Thursday, September 3, 2009

See Ya Later, Kiddo

Sat next to Bill Murray on my flight from NY this morning. Would it have been weird to tell him how many dozens of times I've seen "What About Bob"? On our way out, he tousled my hair and said "see you later kiddo." Not sure what to make of that.

This is the Facebook status one of my friends from college posted the other day. First off, it just reaffirms for me how cool Bill Murray is in real life. I've watched his movies for as long as I can remember, and was always a favorite of my dad. Maybe that's part of why I associate Bill Murray with fatherly kindness and a crazy sense of humor, although I can see a certain attractiveness in his earlier stuff like Stripes.

But this post isn't really about Bill Murray, even though that's one of the coolest and most intimidating things I can think of - you're on a 6 hour flight with Bill Murray, what the hell do you do?! Really, though, this got me thinking about the word "kiddo". Now, I don't know much more about my friend's situation and context, but apparently she had her toddler with her on the plane. But my friend is pretty petite and looks much younger than she is. I just love that he tousled her hair and called her kiddo. That just gives me all kinds of warm fuzzies.

Kiddo, to me, is what parents affectionately call their kids. I associate it most with my dad, who happened to have all sorts of affectionate nicknames for my sisters and I - and my mom too. Funny enough, when I first started dating Andrew, his roommate kept calling me kiddo, and I didn't mind it at all. Brought me back to the days of being reassured that all is well and all would be taken care of. Even in Kill Bill, the main character's name is Kiddo. Now, her name is revealed slowly throughout the movies, and eventually we find out that it's her last name instead of a nickname as we would have guessed, but I have to believe they picked that word on purpose, especially with how they revealed it. And hearing Bill call her that through the movie again gives that sense of reassurance, comfort, and affection. You'd think that would be weird given that they were romantically involved, that perhaps it was the age difference, perhaps a daddy complex. It didn't seem odd to me, though - maybe I just assume that the partner you're with would want to give you reassurance and comfort, and somehow calling each other by pet names does that. Sometimes you just want to be in a place of not bearing the responsibility of day-to-day life, temporarily step back in time where the biggest worry was whether your sister was going to steal your favorite Barbie dress or if the Tooth Fairy was going to be able to find your little tiny tooth under your big fluffy pillow.

It's weird how these little things like a word (or maybe imagining Bill Murray tousling hair and saying "kiddo") can bring back not just memories, but indescribable feelings as well. Like how sometimes catching a wiff of an aroma drifting on the air - even if you can't immediately identify it - will instantly and powerfully bring back thoughts or feelings.

I realize not everyone had a great childhood or relationships with their parents, but I'd love to hear other words or associations that instantly bring you back to that happy place of comfort and security. Or to a different place - something that always hits you when you least expect it?

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