Saturday, December 11, 2010

Weird Word-of-the-Day

Har (interjection): expresses the sound of laughter, with a [delightfully] sarcastic connotation.

You might be thinking that I forgot to double the har. Nope. I prefer one. I do indeed appreciate this word's sarcastic-ness but I enjoy it more for its disconcerting nature, especially when using it just once. Doubling the word sends a fairly clear message: "I find what you say to be harmlessly amusing but silly." However, the single har implies something different, something more difficult to interpret.
That's why I've decided a single har is the perfect comeback for my teens. It flummoxes them. Momentarily perplexed, it knocks them off balance, makes them jittery. (Yeah. My parenting goals are likely not chapter titles in parenting guru handbooks. But whatev.) This technique might even be the dazzle camouflage of the war that my wife and I are currently fighting known as raising teens. An example follows.

Teendaughter: Just so you know, I volunteered to be the designated driver after the party tonight at [insert name of teen-with-too-much-freedom here]...

Pulsing Forehead Vein (this is what I named the voice inside my head in these types of situations): When did she ask for the vehicle? When did she ask to go to the party? Where is this party? Who is chaperoning this party? What sorts of frat-boy teen wannabes will be at this party? Where is my taser? Oh hell no...

Teendaughter: (ignoring my pulsing forehead vein) and drive everyone home...

Pulsing Forehead Vein: With our one-and-only family vehicle? The same one I'm sort-of partial to no one barfing in?! The same one you never, ever offer to put gas in? Oh hell no...

Teendaughter: (bubbly) But because it will take a lot of time to drive everyone home I will need a later curfew.

Me: (one eyebrow raised, high intensity eye contact engaged) Har.

Teendaughter: (confused silence as she eyes me curiously and realizes the conversation is not going to continue according to her happy-go-lucky-out-the-door-before-anyone-can-say-no plan) MOOOOOOOOOM!

Yup. I love this word.

11 comments:

Nicole said...

Please write a parenting book.

Alittlesprite said...

It's evil....
I like it!

Laoch of Chicago said...

I shudder when I hear the party associated with a teen aged girl. After all I was a teen age boy once and the reason why it was a bad idea for teen aged girls to go to such parties.

dbs said...

@Nicole You first! Parents need a strong backbone and I have one but sometimes I'm so clumsy and emotional, and make far too many mistakes.
@Alittlesprite I can tell you get it. Thanks.
@LoC I appreciate your honesty. She thinks there are nice boys in the world and I agree with her but I keep trying to explain to her that she won't meet them until they begin to move beyond their trolling phase at around age 23, if then. (I apologize to the rare exceptions out there).

Vinny C said...

I love it when they use the "if-I-say-it-all-casual-like-you-won't-see-where-I-slip-in-the-catch" approach. I've seen my nephew try this on his mother - without success, of course. But when it comes to disarming teens, you, sir, are a true master.

Nancy C said...

Oh my word, I am even more terrified for the future.

As for "har." I especially like that it's as if saying the additional "har" would be just...a bit too much effort. Hee. works in a similar way, but it takes a special person to pull of the singular hee.

Marla said...

I see your point and shall use this wonderfully magical word going forward. Thank you!

Har!

Matty said...

Having raised three children to adulthood, and still dealing with two step-children in their teens, I can so relate. I can't say that I ever used "har" before, but I do like the idea.

I do have to laugh at some of the "tricks" they try to pull, because who among us hasn't tried those same ones in our day.

Artist and Geek said...

Between smeeze and har, are you sure it's the words that perplex your daughter?

dbs said...

@VinnyC I wish. This latest attempt to be cryptic and disconcerting will probably only have an effect for a week or two.
@NancyC It does.
@Marla Let me know how it works out.
@Matty Yeah. I wasn't an angel either.
@A&G I admit it. It's me. *sigh*

Michael said...

Add this post to your awesome list.

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