Wednesday, December 2, 2009

"Pass the Peas, Please"

The phrase "Pass the Peas, Please" comes from my childhood.
I remember watching something with my mom when I was very young (I think my dad and my oldest sister were there, but I'm not too clear on that). The setting was a dinner table. The way I remember the scene was that a family was gathered around the table. The family in the scene consisted of grandparents, parents, and three children; a teen-age girl, a boy around 12 and a younger child that was possibly 6 or 7. It seemed to be a pretty elaborate meal... they were all sitting around the table. The meal progresses and the oldest daughter says "pass the peas" to her younger brother. Being a little feisty, the brother responds, "don't you mean 'pass the peas, please?'" "Pass the peas, I'm pregnant," was the older sister's response. This of course produced a rise out of everyone in the room and I honestly don't remember anything more from the movie, or tv show that was on.

That scene did have a lasting impression. For a while my mom used the 'Pass the peas, I'm pregnant' line in jest (I think, she was pregnant a lot so I suppose it could have been used seriously) and then it died down. But I thought about it from time to time.

For some reason the phrase popped in my head again. I liked it all over again. Yes, the reasons now are completely different reasons than they were when I was a child. I used to think it was funny. But now I understand the complexity of such a statement. This girl had to have been mulling over her pregnancy to just announce it like that. She wanted to get it out and be done with her secret.

In my search to locate the name of the movie or TV show that this was from I was surprised to learn that this has become a very common way for women to announce their pregnancy. There are websites dedicated to "cute ways to tell your family that you're pregnant" (when I told Mr. B I thought about saying "for our first anniversary we bought our car, for our second we'll need a car-seat," but I opted to just hand him the pregnancy test instead). The Urban Dictionary cites the phrase "pass the peas" as one said when trying to avoid talking about the elephant in the room. In the context of the movie from long ago, "pass the peas" was used as an ice-breaker for the elephant. The elephant could now come out and dance around, it could run free and not be ignored any longer!

I like that.
I like taking something that's used to avoid one thing and turning it around as a way to confront another.

So here's my challenge. When you find you're avoiding something in particular, whether a person or specific topic, confront the issue head on instead.

Let me know how you do. I want stories, I want examples.

Do you know what movie that's from?

Talk to me.


Anonymous said...

That line was from the 1988 movie "For Keeps" with Molly Ringwald. Hope this helps!

Nikky W. said...

Thanks so much! I am going to have to find the movie and watch it now. :)

Herb_wench said...

The line from for keeps os I'm pregnant, can you pass the turnips?

Herb_wench said...

The line from for keeps os I'm pregnant, can you pass the turnips?