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Words That Mean The Most To Me

Everyone has an inside joke or saying with their friends or family; so they all know that that joke is even funnier when someone does not understand the story behind it all. People will beg you to know what you are laughing about, but you know giving away the secret would be like spending your leftover birthday money on a cheap toy; in the end it is not worth it. My family and I have inside jokes and sayings we bring up from time to time, and even my friends share a few laughs with me over the silliest of things we remember doing. Inside jokes and old sayings bring smiles to everyone, but it is the ones that nobody will ever understand that makes them all worthwhile.

“Crappa, I have missed you!” That is not your everyday greeting to your grandfather, but for some odd reason my family will never be able to call him otherwise. The story goes all the way back to when I was just learning how to talk, and “baby words” were all that would come out of my tiny, never quiet, mouth. Everyone has heard the words “dadda” and “momma,” but I was making my own dictionary since age two. I had used creative words like “chubba” for ‘brother’ and “teeta” for the word ‘sister,’ but the family favorite word I created was the still-popular “crappa.” I would call him this name everwhere we went, and the funny looks we got never seemed to bother us. In all of my grandfather’s birthday cards, we cross out the word ‘grandpa’ and change it to his real name, or at least what we consider it to be. To this day there is no explanation for my abnormal word choice, but it somehow found its way to be in the family list of sayings. Now whenever we see my grandpa, we do not call him like most people would call their grandfathers; we call him “Crappa.”

Being the little girl that I was, you would expect me to ask for something like a new Barbie or a tea-set for Christmas, when actually I was beyond thrilled receiving the simplest gift anyone could ever get. That is why that Christmas ended up being one of the most memorable times in our family, and “shoelaces” would never be taken the same way again. When I was about eight or nine years old, I aimed to be exactly like my older sister, Brianna; I wanted to go to the same school as her, talk like her, and even dress like her. Bri had bought black tennis shoes, along with a pair of shoelaces covered in hot pink stars to match perfectly. Now, if she would have worn those today, I would be embarrassed to be around her, but back then, I wanted nothing more than to have what she had, wardrobe included. My mom got me black tennis shoes so I could match Brianna, but left out the best part, those black and hot pink beauties. Of course I was still happy to be almost like Brianna, but because they didn’t stand out like hers, they were just another pair of boring, black tennis shoes. Christmas time came around, and I was filling out my wish list. On that list you could find the Hilary Duff clothing line from Target or the new Barbie doll, but at the very top of my list wrote the most ridiculous item a little girl could want, “black shoelaces with pink stars on them, like Bri’s,” capitalized and in bold to emphasize my need for them. My family kept telling me that they were sold out and could not be found anywhere, which lowered my expectations for them until I believed I would not find them under the Christmas tree to be unwrapped that year. Christmas Eve came around and we all sat by the tall, glowing tree, ready to open presents. Everyone was there: my siblings, parents, grandparents, and even my cousins who had come all the way from Minnesota. There was a tiny gift under the tree with my name on it from my sister. I had a feeling I knew what it was, but I did not want to get my hopes up. Excitement filled my eyes as I unwrapped the gift and noticed a hot pink star. Before I could even finish removing the gift wrap, I jumped off my seat and shouted at the top of my lungs, “shoelaces!” My family had never seen me so excited over something so little. Next thing you know, I was running around the couch and up and down the stairs, waving my new shoelaces around. I immediately went and grabbed my black tennis shoes and started changing the laces. That was one of the best Christmases of my life.
Now, whenever someone gets a gift they had been wanting, we scream “shoelaces!” like that Christmas had just been replayed.

Even though none of us are related, I like to consider my dance team my family as well; I am with them every day, and we have the best of times together. There are a countless number of inside jokes we share together, a lot of them even we cannot describe. One of our all-time favorites took place at the dance studio on an early Saturday morning, when “we knew what to do.” We danced non-stop on Saturdays from eight in the morning to three in the afternoon, so every week was a new and hilarious memory to look forward to. We were in the middle of our drink break, when everyone went out into the lobby to refill their water bottles from the water jug. After a few minutes of filling bottle after bottle, the five-gallon jug became a dry, empty five-gallon jug. As we sat there drinking and breathing heavily in order to catch our breath, the desk attendant, Paige, brought out another jug. All of a sudden, we heard a “thump” and a “splash.” Just as Paige was flipping the new jug into the dispenser, water shot out of some unnoticeable cracks in the container, spilling all over the floor. Before we could react to the mess, water was seeping into the corners of the walls and under our seats. Every girl’s motherly instincts set in as we raced to the storage unit to grab whatever we could find: towels, napkins, tissues, anything that would soak up the water. Within seconds, every dancer from ages four to eighteen was on her hands and knees cleaning up the flooded mess. After twenty minutes of non-stop drying and mopping, we all sat down, looked at each other, and started laughing harder than we have ever laughed before. Our teacher came out and stated, “Wow, you guys knew what to do!” Then the little girls repeated her, saying, “Yeah, that was funny but we knew what to do,” followed by the older girls laughing and stating, “At least we knew what to do.” For the next thirty minutes, the only words you heard were “It is okay, we knew what to do!” Words cannot explain
why we still say it today, but no matter what happens, we just look at each other and say, “We know what to do.”

My favorite thing about an inside joke or old saying is when you can bring it up at any moment and still be able to laugh about it. You could be bringing up something someone said almost ten years ago or something that had just happened and it will still put a smile on everyone’s faces. Whether it is a family saying or an old memory with your closest friends, it is something that will stick with you forever. Special moments like those bring you and your loved ones closer than ever before and call for even more amazing memories to be made later on.



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