When I was a little girl, I started helping my dad in the family business by the time I was 5 years old. By the age of 8, I had a steady job for 4 hours every Saturday morning. He was a tough but huggable boss. He loved to tease me with really silly phrases and a healthy dose of gentle sarcasm. I would laugh so hard, the milk would run out my nose.
One of his favorite jokes was that instead of giving me a standard warm and fuzzy compliment on a job well done, he would grin and tell me to give myself a "spit medal." This meant that you were supposed to lick your thumb and wipe it on your shirt right over your heart. If you giggled and didn't give yourself your medal, he would break into a big belly laugh, lick his own thumb, and take a step toward you.
"OK! OK, Dad. See, I gave myself the spit medal!"
I have never heard of anyone else ever talk about spit medals. My dad was a crazy Irishman, so maybe somebody reading this post will know of this silly game. I still give myself spit medals but for a much different purpose now.
Several weeks ago, Meredith wrote a post about -
"Going On and On and On...."
I loved it, and her story about nagging reminded me of how I use spit medals these days.
I agree with Mere and others that nagging or trying to have the last word isn't really conducive to a happy ttwd home. It is tempting, though, and Sam tempts me on this fairly regularly. There are so many times I want to put my two cents in or suggest a better way to do something (that would be my way.) Sam will always hear my ideas, but he does not need or want me to tell him....
- a better way to drive to our destination.
- why he should google something to check his accuracy.
- the reasons my idea should be reconsidered.
- how to cook my steak.
- what he forgot to do when we clean.
Now days, when I open my mouth to say anything that might be construed as nagging, I really try to close it again and give myself a spit medal. I don't do it ostentatiously, and (up until now) I don't think Sam has really noticed. Just a little lick on my thumb and a quick tap on my shirt. In my head I congratulate myself as well as bestowing the deserved medal.
"Well done, Ella. You kept your mouth shut. I'm proud of you."
- Sam chooses the route with the most traffic at this time of day - Ella does not make a peep. "Give yourself a spit medal, girl."
- For the third time this month, Sam forgets to finish in the dining room......Ella bites her tongue and earns another spit medal.
- Company is over for dinner, Sam is manning the grill, and Ella does not offer any advice. You guessed right; she collects another spit medal.
Actually, this little ttwd wife has swept the Olympic event in keeping one's mouth shut. It may sound silly, this little game of mine, but it has become a way for me to see real improvement in the battle against bossiness and nagging. I think Sam feels the improvement, too, even if he doesn't know about spit medals. Whatever works, I guess.
Always love to find a reason to include a quote from the Bard.
|I have a quote for everything.|
"But no perfection is so absolute,
That some impurity doth not pollute."
In the interest of honesty, I confess that even regular awarding of spit medals does not make me perfect. When the inevitable happens, Sam has a favorite quote, too.
As he takes my hand, I hear
"Come along, Ella."