When Life Gets Idiomatic

I love idioms. I have a whole book about them which I often read for a laugh. Sometimes an idiom is the only way to describe a situation.

So let me tell you about my day in a totally idiomatic sense. *

This morning all hell broke loose when my sister told my mother her husband is drinking again.

The shit hit the fan and it was all on for young and old.

They were at loggerheads, shouting and screaming for over an hour. My Dad rang me, asking if I could do something but my sister had told my Mum that I already knew about the drinking (Jeez, she picks today to come clean on everything) and I am in my now Mum’s bad books for not telling her immediately.

They went at it, hammer and tongs, so loudly that one of the neighbours came over to see what was the matter.

The battle lines have been drawn. ‘You will stay with him over my dead body,’ my Mum declared. ‘You should have nipped this behaviour in the bud. You really need to get your act together.’

My sister cried, throwing herself prostrate on the floor as if it was the beginning of the end.

My Mum continued to foam at the mouth. ‘If you think I’m going to put up with this you’re barking up the wrong tree,’ she said. ‘Stop saying you are going to get help and get it. Actions speak louder than words. Men like him – they’re a dime a dozen. They just don’t cut the mustard. If you go on like this you’ll be going to hell in a handbasket.’

My sister and mother cleared the air. Even though my mother had a bone to pick with me she decided to let me off the hook.

My sister is getting help. My mother is still talking to me. Everyone is moving forward.

Perhaps my sister spilling her secret was a blessing in disguise.

* The real events, which were much more non-idiomatic, were relayed to me by my father.

20 thoughts on “When Life Gets Idiomatic

  1. Explosive though it may have been, it seems this was a good outcome. At least you don’t now have to wait till your mother gets back from SF and buck up the courage to tell her.

    The idioms frightened me a little. I realised how many I use every day without realising it. I shall have to try to curb them a little.


  2. What a good way to have a sense of humor about the whole situation. Do you think she really will get help? Will she kick the guy out of the house? I hope she sees the light at the end of the tunnel!


  3. For what it’s worth. I think your sister should leave immediately. But, she should buy a case of hard alcohol and leave it for her husband saying ” I think you could use this after I’m gone. Good luck sweetie, I hope you feel better in the future.” Within a week he will either be quite ill, and/ or have check himself in to rehab. Good luck Selma , My thoughts and prayers are with you.


  4. Hi RELUCS:
    I am really glad it is out in the open. I didn’t realise how many idioms I used until I started writing this. They slip in without us noticing.

    Hi LAURI:
    I hope so, hon. I really do.

    Hi INGRID:
    Sometimes the best way for me to deal with things is to laugh a bit. My Mum does tend to speak like that anyway. I hope she sees the light at the end of the tunnel too.

    I suspect if that happened that he would drink himself to death. He doesn’t have an OFF switch when it comes to booze. I appreciate your kind thoughts.

    I certainly wanted to 😆

    Hi KATE:
    My sister is 37 but in many ways she is quite immature. She was babied to the extreme by my mother and often has trouble coping with decisions she has to make on her own. Her catchphrase is :’What should I do?’

    Laughing about it made me feel better. It was your typical case of laugh or you might just cry – for days. I’m glad it is out in the open. I am intrigued about Michael not understanding the idioms. Coming over to read.


  5. Sounds like you are finding some creative ways to cope with this situation Sel. So sad really. I hope there is some real resolutions and soon, for all of you.

    Hugs, G

    PS: Thanks re: Twitter and cookbook sale. If you’d like to do that, thank you. I’m not on Twitter but so many people are.


  6. It sounds like today was a good day all around. The air is clearing. The road is still uneven and uncertain, but at least we all have an idea of where we’re going.

    Hugs all around (and I hope and pray that your parents will help your sister follow through to get the help she needs)


  7. Oh gah! That’s all I have to say! Your mom sounds like she’s a force of nature. LOL


  8. Selma, I truly appreciate your sense of humor; your writing, creativity and your unique voice can make me smile even when I’m reading something that wasn’t supposed to make me smile. You are truly gifted…
    And I’m truly happy for you and your family, it’s great that your sister came clean and decided to get help and your mother decided to let you off the hook… I believe it can only go uphill from here! 🙂


  9. I think it’s a blessing – she’s getting help, you don’t have to keep secrets anymore, etc. I like to think of how the earth looks after a hell of a storm – it was scary to get through, but somehow things look so much cleaner – brighter than before. And it’s always after a crazy storm too – not just a gentle downpour. I think there’s something to the wind whipping the dead limbs from the trees and such. Look how much cleaner the relationships are already – movement of any kind (IMO) is so much better than a stagnating pond. 🙂


  10. I’m so glad it’s all out in the open and things are moving forward.

    Your idioms shone a black humour on the situation, and good on you for it. It is amazing how much we use idioms – that became very apparent to me when I was teaching English as a second language. Imagine how baffling your story would sound to someone just learning the language!


    Things are better this week which I am thankful for. The only thing I worry about is how long it’s going to last.

    Hi KAREN:
    I am more hopeful than I was last week and that can only be a good thing. Fingers crossed!

    Hi ATTILA:
    I think she would be a tempest if she could. She certainly has the energy of one 😀

    Hi LUA:
    The only way is up, for sure. It’s a steep hill but we’ll get there!

    Hi DAOINE:
    I hope so. Love that positivity!

    Hi TEX:
    Completely agree. Everything is better after a storm, yet we fear it, don’t we? We can’t see stagnation is a much greater thing to fear.

    Hi MELEAH:
    Oh me too. I would be so glad if that happened!

    Someone learning English would have no hope of understanding idioms. In my final year of high school we had an exchange student from Germany and while reasonably fluent in English she was at a loss when it came to idioms. I remember trying to curb my use of them to help her out!


  12. I am so glad that it is finally out in the open! Although the topic of this blog was serious, I was cracking up at the way you used those idioms to describe the whole situation, although there were a couple I have never heard before!


  13. Hi TBALL:
    It is really good that it is out in the open. You wouldn’t believe the idioms that are out there. I have book full of them. A lot of them I haven’t heard of either!


  14. I’m glad that it is all out in the open now – as frazzled as everyone is, this is progress. Now the discussion (and hopefully the healing) can begin. I hope that this leads to peace and happiness for all of you!
    Keeping in vein with this commentary, this is a blessing in disguise!


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