For an explanation of this alphabet theme, see my first NaBloPoMo post.
How many of these encyclopedia entries have I started with "[this letter] was going to be for [this], but now it's going to be for [this]"? Please, don't go back and count. I know I don't always need to share every tedious thought process of mine. Just be glad most of you don't know me in real life. I have a bad habit of telling people things I've already decided not to tell them there, too. I'm fun. Don't you wish you knew me? Sigh.
All of this is to say that I just considered scrapping the "U" entry I had in mind and instead going with "U is for Umbrage," in honor of the surly and awful woman I had the displeasure of speaking with about my Internet service bill this evening. I know that whole "the customer is always right" mantra is a bit trite, and service reps probably have a hundred snappy comebacks in response to it. But in this case, I am right!! And this woman works for a company whose very slogan is "Spirit of Service"! You'd think she could throw me a fucking bone. You call your credit card company to ask them to remove an unwarranted charge and they do it happily, nearly no questions asked. You call your Internet service provider and you're still stuck with the damn $18 extra you DO NOT OWE, and you're slapped with an extra year on your service contract because the yahoo who processed your order a year ago apparently entered it in the system wrong. Argh. Umbrage indeed.
I was going to try not to focus on the negative over here, though, so I'll try to put all seething aside and return to the "U" I had in mind. The problem is, I didn't really have a good "U" word in mind, so I went to the dictionary. (Is that cheating? I hope not. Because I'll probably be doing it on "X," too.)
Not a lot of "U" words are very meaningful to me, but the first one I stopped on and smiled at was Ubermensch. (Note: I do not know how to put the little dots over that "U" in Blogger, so just pretend there's an umlaut there, OK?)
Am I a Nietzsche devotee? No, not particularly. (That's actually my friend Carrie's department.) But Ubermensch is still a terribly fun word; is it not? Moreover, it reminds me of the brief phase a few friends and I went though several years ago when we enjoyed incorporating the prefix "uber-" as much as possible. "I am ubertired." "He is uberannoying." You get the idea, I'm sure.
For some reason, there is one instance of uber-ing that I remember the most. My friends Dale and Greg were visiting for the weekend, and we were discussing dinner plans. "Is anyone hungry yet?" "What are you in the mood for?" "How hungry are you?" That sort of thing. And Greg spoke up, straight-faced as usual, "Well, I'm not uberhungry..." Incidentally, Greg is never uberhungry. Dude eats like a bird. But it made us laugh anyway.
I'm also suddenly remembering another "U" word I once heard that thankfully didn't catch on. Remember Jimmy? The ex-boyfriend now responsible for at least 15 "pothead boyfriend"-related search engine hits on my blog each week? He had his own lexicon as well. You know how damn near every one of us squirms in disgust at the word "panties"? Well, thankfully, he didn't call them "panties." But the word he used was nearly as bad. Friends, he called them "unders." As in, "Are you going to take your unders off?" and "Oh, those are pretty unders!" I am sorry, but if I am in a situation where my "unders" are coming off, using a word like "unders" isn't likely to provoke the intended effect. A romantic he was not. But damn, I liked him anyway.
I could list plenty of other words known and used only by select people in my past. Friends always have their own unique language, right? Schmaegers. Digger. Nuggets.
What words do only you and your friends know?