As I drove to pick the kids up from school on Thursday afternoon, I experienced something new: a moment of laughter mixed with grief. I shared the experience over TikTok, but essentially a fire truck started it all.
As I laughed over the memory, I felt this dissonance within my heart. I love Emily and I know she’d like to see me smiling and laughing over the memories we shared. Yet, as I think about the silly ways in which Emily and I talked to each other over the years, I can’t help but also feel my heart breaking all over again.
We Called Them “Wee Woos”
If you watched the TikTok, then you already know this. But, basically, Emily and I started calling emergency vehicles “wee woos” at some point, and the name stuck.
However, we eventually took it a step further and gave each “flavor” of vehicle an adjective to distinguish it. So, fire trucks were “spicy wee woos.” As you can guess, ambulances were “medical wee woos.” And, I think police cars were “criminal wee woos.” (We talked about that one the least often.)
I don’t know if I just haven’t paid attention to my thoughts as much lately or if Thursday was simply the first time I’ve consciously thought about those terms since Emily died. Regardless, I laughed as soon as the phrase popped into my head. I even looked over to the passenger seat while laughing, and for a moment I imagined her laughing there beside me. It didn’t last long, but it was nice while it did.
Wee woos weren’t the only silly words for things we had going on. Sometimes, it almost felt like Emily and I had our own little language. In certain instances, it was to keep the kids from figuring out what we were saying. But, most of the time, it was just things that started with a single silly moment that became an ongoing thing we shared.
For example, we started calling each other “babe” fairly soon after we started dating. When the kids said it was too confusing for us to both be “babe,” I started calling Emily “pint-size babe” and she started calling me “musical babe.” It was cute.
To go along with that, we had statements that probably sounded completely ridiculous to anyone else, but we knew what they meant.
- “Babe is love?” meant the person who said it needed reassurance. The other person would usually respond with, “I love my babe!” and the person who asked the question would say, “Yay! Babe is love!”
- “Skinny desires” was a term Emily used when her eating disorder thoughts were being extra loud.
- “Spicy thoughts” were code for trauma flashbacks or thoughts related to a past trauma, which we both had many of.
- “Babe is want?” was usually Emily’s way of asking if I wanted to have sex.
- “Does babe need medicine?” or “Can I have some medicine?” was usually a sneaky way to discuss edibles. (We learned early on that saying “gummies” did not work.)
- “Gentle cuddles” was a term Emily used when she wanted me to hold her or cuddle up with her, but not in a sexual way. Usually it meant she was sad or having a hard day and just needed me to wrap my arms around her.
- “Toaster bath thoughts” was our way of letting the other know that we were not doing well mental health wise.
- “Grippy sock jail” was code for the psych hospital.
- “Babe is WAP” can probably be inferred if you know the Cardi B song. Usually one of us said it to the other when they put on an especially attractive outfit.
- “I be a blob” meant the person who said it wanted to curl up and relax. This usually involved a blanket and, in Emily’s case, meant she was going to scroll TikTok.
- “Bad babe!” usually meant one of us did something we weren’t supposed to, but it was usually said in a playful way.
- “Mommy juice” was alcohol.
- “I pop babe!” meant Emily was about to pop some sort of pimple on me. (I could write a whole post just about this.)
Song Lyrics Became Sentences
I’ve discussed how much Emily and I loved music in multiple posts at this point. However, this meant that we both would randomly burst into song. I think Emily was one of the first people in my life who matched my love of turning what people say into song lyrics, and it makes my heart happy.
Some favorites in the house included:
- I Knew You Were Trouble by Taylor Swift (usually in reference to the cat Trouble)
- Booty by J Lo and Iggy Azalea (if you saw Emily’s butt, you understand)
- Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol because of Grey’s Anatomy
- Good As Hell by Lizzo (usually when we’d ask how the other was doing)
- I Kissed A Girl by Katy Perry for obvious reasons
- Tempo by Lizzo (often me dancing in the kitchen)
I Miss Our Special Communication
I’ll admit, there are so many things that are hard about life right now. But really, it’s little things like our ridiculous made up language that make this especially painful. You just can’t replace that level of connection with someone, and sometimes it takes longer to explain the word or phrase than it’s worth. It’s like that language we shared is just… gone.
Because of Emily, I had someone who I connected with on a level that we could communicate in so many silly ways and still get each other. And, much like our inside jokes, I miss those little conversations of lingo and lyrics more than ever.