I don’t know why this memory from nearly 50 years ago came back to me, and I’m a little fuzzy on the details.
When I was about 12 or 14 I started using the phrase “I need a freaking rock.” A lot.
I would use it when something wasn’t going my way, when it was time to go to school, when it was time to do homework, when I didn’t like what we were having for dinner, when my sisters annoyed me, when there was nothing to watch on TV.
You get the picture. I used it whenever the opportunity presented itself. And since it’s essentially a nonsensical phrase, it fit virtually any situation.
I think it was an attempt to gently test my boundaries; not going all the way with the “f” word, but using a pretty close substitute. I’m not sure if my plan was that once my parents got so used to hearing me use “freaking”, it wouldn’t be that big a leap to start using the real word.
Well, I never had the opportunity to try that next step.
After about two weeks of using the phrase literally dozens of times per day, my dad, all 6’4″ of him, told me to stop saying it.
And just like that, I don’t think I ever uttered the phrase again.
Until tonight. I’m still not sure why the memory came back to me, but I’m glad it did. It brought back memories of a happy childhood, surrounded by a family that loved and protected and supported each other.
As I said the phrase tonight, I thought it still had a nice ring to it.
It seems like something Napoleon Dynamite would say. And if that’s the case, then I’m in good company.
*image from DesigningLife