I love my family of origin!! We share a style of communication, body language, insecurities, and especially humor. My siblings and I are separated by many miles, but we certainly share similar communication styles and senses of humor that make our times together rich. In normal chatter, we default to phrases that might make an outsider wonder what the heck is going on. We also routinely imitate others. My older sister can do a mean Barney Fife imitation, contorting her mouth to the left and puffing her chest at a self-satisfied moment. It’s endearing and hilarious.
I’m thinking about my family of origin and how much I enjoy them because I had a long conversation with my younger sister over the weekend. When our children were young and we were both stay-at-home moms, we talked nearly every day on the phone. Not so anymore. But we are caught up now and that feels good.
Although we aren’t really movie buffs, one may think we watch more than we do because we frequently quote movie lines (and books).
When we don’t really get along or connect with a person, “There’s a wall.” (The Emperor’s New Groove).
When we feel like someone got what they deserved, “There’s a price you pay for the life you choose.” (The Godfather).
When we are in circumstances way out of our comfort zone, “I just came here to worship, but this is the wrooong denomination.” (The Out of Towners).
When things are going poorly, “We have no food, we have no money, our birds’ heads keep falling off.” (Dumb and Dumber).
After we express our heartfelt opinion, we pause then add, “And that’s all I’ve got to say about the Vietnam War.” (Forrest Gump).
When one of us has a secret the other will try to get it out of her by saying, “I am the soul of discretion.” (Sense and Sensibility).
When circumstances have us feeling like we are at the end of our rope, we proclaim, “Damn that octopus.” (Portofino).
When hearing a story where someone is particularly self-serving or we feel like we have been selfish, we say, “Boy, giraffes are selfish.” (The Andy Griffith Show).
Family! We share so many idiosyncratic behaviors. Movie one liners are obviously one of ours. It was great to laugh together.
Shortly after discussing the movie and book references with my sister, Melody, my oldest daughter and colleague, came into my office. I expressed a work frustration I was having – one almost identical to one she’d recently encountered. I finished my emotionally laden expression of frustration and Melody calmly replied, “I understand you perfectly,” quoting from Sense and Sensibility.
I smiled. The tradition continues.