When my sister Ashlae was just a toddler, she learned a very bad word. It's the kind of word that still makes me cringe even today. I hate it. It's a racist word, and honestly, I have no idea where she learned it. I just know that if she was out in public and got angry at one of us, we could be assured that the offending word was going to come out of her mouth. Loudly. This word is not acceptable anywhere, but in Houston, Texas, it was especially dangerous. We came up with a creative solution. We taught Ashlae that the word "person" was a bad word. She quickly made the switch, ditching the truly bad word and calling us a "person" every time we upset her.
Name-calling was not allowed in our house. I am sure we did our share of it behind our parents' backs. With six kids in a family, name-calling is bound to happen. After watching the movie Annie, we started calling each other pig droppings, and my mother eventually banned us from watching it. (Pig droppings is kind of a hilarious thing to say) We were smart, though. We kept little bribes up our sleeves, and we would negotiate our way out of situations when a sibling threatened to tattle. Stupid idiot, I believe, was my favorite thing to say. It kind of still is. Drive with me, and you will find out.
But somewhere along the way, we latched onto funny names of real, actual people and adopted them as names to call one another. A particularly annoying pastor's kid named Esther became "Pesty Esty", and it became the thing to call a sibling that was being irritating. My Mom worked with a woman named Dorcas Tucker, God bless the poor woman. We loved this name so much that we still use it to refer to anyone that is weird. I am sure that Dorcas would be devastated if she knew how often we have used her name in vain. Let's hope she doesn't read my blog. A missionary's wife named Roxy became "Foxy Roxy" (the last name was always included, but has been omitted for privacy purposes. It did, however, go splendidly with the whole thing, making it extra fun to say) That name was mostly reserved for women with huge hair. Senorita Sexy Pants was another great name we gave to a rather bosomy church lady, despite the fact that she was not Hispanic and her pants were never all that sexy. It became the name for anyone overdressed and overdone.
I think I have outgrown my name calling days. (Unless, as I mentioned, I am driving) I haven't called anyone a Pesty Esty in, oh, probably 25 years. I haven't even thought of Foxy Roxy in probably 15 years, until my mom brought her up today. My mother assures me that these things make our family fun, not weird. That's a mother talking, though. She loves us, even if we are Dorcas Tuckers from time to time. So the moral of this story is... well, nothing. There is no moral, no real point. But if my sister Ashlae ever calls you a person, just know you have made her really, really mad.