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Tossed Salad Friday

You know those commercials where the people just say, “Dude,” and it can mean so many different things? Change the circumstances, vary the inflection, and you run the gamut between, “Nice to see you” and “Are you freaking kidding me?” I thought about that commercial because I have been saying “Oh” a lot lately, and realized that it is also a word with tremendous breadth.

Oh conveys a range of emotions and sentiments. I said, “Oh, sure” to last-minute projects for my daughter’s wedding. I said, “Oh, yay!” to friends and family who say, “See you at the wedding.” I’ve griped, “Oh, dear lord,” when others have made unreasonable requests or expressed unfiltered judgments. I screeched, “Oh, shit!” as I added a dumb doorknob bruise to an already purpled arm. I bitched, “Oh, come on!” as I found out how much extra something was going to cost, and “Oh, whoa!” as I looked at my shriveled checking account balance.

I loudly wailed, “Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh,” not finding any other words as I read a text from a friend that her husband was at death’s door. I cried as I typed back, “Oh, Alice.” I drowsily said, “Oh, great!” when he visited me in my dreams that night, telling me he’d now be able to visit my home since my dogs would no longer bother his allergies. And when I awoke to receive the news that Alan had passed away, I sobbed “Oh, no”over and over and over.

Something terrible has happened to all those who knew and loved Alan: he’s gone from our lives. In addition, something terrible has happened to humanity, as the loss of a mensch reverberates loudly. Alan had personality and generosity to spare, so we all feel it in some way when there’s less kind-heartedness and humor to share.

I am sorry if it’s not the Tossed Salad Friday you were expecting. It’s not the one I was expecting, either.

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