Thursday, October 12, 2017

Spit Medals





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." 



27 comments:

  1. Awww, Miss Ella, this is such a perfect way to help you keep that opinion to yourself, and the nagging, such hard things to control. I love your spit medals! Your dad was a smart man. The physical action I'm sure helps to remind you to hold your tongue. Yes, I think I could definitely learn from your post today. Thanks so much for writing this!
    --Baker

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    1. Baker, you are right! I think the physical action does help. It becomes more of a habit.

      Give Yourself a Spit Medal Says Ella

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  2. Ella,
    I love to start my day with an Ella story. This story is a good one. We both practice holding our tongues and it can be challenging. Car directions is still a stumbling block for me. Jack's hand on my leg stops me in a heartbeat. Loved the stories about your father.
    Meredith

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    1. Thanks, Mere. Yes, the car is a challenge for sure. It's perhaps more than challenging because Sam is not great on directions. He even makes snide remarks to the female Garmin voice, when she tells him she is recalculating. Quite funny when he is not mad at me.

      Ella

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  3. Your dad was a great dad. It's nice to remember things that were taught and that we can incorporate into our adult life. Did you pass that on to your children?
    Love Sam's way too.

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    1. He was a wonderful dad, Sunny. Would you believe he had a terrible temper? I wonder if any of that fault rubbed off on me?

      Ella Thinking Mmmm...

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    2. Hmm, I think he passed that along too. lol

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  4. Hi Ella, oh well whatever works! lovely post
    love Jan, xx

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    1. Sweet Jan,
      I need all the help I can get with keeping my mouth shut. I really ought to get a real medal for that sometimes.

      Hugs Across the Pond,
      Ella

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  5. I give myself little pats on the back, so I know what you are talking about. Unfortunately, I still can't keep my mouth shut and end up with a sore bottom. I like the memories you have of your dad. It's really sweet.

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    1. What a lovely comment, Blondie. At least we are trying. Don't think the guys will ever get bored with us being perfect.

      Hugs From Ella

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  6. I'm proud of you girl! I do say what I want about these things: 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.

    He cleans better than me so I don't mention that. But in fairness I say it once only. That was I don't feel like I'm going to explode by holding it in, but he certainly can't say I'm nagging.

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    1. We are all jealous of your Nick, PK. I cannot even remotely imagine Sam cleaning like your guy. He will never receive a spit medal in that event.

      Hugs From Ella

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  7. Awww Ella...thank you for sharing such a sweet story. My grandpa was Scots-Irish and he used to do the lick the thumb and wipe it on our shirts but he never called it a spit medal, instead he would lick he thumb and wipe with an 'attaboy' for my brother and cousins and an 'attagirl' for me. Thanks for the reminder and congrats on all your spit medals. :)

    Hugs and blessings...Cat

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    1. Cat, I was most excited about your comment. Now that's a first! Have never known anyone else who knew about this odd little habit. I loved hearing about your grandpa. We shall have to compare notes on old memories, my friend.

      Hugs From Ella

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  8. Hi Ella, what a lovely story, what an awesome Dad :) I hadn't heard of spit medals. What a great way to help you check yourself before opening your mouth lol. Good on you!

    Hugs
    Roz

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    1. Hi Roz,
      Thanks and I am very glad you enjoyed it. He was an awesome dad. Crazy but awesome. There is never a day goes by that he is not in my thoughts.

      Love,
      Ella

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  9. What a lovely reminder of your childhood and dad, Ella. Good to know you keep up the spit medal tradition. Hope you passed it on to your children.
    Hugs Lindy xx

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    1. Lindy Lou,
      I always love when you visit at my blog. Yes, the tradition was carried on with my boys and my students at school. I remember one parent/teacher conference where a mother asked me, "Just what is a spit medal?"

      Sending Lots of Hugs Downunder,
      Ella

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  10. I love this! I have never heard of a spit medal before. What a lovely memory of your childhood with your dad that still inspires you today. Hugs to you

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  11. Thanks, Terps. He does still inspire me in many ways. Honesty and hard work and laughter.

    Hugs From Ella

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  12. What a lovely story you have shared. The spit medal is new to me but I love how it works for you. Holding your tongue should definitely be rewarded, I know very well just how hard it is to do. Lol!

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    1. Hello there, Laurel. Thanks for your comment today! I found out that Sam read my blog yesterday, so perhaps he will be watching for those spit medals now.

      Hugs From Ella

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  13. A spit medal?! What a great concept. Your dad sounds wonderful. It was great hearing your story. Keep those medals coming. I so often hear the words, "Amy Lynn! Don't you be getting mouthy with me!" Sigh.
    Amy

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    1. Luckily, Sam does not use my middle name. I had a reminder yesterday that I need to stay positive about my health. I am "sorely" out of practice.

      Hugs From Ella

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  14. Sorry Ellagirl, I’m late again. My father was Irish too. He came to England when he was sixteen but never lost his accent. I’ve never heard of spit medals but love the way you use them to keep your ‘advice’ in check.
    I hope you are getting better with every day that goes by.
    Rosie xx

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