“Don’t Toby Me”

Chocolate Cake

Image by alachia via Flickr

In our house, we have our own kind of language. Our children, we always said, needed to take English As A Second Language when they were younger. Now? It’s a lost cause. My husband and I use a combination of words and phrases we learned from both Viennese and German parents, some real and mostly made up. My husband and I have been married for twenty-two years, we are also guilty of making up many expressions that some might consider “creative.”

I kid you not, my brother-in-law (on my husband’s side) actually published a little dictionary, for amusement, for one Thanksgiving dinner  many years ago. It was the hit of the night. People (mostly my sister) wrote to him begging him to do another edition or to add a phrase or correct one that was there. That dictionary with photos of all of us when our children were tiny is still talked about today. It was so special that there never can be a second edition, that’s how much we love it.

A bit of many different languages are included. Our poor kids used to ask us if a certain word was real or not. There’s really no way of telling but when in doubt, it’s probably not real. However, there is one expression that is famous throughout the family and has extended to close friends, acquaintances and most probably strangers. It started way back in the eighties when my then best friend and I went to dinner at an Italian restaurant in Boston. After finishing our meals, we looked forward, as always, to the main reason we went out to dinner: dessert. I remember that they had a special dessert that was called Cappuchino pie, a mixture of chocolate and coffee, that my old friend loved.  I ordered something else, I believe it was a chocolate layer cake with whipped cream, or as we used to say “real” whipped cream.

Wanting to take a break after dinner since I was getting full, I went to the bathroom AFTER our dessert came but BEFORE I took a bite. When I came back, not two minutes later, there was a BITE of MY chocolate cake missing. That’s right, you heard me. She had tasted my dessert BEFORE I tasted it and that, to me, was inexcusable. I was looking forward to that first bite, yet she ate it while I was in the bathroom. She didn’t ask permission (would so not be granted) she just ate it. Thus, her name being Toby, the expression was born. It lives on to this day and it will always be alive…..

It’s only been about thirty-one years, yet we continue to use and enjoy this expression.  My niece, many years ago, was with a friend of hers and her friend attempted to try something that my niece ordered but hadn’t tasted yet. My niece proclaimed in a loud voice “Don’t Toby Me!” She then explained what that meant to her friend and the phrase continues to be used and enjoyed in various settings by people probably unbeknownst to us.

The friendship didn’t last but NOT for that reason.  Sometimes, many years after an old friendship is over you can still appreciate a tiny detail, a golden nugget of a phrase, way past the expiration date of the friendship. Watch your dining companion closely. If he/she attempts to steal something off your plate BEFORE you have tried it, stop them.  Keep an eye on their fork  and be prepared. If they do it once, they will never do it again and yes, they will learn. The miracle continues. You’re welcome.

p.s. Jerry Seinfeld could have done a whole show on this. Just sayin…..

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Write an Alternate Ending to a Movie ( OR TV SHOW FOR ME)

The comedy show Seinfeld becomes popular.

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  • An Alternate Ending
  • SEINFELD ( I’m cheating)
    I am taking poetic license and changing an alternate ending to a television series. Yes, I am picking Seinfeld. What kind of moronic, disappointing ending was that? It’s been a long time since it ended but I clearly remember my husband and I watching it (along with the entire world) and hating it. I remember a jail cell and nothing much else. (Thank goodness.) So the ending I would have written would have been:
    Jerry and Elaine would become romantically involved again, getting married ( which of course would be unusual at best) and eventually having a baby which would be hysterical with both their neurotic ways…….
    Kramer would become a dot.com millionaire
    Newman would stay exactly the same, working for the post office and being mean.
    and George? …..George would be gay! A late bloomer. He never really had great relationships with women so he would discover, later in life that he was gay (“not that there is anything wrong with that.”) THE END.
  • A PLINKY PROMPT

Rumors, The Golden Globes And Ricky Gervais

ricky gervais

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“What do George Clooney, Tom Cruise, Josh Groban and John Travolta have in common?” Yes, they are all great actors/singers and celebrities. What else? They are all handsome in their own way. Other than that?  I’ll tell you. What they all have in common is that there have been many rumors swirling around for years that they are all gay: “NOT THAT THERE IS ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT’ as the writers on the late, great Seinfeld show would say.

Who cares? Not me. Ricky Gervais threw out a line last night from The Golden Globe Awards mentioning two leading men who were known for their involvement in Scientology and for their homosexuality. Meow. I did think that was a little over the line but I’m sure some people salivated, nodded their heads up and down and smirked. It was rather forthright, but I expect that from Ricky Gervais, he is an unpredictable comedian. He was hired to amuse and to provoke people and apparently he did just that.

Some celebrities feel comfortable about coming out, i.e. the lovely Ellen Degeneres, others not so much. That’s alright. Not everyone has to go through life waving a flag for the rainbow coalition. It’s your choice….however if you are covering it up and lying, people with whisper.  It hasn’t been long enough for everyone living in the closet to swing open the door proudly. Personally I go for truth over lies any day but there are still people in the world that would not like a leading man to be gay, to them, it just doesn’t fit. Tom Cruise, John Travolta are stars in their own right and both involved heavily in Scientology. Their personal live are their own but it would be nice for them to set it straight (no pun intended.) It seemed that it was perfectly alright that two straight men Jake Gyllenthal and  Heath Ledger  played gay lovers in Brokeback Mountain. What’s up with the double standard?

What I don’t understand is that some celebrities get maliciously outed ( ok, villified) by “entertainment” magazines and by the media. What causes one star to get the slick, slippery red carpet of secrecy and others get thrown to the wolves or in this case, the press. Is there money involved? I’m not suggesting it I’m just trying to figure it all out.

Why do we even talk about it?  Curiosity. We want the truth and don’t want people pretending they are something they are not. I  I would still listen to Josh Groben’s angelic voice as often as I do now. I would see good movies if the movies were good not if their characters were gay or not. It’s 2011, I’m sorry people still feel the need, and they do, to hide their homosexuality but that is their right.

Why do we want to know what’s real and what is fake? Because they are celebrities and they are in our lives through movies, commercials, ads, talk shows, the media and magazines at the supermarket check out counters. So, come clean if you want to, we’re all here to listen. Yes, it is a little like jumping into a lake of ice water. First, there is the initial shock but very soon  everyone adjusts, jumps out or swims incredibly fast to get over that very first hurdle. Your fans are here and we are listening and waiting; for, hopefully, the truth.

Crush Envy

There comes a time in everyone’s life where they let themselves enjoy a harmless crush. The idea is NOT for anything to happen, but it’s the pre-flirtation part that enlivens you and fills you with great joy. Do you remember that feeling when you just had a crush on someone and just thinking about them made you happy?  From my own experience I can tell you that life without a crush is downright boring and I am definitely very bored.  I envy people who have innocent crushes, their secretive smiles, the soft, pink, blush rising up their neck and making their faces blotchy. I miss the stomach churning, hand sweating adrenalin that comes along with a secret crush. The key to a crush really, is that it’s a secret. All the more reason to keep it to yourself, that private (imagined) connection, that silly five year old enthusiasm.

The closest thing I have to a crush these days is a crush on someone’s teeth. Sad, but true. One of my husband’s work associates has the most beautiful teeth I have ever seen in a human being. And, they’re natural. No braces have touched these perfectly aligned pearly whites. This is not a secret crush, I am not embarrassed or ashamed of it, actually I’m proud of it. It isn’t much but it’s something. The fact that they are large teeth, untouched by any orthodontist makes them even more special. People have been known to stop this man on the street and admire his teeth. If only Seinfeld wasn’t off the air, this would make a great storyline.

We’re supposed to go to dinner with this man and his girlfriend and I have mixed feelings about it. I want to say, as much as I like their company, do I really want to see his gorgeous set of teeth, covered with mushy lettuce or ketchup stains or G-d Forbid messy egg salad?  Do I want to see the remnants of his dinner lingering on his teeth?b  I have a hard choice  to make in the upcoming weeks. I don’t want to lose my crush on his teeth but will my crush dissipate if I see his teeth under less than perfect circumstances?

In the meantime, I will try to have a pseudo-crush on someone or something else. Maybe someone will wear delectable looking boots, or carry a handbag that makes me swoon. I would love to have a crush on a person (but you can’t just  decide to have a crush on a person-you have to feel it) but unfortunately I haven’t had any luck with that. Maybe it’s my age, maybe there’s noone out there that’s “crushable”; at least it’s been this way for me, for many,  years.

There are all kinds of crushes, all of them innocent,  harmless. Life without an innocent crush just keeps you in the center of all your responsibilities and chores with no escape. I am missing vacation-like moments to beach resorts without a crush. There is no one to make you look away and smile with your eyes. I love my family and my friends.  I like most everyone, people, children, dogs (cats not so much) and it’s a nice distraction from a very long winter day but it is at most, a luxury.  I bet Larry David could use this in an upcoming episode for Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Do you crush?