Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I'm :-/

In case you are wondering :-/ means perplexed.
And I totally am.

To begin this story, I am going to be up front about the fact I am cluelessly wrong about a great many things in this little world of ours...I mean confidently wrong. I am including three examples of my unique errors of understanding to help color your perspective on this issue...

I loved the movie Heathers when it came out in 1988 and I've watched it countless times. It wasn't until a few years ago, however, that I mustered up the courage and asked Leif what a "ginspoon" was. He asked me to use it in a sentence and I said, "You know like in Heathers when the girl says, 'Gag me with a ginspoon'? I've always wondered what a ginspoon is." And of course he said, "Um, Mel, the line is 'Gag me with a Ginsu.'" I blinked and he continued, "you know like the knife?" Well no, obviously I didn't know. I had spent almost 20 years silently pondering the meaning of a word I had inadvertently made up because I was too embarrassed at the thought of appearing uncool because my heatherspeak wasn't up to snuff.

We are lucky to live in a neighborhood filled with fantastic boutiques owned by equally fantastic people and I have not been shy about sharing my love for the Careful Peach. The Peach's owner, Karen Morovia, is just darling and she, not only outfitted me with jewels for the Inauguration, but also served as a stager on the the South Oak Park Style housewalk I chaired for two years. She has become my friend in the truest sense of the word and she and her husband have been guests in my home on more than one occasion. Sometimes I would hear folks mispronouncing her last name...calling her Karen Morava...and I would smugly think... those people can't really know Karen at all if they don't even know her last name is Morovia. A few months ago Karen asked me to post something about her boutique on my blog and I emailed the text to her assistant for approval. I received the following response...

What? Are you kidding me? For years I had plastered the name Morovia all over Oak Park...misspelling Karen's name in newspapers, in not one, but two well designed program books, on Facebook, and on this blog countless times. Karen Morava and I had a good hearty laugh when I outed myself as the great Oak Park name changer. I am happy to report I am still friends with good old whats her name.

In the 1980's a little band called 'Til Tuesday came out with a pretty recognizable song called Voices Carry. I always liked the song and liked singing it even more. I sing really loudly in the car and in 1996 Leif and I were driving through Chicago when the song came on the radio and I started belting out the lyrics..."Oh Oh Oh....hush, keep it down now, Christmas Carrie." Leif took one side long look at me and started laughing hysterically. For over a decade I not only thought the song was about a girl named Carrie, but I thought it was about relationship troubles during the holidays. Clearly, I had never seen the video. There isn't a damn stocking or wreath in sight.

Now these three tales are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to my delayed learning, but I think you get the picture that this happens to me pretty regularly. And it happened today.
Leif sent me the following email today about making some after school arrangements to care for Finn because he is ill...

Nothing about this email seemed odd to me except the :-) near the end.
I asked Leif what that was supposed to mean and he told me it was a smiley face.
A what?
Suddenly I was having one of those moments...for months and months and months I have honestly been wondering how it is possible that so many people make key stroke errors involving colons, dashes, and parentheses. I am aware how close the T and the G are placed on a keyboard and how in an instant the sign off "regards" could become problematic, but I couldn't figure out how people could make a typing error involving the shift key. These little symbols were like the hanging chads on emails; it never occurred to me that the little buggers could mean something, but they do!
My God, this discovery is like understanding Pig Latin for the first time...and now I must learn to speak it. Use the key included below to decipher the following message...
I am a C=:-) who feels like a <:(































Smiley Face - Happy

Frown - Sad


Angry Frown - Upset



Yawn - Bored







Devilish Grin

Shock / Surpised

Wry Smile


Tongue Tied

You need a punch in the nose






Baseball Hat


Snake Tongue



Little Baby

Oh, I WILL master this new language.
In case you don't have time to crack the code on my message it says I AM A CHEF WHO FEELS LIKE A DUNCE.


Tee said...


You do know what that means, right? ;-)

kswen said...

Oh dear. I am cracking up. I love those moments when it all makes sense. The male and female ones are hilarious. :-)

Andrew said...

Oh. My. God. As a teenager I thought the lyric was "Hush, hush, going downtown, Princess Carrie"

Referring to, perhaps, Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia? I really wasn't sure.

Anyway, bizarre we both assumed that the name Carrie was a significant part of the song

Mary said...

oh dear, that is too funny

Nubia Chaidez said...

OMG - Leif just told me to check out today's post....I'm crying at my desk. Thanks for the giggles!!

Anonymous said...

Even I knew that!!! Of course for at least five years I thought the song
"Two Faces Have I" was "Do Faces Have Eyes?" and could sing it really

Love MD

Anonymous said...


It wasn't until a few years ago that I was listening to that song and realized that Carrie doesn't exist!!! You are not alone!!!!!!!!!!!! Love your blog!!!

;) !!!!


Mr. Packer said...

Don't worry Melissa, for years I thought the lyrics to Carly Simon's "You're so Vain" went. "The wife of the postman" only to find out it's "Wife of a close friend".

opbaldwins said...

Melissa --
You made me laugh outloud about the typos/happy faces...and that's very funny about Karen. I read your story (and had seen her name in print) thinking, "Oh, my, all this time I thought it was Morava." Love your tales.

Penny said...

Mel, Mel, Mel. You are not are in fact normal. I don't know a single word of Led Zeppelin songs. Does anyone?

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