The purpose of this particular Old Spice scent is to make sure you don’t come home alone. Meets US Clean Air Standards. Contains no CFC’s which deplete the ozone layer.

For real. And I am here to explicate its secrets for you like a poem.  I was not an English major, by the way. My degree is in psych, which makes me immune to the power of the printed ad and allows me to shine a light on them for you. Let’s take it line by line, shall we?

The purpose of this particular Old Spice scent”  – this ad was written by an intern who is using it as part of a research paper, the only place in the entire world where it is acceptable for a purpose statement to be so lame. Also implies that other scents have a different purpose, such as scaring away dogs. Or anyone remotely attractive.

“is to make sure you don’t come home alone.” Your old lady will be able to locate you in a dark and smoky bar by your stench alone.

Meets US Clean Air Standards.” But has been banned in 15 other countries. You know, the ones that actually care about the environment.

Contains no CFC’s which deplete the ozone layer.” No ozone layers will be harmed in the use of this product. Your self-esteem, however, will take a pounding when you do, in fact, come home alone. Invest more into cultivating a personality instead of buying questionable grooming products.  You might fare a little better.

It is sad, of course, that my Museum of Stupid Advertising lost its only exhibit. But I’m not worried. Old Spice has about 20 other products in their line to choose from. It’s only a matter of time until they produce another gem like this. Until then, my friends. Don’t be swayed. A little soap and water will take you just as far with the ladies.