Saturday, November 1, 2008

I am a linguistics nerd...

"To louse a person and eat their lice." That's a Lushootseed idiom for the verb "to love." Neat isn't it? Think about it: it's one thing to help a person become "better" or "cleaner" by lousing them and helping them get rid of their lice. It's an entirely other thing to eat their lice.

If you apply this to people's faults, this shows one real way of looking at love. You can like someone, and want to help them overcome their faults. But it's when you are ready to "eat" their faults, accept them as part of the person that you love, that you know you really love them.

This is one of the many reasons I love my major!


Geneil said...

I miss you, dear girl! :-D

And I must say it--Linguistics Forever!!! (Where do they speak Lushootseed?)

Erin said...

Your big words confuse me. Haha. Ok, but seriously...eew. I guess I don't love my husband because I don't think I could eat his lice. I hope he never gets them because then I'd feel like a failure as a wife. Love you!

Bruce said...

I don't know that there will ever be a "NEED" to eat lice (for me at least), but it seems like there is a CONSTANT NEED to accept people like they are--whether you are a linguist or just a simple person like me.


Jody said...

There was a girl in my seventh grade English class who used to pick her dandruff and eat it.

She did't have too many friends.

But what about fingernails? Just think about all the germs under them and people eat their fingernails all the time! And buggers. Of course, not everyone does that.

While Joel and Pam were here tonight I told them a story about Joel. When he was four and I was Primary President, the church put on the very first Primary Sacrament Meeting Presentation. One song was about the Word of Wisdom. Since Joel was four he was standing in the front against the railing with all the little kids. As the other kids were singing, "The Word of Wisdom teaches us" Joel put one of his fingers to digging in his nose. And when they sang "what you and I should eat" You guessed it - He was licking that finger clean!

I was sitting on the stand with the kids and didn't see it, but I heard a rumble of chuckling and even loud laughter and wondered what was happening. Someone was kind enough to tell me about it later.

It was one of my first lessons in knowing that what my kids do - for good or ill - doesn't define me OR them. A little public bugger eating is nothing. That thought helped me through some other bigger things. :)

And remember this, all the kids in our family have had lice at least once. Has nothing to do with cleanliness, just contact - brushes, combs, hats, heads put together for a whispered conversation. Having lice is less of a big deal than eating buggers (In my humble opinion and the vantage point of almost 60 years of living.)