In the wholesome, Catholic household that I grew up in, cohabitation – permanent or temporary – was frowned upon. Being the youngest – and perhaps the most daring – I often found myself experimenting with the boundaries of that wholesomeness and the consequences that came along with it. So when my husband and I got engaged while away – alone – on a long weekend excursion, I wasn’t incredibly surprised by my mother’s immediate response. You see, my husband didn’t ask for my parent’s permission before we left on our little getaway but, coming from a fairly traditional family himself, he did ask for their blessing upon our return. My mother’s response? “Well, what can I do about it now?”
Of course, my mom’s reaction left my then fiance a little shell-shocked… stunned into silence really. I, on the other hand, was not incredibly surprised or even disappointed by her initial reaction. Having lived with her for the 25 years prior to that moment and understanding that she did, in fact, adore my soon-to-be-husband, I knew that – in spite of the words that tumbled out – she was absolutely delighted by the news. Of course, the tears of joy and immediate hugging that ensued after my husband picked his jaw up off the floor confirmed my belief.
Since that day, I’ve been trying to explain to my husband that the women of my family – well, we have this way about us. Quite often the words that come out of our mouths don’t necessarily reflect the good thoughts and feelings behind them. You might call us the verbal version of the old Family Matters TV character, Steve Urkel. On more than one occasion each of us has found ourselves innocently looking around crooning, “Did I do that?” I suppose it’s a genetic disorder of sorts.
I started thinking about all of this after noticing several instances in which a series of unfortunate events followed on the heels of me opening my big, fat mouth. In every single instance, my intentions were thoughtful, genuine and good yet I still found myself folding in on myself while innocently asking “Did I do that?”
This juggling of thoughts and words seems to be a difficult business – at least within my family. I will admit that this genetic disorder does actually make me happy simply because it lends itself to some good storytelling. But, I do feel the need to offer up an official disclaimer, so here it is.
From here until forever, please be aware that I possess a genetic disorder that allows jumbled thoughts to flow freely from my mouth. Please also note that my thoughts and intentions are always good and I mean no harm with the words that come forth. I do humbly offer up my apology now, on this 16th day of October, for any past, current or future word atrocities that I may or may not have committed. I do hope that you’ll accept this apology and share the calamity of my disorder with a smile on your face and happiness in your heart. The end.