Yesterday Kish and I were talking about health, and before I knew it I used the phrase “fit as a fiddle.” As soon as I said it, I realized that it’s a phrase that no American has probably used for the last 20 years,
That’s what happens when my Inner Grandma surges to the fore.
“Inner Grandma” refers to the vast repository of sayings that immediately come to mind about the small realities of everyday life, like weather, and eating, and getting up in the morning, and how you’re feeling today. All of the sayings were chiseled deeply into the synapses of my cerebral cortex as a result of spending huge chunks of my formative years with my mother and my two grandmothers, all of whom used some of the same core sayings. I probably heard them hundreds of times as a callow youth, and was proud of myself the first time I used them correctly and participated in a conversation with Mom or Grandma Webner or Grandma Neal. Now those sayings bubble up, involuntarily, whenever those everyday moments arise, even though the sayings themselves have long since lost their currency — and don’t even particularly make sense, come to think of it.
“Your eyes are bigger than your stomach.”
“It’s raining cats and dogs.”
“I’m in the pink.”
“You’ve got an appetite like a truck driver.”
“Good morning, Merry Sunshine!”
“He’s happy as a clam.”
And that’s just scratching the surface. I guess it shows how much of our thinking is shaped by our childhoods, and how we remain the product of our upbringing long decades after our childhoods have ended. Mom and my grandmothers will always be with me.