It all started back when I was a little girl. Our family was on the way to Florida to go to my cousin, Laurie’s wedding. I was to be the candlelighter at her wedding and since it was in Florida, we would also visit the Disney theme park- World or Land, I don’t remember which. We stopped to eat and there was a couple at another table. A friend of theirs happened along, and upon seeing them, she said, in a rather sing song kind of voice, “Well, hello! May we join you? Have you et yet?” OOOOwhhhowhoowhoo.
I was just a kid, but it was such a bizarre interchange. I’d never heard the word “et” and thought it was the funniest word ever. I have made fun of that day ever since. And it got me to thinking about how people talk.
Communicating should be an easy, natural flow of words. But, when I got a phone call from a guy asking if I wanted to go to the zoo, I hurriedly said yes. Then came the high falootin’ stuff. “Shall we say casual attire?” I hesitated and said sure. I hung up the phone and began laughing hard. My mother asked me what was so funny and in a funny, pretend rich voice, I said, “Mother, he said, ‘shall we say casual attire.:” I looked at her and said, “Why don’t we just say , ‘wanna. wear shorts?”‘
I love to write and God knows I love to talk, but I’m just a plain spoken girl. Even in my books, I don’t use high falootin’ words . That’s what my dad would have called it. So, when you talk, speak plainly so the folks down on planet Earth can understand you. There is no need for big words to get your point across. Be yourself and talk like it.
My husband asked this morning if he wanted to come home and read this evening without the television on would that be okay with me.
“Sure!” I responded happily, finding myself wishing we didn’t have tv at times. But, I didn’t know I was going to be in a chatty mood.
I’m the kid who got “talks too much” on each and every report card each and every year. Year in and year out. No matter how many spankings I got for it, no matter how many times my dad told me I was in school to learn, not to talk, I still talked. It just happened. My mouth would open and the words poured out. What could I do?
My poor husband has probably been trying to read the same sentence over and over. That’s so frustrating. At least I know it is for me. But, my Stephen has the added problem of the dogs-every dog we have barking. Then, I’m hollering at the dogs to hush. All the while trying to produce the quiet he deserves. The poor man doesn’t ask for much.
I am, then, trying to concentrate on writing. After I finish this brief missive, I’ll go on to write more of my book,”Tales from the Ass Farmer’s Wife.” Oh heck! now he’s rattling on. I guess he gave up after all this- that’s what usually happens here! What a hoot!
“To write is to pray.”- Paula Walker Baker- yep, I think I made that up all by myself- just now as I thought about what I was going to write.
I wonder if you have ever read blogs or stories in which the language is flowery, using unnecessary words, phrases, cliches or what have you? Well, I have and I have heard people who pray in that same language.
Me? Well, I like to write like I talk. I don’t want any pretense when I write- just want a good conversation piece- even if it is only with myself.
We had a guy at a church I attended once who would pray frequently. I guess the pastor loved his prayers, because he was called on an awful lot- but I found them boring, flowery and somewhat presumptious. Because I was a teenager, I wondered to anyone who would listen why this man insisted on praying like that. I mean, doesn’t God know what you mean to say? Doesn’t He already know our hearts and isn’t He just waiting for us to come to Him and tell Him our issues or requests in our own words, sans flowery agenda. No, when I write, it may not be in the “correct ” form for – say- an English teacher- maybe not even for a publisher- but it is the correct form for me.
I like writing like I talk. I realize that folks who don’t know me have no idea how I sound- where my inflections are or if there is any inflection. Maybe they think me monotone. But, I get the idea they know from how I write what I mean. If I want to say something, dadgum it, I’m just going to say it. I don’t want to pussyfoot around it. I just want to say it and have done with it. And I have done so- many times! And when I pray, I want to speak to God in easy conversations. It’s difficult for some of us, me included sometimes to pray. When I go to God, I don’t want to complicate it with a lot of words I may not be sure of the meaning. What’s the point in that? No, I want to say, “Hey God, help me with this deal. I’ve tried to figure out how to handle it and I’m at a loss. So, I need your help now. Oh and if You could see Your way clear to heal (insert name here), I sure would appreciate it. I’m kinda scared and I need You to help me out there. Thank you and forgive me of my sins. Amen.” That’s it -done. No flowery words, no what-not. I think He gets it.