There are words, that over time, I’ve come to hate. Whether it’s through overuse, some idiot ruining it, or just an initial cringe factor that has grown and grown over time. I can’t help it; whenever I hear one of these words thrown around, it always provokes a response in me.
Words like moist, which I can barely type without a shudder. Panties is another one. Obvious reasons for both of these. They are just gross and should not be used, and especially never together.
Add journey to the list. It’s been so over used by every reality TV show ever, that it’s now lost all meaning. All participants on these shows seem to have had to travel on some sort of epic journey to find their better selves, or their cooking genius, or singing talent. Whatever.
I find myself using it sometimes, but that’s just laziness. I need to use a thesaurus more and swap it out for almost anything else.
Incident is another one. I never used to have a problem with this, but over the years it’s come to mean ‘alert, something really bad has happened at school,’ and that’s generally closely followed by ‘all the shit is about to hit the fan with Poss’.
I’ve now been conditioned to break out in a cold sweat, flushed face and a thumping heart, like I’ve just been running a marathon, when the school calls. Given how unfit I am, this is considerable. If the conversation doesn’t immediately start with “don’t panic” then I know the dreaded word is coming.
We’ve had a bit of a break with these calls. It’s been a while, and maybe that’s allowed me to let my guard down. But don’t worry, it’s obviously so ingrained in me that it only takes a second for my body to remember.
And remember it has. The past few weeks have seen a few of these calls. And yep – just like I shudder whenever anyone mentions a moist cake, I’ve reverted back to fearing the school’s number on my caller ID.
Incident. There’s been an incident.
The words have so much power to conjure up all kinds of things. Before they start talking it could be anything, but the only promise is it will be nothing I could ever expect. So I wait, holding my breath, for the caller to go on. To explain what’s happened, how Poss has broken something. Or is broken. Broken.
And then I have to call husband, and tell him about the incident. And then we have to call her therapists and tell them about the incident. And her paediatrician. Usually I tell my mum about the incident. And then I’ll cry down the phone to my sister and my best friend. There’s been an incident. Or two.
It rarely comes in ones, and only occasionally in twos. It’s usually the start of a series. A series of incidents. That usually builds to be something more than an incident.
What is a group of incidents? What do you call them when they all follow each other, like a mother leading a bunch of tiny ducklings? Maybe a clusterfuck? Of course that’s not as cute as ducklings, but then again, neither are the incidents.
God, how I’ve come to hate that word.