This is an example of “couplespeak.” After years of marriage, it is entirely possible the other member of the couple will know precisely where the speaker is meaning. And, neither may actually remember the name of the place or the restaurant used as the landmark. This kind of conversation can surface in a multitude of ways. Here are a few more examples.
Oh, she is that actress who starred in the action movie with the guy we like.
This one usually requires some stumbling add-ons. Because the responding question will usually be, “Which movie are you talking about?” Nowadays, with Google, it is possible to come up with names and trace the movie to the other star. Yet, it is possible for the spouse to know after some add-on suggestions, who the actress and actor are.
Why don’t you make that casserole you made when we had some folks over?
Between the two, the name of the other couple can be surfaced which will help with the mental Rolodex of recipe names. Otherwise, it will be an ingredient hinting exercise. “I remembered it was a chicken and sausage dish.”
Was it Johnny, Susie or Joey that had the whooping cough or was it the croup?
This is not a fill in the blank question like the others. But, if you are a parent of more than one child, some of the younger child illnesses blend together. Your kids will laugh at you if you don’t remember, but they will cease laughing when it happens to them as parents. Also, the diseases do get mixed up some, which is why you keep a list.
What is the name of that singer that sounds like the woman we heard on the American Idol or The Voice?”
It is the “name that person questions” that come up the most. We know both of us know her, yet neither can recall her name. We do need to find some hint that will jog memory or facilitate the Google search.
Do you think the “Sun” or “Jellyfish” or “Popcorn” is that actress or singer who was in…?”
To get this reference, you have to be a fan of “The Masked Singer,” where artists dress in very creative costumes and sing in competition. Throughout their stints, the competitors offer clues. Yet, given the previous and first example above, it does test our couplespeak. Do you think that is the guy who starred in the sit-com about the young family with two dads?
To others, it will appear we have no sense at all. If you told someone that you could not remember a popular person or place, the other person would think you were crazy. “How can you not know that?” Yet, all couples will eventually migrate to this couplespeak at some point.
Tell me a few of your examples. Which ones did I not capture? When did you first notice this trend?