Every group of people that spends a lot of time together slowly develops their own language, a set of slang they know, or words they’ve given new meaning to. On 30 Rock, there’s the phrase, “That’s not a thing,” which is just an awesome way of saying, “That’s nonsense, old chap,” and of course the term they’ve popularized, “Blerg!” On RuPaul’s Drag Race and all the spinoffs they are a fan of saying “realness” to describe their looks. One of my favorite quotes – and make no mistake, this is a real quote from the show – is, “I’m bringing 1920’s [woman of the night] with a touch of Harajuku girl realness.” On How I Met Your Mother they have a number of words like that, including the one some of my friends and I have adopted: “Sandwiches.”
My group of friends are certainly no exception to this rule that people in proximity create their own shorthand. In an effort to become famous, I share with you now my own unique lingo:
“Yesterday, I tried Chobani/Coconut Water.”
The first day I came to New York this summer Maryann and I heard two people say this (chronicled here), and, for some reason, hearing people talk about how they like yogurt and coconut water for five minutes just struck as being, quite possibly, the most boring conversation three people could ever have. Now, when we overhear boring conversations – or find ourselves having a boring conversation – one or both of us will look into the others eyes with the most serious, stoic face and say, “Yesterday I tried Chobani/Coconut Water.”
Speaking of boring, shortly after this encounter with the group of coconut and yogurt lovers, I met one of Maryann’s friends, whom I call “Adelaide.” Her name is definitely not Adelaide, but, as Maryann says, “She’d probably be more exciting if it was.”
See, Adelaide is quite possibly the most boring person I’ve ever met. She knows how to discuss two things: the boy she’s going on a date with (always someone she’s only met within the past week) and what she likes. Having a conversation with her basically goes,
“Look at this cute boy I’m going out with on Saturday!”
“Oh, he looks nice.”
“Yeah, he’s cute.”
“Well, I hope the date goes well.”
“Yeah. You know what I like? Lemon soda.”
“They’re good, though I’m more a root beer person.”
“I like lemon. I really like it when it’s not too fizzy. And I like Chobani”
As you could guess, when this continues for countless minutes (that feel like hours) you end up wanting to throw Adelaide out the window. And so now Adelaide is who we refer to whenever someone is very dull.
About four weeks ago I went to Whole Foods and, despite generally not liking oranges, got some tangerines that looked simply delicious. And they were oh, my, just so good. I knew it made me worse than any Chobani lover, but they were so good I simply couldn’t help but tell Maryann about how amazing these tangerines were. As you can guess, she mocked me.
Then, a week or two later, we were exploring an Italian market and they had free samples of apples. We both tried them, and I thought they were good, but Maryann was practically moaning like a woman in an Herbal Essences commercial. “Oh my God!” she cried. “These apples are amazing.” She assured me they were very good about two more times in the next five minutes, and then she stopped me and looked me right in the eyes and said, “Greg, I’m having a Tangerine Moment with those apples.” So now a Tangerine Moment is any time when you experience something completely mundane and somehow it is so amazing that you simply must tell someone about it.
Two of my friends – one a man, one a woman – are famous within my group of friends for acting like things that aren’t problems are problematic, and thus comes the term “Princess Problem.” The perfect example of a Princess Problem is when you go to an ice cream shop and discover your friend works there, and this comrade, being a kind, decent human, worthy of praise, gives you extra ice cream, and your response is to whine, “But now there’s more ice cream than I wanted!”
Possible Princess Problems:
“Too many people want to date me!”
“My apartment has too many windows!”
“With so many job offers how can I possibly decide where to work?”
When Hurricane Sandy hit, my biggest problem was quite simply stinkiness: see, no one was expecting Sandy to be that bad in New York City itself, so I stayed the night with Maryann in Queens and only brought one change of clothes, under the impression I would be able to return to Brooklyn and my own possessions the next day.
Then the subways running from Queens to Brooklyn were down for six or seven days.
I left for Brooklyn after five days after the storm, taking a taxi, but at the point I had left I had been wearing the same outfit for – well, four days. And I felt terribly dirty. But there was one article of clothing I change: my socks. And I was able to change socks by taking and wearing Maryann’s socks, even though her feet are about 2/3’s the size of mine.
And so I give you the term “Sock buddy:” A sock buddy is someone whom you are so platonically close to that you don’t mind just taking their socks, or eating food out of their fridge, or taking their cat for a walk, because you know that the worst they’ll do is be really confused why they’re missing their lucky pair of crusty, pink socks. Everyone should have a sock buddy.
Now I’ve gotta ask: what are some of the slang terms unique to your group of friends?