Things in Erin’s Brain 

Two weeks ago in this very newsletter, I dropped a reference to Pig Latin: ixnay on the ardengay. I don’t like to garden. (The whole butterfly endeavor has gotten me into it begrudgingly and there has been quite a bit of what I believe may be plant suicide).


When my fingers flicked the phrase onto the page, the floodgates to my brain opened way back to my tweens. My aunt used to call Tween Erin “Big Ears” not because of the size of my ears, but because of the way I lurked about, listening to everyone and silently recording in my mind all that was said. Big Ears also had zero filter, so sometimes… sometimes… she would REPEAT what was said… usually to the wrong audience, much to the dismay of the adults in her world. 

So with Big Ears always underfoot, the sisters needed to speak in code. 

They didn’t choose Pig Latin and it wasn’t quite gibberish either. It was a language all their own. It was garbled and confusing, and quite nonsensical. Basically, each syllable of a word starts with “Gudda” and ends in… I can’t even explain it. Here’s an example.

Regular words: My book is fantastic

The globs of syllables my mom and aunt slung together: Gudda-guy, gudda-gook, gudda-gis, gudda-gan-gudda-gastic.

This used to INFURIATE Big Ears. Having people talk in front of her, knowing they purposefully don’t want her to know what they were saying? Argh. 

The feeling is very similar to the one that surfaces when you receive a report for a CT scan and you can only understand every other word (when “every other word” is “a” or “the”) and having to scroll the Internet to look up all the other words and make endless notes and jot down endless questions because each gigantic medical term can have different interpretations when combined with other gigantic medical terms. All the while keeping yourself in check because your brain automatically assumes big words mean you or your loved one is dying. It’s one of the stressors of being a Caregiver and one of the reasons I created a free list of Ten Ways to Support a Caregiver (and one thing to NEVER do). Because Caregivers need a little love every now and then.

Big Ears was a tenacious, clever girl and one bright, autumn, Central California day she found herself sprawled out on the floor watching cartoons with her sister and baby cousin. The adult sisters sat together on the couch, laughed mischievously, and seamlessly shifted their speech into their secret goopy language. One sister asked the other a question and still staring at the television, Little Miss Big Ears responded. In the non-gibberish-gibberish. 

Tell me Hump Day Fan, which feeling do you think the sisters felt the most?

A) Dismayed… they had no way to hide their chatter anymore
B) Fear… how long had the tween been UNDERSTANDING?
C) Pride… oh that Erin, such a SMART girl! 

Had I been a little smarter, perhaps I would have hidden my knowledge for a while longer. But really, what would I have done with the information? Blackmail? Meh, not my style. I will admit that I was devilishly pleased at having decoded their secret banter. 

So tell me – Have you ever had a secret language? Did your parents spell things in front of you when you were too little to know how to put letters in order yourself? Spill the beans…

Because it’s all about love…

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“I’m ready.”

I opened the door to my massage room and my client was positioned perfectly on the table, face down, under the sheet, ready for their massage.

“Question,” their voice echoed up from the floor.

“Of course…”

“Now that I’m laying here in my Birthday Suit, do YOU have a preference if I wear underwear or not?”

Here was my honest to goodness, truthful answer: Nope.

I want my clients to be comfortable. If undies make you comfortable, I’m comfortable. If you like to feel unrestricted, that’s cool with me too. 

But let’s be crystal clear. I always, alwayyyysss, use draping. It’s non-negotiable. There will always be a sheet covering up all your bits, because I don’t need private parts flinging about my studio. I love ya, but I don’t need to see ALL of you. In fact, I only uncover the part I’m working on because I want my clients to feel SAFE. Warm. Snuggly even. I want people to be able to RELAX. Breathe.

In my space, we both get to feel comfortable and safe.

Whether you’re receiving a massage with me or with another practitioner and you’re feeling unsure about the level of undress – just ask. Different therapists may have different guidelines and you’re not expected to be a psychic (I swear).

Because it’s all about love.