Things only my family would understand
(this post is based on the Marketing for Romance Writers 52 Week Challenge)
As of this writing, my parents just celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary. In addition to the Douglas Adams-ian significance to that (have they reached enlightenment?) that is a hell of a long time. Add in a few (now adult) kids, and it's inevitable that we've invented a few of our own catch phrases.
My mom is big on compartmentalization, and understanding why you're feeling the way you do. Are you hungry? Angry? Feeling anxious about that other thing, but taking it out on the current situation?
To which we say It's not about the bacon.
Picture this. Christmas time. The Temple family is on vacation. Mama Temple is making her famous pasta broccoli bake, the key ingredient of which is bacon (everything is better with bacon). Suddenly, half the bacon is missing. Where did it go? Papa Temple has mixed it into his only slightly less well known caesar salad!
Mama Temple is pissed. There is yelling. My brother and I watch from the couch, simultaneously confused and a little afraid. It's inevitable that there have been some fights in the last 42 years, but my parents actually get into full blown yelling matches only rarely.
Dinner is tense. The pasta bake doesn't have its usual kick. Dishes are washed sullenly.
Later, my mom sits me down.
"I want to talk about what happened," she says.
"Your father and I weren't really fighting about the bacon."
Years later, the actual cause of the argument is lost to the mists of time. Work? Money? How many nights we were required to have dinner with my grandmother during the holiday season? We don't know anymore.
But, whenever someone gets upset about something, we can calmly look at each other and say "You're clearly upset, but is this really about the bacon?"
To which the other party almost always sighs heavily and shake their head.
"No. It's not about the bacon."