One of the surprisingly more difficult concepts to face with my marriage disintegrating before me is the loss of a language. I will confidently generalize and say that all couples share their own language, a cobbled together witty repartee of past experiences and made up words that fit the occasion perfectly. Along with mourning the loss of a husband, I also mourn the extinction of our shared tongue. And it is a lovely rich and varied one. So I’ve decided that this is a good place to share some of those quirky things that we used to say, not in an effort to keep the love alive as it were, but just to say, hey, this is silly and special. Which brings us to today’s lesson boys and girls…
The jiggy jiggy and the tat tat.
Descending the steps of Montmartre at the foot of Sacré-Cœur Basilica, we were met by two African men (as is the beginning of many a story concerning John and I) still dazed in that foggy travel of I’m in Paris with the man I love, I wasn’t quite fast enough in my response to them, made eye contact and paused. And that is how I ended up with my hand in one of theirs having colorful thread wound round my finger being braided into a striking pattern for a bracelet. As I was already caught, the other man decided John should have a bracelet as well, who reluctantly agreed knowing full well this was going to cost us a few euro.
Chatting up our new friends, who were singing songs and dancing a bit while weaving our bracelets, they asked the question that all African men eventually ask…Do you have children? When I replied that we didn’t, it started as it always does…Why don’t you have children? And usually it ends with I can give you many children…but this is getting sidetracked a little. These bracelets, we were told, were for the jiggy jiggy and the tat tat. Which we assumed was, well, you know. Perhaps with an extra measure of fertility added.
And there you have it, the jiggy jiggy and the tat tat. Use it as you will. Me, I’ve had no reason to in quite a while, but now that I’ve remembered, I might just put the damned things on and hope for the best.