I Saw the Sign

10 points if you now have Ace of Base stuck in your head.

Over the holiday’s, I had a memory randomly pop into my head.

Once upon a time, I was at a bridal shower.  At the time, I was dating my future husband.  As an icebreaker, we went around the room and introduced ourselves, described how we knew the bride-to-be and offered a piece of marital advice.

I was stumped.

I shouldn’t have been.  How hard would it have been to come up with something generic?  Or something regurgitated from one of the dating/relationship books I had read?  But I guess that I felt that since I wasn’t married, I didn’t feel qualified to offer advice on an endeavor I hadn’t experienced.

So I started thinking now that I’ve had 5 years of marriage under my belt, what would advice would I give?  After 6 (yes, 6) family Christmas get-togethers, it hit me.

Couples should have a ‘sign’.  A secret sign.  A word, a pet-name for the other, a gesture, etc that you can give/say in front of others that means something only to the two of you.  I won’t reveal ours, but I will divulge the sign my mom and I used from my yesteryears, because she’s not the boss of me anymore (I love you, Mom!).  If I asked her to do something that I really didn’t want to do—like, “Can I go to the wrestling meet?”—I’d scratch my nose.  Seeing my signal, she’d then be the bad guy and tell me ‘no’.

Your ‘sign’ can mean anything.  Here’s what our sign has meant recently:

  • Stop talking.
  • Time to leave.
  • Emphatically no.
  • I need to talk to you privately.
  • Stop making a scene.
  • Just go with it.
  • You’re annoying me.
  • Change the subject.
  • The answer is NO.  But I want YOU to say it.

This isn’t a new concept.  I’m sure many of you have already been practicing your own sign.  But maybe there are a handful of you who haven’t established your secret signal yet.  Or perhaps a few of you might be considering a new sign, since I blew the nose-scratching cover.  But it feels good to finally have a word of advice for the bride who has now been married longer than I.

10 bonus points if you’re thinking of the scene from The Office when Michael is talking about his and Jan’s secret word.

Award yourself a Gold Star if you remember the word.

Thumbs up if you caught the second Office reference.