Posted by: shelliejelly | May 29, 2008

Making it up

Once O. and I started dating, we would talk on the phone for hours. He was still living in the suburbs, so we didn’t see one another every day. Some weeks, he would come down on Thursday and meet me in the bar in the basement of my building, other times, he’d wait until Friday and then spend the weekend.

During the days we didn’t see one another we’d call in the evening, just to say hi, and end by talking well into the night. Many times my cordless phone (yes, I still had a cordless phone), would begin to lose its charge and start beeping, meaning we had to start saying goodnight. Our conversations were varied and interesting; we’d talk about whatever came to mind, asking each other questions, quietly probing into the other’s heart, mind, soul.

I know that sounds dramatic; I know these sentiments might seem childish and adolescent. But truly, O. and I were weaving our lives together in a tight knot, beginning with the basics, tentatively moving to larger landscapes. “Let’s just make up a word and see if we can get it to catch on,” he playfully said one night. Try as I might, I couldn’t really think of anything worthwhile. “Flurpy,” he sputtered, “meaning something really good.”

I agreed to give the word a chance, though, honestly, I don’t think we used it very much outside of our own little circle. More than anything, the word became an endearing way for us to tell one another how we felt. I have a number of cards marked in O.’s clean, uncomplicated handwriting: “I love you. You are the flurpiest.”

The fact that spell check continually marks the made up word with a red line, announcing its unknown origin, makes sense. There is much about O. and I that may cause confusion, go against convention, exist outside the boundaries of what everyone has collectively approved. And that is fine, because in-between the thousands upon thousands of words we’ve spoken to one another throughout the years is a lot of flurpy love.


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