07 May 2010

I don't think that means what you think it means.

Today I stumbled upon this post from Pioneer Woman's early days about reading her brother's high school yearbooks, and a slight linguistic misunderstanding.  You should probably read it.  (Also, I wish Pioneer Woman was this racy still.  C'mon, Ree.  Break out the dirty stuff again!)

And her story reminded me of a "misunderstanding" from my own childhood--one that, when I realized only a few years ago what was really going on, was positively horrific.

Picture it.  Christmas 1987.  I'm at Grandma's house in Maryland with my whole [really crazy] family.  I'm six, and I'm a television addict.  (This was also the same Christmas that we were sledding down a hill and under a big wooden fence, until, of course, I lifted my head at the wrong moment and busted up my face.  This was also the same Christmas that my uncles Allen and Mark, who were four and five years older than me, would tie me up with scarves and wrap me in blankets and leave me by myself in a room with all of the lights off, and tell me to try to get out.  I managed to escape, because I was a badass.)

So everyone's there: aunts, uncles, cousins.  Even my great aunt Ellen (who had recently come out of the closet) came, and she brought her girlfriend Regina. 

At the same time there was a commercial that aired constantly on TV for a vacuum cleaner: the Regina vacuum cleaner.  There was a jingle.  It was catchy. 

And I was six, and obnoxious, and thought it was just hilarious that Regina had the same name as a vacuum.  So, for about a week, I ran through the house yelling: "Regina, Regina, the carpet cleaner!" 

And my family members would all laugh, and I assumed that they also found it hilarious that Regina shared a name with a household appliance.  And the more they laughed, the more I yelled.

I don't think that's why they were laughing.

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