?,!( )…

The Next Family

By: Ann Brown

Thanks to my friend and Omamas blogger Amy Wang, I now know that today is National Punctuation Day. The harmonic convergence of this holiday with the recent observation of Yom Kippur is blowing my mind.

If you follow my blog, you may remember that a while back I cast aspersions on the exclamation mark, calling it the lip-glossed, stuffed bra, mint-popping pep squad leader of Punctuationstan and alluding to its, well let’s just say, loose definition of chaste. I had no compunction about writing that piece, as I cannot imagine that Exclamation Mark would be the type to read my blog. She probably reads her i-village horoscope and then sets off to encourage people, spewing her enthusiasm and can-do attitude everywhere she goes. God, what a douche.

Oh wait, in light of Yom Kippur, I was going to atone for dissing her. Wait, I mean, I was going to atone! For dissing her!!

I suppose she has the right to exist. If National Punctuation Day has taught me anything, it’s that there is a place for everyone. And that a person can justify taking the day off work to drink with pretty much any sorry ass excuse of a holiday. So, with two cups of coffee and just a wee bit of Peppermint Schnapps under my belt (Peppermint Schnapps being the official drink of National Punctuation Day), I have come to make peace with Exclamation Mark. Because without her, a fuck you note stuck to the last, and empty, container of sugar-free, fat free Dulce De Leche pudding would seem, I don’t know, unresolved.

Although…come to think of it, fuck you in parenthesis would totally be a more powerful statement.

You know how I feel about Parenthesis. I fucking adore Parenthesis. Parenthesis is a gay man and I am a Parenthesis hag. To sit next to Parenthesis at a PTA meeting, could you imagine? I’d have to change my maxi pad twice because, as my friend Susie North says – when describing us menopausal women having a good laugh together – there won’t be a dry seat in the house.

(I am almost sexually attracted to Parenthesis. That’s how much fun I know I’d have with him.)

I’ll tell you who’d I totally make out with, however: Ellipsis. If Ellipsis were in a band, he’d play electric bass. He’d lure you in with his soft voice and then leave you wanting more. Ellipsis…he’d lurk around corners, always with his eyes trained on you alone…making you feel like the most desirable woman in the room…teasing…
And there’s Period. Sturdy. Dependable. The saddle shoe of Punctuationstan. I wouldn’t have befriended her in high school but I’d like to think I’d look for her on Facebook 40 years later and throw her a bone. ‘Cause that’s how I roll.

Don’t get me started on Question Mark. Personally, I am conspiracy theorist about QM: I think there are two of them, don’t you? First QM is totally fucking obnoxious- the why? what? Hello? MOM? Anyone home? shoulder-tapping pest you can’t shake at a BBQ. QM invented upspeak – doesn’t that tell you everything??

But I believe there is a second Question Mark – QM2. The behind -the- scenes Question Mark. The Patty of Patty/Cathy Patty Duke Show. This QM is quietly curious, the one who slips out of the room to Google a fact before she states it publicly. She asks her questions with a British accent. This QM is the reason we still have the space program. And solar energy. Although she kinda fucked up with the whole Atkins diet, didn’t she? She didn’t really think through the ramifications of eating bacon and red meat every day. But hey, who among is flawless, right QM2?

I also really like the way, in Spanish, QM2 can be at the front of the sentence AND at the back, like when people managed to get in one of those panoramic photos on both sides by running ahead of the camera. Plus, she can fucking hang upside down at the end of the sentence. Gotta give her props for that. I get all woozy and shit when I bend down to shave my legs.

Hunh. All of a sudden, the spellcheck on this program isn’t working. Good thing it’s not National Spelling Day.

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