Wednesday, August 23, 2006

August 23, 2006: Discombobulated

Discombobulated: adj: having self-possession upset; thrown into confusion; "the hecklers pelted the discombobulated speaker with anything that came to hand."

I was 25 the first time I heard the word "discombobulated." I was standing in my boss's office at The Planning Forum in Oxford, Ohio, where I was the editorial assistant. Marthann, my boss (and friend), was this wonderful woman from Texas, and she said, in her deep Texan accent, that she was "all discombobulated" trying to figure out her computer. She was always making up words, so I just figured she'd made up that one. But as such things go, I heard the word used just a few weeks later by someone else. It's been one of my favorite words ever since. What could better describe the life of a homeschooling mom than a state of "perpetual discombobulation"? And to imagine one's children as the "hecklers" in the above definition, "pelting" the "speaker" (i.e., Mom) with both literal (pencils, wads of paper, and what not) and figurative (whines, complaints, etc.)'s just all too visually perfect for a day like today.

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