We speak Raymond

Over time, all families develop their own kind of shorthand. Usually it’s built out of the many years of memories and inside jokes that have developed over time.

For example, if I say, “But you don’t know what color it is!”, the only people who will understand the joke are my immediate family. (The story behind this one is that my father nagged and browbeat my sister, then age 8 or 9, into confessing that yes, he was getting a new robe for Christmas. My dad is notorious for weaseling information about his gifts from kids too young to know not to tell him anything. Distraught that he now knew what his gift was, my poor sister indigantly cried, “But you don’t know what color it is!” That line is immortal in the family.)

However, my family also speaks a language that many understand. We were all big fans of the show Everybody Loves Raymond. Hence, my family speaks Raymond. Little catchphrases and funny lines get inserted into our conversations. Sometimes we don’t even realize it. Lines like “Let me finish!” and “Is this about me?” pop up. We watch the reruns together and laugh.

The show was really funny. But it’s really scary how it drew our family together. We all watched it, even when my brother and sister-in-law went to Germany. They could still see it over there. It was our water-cooler show. And it lives forever in syndication. Lucky for us.

There are so many one-liners that show up in our conversations that I’ve lost count. And it would take too long to type out and explain any of them. All I can say is that if you missed watching that show, just try to catch a few. You’ll see what I mean. Especially if you are married, or have children, or have in-laws you occasionally don’t agree with, or have annoying neighbors, or have sibling rivalries, or just like to laugh at other people.

Then maybe you can try and keep up the next time you’re at our dinner table.

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