For one of my day jobs I have been doing a little research on the ritual insult – and now I am hearing them everywhere. An example from tonight’s dinner table…
daughter 1: So at school last week we talked about the appendix and I put up my hand and said I don’t have one and then at school this week we talked about wisdom teeth and I put up my hand and said I don’t have any.
daughter 2: So I guess at school next week you’ll be talking about brains.
Its a ritual insult because you can only trade them if you are in the ‘in group.’ If someone else said this to d1, d2 would laugh – and then kick them in the shin.
Sometimes its a bit scary as a parent hearing this stuff. I go straight to thinking about depression and young people committing suicide and bullying and other dark stuff and then I wake up to them shouting in unison at each other shut up you’re ugly and I hate you! and laughing themselves silly. So I generally get up from the table, remove the silverware (just in case that eye does get lost*) and leave them to it.
*It really is all fun and games until someone loses an eye