Lean Sideways

winsomebella

Swan

4/23/2013

This is how I like to remember it now, so many years later:

I am six and in as deep as I dare. I dive through filtered hot summer sun to check the shadows of clouds on a peeling, aqua-blue canvas below. A push of water to my right abruptly breaks my focus. I turn to see a girl much like me gliding past with big effort, on the wave of small brown arms and the legs of a lopsided kick.

She is precariously close to the abyss.

I hold my breath as she spins to look me straight on.

Her fish-like eyes do not speak, but I hear challenge, clearly.  

A moment later, she breaks jail, sweeping under the rope and into the deep end.

I do not have enough breath in me to think. Without adequate time to consider, I plunge in, sweeping my own brown…

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9 Things You’re Too Old For In Your 20s

Thought Catalog

1. Interrupting conversations. Remember being five, and when your parents were talking to other grownups you’d walk over mid-conversation, tug on their shirts and repeatedly call, “Mom/Dad?” Yeah — that was improper then — but you were five, so it was fathomable. Some people are incapable of comprehending the notion of waiting their turn to speak. When this happens, utilize the sarcastic old saying: “I apologize, did the middle of my sentence interrupt the beginning of yours?”

2. Poor hygiene. As kids we often abhorred the concept of cleanliness. We relished wearing the same grass-stained, smelly pants for as long as possible. The thought of bathing made us shiver in our Velcro strapped shoes. Now, it’s a different story. It’s remarkable how many folks out there seem to think that deodorant is optional. I mean, technically it is but it shouldn’t be. They need laws enforcing this. If the pungent…

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U OR NON-U, REDUX

Simanaitis Says

IT USED be so simple. Beginning with October 14, 1066, one was either Norman or non-Norman. Up until recently (two days ago), it was U or non-U, the “U” standing for Upper Class.

But now, according to the BBC—an authority of things English, despite its recent kerfuffles—class structure is rather more complex. Here, let’s summarize Auntie Beeb’s assessments as well as previous attempts to keep the chavs in their place.

British linguist Alan S.C. Ross coined the terms “U” and “non-U” in 1954 in Neuphilologishe Mitteilungen, a Finnish journal.

UnonUChart

Nancy Mitford—one of the fabled six Mitford sisters—followed up with an essay on the topic that same year and then with Noblesse Oblige, an expanded version in 1956 edited by her, Ross and others.

Curiously enough, and neither here nor there, “Noblesse Oblige” was also the motto of East High, my Cleveland high school.

A followup to Mitford’s contribution, Debrett’s U &…

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