I've learned that most writers are born people watchers and I'm no exception. We find fascination in the most unlikely of experiences, the whole world is a library...each person a book. It could be a conversation overheard, a story told to us or some slight idiosyncrasy that we might witness first-hand. The other night one of my best friends and I were across the table talking about an upcoming trip to Chicago. Keep in mind my friend grew up in the late 60's, before technology completely ruled our lives. He was reading the description of the hotel that were staying in and said, "Look, they have free wee fee!" After a few moments I realized that he meant wi-fi.
Once you get to a certain age I think people start getting completely fed up with certain aspects of life and consciously start calling things by slightly different names as a kind of protest to conformity. My father was way ahead of the curve on this one. He's been verbally rebelling as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, I had a friend named Sean and my dad always referred to him as, "John" which you could tell dumb-founded Sean but for some reason he never said anything about it. To dad socks are "stockins", immaculate is "immaculace", prostrate is "pole-straight" (which must baffle his doctors) and fish has always been "feeesh". But you know what? That's okay and to tell you the truth I wouldn't want it any other way, it's part of what makes him "dad" to me and I relish this uniqueness.
It's already begun for me. When ordering at Starbucks I refuse to buckle under to their "corporate size reinvention". In today's society we have far too many things to remember already without having relearn something that we learned in kindergarten. I have no idea how large became Venti and I want no part of it. When I order a cappuccino, I call it what it is and say "small" not "tall". The cashier usually will tilt their head and flash and inquisitive look, appearing for a second that their whole belief system has been threatened while calling out to the barista, "TALL skim cappuccino". As I approach 36 it's time to step up my game. The next time I'm in a coffee shop I'm going to march up to the counter with head held high, compliment them on the immaculaceness of their establishment and ask if they have free wee fee.