Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Other Day...I was thinking I should start a blog

So, I have been meaning to get around to starting my very own blog for a while now.  Of course now that I have done it I have writer's block and all of my very well thought out thoughts that the rest of the world just must be enlightened with have drifted off. I will blame the baby, you can pick which one: the two year old or the fetus, both take a lot of energy and have been sucking my brain and body's power to do basic things, like stay awake during all of the daylight hours or remember to bring my wallet to the grocery store. So part of this blog will probably be a "mommy blog" because, as it turns out, I am in fact, a mommy, a tired pregnant mommy at the moment. But I am also an occupational therapist that works with children with feeding challenges, so at moments, it may also be a therapy or feeding blog, I am also a feminist, a Tucsonan, a liberal,  a fan of musicals, and a player of dungeons and dragons. I have some opinions about other stuff too, so I reserve the right to blog about whatever topic drifts into my mind. I cant promise to ever by as culturally astute or well spoken a my amazing friend Laura or as hilarious as the sassy curmudgeon but I will try.

I suppose in a first blog post it is worth talking about your blog title. I have always said, if I ever start a blog it will be called "The Other Day." My friends all laugh. This is because there is an ongoing joke, or accusation, that I use this phrase incorrectly. Apparently, the rest of the world has a fairly firm sense of what "the other day" means. I am told that most people think it means a day, in the recent past, probably within a week or two. The free dictionary even suggests a specific number (3) of days in the past. Somehow, while going through the incredibly complex process of teaching and learning that takes place as a child grows, in which the nuances of language, and culture, and the many idiosyncratic meanings of idiomatic language are passed on to the next generation, I missed this.

I have been stubborn about altering my understanding of the phrase as an adult. I tend to use it much more loosely to mean, say, sometime in the past. I think that I have a fairly nuanced use of it and that my use usually makes sense to me. But tragically... NO ONE UNDERSTANDS ME. It is a phrase I would use to talk about certain past events in certain moments but not other events in the same moment or the same event in other moments. I usually use "the other day" as a way to signal that I feel that there is a bridge between the moment I am in now and the day, or moment, I am referring to. Hmmm, writing this out I can see how my friends pat me on the head and nod kindly while I try and explain this.

Maybe an example will help. So, let's say I am at a party and a delicious pizza is delivered, by a very good looking pizza delivery boy. And let's say a friend of mine flirts with said boy, gets his phone number and is all giggly about the interaction for a bit. I might, in making conversation a few minutes after pizza man has left, say to a friend "the other day, we were making pizza at my house..." and continue with a fascinating culinary adventure story. Or, "the other day, the UPS guys stopped by my house and he had the craziest facial hair I ever saw..." How long ago those "other" days were is not as critical to my mind as the thematic relationship to the moment. In the former, the connection between the food being consumed and delivered and the food in my story, and in the latter, the physical attributes of delivery men. I probably would not, in conversation in the aftermath of the pizza/phone number exchanges say "the other day I went to the dentist..." even if, three days prior I had done so.

Does this make sense to anyone else? It is just me who feels this phrase is so much more than a temporal marker? Be the first to agree with me on my blog by posting your comment about how you have always felt that the common understanding of "the other day" was far to banal. That you, too, feel that "the other day" has the transformative power to draw connection between past and present and help to cue listeners that the texture, feelings, and themes of the moment they are experiencing with the speaker NOW are similar to a moment when they weren't present or reminds them of the commonalities of an experience they shared in the PAST. Thus, allowing the listener a richer understanding of the person's lived experience. It is a phrase that the speaker uses to draw in their audience and by using it signals that she wants them to truly be a part of and understand more than just the narrative of what happened "the other day."


  1. The other day I was starting a blog and it was really fun. Maybe I should post some more (: Thanks for the inspiration em!

  2. The other day I read Eliza's blog and it was good. I made a blog the other day also. But then I set it to private and didn't write anything. Maybe if we all combined our failed blogs they might make an actual blog?

    1. You can't classify ems blog as failed, she just started! You can certainly contribute to mine though

  3. I loved this--please keep writing!!
    We tend to assume that there's this one monolithic thing called "The English Language" that everyone knows, but one of my favorite college professors (Michael Ramscar) argued that there's a different version in each person's head. Your "the other day" is a lovely example of how we all have these idiosyncrasies. :)

  4. Emilyyyy! How did I not know about the newest little one?! Congratulations!! A new person and a new blog--you're so productive :)