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I was writing emails to my sister, Kate and my sister-in-law, Becca on Friday morning to plan my brother's birthday party tonight when Katie chimed in that she loved all of our "ishs." At first I didn't know what in the heck Katie was talking about — she's often on another planet. But, I re-read the emails and realized that Becca and I'd both given all of our proposed timelines with the "ish" caveat:

To: Becca and Katie

From: Kelly

Subject: Patrick's birthday bbq

I'll arrive at 5:30ish so grilling at 6:30/7ish works for me as does dinner around 7:30ish. We should be out of your hair by 9:30ish!

I was using "ish" to show that I didn't want to impose some scary schedule on the rest of my family for such a casual get together — my siblings are all Ps meaning their schedules are always more flexible than mine. My use of "ish" is very specific — as it is likely to be for all Classics (SJ). I do it to give myself 5-15 minutes of breathing time for mistakes or any other hold-ups. But, when you're dealing with Ps, even if I give a definitive time, 7:30, more than half the time, they'll read it and mentally add my definition of "ish" automatically. Therefore, when a P is putting "ish" behind a time then it's a clue to you that the timing is REALLY flexible. It signals to all of the J's out there that the evening is not going to be a military operation.

And our evening wasn't anything like a military operation, or if it was, it was about successful as the Bay of Pigs. I got there around 6:30ish not 5:30ish due to traffic and rain. Then my trusted lieutenant forgot the English muffins for my haute cuisine burger recipe, I burnt the sweet potato fries and we ate about oh 9ish hundred hours. To a Classic like me, planning to eat at 7:30, 9ish = failure.

None of the Ps seemed to mind though. I marvel at how they can so naturally adapt to whatever happens to knock you off course whereas I tie myself into a frayed knot, have a slight mental breakdown and THEN adapt to the new course without a care in the world. If only I could learn to get to A from B without the breakdown. Perhaps this is why some people take valum.


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Reader Comments (1)

Ha! The power of ish. I remember that evening as joyful, messy, post partum chaos! Let's do it again this year but maybe out of Brooklyn??

June 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBecca

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