“HAS ANYONE SEEN MY RUBBERS?”
My dad used to yell that through the house.
I think about it on slushy New York days.
By “rubbers,” he meant his black rubber overshoe boots by Totes. Instead of changing from one pair to another, you just slipped these on over your good wingtips. Or, in my dad’s case, Hush Puppies.
My sister and I objected to them partly because they were ugly and wiggly — we wished he’d wear puffy moon boots like the cool dads wore — but mostly because he insisted on calling them “rubbers.”
We’d “ew” loudly and not help him as he rooted around in the front hall closet, repeating, “Can someone PUH-LEEZE help me find my rubbers in here?”
When he asked why he was being mocked, we’d remind him that rubbers meant condoms, but he had no issue about using the world’s ickiest words in the wrong ways.
(For instance, when a family friend our age named Richard came over, my dad would pat him on the head and say “Hey there, big Dick!”)
So Dad would continue calling his Totes rubber overshoes rubbers, and we would continue not helping him find them. And then he would wait till the housekeeper came that week and ask her to PUH-LEEZE not move his rubbers.
Lately, my sister and I, instead of shortening the word “totally” to “totes,” shorten it all the way to “rubbers.” If one of us agrees with something the other said, we will say, “rubbers.” Or, if we emphatically agree, we’ll say “totes rubbers.”
And condoms? We call those jimmy hats.
What awful words did your parents use?
If you’re a parent, what do your kids mock you for saying?
TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS.