Monday, December 1, 2014

Chit Chat, Lite & Not

What do parents say nowadays when their kid asks them what a word means?
My mother said, "Look it up," though I think she enjoyed telling me the meaning just as often. 

It's funny to think my mother died in 2002 without ever getting well-acquainted with the Internet. I can't decide if she'd have been horrified or enchanted--LOOK EVERYTHING UP!!!
Probably both.

At any rate, I think she would have liked the Online Etymology Dictionary (OED!) where I learned that "chit chat" is a "diminishing reduplicated form" of chatter, which itself is an "echoic" word. 
echoic: formed in imitation of some natural sound : onomatopoeic

chatter (v.) Look up chatter at
early 13c., chateren "to twitter, gossip," earlier cheateren, chiteren, of echoic origin. 
Compare Dutch koeteren "jabber," 
Danish kvidre "twitter, chirp." 

Hm. Would the 
diminishing reduplicated form of "twitter" be twit twat? :) 

The Light Chat 

I'm  free to chit-chat a bit here while my asparagus quiche bakes. I'm sitting in the kitchen, where I also sleep---don't I sound Dickensian?
I've always lived in small apartments and have long wanted a Murphy bed. When Marz moved in, eventually I realized I could mimic the effect by tipping my mattress up against the wall.

Speaking of Dickens, Marz started reading A Christmas Carol and was delighted with how D. writes that Marley's face has "a dismal light about it, like a bad lobster in a dark cellar."

The kitchen timer just rang, and . . . voilà! Feeling all facebook-y I present to you, my quiche:

Marz says it's like Martha Stewart. I used Cardona goat cheese my father brought up from Wisconsin---he drives right past [award-winning] Carr Valley Cheese.

The Heavy Chat (Death & Dementia)

My father always stays with my sib, and this year he asked me to join them the day after T-giving to go over his  updated will/ health directives.
He's almost 84, and I'm grateful he wants everything to be clear and open. But it's hard because he and I don't see things the same. He told us, for instance, that if he gets dementia, he doesn't want to live, and he would take matters into his own hand.
He "values his intellect too much," he said.

OK, fine.

"And I don't want you kids to have to go through that."


"Wait!" I said. "I respect your wishes, if that's what you want to do, but don't do me any favors: I'd rather have a  father with dementia than another parent commit suicide."

My sib strongly agreed with me.  Of course our feelings are skewed from our mother's suicide: I would never presume to judge someone who took their own life rather than experience their brain dying. 

And now, the quiche is cooled and we can eat!

For more info on suicide prevention or help if you are struggling:
"The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals."
Outside of the United States, please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of international resources.

1 comment:

Fresca said...

ZHOEN: Right--"no extraordinary measures" and all that.

But I wouldn't presume to say who suffers more when a person gets dementia---it depends on so many complicated factors (and X-factors) in the lives of the people concerned. And their relationships to each other.

For instance, my sib who is v. close to my father would suffer more from his suicide than from tending to him every day for years, even when he no longer recognized her.
So she says, anyway, & I believe her.

And dementia varies so much, of course, as you know. I see that some people live contentedly with dementia, at least at some stages, while others suffer actively.
(But can you tell ahead of time? Probably not.)

I've only seen one murphy bed in real life: it was an efficient space-saver, but the frame was necessarily flimsy, so uncomfortable.
My mattress lies on the floor at night, so it's plenty firm!